Grassroots activism counts -- even with the usually tone-deaf U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
FDA's abysmal 2009 amalgam rule -- allowing a cover-up of the very existence of the mercury, and not even protecting children and unborn children from this unnecessary mercury exposure -- triggered a massive response from grassroots America.
"Unprecedented consumer-level pressure," according to the respected independent publication FDA Webview, meant that "no final rule in FDA's modern history, or perhaps ever, has attracted this kind of organized opposition." With a myriad of consumers repeatedly phoning and e-mailing FDA, the agency had to seriously consider a series of excellent petitions for reconsideration, one filed by Washington lawyer Jim Turner for Citizens for Health, another by IAOMT lawyers Jim Love and Bob Reeves (which I joined), and a third by University of Virginia medical school professor emeritus Richard Edlich.
Then in June, 2010 the heat went from national to international. The United Nations convened the nations to negotiate a treaty on mercury, where the cause of mercury-free dentistry was well-represented. Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice founded the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and brought a delegation from seven nations to the conference.
As the chief protector of dental mercury, FDA was exposed for the pariah that it has become on protecting consumer health and safety.
On the fifth day of the United Nations conference, FDA caved. FDA announced it will convene hearings this December before its Dental Products Panel to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women.
To the consumers of America and around the world, the Mercola Newsletter salutes you. You did it! FDA has agreed to re-examine its pro-mercury fillings position, and to consider protecting those whose brains are still developing, children and the unborn.
But FDA has pulled out the rug from consumers before on dental mercury. In 2008, settling a court case filed by Charlie Brown, FDA posted stark warnings that amalgam can injure the developing brains of children and fetuses. In 2009, FDA buried the warnings, placing them where they hoped parents wouldn't see them. If any agency requires continued vigilance, it is FDA.
The issue now is who will sit on the FDA panel that will determine the safety of dental mercury. FDA has a history of stacking the deck of its panels, so that the pro-industry staff position gets ratified. I ask you to write Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and ask that he convene a balanced panel -- that he not pack it with dental school deans and others with ties to the pro-mercury American Dental Association. If the FDA panel is to have any credibility whatsoever, Dr. Shuren needs all sides fairly represented on it.
So I recommend you write Dr. Shuren at Jeff.Shuren@fda.hhs.gov; ask him for a balanced dental products panel to review the FDA dental mercury rule -- a humane panel of people dedicated to protecting children and unborn babies from exposure to toxic products. Let him know that the public will not tolerate a panel biased in favor of the American Dental Association's pro-mercury position -- not when our children's health is at stake.