If you have been reading this newsletter for awhile you will know that it is very unusual for me to request anyone to contact their legislators, but if you live in the US, there are two issues that now need your urgent attention and involvement:
I will review both of these issues below, and I urge you to take action on both by contacting your legislators. I've summarized the action items for each, to make this as quick and easy as possible.
- The upcoming US FDA hearings before its Dental Products Panel on December 14 and 15, to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women, and
- The final vote on bill S.510, which takes place on Monday, November 29
Banning Mercury in Dentistry – A Battle We CAN Win!
If you or a loved one has suffered grievous harm from dental mercury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says you don't exist! Because according to FDA's propaganda machine, dental mercury doesn't hurt anyone.For the last year we have been working alongside Charlie G. Brown, who is the national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice and the president of the new World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, to help eliminate the use of mercury in U.S. dentistry.
As America's chief protector of profits for "drill-fill-and-bill" dentistry, the FDA is no doubt hoping you'll stay silent when it holds its hearings on December 14 and 15, which is why I'm issuing this urgent action request.
In the past year I have had several calls to action and to date your responses have been nothing short of extraordinary; you are clearly making a real difference!We ran an article in early September, calling for volunteers to get involved to organize a grassroots project, and the results were phenomenal. Some of you responded and took action, and as a result, Costa Mesa, CA has set the precedent by becoming the first city in the United States to pass a resolution to immediately ban the use of mercury amalgams in dentistry.
If you missed that latest update, please do take a moment to read this inspirational story.Thanks to your efforts at making your voices heard, on July 15, 2010 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also chose a mercury-free dentist by the name of Michael Fleming to be on the Dental Products Panel, which will be the group to reassess the safety of mercury fillings for high-risk groups by way of a hearing this December.
Now, your efforts are needed once again in the fight against mercury fillings.
Major Mercury Hearings Coming Up in December
Thanks to a massive response from grassroots America to the FDA's abysmal 2009 amalgam rule, the FDA has agreed to re-examine its pro-mercury fillings position and, this December, will convene hearings before its Dental Products Panel to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women.
Again, in a major victory, and largely thanks to your efforts at making your voices heard, the FDA chose a mercury-free dentist by the name of Michael Fleming to sit on this Panel.
But as we move toward the December hearing, we need your continuing letters and phone calls to the FDA and I'll give details shortly to help you do so.
The FDA Refuses to Protect Your Health – Tell Them You Won't Stand for It Any Longer!
Did you know that the FDA's Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, came to the FDA from the board of Henry Schein Inc., the nation's number one seller of amalgam?As for the scientific backing for their claim, it simply does not exist. Mercury is a well-documented toxic hazard to human health, and it doesn't get any safer when placed in your mouth, where it releases toxic gases with every bite of food…
In the rule issued right after Hamburg's arrival, the FDA spares no effort to pump up amalgam sales -- actually claiming that greater amalgam use equates to "positive public health outcomes!"
How convenient for Henry Schein Inc…
Instead of protecting you from a well-known, potent neurotoxin, the FDA gave the green light to the deceptive technique of marketing amalgam as "silver fillings," knowing full well that sales plummet when consumers learn that dental amalgams actually contain toxic mercury…
Urgent Action Steps to Ban Mercury from Dentistry in the US
Faced with unprecedented consumer-level pressure, the FDA has been forced to hold a new round of hearings on amalgam, scheduled for December 14 and 15, and to accept public comment on changing its rule.
For those seeking to protect children from brain injury related to mercury amalgam exposure, and for those who want to share how mercury harmed them, the time to act is now.
Here are three ways to make your voice heard at the FDA:
- Submit a comment online to FDA by December 3
Tell them how you were deceived by the term "silver fillings" and subjected to mercury fillings without your knowledge, and/or the story of how you were injured by amalgam– all because the FDA puts corporate profits first.
Submit your comments here (by December 3).
Comments can involve telling the FDA about your injuries, your children's exposure to mercury, how your mercury fillings were implanted without your informed consent, how deceptive the FDA's dental amalgam website is, how mercury hurts our environment, or any other concerns relating to mercury fillings.
- Write the FDA official in charge of amalgam.
Jeff Shuren, M.D. is the director of the FDA's Center for Devices. Contact him at:
Dr. Jeffrey Shuren
Ask Dr. Shuren:
- Why does FDA approve of dentists telling parents amalgams are "silver fillings"?
- Why does FDA ban mercury for treating the legs of race horses but say it's fine implanted in a human child?
- Does FDA say increased amalgam use is a "positive health outcome" in order to pump up the sales for Henry Schein Inc., Commissioner Margaret Hamburg's company?
- Come to the FDA hearings in person.
The hearings are December 14 and 15, 2010, 8am-6 pm, just outside of Washington DC at:
The Holiday Inn-Gaithersburg, Main Ballroom
2 Montgomery Village Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
If you want to testify, you must write firstname.lastname@example.org by November 29 to let her know.
- If you want to come and watch -- and yes, we need a crowd there -- you may simply show up. If you have questions, write the consumer coordinator working for mercury-free dentistry, Freya Koss at email@example.com
The FDA will not be expecting a forceful turnout, especially from ordinary citizens, so we can surprise them with a show of force and dogged determination.
- We have made significant steps so far, and much of it is due to your continued efforts and support.
Please continue to join in on this important cause to get this toxic element out of U.S. dentistry. We are making a difference and the momentum is strong -- together, we can WIN, and protect the health of Americans, including that of future generations, from this archaic and toxic dentistry practice.
Tell Your Senators to KEEP the Tester-Hagan amendment of Bill S.510
If you live in the US this is another urgent action you can take during this holiday weekend that will impact the quality of the food you are able to secure.Last week, the US Senate voted 74-25 to move to consideration of S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act – which will amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.
If you're unfamiliar with this bill, this LewRockwell article provides a nice summary, including "12 reasons why S. 510 could be absolutely disastrous for small food producers and for the U.S. economy."
According to Dr. Shiv Chopra (whom I've previously interviewed on the issue of food safety):
"If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public's right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes.Judith McGeary with the farmandranchfreedom.org provided me with the following update on this potentially devastating bill, along with an urgent action request.
It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice.
It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God."
Agribusiness has Shown Its True Colors!
After 30 hours of debate and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the US Senators released a final Manager's Amendment that includes a compromise version of the Tester-Hagan amendment. But even though an agreement was reached on the Tester-Hagan amendment last week, the issue is still not over.The final vote on the bill has been delayed until Monday, November 29, due to disagreements over amendments relating to the health care bill and a ban on earmarks.
In the meantime, Agribusiness has shown its true colors.For over a year, the big Agribusiness trade organizations have supported passage of S.510. From Agribusiness's perspective, the bill was a win-win: they could absorb the costs of the regulations because of their size; they'd gain good PR for supposedly improving food safety practices; and the competition created by small, local food producers, which are rapidly growing, would be crushed by the regulatory burdens.
This was only speculation until now.But when the Senators agreed to include the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill, to exempt small-scale direct-marketing producers from some of the most burdensome provisions, 20 Agribusiness trade organizations fired off a letter stating that they would now oppose the bill!
The letter from the Agribusiness groups states:While the amendment is currently part of the "Managers' Package" – the amended version of the bill agreed to by six bipartisan sponsors – nothing is certain until the actual vote.
"[B]y incorporating the Tester amendment in the bill, consumers will be left vulnerable to the gaping holes and uneven application of the law created by these exemptions.What science and risk?
In addition, it sets an unfortunate precedent for future action on food safety policy by Congress that science and risk based standards can be ignored. And most importantly, this amendment rejects the fundamental purpose of S. 510 that requires FDA to develop standards and set requirements that are based on science and risk."
No one has produced any data or evidence of any widespread problems caused by local producers and marketed directly to consumers. All of the major foodborne illness outbreaks have been caused by products that went through the long supply chains of Agribusiness.
Agribusiness's real concern about the Tester-Hagan amendment isn't food safety, but the precedent set by having Congress recognize that small, direct-marketing producers are different, and should be regulated differently, from the large Agribusinesses.
Agribusiness is now trying to convince the Senators to pull the Tester-Hagan amendment back out.
This Thanksgiving week, please take a moment to call or email your Senators to tell them to hold firm on KEEPING the Tester-Hagan amendment part of the bill!
Take Action NOW!
Your voice needs to be heard on this issue, and time is running out. The vote on this dangerous legislation takes place on Monday, November 29.
So take action now!
- Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, and ask to be directly connected to your Senator's office. Tell your Senator to keep the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill.
- You can find additional contact information for your US Senator at http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm