Friday, May 15, 2009

A Good News Follow Up Regarding Mercury Amalgams: Please Thank Your Congresspeople on Monday with This Simple Message (contacts provided)

The following is a follow up letter I received today from Charles G Brown, National Counsel for Consumers For Dental Choice:

Nineteen Members of Congress send great letter asking FDA, in rule, to warn us all regarding mercury and protect children & young women from amalgam.


Folks, ball now in your court -- please call Congressmen in your state


            Nineteen Congresswomen and Congressmen -- from 12 states -- have signed onto a bipartisan letter authored by Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-Calif) and Congressman Dan Burton (R-Ind.), urging FDA to require clear warnings about mercury toxicity to every dental patient and establish specific protections for children and young women.


            With FDA under a court order to classify mercury amalgam by this July 28, the 19 Members of Congress wrote the FDA Acting Commissioner to insist that FDA 

(1) “require the industry to correctly label ‘silver’ fillings to reflect their predominate component, mercury”, (2) “require all parents of children under the age of 18 years old to sign a written consent form indicating that they are fully aware of the potential negative effects of mercury”, and 

(3) “require a verbal warning given by dentists to patients over 18 years noting the high toxicity of mercury and the potential of neurological problems.”


            The Congressional letter reflects an in depth understanding of the dangers of mercury fillings, e.g., “Vapors from mercury can traverse the placenta of pregnant women and threaten the development of the fetus . . . Mercury is a known neurotoxin; the third most known toxic element as listed by the CERLA Priority List of Hazardous Substances . . . Dental amalgam is the predominant source of human exposure to mercury.”  (The Watson-Burton letter will get posted as the lead item on our website within a couple of days.)


            Such a strong and specific letter coming from so many Members of Congress should ensure that the new Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg (not confirmed but likely to be by month’s end) will pay special heed to this rule, and not allow a biased bureaucracy beneath to call the shots.


            As FDA’s D-Day approaches, the momentum for a robust amalgam rule grows.   The Watson-Burton letter follows on the heels of a similarly powerful letter by the State and Local Public Officials Mercury-Free Caucus, who advised the Senate and FDA that “the time is past for the use of mercury-based dental fillings … a pre-Civil War era device.”  

And because of great grassroots work by our friends Dr. Rebecca Painter and Monica Knievel in GilletteWyoming, Senator Mike Enzi -- the ranking Republican on the health committee -- promised to ask Commissioner-nominee Hamburg in writing whether FDA, consistent with its website warnings, will protect children and pregnant women from amalgam.


Folks, if you live in AZ, CA, DC, FL, IL, IN, ME, MD, MI, MO, NY, OH, TX, or WY, it’s your turn.  (Or if you used to live there, close enough.)  Please pick up the phone and call the office of the Member(s) of Congress in your state (phone numbers listed below).  Tell whoever answers the phone:


 “Thank you to Congressman/Congresswoman _______ for signing the Watson-Burton letter to the Food and Drug Administration regarding mercury fillings.  He/she is protecting future generations of Americans.”  


Here is the Congressional Roll of Honor, the 19 who signed the Watson-Burton letter:


Arizona:   RaĆ¹l  Grijalva (202)225-2435


California (southern):  Grace Napolitano; (202)225-5256; Loretta Sanchez (202)225-2965; Diane E. Watson (202)225-7084


California (northern):  Lynn Woolsey (202)225-5161 


D.C.:  Eleanor Holmes Norton (202)225-8050


Florida:  Corrine Brown (202)225-0123


Illinois   (Chicagoland):  Danny Davis (202)225-5006;  Luis Gutierrez (202)225-8203


Illinois   (downstate):  Phil Hare (202)225-5905


Indiana :  Dan Burton    (202)225-2276


Maine:  Mike Michaud (202)225-6306


Maryland:  Donna Edwards (202)225-8699


Michigan:  John Conyers, Jr.  (202)225-5126


Missouri:  Emanuel Cleaver  (202)225-4535


New York (City & L.I.):  Yvette Clarke (202)225-6231


New York (upstate):     Maurice Hinchey (202)225-6335


Texas:  Henry Cuellar   (202)225-1640;  Sam Johnson (202)225-4201


Wyoming:  A special category.  Your thank-you to Senator Mike Enzi, (202)224-3424, should be:  

“Thank you to Senator Enzi for asking Commissioner-nominee Hamburg if the Food and Drug Administration will follow its website and protect children and pregnant women from amalgam.”


Charlie Brown



P.S. -- We have never before had 19 Members of Congress step up for us like this, and it’s important we thank them.  I guarantee you the ADA lobbyists are hammering on them.  So please call Washington DC this Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  After you make that phone call, drop me an e-mail.


Charles G. Brown, National Counsel
Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20002 
 202.544-6333; fax 202.544-6331, 
Working for Mercury-Free Dentistry


LNH supports and salutes the tireless efforts of Charles G Brown for bringing national and global attention to this issue to empower our citizens and to help us live happier and healthier lives.  

Please take a moment to call your congresspeople on Monday.


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