The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now declared that silver dental fillings contain too little mercury to harm the millions who’ve had cavities filled with them — including young children — and that only people allergic to mercury need to avoid them. This was an about-face for the FDA. The Associated Press reports that, last year, the FDA settled a lawsuit with anti-mercury activists by posting on its Web site a precaution saying questions remained about whether the small amount of mercury vapor the fillings can release were enough to harm the developing brains of fetuses or the very young. Now, the FDA says its final scientific review ends that concern. But, the agency did slightly strengthen how it regulates the fillings, urging dentists to provide their patients with a government-written statement detailing the mercury controversy and explaining what science shows.
Too much mercury, according to studies, can harm the brain. The FDA says that available scientific evidence supports the conclusion that patients with dental amalgam fillings “are not at risk for mercury-associated adverse health effects.” Anti-mercury activists accused the agency of bowing to the dental industry and said they’d go back to court to try to force a change. Charles Brown, who is with Consumers for Dental Choice, had this to say:
FDA broke its contract and broke its word that it would put warnings for children and unborn children. This contemptuous attitude toward children and the unborn will not go unanswered.
I hope the FDA is correct on this issue. But I must confess that its record over the years doesn’t give me much comfort.
Source: Associated Press
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