Legal cases establishing dangers of Fluoride

The following 2 civil cases against cities are discussed:

Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View, case No. GD-4585-78
Safe Water Foundation v. City of Houston, District Court of Texas, case No. 80-52271

Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View, No. GD-4585-78.

Judge John P. Flaherty, now a Supreme Court Judge, presided over the trial in the case of Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View, No. GD-4585-78. The city was sued over fluoridation.

On November 16, 1978, Judge Flaherty handed down his decree. The critical parts of his opinion read as follows:

"Over the course of five months, the court held periodic hearings, which consisted of extensive expert testimony from as far away as England. At issue was the most recent time-trend study of Dr. Burk and Dr. Yiamouyiannis, which compared cancer mortality in ten cities which fluoridated their water systems with ten cities which did not fluoridate over a period of twenty-eight years from 1940 to 1968. The study concluded that there was a significant increase in cancer mortality in the fluoridated cities."

Contrary to what has been said by promoters of artificial fluoridation of public water supplies, Judge Flaherty's jurisdiction to make and enter his findings on November 16, 1978 was expressly sustained and upheld as appears in Aitkenhead v. West View, 397 Atl. 2d 878 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979). Nor were his findings ever disturbed on appeal.

In 1988, Justice Flaherty re-affirmed his convictions that fluoridation is a very dangerous practice. In a letter dated January 26, 1988 to Ms. Evelyn Hannan, he stated,

"It has been years now since the case involving fluoridation was before me as a trial judge, but since that time nothing I have seen changes my view of the serious hazards occasioned by public fluoridation. To the contrary, what I have read convinces me all the more that indepth, serious, scientific effort should be undertaken before further expanding a questionable practice. Those who belittle critics of fluoridation do the public a mis-service, yet it seems in the face of strong, uncontradicted prima facie evidence, that is the tactic most often employed.

Whether government has the right to force what it perceives as a benefit to the public was not directly before me in the case, but that also is to be pondered.

My hope is that groups such as yours will spur the scientific community into an objective posture on this issue.

I enclose an essay which was sent to me a few years ago focusing on the issue presented by analyzing epidemiological law data. Perhaps resolution of this narrow question will provide the answer.

More recently, some people have pointed out that Judge Flaherty's decision was overturned on appeal and they assumed that therefore fluoridation wasn't really proved to be harmful. Now a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Justice Flaherty clarified that his decision to end fluoridation was overturned only on the grounds that his court did not have jurisdiction to decide the issue.

 

Safe Water Foundation v. City of Houston

Judge Anthony Farris presided over the trial in the case of Safe Water Foundation v. City of Houston, District Court of Texas, 151st Judicial District, No. 80-52271. On May 24, 1982, Judge Farris entered his findings of fact on the record of the case. His main findings were as follows:

"That the artificial fluoridation of public water supplies, such as is contemplated by [Houston] City Ordinance No. 80-2530, may cause or may contribute to the cause of cancer, genetic damage, intolerant reactions, and chronic toxicity, including dental mottling, in man; that the said artificial fluoridation may aggravate malnutrition and existing illnesses in man; and that the value of said artificial fluoridation is in doubt as to the reduction of tooth decay in man."

Contrary to what has been said by promoters of artificial fluoridation of public water supplies, these findings of fact were specifically sustained and upheld as having been established at trial by a preponderance of the evidence, as appears in Safe Water Foundation v. Houston, 661 S.W. 2d 189 (Tex. App. 1983).