KDA Testifies Against HB2372

Greg Hill, Assistant Executive Director of the Kansas Dental Association, testifies against HB 2372 in the Kansas Health and Human Services Committee.

Greg Hill, Assistant Executive Director of the Kansas Dental Association, testifies against HB 2372 in the Kansas Health and Human Services Committee.

Opponents to House Bill 2372 testified in the House Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday afternoon.  The bill would mandate that communities which fluoridate their water supplies, provide false information, specifically a warning indicating that water fluoridation decreases the IQ in children, to their residents.

“Community water fluoridation is recognized by countless well-respcted health organizations you know and trust for you medical care,” said Greg Hill, Assistant Executive Director of the Kansas Dental Association. “These include the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and more.”

 

 

 Five opponents testified against the bill, including Dr. Lucynda Raben, a general dentist from Wichita.

“The proposed legislation introduces into the fluoride debate ideas based on half-truths and misleading statements,” Raben said.  ”These mistaken beliefs proffered by the opponents of this bill have the potential to harm the oral and general health of Kansans.”

 

Proponents of the bill focused on the alleged neurological impacts on children as a result of water fluoridation, citing what is referred to as the “Harvard Study.”  However, written testimony from the Dean of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard Dental School was less than supportive of the bill’s proponent’s position.

“[W]e continue to support community water fluoridation as an effective and safe public health measure for people of all ages,” their testimony read.  ”Numerous reputable studies over the years have consistently demonstrated that community water fluoridation is safe, effective and practical.  Fluoridation has made an enormous impact on improving the oral health of the American people.

Brian Smith, President of Oral Health Kansas told the committee that community water fluoridation is the single best measure for improving oral health.

“The bill is based on blatant falsehoods and manipulated science,” said Smith.   “It undermines public health. A law like this has no place in a well-run system of limited and effective government. We fear that, if passed, this bill could threaten Kansans’ access to optimally fluoridated water, which is the single greatest population-based strategy communities have to ensure good oral health for their citizens.”

“Tooth decay is a chronic disease and is 100% preventable,” Smith said.

“It should be pointed out that the fluoride high exposure group levels in Dr. Choi’s paper were generally higher than the fluoride levels recommended for U.S. consumption while the reference levels were much closer to the U.S. standards,” said John Neuberger from the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Kansas Public Health Association, referring to the “Harvard Study” research.  ”[T]he present practice of fluoridating drinking water to between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm (mg/L) is safe and effective and remains a public health priority among the scientific community. There are significant real and potential weaknesses identified in the original studies. Dr. Choi’s meta-analysis of the primarily Chinese literature is preliminary in nature and, as she has indicated, should not be used to set drinking water policy in the U.S.”

Christina Applehanz of the Kansas Action for Children also testified on the bill.

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