Lawsuit Set to End Water Fluoridation in the US

A federal court has denied an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to dismiss a lawsuit that is set to end water fluoridation in the US for good.

The massive victory from anti-water fluoridation groups saw the judge in the Northern District of California deny the Environmental Protection Agency any attempt to limit the information that was available to the court while the decision was being made to ban water fluoridation or not.

Food and Water Watch Inc. filed the historic lawsuit along with a coalition between health organization fight against water fluoridation.

Under section 21 of The Toxic Substances, Control Act (TSCA), US citizens are allowed to petition the EPA to regulate or ban certain chemicals.

When the EPA rejected a citizen petition calling for them to ban water fluoridation, Food and Water Watch promptly filed the lawsuit.

As the lawsuit continued, the EPA translated the language of the law to imply the judge must limit reviewing the information the EPA supplied when it chose to decline the petition on February 17, 2017.

“The argument is whether, in reaching its own decision, the court can think about details that the EPA did not have access to an e.g. expert statement, brand-new research studies, documents gotten in discovery, and so on,” Michael Connett, the attorney representing the union told Bloomberg Environment before the ruling.

National Law Review reported on the judgment:

In rejecting the EPA’s motion, the court specifically held that the expression “de novo proceeding” suggests that Congress planned a broad scope of evaluation due to the fact that the word “proceeding” incorporates all routine activities of a suit.

This refers to the discovery beyond the administrative record. Because the function of the TSCA is to protect the public from chemicals that present unnecessary risks on peoples health and the environment, the court held that” [a] de novo proceeding in district court imitated traditional trial-like proceedings would not conflict with the function of the TSCA, however, would rather effectuate it.”

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