Provided by Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – June 14, 2020
Day four of the trial started out with the EPA’s cross-examination of FAN’s last expert witness, Dr. Kathleen Thiessen. This included a second failed attempt to have Dr. Thiessen’s testimony thrown out due to claims that she didn’t consider the potential benefits of fluoride in reducing dental decay. Not only did she consider these factors, but concluded decisively that the health risks of fluoride outweighed any claimed benefits. Thiessen was also attacked for her past efforts to educate the public about the evidence of harm from fluoridation, in lieu of the EPA not doing their job and warning citizens.
Her testimony was followed by another round of cross-examination of fact witness Dr. Kris Thayer of the EPA’s Chemical and Pollutant Assessment Division. EPA attorney’s spent much of this time having Dr. Thayer explain what she considered to be the most methodologically superior systematic review process, and how such a review hasn’t been conducted on fluoride. This led to one of the most revealing moments of the day, when FAN attorney, Michael Connett, elicited a response from Thayer that was devastating to the EPA’s case. He asked if the EPA had ever actually completed a risk assessment on any of the chemicals they have regulated using the methods Thayer suggested for fluoride. Thayer answered that they had not, showing that such high hurdles only seem to exist for fluoride.
The EPA then called their first expert witness, Joyce Tsuji, PhD from corporate consulting firm Exponent. This is the same scientists-for-hire firm the tobacco industry used to deny lung cancer risk. The day ended right as FAN’s attorney started his cross-examination; where we will start again on Monday morning.
For those who want to use the reminder of this weekend to catch up on the trial, here is a brief summary from FAN’s Research Director, Chris Neurath:
We believe we are doing extremely well. For me, the biggest irony is that EPA chose the “experts for hire” from Exponent who in the majority of their work, are helping their industry clients avoid liability and regulation from the EPA. A major reason we brought this lawsuit was because the EPA is glacially slow at developing regulations to protect human health from toxic chemicals. The TSCA statutes’ Section 21 provision allows citizen’s groups to bring scientific evidence before an impartial court and jump start the regulatory process for chemicals that EPA has avoided for years, if not decades.
Congress inserted this process into TSCA to protect human health when EPA’s process is too slow. All of our experts on the human studies have equated the current harm from water fluoridation to that from childhood lead exposure. That will come as a startling statement to viewers of the trial. The conclusion that fluoridation is as bad as childhood lead poisoning from the time when leaded gasoline was still allowed comes from the worlds leading experts in this field, Professors Philippe Grandjean, Howard Hu, and Bruce Lanphear.
All three have described the high quality scientific studies, which have brought them to this conclusion. All three have said that delay in regulating fluoridation risks millions of children suffering IQ loss and potentially increased risk of ADHD.
So, it is ironic that EPA will rely on the Exponent firm experts to try to argue there is insufficient evidence to take action yet. That argument comes straight from the cigarette companies and lead industries play book. We expect them to try to muddy the waters and sow doubt. As Professor Grandjean stated in testimony, he is “embarrassed for the EPA” to have chosen these people to defend their inaction in protecting children from neurotoxic harm of fluoride.
FAN’s Director, Paul Connett, PhD has produced detailed and comprehensive summaries of the first three days of the trial: Day One / Day Two / Day Three. Paul has also provided a simplified version of Thiessen’s evidence, which shows that safe reference doses (RfD) deemed to protect children from neurotoxic effects as demonstrated in animal studies – done using 5 different starting points – all reveal RfDs much lower than children receive in the USA. Some by very large margins.
Daily trial summaries are also being provided by the legal news website Law360, but registration with a “non-free email domain” is required to read the full articles. If you have such an email domain, here are the three summaries thus far: Day One / Day Two / Day Three / Day Four