This is an excerpt of The Daily Wrap Up 8/7.
This is an excerpt of The Daily Wrap Up 8/7.
Derrick Broze breaks down the latest on the #FluorideTrial #FluorideLawsuit
The historic trial examining the dangers of water fluoridation reached a temporary conclusion on Wednesday after the judge delayed the ruling so the parties may consider new evidence on fluoride.
(To read about week 1 of the trial, please see #FLUORIDETRIAL: SCIENTIST SAYS HE WAS THREATENED BECAUSE OF FLUORIDE STUDY – WEEK 1 IN REVIEW)
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen delayed a ruling in the case between the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FAN is aiming to prove the harms caused by community water fluoridation. The government is defending water fluoridation and seeking a dismissal of the petition by the plaintiffs.
Over the last two weeks, Judge Chen has heard arguments from witnesses with the FAN and EPA. Attorneys with FAN argue that water fluoridation violates the 1970 Toxic Substances Control Act provisions which prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical which has been found to present an unreasonable risk to the general public. Under section 21 of the TSCA citizens are allowed to petition the EPA to regulate or ban individual chemicals.
Judge Chen suggested the FAN file a new petition with the EPA, a suggestion which plaintiffs attorney Michael Connett was not eager to accept given the fact that it has taken four years to get the lawsuit to court. Connett told the court that the plaintiffs might not have the resources to continue this fight for another couple of years and cautioned against delaying a ruling because it would continue to endanger Americans due to ongoing fluoride exposure. The EPA’s attorneys were equally disinterested in a delayed ruling, stating that there is “no way” the EPA could conduct a review within the required 90 days.
Judge Chen said he was only discussing delaying the ruling for another couple of months, not years. Chen also noted that the evidence presented by both sides went “well beyond administrative record, because so much has changed since that petition was filed” in 2016. “Doesn’t it make sense to have the agency take a second look?” Judge Chen asked the attorneys for the EPA and FAN.
Judge Chen noted that the National Academy of Science is expected to publish a study later this year and the National Toxicology Program is working on a review of the literature on fluoride. These new studies, he said, should be considered by the EPA. The judge did acknowledge it is undisputed that fluoride can cause harm to the human brain and is a neurological hazard. The disagreement between EPA and FAN hinges on arguments over the levels at which fluoride causes neurological damage.
Ultimately, Judge Chen, the EPA, and the FAN agreed to delay a ruling until both parties have time to discuss whether the EPA will revisit the original petition, FAN will file a new petition, or the judge will rule on the current case. A briefing between both sides is scheduled for August 6.
During the discussions about the potential ruling, Judge Chen admitted that the EPA held the FAN petition on water fluoridation to a standard which is not typical of petitions under TSCA. “The EPA appears to have applied a standard of causation, which from my read of TSCA is not accurate, is not a proper application, not the proper standard,” Chen said to the EPA. This fact was acknowledged by FAN attorney Michael Connett on Tuesday during cross examination of EPA witness Dr. Tala Henry. Under standard TSCA procedure, parties must show an association — not causation — to prove the harm of water fluoridation.
Connett also spent much of his cross examination of EPA expert witnesses drawing attention to their previous testimony in defense of chemical companies and chemicals known to be hazardous to humans. Two of the EPA’s witnesses are employed by the corporate firm Exponent Inc. While cross examining EPA witness Dr. Ellen Chang, Connett asked how much biotech/pesticide company Syngenta paid her for a presentation she had given.
Connett also questioned Dr. Chang about how much she was being paid to defend water fluoridation. Chang stated that Exponent Inc was paying her an estimated $149,000. Dr. Chang was also questioned by Connett about her previous work for Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and other chemical companies and associations. Specifically, Connett called attention to the fact that Dr. Chang had previously stated that despite an association between Monsanto/Bayer’s glyphosate and cancer, she concluded there was no risk. Chang admitted that one peer-reviewer of her study on glyphosate found her analysis “devolved into a laundry list of every possible cause of bias.”
Despite arguments from the EPA’s attorneys that the EPA would never fail to act to protect Americans from harm, the fact remains that the U.S. government hired corporate scientists to defend water fluoridation. The EPA attempted to diminish the concerns brought by the plaintiffs and their experts, while simultaneously attempting to present last-minute evidence which had not been peer-reviewed. If the EPA wants to protect the American people they should accept the plaintiffs petition and end water fluoridation. If they refuse to do so, Judge Chen should see clearly that fluoride is a neurotoxin which poses an unreasonable risk to human health.
Stay tuned to The Last American Vagabond for updates on this ongoing case.
Whenever an author, filmmaker or other artist sets out on the noble endeavor of pointing people toward the ideal of living life to its fullest, they usually wind up depicting a character going off on all sorts of wild adventures, skydiving, trekking across the Himalayas, and so on.
In my opinion reminding people to live life to its fullest is the artist’s single most important job, but this is also where most storytellers get it wrong. Most people who live wild, interesting lives sleepwalk through the whole ride just like everyone else; in the end they’re left with a few amusing anecdotes rattling around in their skulls and a secret sense of dissatisfaction.
This is because most people don’t really show up for life. Even if they’re outwardly doing all sorts of amazing things and racking up a bunch of impressive accomplishments, their attention was mostly consumed with babbling mental chatter almost the entire time. Whatever happens in their life, they weren’t really there for it.
The real way to live life to its fullest is to simply be present for it.
I point this out because, at the midway point of the year 2020, I think it’s extremely relevant.
For better or for worse, we are at a time of great change from which the world will likely never return. We are heading into what is probably the most significant period in human history to date, and it would be wise to pay attention.
But when I look at what people are talking about in my social media feeds, even relatively awake and tuned-in people, I see a lot of chatter about the same-old, same-old. People are still yammering on about the same old electoral politics they’ve been on about for years, still babbling about PC culture being out of control and how crazy some people’s gender pronouns are, still dunking on shitlibs for likes and retweets. Even my own articles I notice get a lot more shares and attention if they involve something that tickles mainstream partisan interests like criticizing Trump or bashing the Democrats.
And I just cannot for the life of me imagine continuing to hold such priorities halfway through the year 20-f*cking-20.
At this time we need to drastically change our perspectives and seriously re-evaluate our priorities. We’re all standing on a precipice together and we have no idea what the plunge will look like, and people are still babbling about whether or not you should wear a face mask at the grocery store. This, to me, is a nonsensical approach to our current predicament.
All the stuff that used to consume so much of our attention in the analysis of establishment power structures has been rendered far less important by recent developments. All these recent developments will probably be rendered less relevant by whatever major events are coming next. The only consistent pattern this year has been a greater and greater deviation from old patterns.
For that reason, it makes sense to do two things:
Shift toward emphasizing a bigger-picture perspective of what’s going on. Fixate less on smaller occurrences and pay more attention to broader overall trends. It doesn’t mean ignore the smaller things, it just means view them in the proper context of a world that’s moving into more and more unfamiliar territory in bigger and bigger ways.
Pay attention. Big things are happening right now, and it would be a damn shame to miss them.
We are experiencing something huge here, and it would be a shame to let it go to waste.
We should rather all approach our current situation at this point in history like someone who is trying to live life to its fullest: mindful, curious, not hung up on petty mental narratives, and appreciative of how lucky we are to be here right now to witness this thing.
And, much like the approach of the end of life, this moment in history should ideally cause us to cast aside petty differences and bring us closer together.
~via Caitlin Johnstone