The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

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FDA’s Proposal to Curb Mercury Fillings Was Secretly Overruled by Senior Government Officials

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A much-needed proposal was hypocritically rejected, then buried—and this time it wasn’t the FDA’s fault. Action Alert!

A recent news report revealed an FDA proposal from 2011 that would have told dentists to avoid using mercury fillings in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and people with mercury allergies, kidney diseases, and neurological problems. It also contained a more general alert to dentists asking them to consider alternatives to mercury fillings on all patients.

This proposal was generated after FDA officials reviewed scientific literature and, at a “town hall” meeting, heard from dental patients who described the health problems they experienced with mercury fillings.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s proposal was rejected by senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after a so-called cost-benefit analysis was performed. It was then hushed up. According to HHS, out-of-pocket costs to patients would triple if alternative fillings replaced mercury, and an Obama Administration official said the increased cost would disproportionately affect low-income Americans. We wonder if what they really meant was that it would cost Medicare and Medicaid—that is, the government itself—too much money?

Mercury fillings—also called amalgam fillings—are blends of mercury and other metal alloys like silver (for a long time, in a deliberate deception, dentists called them “silver fillings” to avoid the stigma attached to mercury). The fillings release very low levels of mercury vapor that patients inhale continuously. Patients with multiple fillings, of course, inhale more vapor. Certain activities, such as chewing, brushing, or drinking hot liquids, can increase the amount of vapor released.

Mercury is a deadly neurotoxin. When mercury gets into the central nervous system, it has a half-life of between fifteen and thirty years. Once it’s inhaled into the lungs, it enters the bloodstream and can accumulate in the kidneys, liver, and brain. The effects of exposure to mercury are devastating. Studies have shown mercury fillings to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmunity, kidney dysfunction, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, neurotransmitter imbalances, food allergies, multiple sclerosis, thyroid problems, and an impaired immune system. Mercury in the nervous system is especially harmful, causing all sorts of problems: tremors, insomnia, polyneuropathy, headaches, weakness, blurred vision, and more.

Public concern about the toxic effects of mercury has increasingly caused many dentists to turn to alternative fillings. But mercury fillings are still widely used by dentists serving some of our most disadvantaged populations—in the taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs, in the military, in prisons, and on Indian reservations.

HHS’s behind-the-scenes rejection of FDA’s proposal is especially inexcusable given the recent United Nations ban on mercury, both in the products themselves and in processes where mercury is released. If 140 countries can agree that mercury should be removed from consumer products, why is HHS adamant about keeping mercury in the mouths of poor people—while hypocritically expressing concern for those same poor people?

The proposed FDA warning didn’t even go very far. It includes numerous statements such as “there is no direct evidence of harm” from mercury fillings in the general population.

It should be noted that some of the alternatives to mercury fillings, such as composite fillings, are not without risks. We’ve previously reported that bisphenol-A (BPA)—an endocrine disrupter linked with cancer, birth defects, and heart disease—can be found in some composite tooth fillings. There are no perfect options, but well-informed consumers should be able to make their own decisions.

That the proposed FDA warning, half-hearted as it was, remained secret for so long is especially worrisome. How much other information is being withheld from the public at the behest of special interests—or for other political reasons?

This story is also a reminder that even the FDA has overseers who exercise control over it. In this case, the agency tried to move in the right direction and was overruled by its political masters.

Action Alert! Write to the Department of Health and Human Services and tell them how disappointed you are to learn that this warning from the FDA was rejected and then kept secret. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin and should be removed from all fillings to protect the health and safety of all Americans. Please send your message immediately.

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  • barbarakelly

    I think the Gov. is totally out to kill all of us. Then we wonder why the children are getting sick. Let alone Pregnant women who’s baby gets a disability. Or our children is getting confused with school work. Lets find out who these people are and expose them for who they are. Arae any of them in the communist party.!!!

    • American Dental/Dentists Association.
      They are the frauds who have kept the mercury-filling scheme going. This problem has been known about for decades and these crooks fight it tooth and nail (no pun intended) so they can keep poisoning US citizens with mercury fillings, just like the govt wants.
      Look up ‘DAMS’: h t t p : / / w w w . dams . c c /

  • Charli03

    I thought mercury left fillings back in the dark ages of the sixties or seventies. We’re still putting this crap into our kids’ mouth? Guess it’s no worse than doing a study to show mercury wasn’t causing autism, taking out the mercury but leaving in the deadly aluminum no one talks about and adding three more aluminum filled shots while the study was going on and then saying “see, it wasn’t the mercury.” Don’t notice anyone taking out mercury and aluminum and doing the same study. It’s time. California is crazy to force parents to walk into unknown territory with their children’s lives.

    • Look up DAMS. Dental Amalgrams are a hot-topic because the ADA has been running a lie for decades and even renamed the fillings to “silver fillings” merely to cause confusion and make them seem safe. The Mercury used in fillings is not stable and thus is prone to conducting currents. DAMS explains the history and the science behind the facade that the ADA has been running for decades! Contact DAMS for information about Holistic Dentists so you can have Safe Mercury Removal procedures by designated, qualified personnel. The commercial dentists are all quacks who only care to keep the status-quo going.
      Link: h t t p : / / w w w . dams . c c /
      “Dental Amalgam Fillings, sometimes called “silver amalgams,” are actually half mercury. They are a time-release poison, a major source of mercury and other toxic metals to those
      who have them. DAMS stands for Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions and it is a non-profit organization with an office in Minnesota, in the United States, educating the public on mercury amalgams and other ways that dentistry may affect health.”

  • physicsandchem

    What is recommended instead of amalgam fillings?

    • Evan Eberhardt

      Gold, composite, or glass ionomer. It’s worth whatever extra it costs. Do not let them put mercury in your mouth,

      • physicsandchem

        Thank you for the education. I didn’t realize there were so many choices today. I read a bit about the various materials. It seems there are advantages and disadvantages to each one, in addition to cost, I think that people should be allowed to make their own choices.

        • A holistic dentist can do the tests and suggest the proper material that will least impact your biome. Conventional dentists will use the cheapest and most readily available (and what they were trained with) which is generally mercury amalgam or other toxic materials.

    • Don’t put any metal into your mouth.
      Contact a Holistic Dentist, you can obtain a local list from this organization:
      DAMS: h t t p : / / w w w . dams . c c /

  • Evan Eberhardt

    Yet another example of dark-age isolated medicine. The teeth are part of the body and they need to be viewed as such. Dental carries usually reflect other issues going on elsewhere. Instead, let’s just ignore those issues and put MERCURY right into people’s heads! How is this even still debated? Unbelievable.

  • Owl

    When I was a teenager I had a small filling installed after a tooth chipped. Randomly I would get this strange, metallic taste like I had been sucking on coins even though I hadn’t eaten or drank anything with such a flavor. This happened for several years. When I heard metal fillings caused this (along with a lot of other bad things), I had it taken out and replaced. I don’t know that the replacement is healthier – I believe it is some sort of porcelain or composite- but I have never had that awful taste again. I was able to afford to have it removed. It is disgusting our government would subject the least able to afford better health the worst stuff.

  • BChristine

    Good article. There has been a disconnect between medical and dental care for AGES. People have suffered (and still are) from lack of, or bad dental care (through no fault of their own), their bodies pay the price, and they don’t even make the connection. Biological (holistic) dentists understand the connection. Check out the Weston Price Foundation, Dr. Hal Huggins, and Dr. David Villarreal. (for some reason I cannot paste the links).

  • Proof that the U.S.’s intention is only to maim, poison, abuse, and profit off of the corpses of its own taxpayers (Which is why I will never become one).

  • “There *is* a cover-up of the health hazards of dental mercury and a failure by regulators who are responsible for protecting the public health. There are likely multiple reasons for the cover-up.
    For one, perhaps the ADA feels that, since it has defended and promoted the use
    of mercury amalgam fillings throughout its entire history, it could not survive
    if it were to admit that it has been wrong over the last century and a half,
    misinforming and harming millions of people. It could not survive an admission
    that it has lied to its own member dentists and harmed them by the cover-up. Our
    media makes the cover-up possible, to a large extent, and is complicit. So, as
    with most cover-ups, it is not just a creation of an industry and the corrupt
    governmental agencies that are supposed to regulate the industry; the cover-up
    is also a creature of the media, a media largely controlled by and created by
    the most powerful corporations.” ~ h t t p : / / w w w . dams . c c /

  • Eileen

    About 5 years ago, a tooth fell out of my mouth. I noticed that it was the one that had the most mercury fillings. Wonder if this was an attempt by the body to get rid of a toxic body part?