The first week of the historic water fluoridation trial wrapped up on Friday afternoon after four days of occasionally tense testimony from expert witnesses with the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One expert witness claimed he had been coerced into signing a statement downplaying his study which claimed fluoride is a neurotoxicant. Another witness confirmed that at least one type of fluoride is a pesticide being added to the water supply.
Attorneys with FAN argue that water fluoridation violates the 1970 Toxic Substances Control Act provisions which prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical which has been found to present an unreasonable risk to the general public. Under section 21 of the TSCA citizens are allowed to petition the EPA to regulate or ban individual chemicals.
The EPA is represented by lawyers from the Department of Justice who are presenting experts from the corporate firm Exponent Inc. The government is defending water fluoridation and seeking a dismissal of the petition by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs in the case include: FAN, Moms Against Fluoridation, Food & Water Watch, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and the Organic Consumers Association.
FAN attorney Michael Connett called 3 witnesses throughout the week, including Howard Hu MD, Bruce Lanphear MD, Philippe Grandjean MD, and Kathleen Thiessen PhD. Connett told the court that the EPA has previously relied on the research of all of these experts in the past on other toxicants like lead and mercury. Two of these experts have been authors of key fluoride studies funded by US government agencies. Connett noted that the EPA chose to use experts from Exponent rather than their own agencies experts.
The EPA did their part to question the Fluoride Action Network’s witnesses and diminish their credibility. Dr. KathleenThiessen made a powerful admission when interviewed by FAN attorney Connett, stating that sodium fluoride is a pesticide that is being added to the water supply. However, during cross examination of Thiessen, the EPA asked if she is personal friends with the Connett family, including Paul Connett, Director of the Fluoride Action Network, and Michaell Connett, the lawyer representing FAN. Thiessen said yes she is friends with the family. The EPA pressed further, asking if she had attended meetings sponsored by FAN, whether she is on the group’s mailing list, if she has appeared in interviews on their websites, and if she helped Paul Connett with his book The Case Against Fluoride.