Week 2 of the #FluorideLawsuit: EPA Rests Their Case, Admits Harm Related to Fluoride Exposure

By Derrick Broze

The second week of the historic fluoride lawsuit has come to an end in San Francisco. What’s next in the ongoing push to force the U.S. EPA to ban water fluoridation?

SAN FRANCISCO – On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finished presenting their expert witnesses, and rested their case in the second phase of the long-delayed fluoride lawsuit. Judge Edward Chen ordered the EPA and the plaintiffs, led by Fluoride Action Network (FAN) attorney Michael Connett, to reconvene via Zoom on February 20th at 9:30 am for closing statements and questions from the judge.

The lawsuit was filed by FAN, Moms Against Fluoridation, and individual plaintiffs who are seeking to prove that fluoride is a neurotoxin and should be banned. The lawsuit originally began after the EPA’s 2016 decision to deny the plaintiff’s petition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The final 3 days of the proceedings centered around the EPA’s expert witnesses, Dr. David Savitz and Dr. Stanley Barone. A third EPA witness, Dr. Jesus Ibarluzea, was testifying in the form of a prerecorded video. Judge Chen decided he would view this video privately after the court adjourned.

The closing days of the trial featured several revealing moments, including Judge Chen and the EPA’s witnesses acknowledging that fluoride can cause neurodevelopmental issues, and Dr. Barone struggling to answer a question regarding pregnant mothers and fluoride exposure.

Much of the discussion focused on the EPA’s argument that while there is clearly an association between fluoride exposure and lower IQ, it is only at levels above 2 milligrams per liter of fluoridated water, not at, or near, the 0.7 milligram per liter recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At one point Judge Chen asked Dr. Savitz if he agreed with the conclusion that there is evidence of harm from fluoride around 1.5 milligrams per liter of fluoridated water. Savitz said he would place emphasis on the 1 to 2 milligram per liter, and called for more studies in that range.

EPA Witness: Dr. David Savitz

Dr. David Savitz is Professor of Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health. Savitz has also served as editor at the American Journal of Epidemiology, and as a member of the Epidemiology and Disease Control study section of the National Institutes of Health.

Judge Chen also asked Savitz if he had any particular criticism regarding the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) data on the impacts of fluoride above 1.5 milligrams per liter. Savitz said there “appears that there is this association of higher fluoride exposure” and lower IQ across the studies examined by NTP. While Savitz was critical of some of the conclusions drawn by the NTP researchers, he was careful not to disparage the researchers themselves.

Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation

Meanwhile, the EPA attempted to show the court that the NTP monograph looked at a limited number of studies on fluoride exposure for the less than 1.5 milligrams per liter. Their argument was essentially that the data is still unclear and thus the EPA should not be compelled to act under TSCA.

As a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (NASEM), Dr. Savitz reviewed the U.S. NTP draft report which has been the subject of much controversy. It is this report which emails obtained by the FAN attorneys show was blocked from public release by officials within the CDC and the Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. The fact that NASEM reviewed the draft report was noted by several witnesses to be an unusual step taken by the academy.

During questioning of Dr. Savitz, the EPA read the NASEM statement on the NTP conclusion. The statement reads in part, “…the monograph falls short of providing a clear and convincing argument that supports it assessment”. Essentially, NASEM, with Savitz’ participation did not endorse the conclusions of the NTP regarding an association between fluoride exposure and lower IQ.

The NASEM went further by stating that the NTP report “cannot be used to draw conclusions regarding low fluoride exposure concentrations, including those typically associated with drinking water fluoridation”. Dr. Savitz said he agreed with this conclusion.

During FAN’s cross examination of Savitz, lead attorney Michael Connett attempted to make it clear that Savitz is not and was not an expert in the neurotoxicity of fluoride while he reviewed the NTP report for NASEM. FAN attorney Michael Connett drew attention to a $17 Million grant Savitz received from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, who are vocal advocates for water fluoridation.

Connett asked Savitz if it would be accurate to call him a “newcomer” to this topic, to which he agreed. Connett asked Savitz to confirm that he is not an expert on fluoride’s toxicity. When Savitz offered a non-answer, Connett pulled up his deposition testimony where he clearly said, “I would not say that I had done the necessary work” to be an expert on fluoride’s toxicity.

Connett also asked Savitz about a recent study which found an association between fluoride and “executive function” for girls. The term executive function relates to cognitive ability. When Connett asked if the study found a “statistically significant association” between fluoride exposure and impact on executive function, Savitz offered a qualified yes.

Connett quoted directly from the study, which reads:

“Maternal exposure to drinking water throughout pregnancy fluoridated at the level of 0.7 mg/L was associated with poorer inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility, particularly in girls, suggesting a possible need to reduce maternal fluoride exposure during pregnancy.”

Dr. Stanley Barone’s Long Pause

Dr. Stanley Barone is a Senior Science Policy Advisor with the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OSCPP) in the EPA. He was also involved in the first ten risk assessments conducted by the EPA under TSCA.

When asked his expert opinion on the association between water fluoride levels and lower IQ, Barone said there was “a lot of uncertainty related to the epidemiological data” and “a lot of uncertainty for the NTP report”.

However, under cross examination by Michael Connett, Dr. Barone answered “yes” when asked if he agreed that fluoride has been found to be a neurotoxin at certain levels. When questioned about specific levels of fluoride in the water, Barone was less willing to affirm this conclusion.

“You agree that there is an association of neurotoxicity with water fluoridation above levels of 2 mg/L?,” Connett asked. “At some level above 2, yes,” Barone responded. This is where much of the debate remains. Both sides acknowledge fluoride’s harms, but cannot agree at which concentration level potential harm begins.

A particularly powerful moment came when Connett began questioning Barone about the kidney’s ability to excrete toxins like fluoride. Connett made the point that individuals suffering from kidney issues may have a more difficult time excreting fluoride which leads to increased build up in the body.

“You testified earlier today that there may be oversaturation going on in the kidney at the 95th percentile level in the fluoridated areas,” Connett said. “Do you feel comfortable as a risk assessor exposing pregnant women to a level of fluoride that is so high that the kidney is oversaturated?”

At this point, Dr. Barone sat silently while he processed the question. The courtroom was silent for about five to seven seconds as Barone contemplated his answer. In the end, he offered a qualified no, ultimately saying that his opinion was not “germane” to the discussion.

Late-breaking Study by Health Canada

One of the points of disagreement between the EPA and FAN attorneys was the late admission of a newly published review of the evidence on the potential human health effects of fluoride. The study was conducted by Risk Sciences International under a contract with Health Canada, the federal public health agency for Canada. Health Canada is currently developing a water fluoridation policy for Canada.

While RSI was commissioned by Health Canada, the agency did not publish their results. Instead, Health Canada organized the “Expert panel meeting on the health effects of fluoride in drinking water” in June 2023 to release their conclusions of the RSI study. Dr. David Savitz was a part of this expert panel.

The differences in the conclusions of the published RSI report and the Health Canada Expert Panel are stark. The RSI report concluded, “the evidence supports a conclusion that fluoride exposure reduces IQ levels in children at concentrations close to those seen in North American drinking water”. The report also acknowledged there was uncertainty about at which exact concentration harm begins.

The Health Canada Expert Panel appeared to disagree, writing that “there is not a sufficient basis at this time to recommend a specific point of departure and health-based value for neurocognitive effects”.

During his cross examination of Savitz, Connett noted that members of the expert panel are advocates of water fluoridation. Connett specifically mentioned a Dr. Steven Levy, who has a background in dentistry and is a well known champion of fluoride. Dr. Savitz claimed to be unaware of whether members of the panel have advocated for or against fluoridation.

Does Fluoride Increase IQ in Boys?

The EPA’s third witness, Dr. Jesus Ibarluzea is the lead author of a study which examined the impacts of fluoride in the Basque region of Spain. This study controversially found that fluoride exposure can apparently increase IQ for boys.

Connett questioned Dr. Savitz about the merits of this study which is at odds with the rest of the available data. Judge Chen was also uncertain of how to judge this study, asking Savitz about how the conclusions were reached.

“Does this not raise some question about whether there is something wrong with this study?,” Judge Chen asked Savitz. “You got this result that seems totally counter-intuitive and not consistent with the other literature.”

“Absolutely, it raises the question,” Savitz said.

Judge Chen will now review all of the evidence and testimony from witnesses before reconvening with both sides on February 20th for final questions and closing statements.

Stay tuned to TLAV for reporting on the final day of the 2nd phase of the fluoride lawsuit.

Source: The Last American Vagabond

Visit TheLastAmericanVagabond.com. Subscribe to TLAV’s independent news broadcast on iTunes. Follow on Facebook and Minds. Support with Bitcoin.

Derrick Broze, a staff writer for The Last American Vagabond, is a journalist, author, public speaker, and activist. He is the co-host of Free Thinker Radio on 90.1 Houston, as well as the founder of The Conscious Resistance Network & The Houston Free Thinkers.


Become a Patron!
Or support us at SubscribeStar
Donate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Minds, MeWe, Twitter – X, Gab, and What Really Happened.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription