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.”
Women who have used Fosamax are nearly twice as likely to develop atrial fibrillation (quivering of your heart’s upper chambers), which is the most common kind of chronically irregular heartbeat.
Fosamax is the most widely used drug treatment for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The FDA approved the first generic version (called alendronate) in February.
The drug was associated with an 86 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation compared with never having used the drug. Atrial fibrillation can cause palpitations, fainting, fatigue, or congestive heart failure. They can also lead to embolic strokes.
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2007 – American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) in opposing a petition filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the use of ionizing radiation for the control of microbial contamination on dietary supplements and dietary ingredients.
Dear Lane A. Highbarger, Ph.D.
I join American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) in opposition to a petition by the FDA referenced in the preamble to FDA’s final rule on current good manufacturing practice for dietary supplement on June 25, 2007. I support AHPA’s opposition to this petition on the following grounds:
- Proper handling of dietary supplements under current good manufacturing practice is usually sufficient to ensure that they are not subject to microbial contamination that presents any risk to the health of consumers of these products
- If approved, the use of ionizing irradiation on herbal dietary ingredients will mask one of the factors that is currently relevant to the determination of ingredient quality, since information about microbial levels and the presence of pathogens or yeasts and molds at any time during the handling of a treated ingredient would be lost. Of particular concern are pathogens, since even if pathogenic organisms are eliminated through irradiation, pathogenic by-products such as endotoxins or exotoxins may remain in the material
- Irradiation is currently allowed in the United States for eleven food categories, and in proposing that the limitation of ionizing radiation for dietary supplements be established at 30 kGy, the petition is suggesting that this limit be from 3 to 30 times higher that is currently allowed for all but two food categories. Dietary supplements may be consumed in quantities of several grams per day. Thus, dietary supplement consumers will be exposed to much higher levels of any material changes that occur in a supplement’s or ingredient’s characteristics or in its consequences of use, if any, as a result of the irradiation.
I look forward to your response to this letter,
Please print and send your copy of this letter today and just say “No” to the irradiation of dietary supplements!
Send your letter to:
Lane A. Highbarger, Ph.D.
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-255)
Office of Food Additive Safety
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740