Federal Government

“Not for MY grandchildren.” That’s the position of the chief architect of the mercury fillings cover-up at the Food & Drug Administration, Associate Commissioner Norris Alderson.  The hypocrisy by top FDA officials on this issue knows no limits.

I have written a complaint (see below) to FDA Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach, who unfortunately is a real do-nothing on the job. 

That’s where you come in.  Would you write the FDA officials on the “to” list -- all of them, so someone reads it?  Tell them what you think of FDA leadership who wants no mercury fillings for their families but could care less about millions of other American families.

Besides writing, you may also want to phone this leader of the cover-up (except for his family): Norris Alderson, office ph # 301.827-3340.

Charlie Brown
16 April 2008

From: Charlie Brown [mailto:charlie@toxicteeth.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:11 PM
To: randall.lutter@fda.hhs.gov;AVonEsch@fda.gov;william.mcconagha@fda.hhs.gov;pkuntze@oc.fda.gov; Les Weinstein (ombudsman@cdrh.fda.gov);norris.alderson@fda.hhs.gov;wendy.vicente@fda.hhs.gov; beverly.chernaik@fda.hhs.gov
Cc: Jaron.Bourke@mail.house.gov; Valerie.VanBuren@mail.house.gov; brian.fauls2@mail.house.gov; Amy_Muhlberg@help.senate.gov; david_dorsey@help.senate.gov
Subject: FDA's architect of mercury cover-up: "Not for MY grandchildren"

Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210
Washington DC 20002
Phone 202.544-6333; fax 202.544-6331

Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach
U. S. Food & Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, Maryland 20847 (via US mail and e-mail, AVonEsch@fda.gov)

Re: Norris Alderson, Architect of FDA’s Mercury Cover-up, Tells Scientists: No Mercury Fillings For My Grandchildren

Dear Commissioner Von Eschenbach:

We call on you to remove Norris Alderson from being in charge of classifying mercury amalgam, if not entirely from his role of FDA’s lead scientist. Alderson has sabotaged your confirmation promise to Senator Enzi, lied to Congress about a mercury product recall, broken his promise to two Scientific Advisory Committees to implement their veto of amalgam’s safety, and now -- worst of all -- shown himself to be the quintessential hypocrite.

In a meeting with scientists on March 28 to discuss why FDA is covering up amalgam’s mercury exposure from the American people, Associate Commissioner for Science Alderson disclosed he was furious that a dentist implanted mercury fillings into his grandchild -- because of the mercury exposure from amalgam. This is the same Norris Alderson who advocates a proposed regulation that requires the disclosure of zinc (yes, zinc) as a façade so consumers and parents (and grandparents) won’t learn about the mercury. For the past two years, Alderson has been the leader within FDA of the malfeasants who illegally block an honest classification of mercury amalgam.

In his private life, to protect the health of his family, Alderson says: No mercury fillings. In his public life, drawing a comfortable six-figure income with the duty to protect the public health, Alderson could care less about American families outside his elite inner circle.

At the same meeting, Alderson stunned the scientists by saying that FDA would not move forward to address mercury amalgam unless the pro-mercury American Dental Association gives the green light. Giving veto power to a powerful economic group, instead of working based on the science, is an example of the corruption that pervades FDA on the mercury fillings issue.

While having no problem with mercury in (other people’s) children, Alderson supports FDA’s ban on mercury products for horses and dogs. Asked at a Congressional hearing last November to justify such a cold-hearted position, Alderson lied. He denied that the horse salve Miracle Leg Paint was removed from the market because FDA discovered it had mercury, even though FDA news releases made clear that the action was based 100% on the mercury content.

It is a mystery how Alderson, whose degree is in veterinary medicine rather than any hard science, emerged as FDA’s top scientist. His veterinary background apparently played well with veterinarian Lester Crawford, the Commissioner convicted in federal court of insider dealing to protect his wife’s enterprises.

In August 2006, you made the following confirmation promise to Senator Enzi regarding the convening of two Scientific Advisory Panels to address mercury amalgam:

“The September panel will be asked to answer specific questions concerning any possible adverse health effects of dental amalgam. The proceedings and recommendations of the panel will be considered by FDA in our regulation of dental amalgam devices.”

But after the Senate confirmed you, Alderson and his staff reneged on that promise. Alderson released a problematic “white paper” to the media, then called on the scientific panels for an up-or-down vote on the white paper, without bothering to ask them “to answer specific questions concerning any possible adverse health effects of dental amalgam.” (To the dismay of Norris Alderson, who was FDA’s MC for the event, the panels resoundingly voted NO on the white paper’s conclusion that amalgam is safe.)

Did you apologize to Senator Enzi for breaking your promise to him? No, sir, you did not. Did you recall the two Scientific Advisory Committees so they could make such findings and you then fulfill your promise to Senator Enzi? No, sir, you did not. Did you discipline Alderson for causing your confirmation promise to Senator Enzi to be broken? No, sir, you did not. I have tried to bring this to your attention, but to no avail, and -- if Alderson is right that FDA kowtows to the ADA on this issue at the expense of the science and the consumer groups -- I doubt your staff will even give you this letter.

When the dichotomy between private behavior and public decision-making reaches this level of hypocrisy, it’s time to put someone else in charge -- this time a person who is neutral, qualified, and puts science above politics.


Charles G. Brown
National Counsel
16 April 2008

cc, FDA: Randall Lutter, Norris Alderson, Patricia Kuntze, and Les Weinstein;
cc, counsel: Drake Cutini (DOJ); William McGonagha, Wendy Vicente, and Beverly Chernaik (FDA);
cc, Senate--Amy Muhlberg (Senator Enzi), and David Dorsey (Senator Kennedy);
cc, House--Jaron Bourke (Chairman Kucinich), Valerie Van Buren (Congresswoman Watson), and Brian Fauls (Congressman Burton)

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