With World Questioning Mercury Fillings, FDA Backs Down
After months of preparation and an overwhelming response from you when we asked for help to get our movement to the world mercury treaty negotiations, we had an enormous impact at the first negotiating session in Stockholm, Sweden (to view photos click here*). We had our first opportunity to address a hundred nations at once about our cause during our opening speech to the governmental delegates (to watch speech click here**). Our highly talented and energetic international team of advocates and mercury-free dentists from seven nations ran an information booth, distributed literature, gave presentations, networked with like-minded organizations, educated delegates, and convinced the world that it must find a solution to the dental mercury problem:
— The United Nations Environmental Programme officials observed that dental amalgam drew more interest than any other single issue during the session. As a result, substantial attention will be devoted to dental mercury between now and the next session in January.
— The Scandinavian nations pointedly asked the world’s nations to join them in phasing out amalgam.
— Leaders from four developing nations asked us to assist them in organizing pilot programs for phasing out amalgam, a critical step according to the UN.
— Diplomats from the U.S. State Department and top officials from the U.S. EPA were engaged in our message and requesting more information.
— The leaders of the World Health Organization shifted from defending amalgam use to outlining the steps it endorses to reduce its use.
I can’t say enough about the team we assembled in Stockholm. We were tutored by Elisabet Carlsson, the advocate whose work led to the Swedish ban on amalgam. Dentist Graeme Munro-Hall of Great Britain, co-author with his wife Lilian of ToxicDentistry Exposed, eloquently explained the science supporting mercury-free dentistry. We joined forces with the dedicated leaders of our movement in other major countries, such as Servando Pérez-Dominguez of Spain, Marie Grosman of France, and Angela Kilmartin of Great Britain. The multi-lingual talents of Anita Vazquez Tibau of California and Kathy Huddlestone of France allowed us to reach out to even more delegates. And so many other outstanding folks stepped in to help out.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showed up at the Stockholm session to protect mercury fillings, our international team was right there to expose the flaws in the agency’s amalgam defense. Back in the United States, FDA was already facing a grassroots outcry from the American people and three separate petitions filed by Jim Turner, by Bob Reeves and Jim Love, and by emeritus University of Virginia professor Dr. Richard Edlich. With the Scandinavians announcing that “dental treatment without mercury is becoming the norm” and other health departments at least putting limits on amalgam use, FDA realized that it is the pariah on the dental mercury issue (countries such as Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands have phased out amalgam; Germany and Canada direct dentists not to use it in vulnerable populations; Japan uses it in less than 4% of fillings; etc.). In an attempt to save face the day before the negotiating session ended, FDA announced that it will hold hearings in December before the next UN session to consider whether American children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations should be protected from dental mercury exposure.
We could not have come this far without all our grassroots activists and supporters, both national and now international. In the words of FDA Webview, your efforts have been “unprecedented”: “No final rule in FDA’s modern history, or perhaps ever, has attracted this kind of organized opposition.” Thanks to all of you, our movement has made FDA realize that the mercury fillings issue is not going away.
* also available at http://toxicteeth.org/World-Mercury-Treaty-Gallery/
**also available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HIrjoaWpTE
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