From Consumers for Dental Choice

Health warnings about mercury headed to every California dental office

FDA adds Health Canada mercury fillings warnings to its Consumer Update

Dear friends:

Here is promising news about two developments -- one on each coast.

*** Shawn Khorrami wins Proposition 65 case, forcing California dentists to disclose health risks of mercury fillings.

On January 7, in a hearing involving our cause, the Superior Court in San Francisco ordered the California Dental Association to send health warnings about mercury fillings to every California dentist by March 9. The Court rebuffed an effort by the ADA to intervene and obstruct the case. The warnings read:

Note the strong language: Dental amalgam causes exposure to mercury & Mercury is a chemical & known to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. You can see why the ADA was alarmed.

*** FDA revises its Consumer Update, adding the Health Canada warnings:

On December 31, 2002, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration revised its Consumer Update. The Academy of General Dentistry and others used the February 2002 version as its major prop to keep endorsing mercury fillings. Well, our year of hard work to change it has paid off. The February version is no more. Even better, the US Government has now told our consumers about Health Canada1s recommendations that children, pregnant women, and people with kidney problems no longer receive mercury fillings:

Health Canada recommended that dental amalgam be avoided in people allergic to mercury or with impaired kidney function; if possible, to avoid its placement or removal in the teeth of pregnant women; and to consider the use of alternatives in the primary teeth of children.

The battle between the ADA and our forces has increasingly become a battle of equals. The ADA still has lots more money and influence, but the dental profession is now clearly divided. Now the pro-mercury dentists must increasingly face angry patients -- or patients who simply choose to go elsewhere. The ADA is so intent about protecting mercury use that it threatens to destroy the credibility of the very professionals it is supposed to represent.

Charlie Brown



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