Anti-Fluoridation Bill Scheduled for Hearing

HB 2372 hearing scheduled

A hearing on House Bill 2372, a bill that directs water departments that currently fluoridate to include a notice in  water bills saying that water fluoridation lowers the IQs in children, has been scheduled in the Kansas Legislature.  The hearing is scheduled for February 19th in the Health and Human Services committee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation have been re-evaluated frequently, and no credible evidence supports an association between fluoridation and any of these conditions: [cancer, Down syndrome, heart disease, osteoporosis and bone fracture, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, low intelligence, Alzheimer disease, allergic reactions].”

  • The practice of community water fluoridation began in 1945 and has been named one of the Top 10 Public Health Achievements of the 20th Century. The practice is well-known, well-tested, and well-respected among scientists and public health practitioners.
  • Water fluoridation is a safe, effective and proven way to prevent tooth decay. Every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental costs.
  • The practice saves Kansas money, especially among Medicaid-eligible children, who benefit the most from fluoridated drinking water.
  • Nationwide, over 204 million people receive the benefits of fluoridated water. In Kansas, 63.6 percent of the 2.7 million people who rely on community water systems have the option to drink optimally fluoridated water. If Wichita fluoridated their water, another 1 million people would receive these preventive benefits.
  • The new website Fluoride in Kansas contains simple facts about water fluoridation, so please draw on it for messages: www.fluoridekansas.org

The Kansas Dental Association will testify in opposition to the bill.

 

House Health and Human Services Members

Chair: Rep. Dave Crum

Please consider doing one or more of the following right away:

  1. Contact your legislator to let him or her know you oppose the bill. Be sure you mention the bill number. Share a very simple, short message about why the bill will result in Kansans being told un-truths about water fluoridation. Details about how to share a message with your legislator are contained in the hints at the end of this message.
  2. Notify your friends, family and neighbors about the bill and ask them to contact their legislators saying they oppose it.
  3. Attend the hearing to show solidarity in our opposition to the bill. (Ask us for details about how to make plans to attend.) The more fluoridation proponents in the room, the better things will be.
  4. Submit testimony opposing the bill. (Again, ask for details about how to do this.)
  5. Follow Twitter during the hearing (Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:30 pm). Please either tweet or re-tweet pro-fluoridation messages. Use #ksleg and #fluorideks on the tweets. The #fluorideks is the one we use for Fluoride in Kansas, and #ksleg is the hashtag used for all legislative activity. During legislative hearings, both legislators and advocates watch Twitter to see what is trending, so positive messages during the hearing can help.

Find your legislator: The following website allows you to enter your home address: http://openkansas.org/. When you have done that, all of your elected officials will appear, and if you click on the name, the contact information pops up. Please just contact your House of Representatives member for now. The bill is being considered only in the House at this point.

Members of the committee: Members of the Health and Human Services Committee in particular need to be contacted! If you live in one of the members’ districts, please, please contact your House member. The committee members are listed below. You can click on each person’s name to reach his/her contact information.

These representatives are the first line of defense against HB 2372. See if your legislator is on the committee. If your representative is NOT on the committee, encourage him/her to talk to their colleagues about the benefits of water fluoridation and encourage them to kill HB 2372. If your legislator is on HHS, double-down on your efforts. Email AND call. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Many representatives say it can change their vote on a bill if they hear from just five or six constituents.

Water faucet photograph by Steve A . Johnson.  Photograph licensed under Creative Commons

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