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Victory Ruling From Federal Judge – FAN
FAN wins second round in court case and now
it is all stations go to fund our lawsuit.
On 7 February 2018, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), together with a coalition of environmental and health groups (see Plaintiffs below), won a second major victory in our legal case to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to end the deliberate addition of fluoride to the public water supply (water fluoridation).
Our victory was the ruling from Federal Judge Edward M. Chen, of the Northern
District Court of California, when he dismissed EPA’s motion to limit discovery:
“The EPA moves for a protective order limiting the scope of review in this litigation to the administrative record, a request that would effectively foreclose Plaintiffs from introducing any evidence in this litigation that was not attached to their administrative petition. The text of the TSCA, its structure, its purpose, and the legislative history make clear that Congress did not intend to impose such a limitation in judicial review of Section 21 citizen petitions. The Court therefore DENIES the EPA’s motion.” Re: February 7, 2018:Order Denying Defendant’s [EPA] Motion to Limit Review to the Administrative Record
Our attorney, Michael Connett, noted: “If you look at the legislative history, Congress wanted a robust mechanism for citizen oversight over EPA. This court’s decision highlights for environmental groups that Congress created a powerful tool.” (Inside EPA, Feb 20,2018)
Had the EPA prevailed we would have been prohibited from including any new fluoride neurotoxicity study published after our Petition was submitted in November 2016. With the court’s ruling we can now include the major 12-year study by Bashash et al. published in September 2017. This study is critical in demonstrating that fluoride is neurotoxic and has no place in the public water supply.
The Bashash study
It is difficult to overstate the importance of this study, especially since it was funded by these U.S. agencies: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the EPA.
The authors from several universities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, followed over 300 mother-child pairs in Mexico City for a 12-year period. They found a strong relationship between the mothers’ exposure to fluoride (as measured in their urine) and lowered IQ in their offspring at 4 and again at 6-12 years of age. The urine levels of the pregnant woman in the study were the same as is found in pregnant women in the U.S. (0.5 to 1.5 mg/Liter, or ppm). At these levels the authors reported a loss of 6 IQ points.
The lead investigator of this study, Dr. Howard Hu from the University of Toronto, commented on the study in the Canadian National Post: “This is a very rigorous epidemiology study. You just can’t deny it. It directly related to whether fluoride is a risk for the neurodevelopment of children.”
This study adds another level of scientific rigor to our case. We should never deliberately expose an unborn child or bottle-fed infant to a known neurotoxic (i.e. brain-damaging) substance but that is precisely what we are doing every day with water fluoridation.
Our TSCA lawsuit is attempting to force the US EPA to end this reckless practice. As Michael Connett stated in response to EPA’s attempt to dismiss our case: “in a nation besieged by neurological disorders of poorly understood etiology, both in young children and the elderly, minimizing exposures to known neurotoxic substances must be a public health priority [page 4].”
Now it is all stations go to raise the money to finish the job.
Now that the court has granted us full discovery, we have the end of fluoridation in our sights. But it is going to take a lot of money to finish the job. Michael explains why:
“In this vital phase we will need to engage a larger legal staff and hire experts with several areas of expertise, including developmental neurotoxicology, endocrinology, epidemiology, toxicology, and risk assessment. These experts will be needed to add depth and explanation to support our analysis of fluoride’s neurotoxicity including IQ loss and harm to the fetal brain.”
According to Michael: “Nobody has ever done what we are doing, and this is going to require top level experts who will need to do substantial review and analysis and this will require significant funding.”
Starting today we will be aiming to raise $225,000 by May 31.
Daunting yes – it took the whole of December to raise less than that – but we have some terrific friends who are determined that our legal team will not want for lack of money to do the job. If FAN can raise $75,000 by May 31, two anonymous donors (one individual and one group) have each pledged to give us another $75,000 each. In other words, all donations to FAN specifically earmarked for the lawsuit will be tripled for a total $225,000.
Paul Connett, senior adviser to the Fluoride Action Network said about this challenge, “Since FAN was formed in 2000 we have had many important fundraisers but none more important than this. Every penny we raise over the next few weeks will take us closer to that magnificent day when we will see an end to fluoridation. This is not wishful thinking, we have a clear path to victory here and we mustn’t drop the ball. And once again this is a team effort – we have the science – we have the legal expertise – and now we need all our supporters to chip in what they can afford to make this happen.
Will you be part of the biggest challenge we have ever faced? If so, here’s how to donate:
To distinguish donations for the Legal Fund, have your donation end with $5 (for example, $25, $55, $105, $205, etc.). All donations are tax-exempt as FAN is a project of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit and will go into a designated fund.
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