Analysis & Comment

LB1387 Fluoride Hearing Media Coverage

Analysis of local coverage

  • No mention found of 2023-24 City, County and State Public Records Request
  • No reference found to the concluding federal fluoride trial, or judges order on closing arguments.
  • Critics claiming bill wouldn’t make a difference are unaware of outdated 1983 Nebraska DHHS fluoride level regulation and current over-fluoridation of community water supplies.
  • Citing relative versus absolute tooth decay differences in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities wildly distorts pro-fluoride claims.
  • State’s chief medical officer, Tesmer, says fluorosis is the only unwanted health effect of fluoridation. Fluorosis is the first visible sign of fluoride toxicity.
  • Hastings dentist cites support from pharma-family-funded NASEM, an organization The New York Times reported has received funds from a pharma-involved family.
  • Jack Mitchell, LNK Today, KLIN 1400 on 2/21/2024 asks, “Should I have an opinion?” 59:00 minute mark.

In coverage of LB1387 DHHS Hearing on Feburary 15, 2024, WOWT 6 News, Joe Harris reports, “Senator Ben Hansen cited a recent review from the National Toxicology Program. It says 18 out of 19 studies linked lower IQ to fluoride.”

Harris continues by playing hearing testimony similar to a Dallas City Council member, Gay Willis’ comment in November 2023. Hastings dentist, Jessica Meeske, testifies, “the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine conducted a peer review of the report that was mentioned earlier by the National Toxicology Program. The National Academies found that report failed to make a clear and convincing argument to support its conclusions about the negative effects of fluoride.” Source: 1:30 minute mark, Nebraska Legislature to consider bill to put limits on fluoride in drinking water.

While Willis’ comment incorrectly attributed the NASEM claim, both comments reference sentiments from a 4/28/23 letter from the American Dental Association to the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors used to hold NASEM as the “acknowledged gold standard for providing independent and objective advice on complex scientific issues.” The New York Times reported that NASEM is not independent and has received funds from a pharma-involved family.

Harris concludes his report with, “Critics of this bill say it wouldn’t make a difference. They say the levels of fluoridation it would set are already being implemented across the State.” Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy confirmed in July 2023 that DHHS 1983 fluoride level regulation is outdated. Title 179 reads, “the fluoride ion content of the water available to users… shall be in the range of 0.8 t 1.5 parts per million, the recommended optimal level being 1.0 to 1.3 parts per million.”

On February 20, 2024, Zach Wendling, with the Nebraska Examiner, reported a quote from retired Loup Basin Public Health director, Charles Cone, “Fluoride continues to be dental science’s main weapon in the battle against tooth decay.” Source: Nebraska proposal would put local water fluoridation to public referendum

Study reports of relative versus absolute tooth decay differences in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities wildly distorts findings and obscures real solutions to tooth decay. See cessation and reducing tooth decay.

Wendling cites the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Timothy Tesmer, reference to fluoride as “one of the most successful public health interventions in history… Tesmer said there has not been ‘consistent and convincing evidence’ that water fluoridation leads to unwanted health effects besides dental fluorosis.” Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign of fluoride toxicity. See fluorosis and toxicity.

Public Records Requests

Lincoln Water System (LWS) Quality Report 2022