40 Organizations led by Consumers for Dental Choice call on Biden-Harris Administration to appoint Chief Dental Officer committed to ending mercury dental fillings in federal programs.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than 40 organizations representing children, the environment, ethics, consumers, and health professionals today call on the Biden-Harris Administration to fill the vacancy of Chief Dental Officer of the Public Health Service with a new leader who will immediately stop the use of mercury dental fillings in children and pregnant women—then phase out its use entirely in federal programs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Safety Recommendations on September 24, 2020, calling for the end of amalgam use in children, in young women, and in those with kidney and neurological conditions—but the holdover chief dental officers at the Department of Health and Human Services resist implementing it. Now the position of Chief Dental Officer of the Public Health Service is vacant, so civil society calls for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine to appoint a chief dental officer with views compatible with the Biden-Harris environmental justice initiatives.

“Mercury dental fillings for children and pregnant women should have ended in government programs two years ago, when FDA publicly stated that exposure is harmful,” said Nse Witherspoon, Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network. “It is astounding that chief dental officers at the Public Health Service refuse to implement the Safety Recommendation of sister agencies at the Department of Health and Human Services. One would think our government would be first, not last, to follow FDA warnings for non-use of a toxic product on children.”

Noting that FDA has spoken loud and clear to end amalgam for children and for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the nation’s most prominent dentist authority on ethics in health care, Dr. Rueben C. Warren, calls the failure of government agencies to comply “a clear and convincing violation of medical ethics.” Dr. Warren, director of the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and former dean of the Meharry dental school, says, “Surgeon General Murthy and Assistant Secretary Levine must act immediately to appoint a chief dental officer committed to immediately stopping the placing of dental amalgam on all Tribal lands, military bases, prisons, and Medicaid programs.” Tuskegee, the site of the egregious syphilis experiment on Black men, which historian analogize to Nazi-era racial atrocities, houses the nation’s watchdog to avoid any semblance of its repetition.

“According to the World Health Organization, which cites a comprehensive European survey, 95% of consumers would choose mercury-free dentistry – either for health reasons, environmental reasons, or both,” said Charles G. Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice. “Consumers do not want mercury-silver fillings – but federal bureaucracies defying the nation’s science health regulator continue to hoist them onto the powerless recipients of federal programs like Indian Health, Department of Defense, and Bureau of Prisons.”

In March, the Biden Administration helped spearhead an amendment to the Minamata Convention on Mercury which sets a new worldwide floor: the end of amalgam for children under 15 nor for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

“This Administration, a world leader in protecting the public from mercury exposure, must not let its own federal agencies, led by holdover chief dental officers, subvert the new global policy which ends amalgam placement in children,” said Bobbi Wilding, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “Our nation’s children deserve no less.”

For further information, contact Charles Brown, Consumers for Dental Choice, [email protected] or 202.246.7642

SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice


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