Mercury Amalgam Report Bogus; Released as Feds Investigate Wrongdoing in Contract Award

Dec 09, 2004, 00:00 ET from Consumers for Dental Choice

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A consultant for the National
 Institutes of Health today issued a report on the health risks of mercury
 amalgam while NIH investigates wrongdoing in the process to award the firm the
 research contract.
     "The consultant's report is 'bogus' because it draws inappropriate
 conclusions from flawed research," says Charles Brown, counsel for Consumers
 for Dental Choice.
     Washington-based Consumers for Dental Choice said the report, issued by
 LSRO, Inc., Bethesda, MD, under contract to the National Institute of Dental &
 Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is "the worst kind of deception on American
 families" because it rejects abundant evidence that mercury dental amalgam may
 cause serious health problems.
     After Consumers for Dental Choice filed a lawsuit in July challenging the
 contract, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni began an investigation of the entire
     "This federal investigation," Brown continues, "is necessary because NIDCR
 handpicked LSRO without a competitive bid, announced the desired result in
 advance, and mandated that the research panel be devoid of mercury
     "LSRO is the tobacco industry's consultant of choice," Brown added.  "We
 can no longer tolerate acceptance of so-called research designed to enhance
 the position of the organization funding the study.  LSRO, has a history of
 building panels with conflicted members whose findings favor industry."
     "To us, the evidence is clear," Brown said.  "No one should accept the
 risk of putting a highly toxic metal in their teeth.  Exposure to mercury
 damages the developing brain; pregnant women and parents should be vigilant to
 avoid this source of potentially dangerous mercury that can harm the fetus or
 the child."
     Senator Frank Lautenberg has called for NIH to abolish the "inherent
 conflict of interest" of designating organized dentistry -- which endorses
 mercury fillings -- to be in charge of the research.
     A House Subcommittee, led by Chairman Dan Burton and Ranking Member Diane
 Watson, also is investigating this contract.
     The results are "the polar opposite of the direction of the science," said
 Dr. David Kennedy, former president, International Academy of Oral Medicine
 and Toxicology.  Professor Boyd Haley, University of Kentucky, said the
 consultant's release clearly has false information.

SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice