Now we need your help to make the FDA stop its cover-up. Action Alert!
US consumers are in dark about mercury in dental products—and they are kept there deliberately by the government. This is documented in a new report being released this week by Consumers for Dental Choice called “Measurably Misleading: Evidence the FDA and Dental Industry are Deliberately Deceiving American Families about Mercury Dental Fillings and Why That Now Has International Consequences.”
ANH-USA and other important consumer organizations are lending support to this report. Its hard data shows how most consumers are unaware of the presence of toxic mercury in their fillings.
Mercury is a known neurotoxin, yet mercury fillings presents one of the largest consumer consumption of mercury worldwide, and dental amalgam represents the largest use of mercury in consumer products in the US.
Last year we reported about a US-ratified global treaty, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, that agreed in part that the mercury in dental amalgam products would be phased out. Unfortunately, there is still a tremendous lack of truthful labeling of the mercury in amalgams, and clear labeling is essential for a successful phase-out. In fact, contrary to the Minamata Convention, the FDA’s official position is actually to phase up the use of mercury-based dental fillings. An FDA rule states unequivocally that “any change away from use of dental amalgam is likely to result in negative public health outcomes.”
As the report makes clear, it is no accident that the marketing term “silver fillings” misleads dental consumers about amalgam’s mercury content—that was its original purpose. A doctor observed as early as 1896 that “Certain dentists are themselves aware of the popular dread of mercury and hence the false term of ‘silver filling,’ which is a deliberate swindle and a disgrace to the dental occupation.”
Despite cracking down on marketing tactics that misled consumers about the alcohol content in patent medicines, the narcotic content in tonics for women, and even the grass seed content in “fruit” jams, the FDA never stopped the dental industry from misleading consumers about the mercury content in “silver fillings.”
Instead, the FDA did just the opposite. In 2009 the FDA announced, “Dental amalgam fillings are also known as ‘silver fillings’ because of their silver-like appearance.” Is it any wonder, then, that 57% of Americans do not know that amalgam is mainly mercury—and that 23% say it is mainly silver? In other words, the FDA itself has been actively and successfully deceiving the American public.
We’ve also been kept in in the dark about mercury in other consumer products because of the FDA. Thimerosal, a mercury compound often found in flu vaccines, is being ignored as a danger and is in fact exempted from the Minamata treaty. In addition, mercury can be found in many seafood products, and while the FDA has updated its guidance on the issue, it is still at complete variance with what the government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says about it and the FDA will not mandate labeling changes.
Amalgam manufacturers such as Dentsply and Danaher/Kerr should be required by the FDA to provide truthful patient labeling.
Action Alert! Call on the FDA to implement truthful, transparent labeling of mercury fillings, which will allow our country to keep its commitment to the Minamata Convention—and will educate the public about what they’re putting in their mouths. Send your message to the FDA today!