Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 22

FDA action is unacceptable

As co-chair of the Mercury Awareness Team of Washington, I am enraged that the FDA on July 28, reversed its own 2006 scientific panel.

The 2006 FDA scientific panel rejected the FDA dental division white paper 13 to 7 because literature was inadequate, review was not objective and the conclusion – that mercury amalgam dental fillings were safe – was not reasonable.

I agree with the letter the Environmental Working Group saying, “It’s a commentary on how low the FDA has sunk as an agency. It was once a fierce protector of American health, and now it’s nothing more than a patsy for polluters.”

Mercury is the most toxic, nonradioactive element.

A silver/amalgam filling is 50 percent mercury which outgases 24/7 into the body of the person with the fillings, the fetus in utero and the people around them.

Sweden and Norway have banned the mercury amalgam dental fillings for health and environmental reasons and Denmark will not provide insurance for them.

In 2004 the EPA reported, based on 1999-2000 data, that 630,000 newborns had unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. One in six pregnant women had unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. One in six children in our schools are neurologically damaged.

In 2005 the World Health Organization paper on mercury confirmed that people get their greatest exposure to mercury from mercury amalgam dental fillings.

Yet a 2006 Zogby’s International poll showed that 76 percent of the people are not aware of mercury in dental fillings.



Baird must follow his beliefs

Congressman Brian Baird says on his homepage “I believe the concept of meeting face to face with elected officials is at the heart of our democracy.”

But now says he will hold no face-to-face town hall meeting while he is on the August break.

What happened to his belief?

I know there are those who only want to disrupt these town hall meeting, but there are also those who have questions and want answers. He is just letting those who only want to disrupt win and those who want a real meeting lose.



University program should not be cut

I was very disappointed to read that Washington State University lost its funding for a four-decades-old program to help educate migrant workers and their children.

I followed up on the story by calling Rep. Brian Baird and Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

A staffer from Rep. Baird’s office returned my call within the hour. He told me that the program is a grant program that is considerably helped by having the support of the program’s Congress people and that WSU plans to reapply next year. I asked if Rep. Baird would support the program, and he said that he would certainly look into it.

Neither senators returned my calls.

I am truly shocked that, of all the places to cut the federal budget, programs for migrants and minorities are targeted.