The Obama administration kept secret an FDA proposal to curtail the use of mercury in dental fillings, and then quietly quashed it.
In 2011, top officials in the FDA approved a proposal that directed dentists not to use mercury fillings to treat cavities in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under age 6, and anyone with mercury allergies, kidney disease, or neurological problems.
According to Greg Gordon, writing for mcclatchydc.com
, the proposal also urged dentists to avoid using any type of filling that contains mercury as much as possible in all patients.
But federal officials ignored the proposal and secretly rejected it
"This is absolutely ridiculous," says holistic physician David Brownstein, M.D. "Mercury is one of the most poisonous substances known to mankind," he tells Newsmax Health. "It is a potent neurotoxin and is associated with numerous neurological and immune system problems.
"The only reason the government stopped the proposal is because of money," he said. "It's cheaper to put mercury fillings in someone's mouth than non-mercury fillings.
"Resin composite fillings, which are used in place of the old mercury-based ones, are more expensive," he says. "It costs about $100 more a tooth to use them.
"This is more evidence that the government doesn't really care about people's health," he continued. "The only thing they care about is money. They put more value on cost than our health. They certainly shouldn't be trying to hide information as important as this."
There had been signs the government might change its position on mercury fillings following a town hall meeting in San Francisco in 2011.
Numerous dental patients described severe health problems that disappeared after they had their mercury fillings removed, and FDA director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Jeffrey Shuren said he expected the FDA to issue a new policy by the end of the year.
Instead, a curtain of silence fell, and reports indicate the FDA's suggestions were quietly killed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
"To save the government money was the only reason this proposal was killed," said Dr. Brownstein, author of the monthly health newsletter Natural Way to Health
. "Some Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as military and prison programs, which the government pays for, cover dental fillings, and eliminating fillings containing mercury would have cost more money."
There's no doubt that the government recognizes mercury's toxicity.
A study published by the National Institutes of Health stated: "Mercury is a highly toxic element; there is no known safe level of exposure. Ideally, neither children nor adults should have any mercury in their bodies because it provides no physiological benefit."
Yet, the FDA allows it to be used in dental fillings and put in flu shots given to pregnant women, children, and the elderly — all known to be most at risk for neurological damage.
The government position is hypocritical, says Dr. Brownstein: "President Obama wants to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants because they emit mercury. But then he says it's ok to have mercury installed in our mouths."
In fact the EPA has closed dozens of power plants, citing rules regarding mercury and particulate emissions.
"But the two most common sources of mercury in the human body come from dental fillings containing mercury, and vaccines, and the government allows both of them," says Dr. Brownstein.
"The government's priorities are totally misguided," he said. "There's no excuse that mercury fillings are still allowed to be used."
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