Our nonstop 18-month campaign focused on getting FDA moving against dental amalgam has borne fruit!
As you know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been a major impediment to shifting the United States to mercury-free dentistry. So we launched a synergistic four-track campaign to bring FDA to the table:
Organizing the Chicago Declaration: Mobilizing a team of heavy hitters, including the major national environmental groups, we unveiled the Chicago Declaration to End Mercury Use in the Dental Industry at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. Working with other organizations that endorsed it, we sent the Chicago Declaration to FDA – and our team got two meetings with the top of the agency!
Presenting petitions and public comments by you: Do you remember our online petition that almost 50,000 of you signed? We presented it to FDA in person at our first meeting. We have continued to make sure your voice is heard via such means as the public comments on patient preferences we asked you to submit to FDA last spring. As one article described the result, "FDA gets mouthful on mercury dental fillings after requesting public comment on device regulation."
Circling back from international victories: We've won victories in other countries – from phase-out announcements in Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, and Nepal....to bans on amalgam use in children in the European Union and Vietnam....to public warnings about amalgam's mercury in Nigeria. And we let FDA know about these victories – because if other countries can do it, so can our great nation!
Serving up the science to FDA: Having reached the top of the agency, we could submit science that someone at FDA would read. As a result, FDA's most recent scientific review of amalgam flips FDA's position on a major issue. FDA now recognizes evidence that shows once dental amalgam is implanted in the human body, its elemental mercury can convert to even more toxic methylmercury – the same type of mercury that FDA warns about in fish!
FDA is convening a scientific committee to hold hearings on amalgam in November. With our Chicago Declaration partners and the scientific team we have assembled, we are building a formidable list of witnesses. You have a role too – not in Washington, but from home! So stay tuned.....