Robert Carton PhD:
In April of 1985 I was in a mall in Washington and a friend of mine who was writing the fluoride drinking water standard stopped me.
He was really frustrated because he wanted to set the standard at 2 milligrams per liter. He thought that was easily justified, but they told him they wanted 4 milligrams per liter.
He was called to the director’s office and told what he was going to do. So he had to go back and alter scientific document to support the higher number.
So the Fluoride Drinking Water Standard was originally intended to be half of what it is now.
I found out after much investigation that it actually should be much lower.
When he told me this, that he was being forced to lie, basically, I got really interested and I thought this is something we need to run up the flagpole and draw people’s attention to and maybe we can get a change of climate in the agency.
To do something about this we started writing letters to the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
It totally ignored us.
We never received responses to anything.
It was as if we didn’t exist.
J. William Hirzy PhD:
We became aware once we heard that the agency wanted to set the drinking standard at 4 milligrams per liter.
We started digging into this.
We went to look at the criteria document that was to be the agency’s scientific justification for that, and found out that is was written by a contractor. It wasn’t done by EPA staff people.
They had ignored quite a bit of the data on some critical toxicity points.
Not only the high incidence of dental fluorosis that would occur, but also a mutagenicity — mutagen damage DNA — and some indications of carcinogenicity — Carcinogens cause cancer — that were just not showing up in the criteria document.
Dr. Carton and I went to see the head of the drinking water office at that time and asked that the people who wrote that criteria document come and give a seminar to justify the conclusions that were in the criteria document.
The drinking water office said they were not going to do that.
There was a notice and comment period and that is all closed.
This is a closed issued. We are not going to get into that.
So that started a long train of suspicion which continues to this very day about what EPA’s complicity is in the national program for water fluoridation.
One of the things that developed out of this finding that the agency wasn’t gong to really take a hard look at the science, we were contacted by the NRDC Natural Resource Defence Council which had a lawsuit against EPA involving this drinking water standard.
They asked if we would write an Amicus Curiae — Friend of the Court — brief to enter into that lawsuit.
They said if you will write the science part we will take care of the legal part.
We said absolutely. Dr. Carton did all of the scientific writing in connection with that Amicus brief.
Robert Carton PhD:
Working with the lady writing the Amicus brief, we detailed the fact that the EPA had not determined what dose people should be getting that would be safe: how much people drink, what is the lowest effect level (LOEL)
We went through all of the logical arguments about how much people drink. What is the lowest effect level. All the things that they hadn’t determined.
The EPA had avoided trying to give specific information in the regulations so they couldn’t be held accountable.
The three judges of the District Court of DC refused to allow it in court.
If we had been allowed in court, that standard would be dead in the water.
Because we knew what the story was and we represented the experts at the agency who the agency had to call upon to justify their standard.
So if they ever had to call upon their own people, they would never have been able to justify the standard.
So the court wouldn’t allow it because they didn’t want to have that conflict I guess.
By doing so the truth never got out.
J. William Hirzy PhD:
EPA is fighting really hard to avoid getting in the way of the Department of Health and Human Services national program for water fluoridation.
They want to play the good Federal soldier and they don’t want to take the political heat that would certainly come down on them if they came out and said that the appropriate standard for fluoride is considerably less that 1 part per million (PPM)
If the EPA did that, that would be the end of the National Program for Water Fluoridation.
Because you couldn’t have the premier Environmental Protection Agency saying one thing and the Department of Health and Human Services saying something else.
Instead what you got was EPA coming with this phony 4 parts per million level (MCLG) Maximum Contaminant Level Goal as a health based standard.
So now the proponents of water fluoridation since 1985/1986 have been able to go around the country saying, ‘EPA says 4 parts per million is perfectly safe, there is not a problem with it. So what’s the big deal adjusting your level to one part per million.’
So EPA is staying on the good side of the Federal structure by doing that.
Robert Carton PhD:
Time to mention Dr. Bill Marcus because he was the chief toxicologist for the office of drinking water.
Dr. Marcus found out the government did a cancer study on fluoride, and he discovered the raw data did not fit the conclusions in the report.
He called for an investigation and a re-opening of it.
He gave it to me and I said ‘Do you mind if I leak this to the press.’
He said, no.
So I did and Dr. Marcus was fired.
I am sorry about it.
I am really glad he did it but sorry for the pain and suffering Dr. Marcus had gone through.
Two and a half years without a job as a result.
William Marcus PhD:
My job was to give my management the facts. Their job was to decide what they were going to do about it.
My Memorandum was scooped up by one of my colleagues Bob Carton who was on a committee that the agency put together to review fluoride.
It involved all the program officers, not just the officers of drinking water.
Robert Carton released that memo to the public and explained what it meant to Roberta Baskin.
Robert Carton PhD:
I am sitting home one night and there it is appearing on the screen on the TV set, my memorandum.
That’s where all the problems for me began personally.
David Kennedy DDS — Past President of the IAOMIT
Everyone agrees, including the ADA American Dental Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the AMA American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, that the dose of fluoride that a baby received on fluoridated tap water formula, exceeds the amount known to cause harm.
Why is that O.K?
Why are we allowing that?
Meet the whistleblowers and the scientists that will tell what is going on.
Stephen M. Kohn — NWC | National Whistleblowers Center:
Whistleblowing is very simple.
It is people who expose wrongdoing in the government or big companies that can harm the public interest.
Someone blows the whistle on environmental violations, chemicals that can cause public health risks.
Ripoff of taxpayer money.
You may remember the more famous whistleblowers like Sherron Watkins who knew that Enron was engaged in fraudulent activity.
Fred Whitehurst from the FBI crime lab on forensic fraud.
They are people who put their lives and careers and jobs at risk to tell the truth.
In about 1994, Dr. Marcus came to my office. He was about to be fired from the EPA although he was an absolutely distinguished and long-standing scientist with unparalleled reputation and credentials.
He showed me a memo he wrote on the fluoride issue that indicated that fluoride could have severe adverse health effects on people.
In this case, the mutagenicity of fluoride supports the conclusion that fluoride is a probable human carcinogen.
He had recommended additional research be conducted within the agency to make sure that the amount of fluoride that was added to drinking water was safe.
Dr. Marcus showed me other documents that indicated that the United States Environmental Protection Agency was very upset with him for this recommendation and in fact had initiated this campaign to fire him.
This document was properly prepared within the context of his job as Senior Science Advisor, meaning the highest level scientist with EPA, who was not unsupervisory.
He is the ‘guru’ scientist you go to for the tough issues.
Dr. Marcus reviewed the literature, reviewed the materials before him and set forth basic scientific facts in this document to his supervisors, and said we need to study this matter because if fluoride does pose a health risk, we have to monitor how much we put in the drinking water, or if we should put in any at all.
William Marcus PhD:
The agency decided that I wanted to change public policy as an individual rather than going through the agency’s procedures.
Which was totally untrue.
They decided that rather than deal with me on a scientific basis they would find an excuse to fire me.
The Inspector General went to great lengths to fabricate material to show that I was doing terrible things.
They fabricated a time card claiming that I had stolen time.
Stephen M. Kohn: The Inspector General was called in by the agency to try and develop a case against Dr. Marcus. It was an underhanded play.
The IG Inspector General should be investigating companies and polluters, not scientists. But they came in and ran an investigation that was a sham.
We subpoenaed the Inspector General.
We knew the investigation was a sham.
And they called the Investigator, the Chief Investigator in for maternity week.
She admitted as we deposed her.
Destruction of evidence
She opened up the file.
She carefully reviewed each document and then put notes and other information into the shredder and destroyed them for ever.
Obstruction of Justice
Consequently the role of industry in conspiring to destroy Dr. Marcus’ career was covered up.
Cover-up — Special interests — Dr. Marcus fired
Because we believe this wasn’t just an EPA attack, it was EPA doing the bidding of powerful special interests.
The EPA actually fired Dr. Marcus, its Senior Science Advisor, its only board certified toxicologist.
They fired him and we took it to trial, had a full-scale trial for a number of weeks in front of a Department of Labor judge.
He heard both sides and ruled down-the-line for Dr. Narcus.
His memo was legally protected.
The EPA retaliated against Dr. Marcus because he wrote a memo criticising fluoride, and calling for more research.
Termination reversed — decision upheld on appeal
His termination was reversed.
Dr. Marcus was reinstated with back pay and damages for his loss of reputation.
He received all attorney’s fees and costs.
The decision was upheld on appeal.
Dr. Marcus was returned to work for the EPA as its Senior Science Advisor.
The outcome was that I won my case because it was shown that all the charges that they had made were untrue.
With the exception of one, which was that I used the wrong pronoun.
In giving testimony to help people injured by large corporations, I had used the term ‘WE’ referring to EPA’s activities, instead of ‘EPA.’
Stephen M. Kohn:
That should have been the end of it.
They should have stopped harassing Dr. Marcus and started listening to their board certified Senior Science Advisor.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency did not fix the problem.
They did not suspend or fire the employees who had engaged in illegal retaliation.
These employees remained in place.
So when Dr. Marcus was returned to work, the same managers who fired him, the same chain of command was in place to continue harassing Dr. Marcus.
SECOND LAWSUIT FOR HARASSMENT
So we had to file a second lawsuit to force them to stop the harassment.
And guess what?
We had a full trial on the merits.
And we won the second lawsuit.
I do not know why the EPA did what it did to Dr. Marcus.
But I do represent whistleblowers.
And I can tell you they went after Dr. Marcus with a vengeance, a vengeance.
He was a board certified toxicologist with years of seniority.
The most respected toxicologist within the agency, with an international reputation.
Enemy of the state
When he wrote that Memo, they went after him like he was an enemy of the state.
They just hammered and hammered and hammered, and they went way over the line by destroying evidence, obstructing justice.
And even after we won the first case and they were ordered to reinstate Dr. Marcus, they went after him again.
Even though there were two court rulings finding retaliation, the EPA never touched or disciplined those agency officials involved.
This case marks a black mark on the EPA and raises fundamental issues about scientific freedom and about fluoride and why this agency went against one of its most respected scientists on that issue.