Press Releases: 12.09.04 

Consumers for Dental Choice 
1725 K Street NW, Suite 511 
Washington, D.C. 20006

Michael J. London
Charles Brown

“Research” done by consultant for Big Tobacco

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2004 -- A consultant for the National Institutes of Health today issued a report on the health risks of mercury amalgam while NIH investigates wrongdoing in the process to award the firm the research contract.

A national consumer group calls the consultant’s report “bogus” because it draws inappropriate conclusions from flawed research.

Washington-based Consumers for Dental Choice said the report, issued by LSRO, Inc., Bethesda, MD, under contract to the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is “the worst kind of deception on American families” because it rejects abundant evidence that mercury dental amalgam may cause serious health problems.

After Consumers for Dental Choice filed a lawsuit in July challenging the contract , NIH Director Elias Zerhouni began an investigation of the entire process.

“This federal investigation,” Brown said, “is necessary because NIDCR handpicked LSRO without a competitive bid, announced the desired result in advance, and mandated that the research panel be devoid of mercury researchers.”

“LSRO is the tobacco industry’s consultant of choice,” Brown added. “We can no longer tolerate acceptance of so-called research designed to enhance the position of the organization funding the study. LSRO, has a history of building panels with conflicted members whose findings favor industry.”

“To us, the evidence is clear,” Brown said. “No one should accept the risk of putting a highly toxic metal in their teeth. Exposure to mercury damages the developing brain; pregnant women and parents should be vigilant to avoid this source of potentially dangerous mercury that can harm the fetus or the child.”

Senator Frank Lautenberg has called for NIH to abolish the “inherent conflict of interest” of designating organized dentistry -- which endorses mercury fillings – to be in charge of the research.

A House Subcommittee, led by Chairman Dan Burton and Ranking Member Diane Watson, also is investigating this contract.

The results are “the polar opposite of the direction of the science,” said Dr. David Kennedy, former president, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. Professor Boyd Haley, University of Kentucky, said the consultant’s release clearly has false informationn.

This press release is in response to the premature release of a report by LSRO (12/9/04) stating that Mercury fillings are not a health threat.


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