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Fluoride On Trial: Federal Trial on the Neurotoxicity of Water Fluoridation Resumes Next Week

Plaintiffs Ask Federal Court to Ban Fluoridation Chemicals in Upcoming Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., January 25, 2024 / -- After nearly four years of delay, a lawsuit in United States federal court seeking to prohibit the addition of fluoridation chemicals to public water systems due to the threat posed by fluoride to the developing brain is set to continue next week, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).

The final phase of the landmark bench trial against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the neurotoxicity of fluoridation chemicals will start on Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco, has set aside nine days (January 31, February 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13) for testimony and cross-examination of expert and fact witnesses.

The focus of this final phase will be on the new evidence and science published since the last trial dates held in 2020. This will include the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) 7-year systematic review of the neurotoxicity of fluoride. Specifically, fluoride’s impact on reducing the IQ of children. The NTP reported that 52 out of 55 fluoride brain studies they looked at found decreases in child IQ associated with an increase in fluoride, a remarkable 95% consistency. Of the 19 studies rated highest quality, 18 found a lowering of IQ. The meta-analysis could not detect any safe exposure, including at levels common from drinking artificially fluoridated water.

The Fluoride Action Network (FAN), a non-profit founded in 2000, is the lead plaintiff in this precedent-setting case, which challenges a practice endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service 75 years ago and that today affects more than 200 million Americans through water fluoridation systems in thousands of communities. FAN is joined by consumer advocacy groups, Food and Water Watch and Moms Against Fluoridation, public health associations, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, as well as several individuals representing themselves and/or their children. The case is number 17-CV-02162-EMC (KAW), and titled: Food & Water Watch, Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

The lawsuit falls under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) which gives EPA the authority to prohibit "the particular use" of a chemical substance if it presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. The plaintiffs submitted a Citizens Petition under Section 21 of TSCA to the EPA in November 2016 requesting a ban on the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water. When the EPA denied their Petition, they filed suit in federal court.

Click here for a timeline of the lawsuit.

"There’s no question that the weight of the science overwhelmingly shows that fluoride damages the developing brain," said Stuart Cooper, FAN Executive Director. "This includes a large body of government-funded research indicating that fluoride is neurotoxic, is associated with lowered IQ in children, and a significant increase in ADHD diagnosis and related behaviors in children at doses experienced in fluoridated communities. Experts in toxicology have likened the size of the effect to that of lead.”

Broadcast of Trial

The trial will take place in San Francisco with attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the Environmental Protection Agency, and attorneys for the Plaintiffs both attending in person. One of the EPA’s witnesses will testify via deposition video with the remainder testifying in person. All proceedings will also be live streamed daily on the court’s Zoom and recorded and posted publicly on the court’s website as part of the Cameras in the Courtroom program. Exhibits will be displayed electronically at trial and on the live stream to allow for a more efficient display of evidence. The judge said that access to this trial was in the public’s best interests.

Zoom info and official court schedule

Trial days will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. (Pacific) and end at 1:30 p.m. Each side shall have approximately 18 hours to present their case. This includes opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, and closing arguments.

Stuart Cooper
Fluoride Action Network

Lead attorney for the Plaintiffs, Michael Connett of Waters Kraus and Paul recently discussed the case and science involved at length in an interview: