FDA performs an about face on Mercury Fillings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally admitted that metal dental fillings containing mercury can cause health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses.

As part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by several consumer advocacy groups, the FDA agreed to alert consumers about the potential risks on its Web site and to issue a more specific rule next year for fillings that contain mercury.

The FDA’s Web site now states that: “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.”

Charles Brown, a lawyer for advocacy group Consumers for Dental Choice, said the agency’s move represented an about-face. According to Brown, “Gone, gone, gone are all of FDA’s claims that no science exists that amalgam is unsafe … The impact of the re-writing of its position on amalgam can hardly be understated. FDA’s website will no longer be cited by the American Dental Association in public hearings.”

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