Second major setback for EPA in fluoride lawsuit under TSCA
Court rebuffs attempt to limit scope in review of citizen petition
8 February 2018 / Legal cases, TSCA, United States
A federal judge has handed the US EPA its second defeat, in a lawsuit that could end up setting precedent for how the judiciary handles citizen petitions for chemical regulation under TSCA.
The lawsuit, brought by a group of NGOs demanding the EPA ban the addition of fluoride to drinking water, asks the court to examine the EPA’s dismissal of their petition.
The latest ruling rebuffed the agency’s demand to limit the scope of the court’s review to information originally presented to it in administrative proceedings. The decision allows plaintiffs to offer a broad range of evidence to bolster their case, and to demand that the EPA provide additional information, things it argued they should not be allowed to do.
“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 California court ruled on 7 February.
In an earlier ruling, the court rejected both the EPA’s request to dismiss the case and its contention that citizen petitions must address all potential conditions of use, rather than demanding action against one use of a chemical.
The administrative action underlying the case is the EPA’s February 2017 denial of a petition by organisations campaigning against fluoridation of drinking water. The agency argued that other uses must be addressed as well as disputing the scientific evidence of neurotoxicity that the NGOs presented.
The fluoride suit may also have implications for a separate legal action challenging the EPA’s implementation of TSCA’s risk evaluation mandates.
Declan Waugh takes advantage of the abortion debate in Ireland:
LETTER: Fluoride toxicity is entirely preventable
SIR – Speaking on RTÉ’s ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’ last Thursday (February 1st), Tánaiste Simon Coveney made a point that politicians are lawmakers, and he reiterated that the function of the Irish State and constitution is to protect the rights and welfare of unborn children as well as the mother.
Yet, paradoxically, Irish politicians as lawmakers, remain the only politicians in Europe that support government legislation that mandates every citizen or resident in this State must consume fluoride through mandatory fluoridation of drinking water supplies.
In the current debate on the repeal of the 8th Amendment and guaranteeing the right to life of the unborn child, it is important to note that the current weight of evidence show that environmental exposure to fluoride effects many organs including the reproductive system. In particular, fluoride has been found to be associated with reproductive disorders, including infertility, low birth weight and neurotoxicity in offspring.
The most recent study published in September 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, by a team of investigators at the University of Toronto, McGill, the Harvard School of Public Health, and other institutions found an association between prenatal exposure to fluoride and cognitive development disorders in children.
This study affirms that prenatal fluoride toxicity is an entirely preventable problem and that by working to reduce exposure and by reducing its unnecessary use, it is possible to remove fluoride exposure as a factor that limits children’s opportunities to reach their full potential.
As artificial fluoridation of drinking water is enacted by national legislation in Ireland and the mandatory ingestion of fluoride is undertaken without consent, perhaps the Government might allow a second referendum so that the public may vote on whether they wish to ingest this toxin.
Since most of Local Authorities in Ireland, including Cork City and County Councils have already voted for the abolition of water fluoridation in this State and their democratic vote has been ignored by this Government, it’s time that the public had a say on this highly-controversial and outdated policy.