Peshtigo native fights for water safety in federal lawsuit

PESHTIGO – January 25, marks the 79th anniversary of water fluoridation, a practice now facing unprecedented scrutiny as Brenda Staudenmaier, a Peshtigo native, takes on a groundbreaking federal lawsuit. Staudenmaier’s dedication to raising awareness about the health risks to the brain, associated with fluoride chemicals in public drinking water has gained momentum, culminating in a recent pre-trial hearing in San Francisco that unveiled significant developments.

The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) reported that this hearing paved the way for a 9-day federal trial on the neurotoxicity of fluoridation chemicals, scheduled to commence on January 31. Central to the trial is the suppressed National Toxicology Program (NTP) report, exploring fluoride’s impact on the developing brain. This report found no safe level of fluoride for pregnancy or bottle-fed infants.  Staudenmaier’s involvement underscores the local connection to this nationwide concern.

A landmark decision by the court ensures the final phase of the trial will be live-streamed on Zoom, enhancing transparency and allowing the public to closely follow the proceedings from Judge Edward Chen’s courtroom. The move reflects the increasing importance of openness in discussions surrounding water fluoridation and its potential health implications.

The suppressed NTP fluoride report, influenced by political pressures, will carry significant weight during the trial. This signifies a shift toward prioritizing the scientific merits of the report, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate over water fluoridation.

A noteworthy revelation emerged during the pre-trial hearing: Dr. Jesus Ibarluzea, a key EPA witness, withdrew from the case after evidence suggested he lied under oath. FAN’s attorneys introduced a FOIA document contradicting Dr. Ibarluzea’s statements, raising questions about the integrity of the neurotoxicity study he conducted.

Staudenmaier’s dedication to this cause stems from concerns about the neurological effects of fluoride exposure, especially during fetal development and infancy. Wisconsin’s history with fluoridation, dating back to the 1940s, has played a crucial role in shaping the current discourse. Staudenmaier, along with her children Hayden and Ko, and other plaintiffs, seek to challenge the status quo and prompt a reevaluation of water fluoridation practices.

Staudenmaier, part of the original 2016 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) petition to the US EPA, filed a federal lawsuit in early 2017 after the petition was denied. Since late 2017, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded studies have associated fluoride at levels seen in fluoridated communities with lower IQ, increased ADHD rates in children, and other permanent neurological effects.

Both Peshtigo and Marinette target 0.7mg/L of fluoride in drinking water.  These fluosilicic acid (FSA) chemicals are sourced from phosphate fertilizer factory air scrubbers in Florida and are supplied by Hawkins, Inc. FSA can contain trace contaminants of lead, aluminum and arsenic and is different from fluoride chemicals used by dentists.  This should be a concern for Marinette County and their recent passage of the Clean Water Now resolution last month.   

As Fluoride Day prompts reflection, our community must engage in informed discussions about water fluoridation. Brenda Staudenmaier’s advocacy emphasizes the importance of considering all perspectives and making decisions that prioritize the well-being of our community.

For more information on Brenda Staudenmaier’s efforts and to follow the case, visit her YouTube channel and read her website, where she shares videos and scientific information about fluoride and water.


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