After we launched the Chicago Declaration to End Dental Industry Mercury Use at the University of Illinois School of Public Health 18 months ago, some of the signatories obtained meetings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at high levels, persuading the agency to re-open the amalgam issue. On November 13-14, an FDA scientific advisory committee met to discuss metal implants and specifically dental amalgam.
First, the committee heard from the public, primarily our team. Consumers for Dental Choice executive director Charlie Brown was honored to testify alongside heavy hitters from the National Medical Association, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, Tuskegee University, International Indian Treaty Council, Organic & Natural Health Association, and Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, as well as many other experts – all speaking out for mercury-free dentistry.
Then the FDA advisory committee members discussed amalgam among themselves. They recommended that the agency provide information to patients about the risks of dental amalgam, especially for vulnerable populations. Committee members expressed particular concern about the disproportionate use of amalgam in disadvantaged populations, including communities of color and low-income communities that are already exposed to higher levels of toxins.