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Published: 16 years ago
 

Just passing this along




Hi Friends,
We have a very important national project and we need everyone to help.
Please take a minute to e-mail your US Senators (and call them, too, if you can)
to vote NO on Crawford to run FDA.
Crawford is doing NOTHING to stop the use of mercury dental fillings. Please
read Charlie Brown's e-mail below for reasons why Crawford must not be
appointed.
Again, please e-mail and/or call if possible your US Senators to vote NO on
Crawford to run the FDA.
Thank you,
Mary Ann Newell
E-mail message from Charlie Brown:
We oppose Crawford to be FDA Commissioner -- Ask your two Senators to vote
NO.
Lester Crawford, Acting Commissioner of FDA, promises more of the same if he
is confirmed to be the real Commissioner. That’s bad news for those of us
who are tired of FDA protecting the interests of the American Dental
Association and covering up the health risks of mercury fillings.
Two senior Senators took the lead in suggesting a different course of action
to Dr. Crawford. Both Senator Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Kennedy (D-MA) asked
why Health Canada recommends pregnant women and children not receive mercury
fillings -- while FDA remains stone silent. In a reply that shows he only
gets information on mercury fillings from dentists at FDA and the ADA,
Crawford said no studies show the health risks of mercury fillings. The cover-up
continues at FDA.
An amazing fact: FDA ordered a horse medicine off the market because it
contained mercury. Isn’t it time that Dr. Crawford, a veterinarian, shows the
same sense of urgency to protect children and fetuses from mercury exposure as
he does for horses?
Dr. Crawford also defends the sham BETAH-LSRO “independent” study of mercury
fillings, a no-bid deal with an unqualified contractor and stealth
subcontractor, where FDA and NIH dentists provided a blueprint in advance of the
result they wanted -- the result, of course, they then got. While Crawford
praises the FDA/NIH deal with beltway consultants BETAH-LSRO, his colleague,
Director Elias Zerhouni of NIH conducts an investigation of it.
The respected Hoover Institute out of Stanford calls Crawford “the ultimate
go-along-to-get-along bureaucrat,” and, further, a prediction that “at best
[he will] be a caretaker and at worst asleep at the wheel.” Like the
do-nothing character in Gilbert & Sullivan opera HMS Pinafore who became Admiral of
the King’s Navy by never offending anyone and being a bootlicker, Crawford
has risen through the ranks by doing nothing, saying nothing, accomplishing
nothing.
Crawford has lost momentum, and his confirmation is encountering resistance
from two major fronts. First, trying not to offend anyone, he refuses to
rule on a controversial contraception issue, causing Senator Murray (WA) and
Senator Clinton (NY) to place a hold on a floor vote. Second, an anonymous
staffer at FDA made an accusation about Crawford’s behavior that caused Chairman
Enzi (WY) to delay action a committee vote and refer the matter to the
Inspector-General to investigate. Still, it’s an uphill fight, and we need to
write and enlist many allies to win.
Go to _http://www.senate.gov/_ (http://www.senate.gov/) . Send your two
Senators a message: Crawford is wrong on mercury amalgam, wrong on mercury in
general, and wrong in protecting the abysmal status quo at the FDA. A
Commissioner who protects horses from mercury-containing products surely should have
the same sense of compassion to protect children and fetuses from mercury
exposure.
Charlie
Charles G. Brown, National Counsel
Consumers for Dental Choice and
Coalition for Mercury-Free Dentistry
1725 K St., N.W., Suite 511
Washington, DC 20006
Ph. 202.822-6307; fax 822-6309
_http://www.toxicteeth.org/_ (http://www.toxicteeth.org/)
Below: The letter below to the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate
committee considering the nomination.
Consumers for Dental Choice
1725 K St., N.W., Suite 511
Washington, DC 20006
Ph. 202.822-6307; fax 822-6309
http://www.toxicteeth.org
April 29, 2005
Senator Mike Enzi, Chairman
Senator Edward Kennedy, Ranking Member
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Vote No on Lester Crawford to head FDA
Dear Senator Enzi, Senator Kennedy, and all Senators on the HELP Committee:
Consumers for Dental Choice asks you to reject Lester Crawford to be
Commissioner of FDA. His record as Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner
shows an utter absence of leadership, a toleration of continued deterioration of
FDA’s mission, and a willingness to follow blindly the American Dental
Association’s pro-mercury agenda instead of -- as Canada does -- issuing health
warnings for children and pregnant women to get alternatives to “silver”
fillings.
Ø No warnings on mercury amalgam: Dr. Crawford presides over an agency
covering up the harmful effects of mercury – it refuses to issue health
warnings like Canada does, in large part because he allows such decisions to be
made by a dentist-dominated bureau. As Senator Lautenberg noted in a letter
to NIH Director Zerhouni, dentists lack the training of toxicologists or
physicians to determine the risks of mercury-based dental fillings to the child’s
developing brain, the adult’s kidney, or the fetus’ health. Furthermore,
due to the ADA’s endorsement (for money) of mercury amalgam, putting dentists
in charge is, again citing Senator Lautenberg, “an inherent conflict of
interest.”
Ø Interest in mercury focused on veterinary side: Senator Hatch and
Senator Kennedy took the lead in asking why FDA is silent while Canada issues
health warnings. Dr. Crawford’s answer shows an utter failure to recognize
the horrible health risks of mercury on children’s brains and fetal health.
Such an answer contrasts sharply with what he did for horses -- FDA pulled a
horse medicine off the market solely because it contained mercury. As a
veterinarian, he has been quick to protect animals from mercury exposure, but
appears to lack an equal sense of urgency in protecting children, babies, and
fetuses from the same.
Ø USA no longer the gold standard: Under Dr. Crawford stand-in role,
FDA is seeing its role as the world’s gold standard for food, drug, and device
regulation disappear, to be replaced by an increasingly dysfunctional agency
allowing powerful special interest groups to dominate the bureaucracy’s
decision-making.
In identical letters to Senator Smith and Senator Murray, FDA staff still
pretends the Health Canada warnings don’t exist. The Assistant Commissioner
for Legislation wrongly claimed that the government of Canada is fully
supportive of mercury fillings. Repeated letters and calls from our organization to
Dr. Crawford, to Assistant Commissioner Ronan, and to Director of Devices
Schultz yielded no correction to the letters to Senator Murray and Senator
Smith.
Dr. Henry Miller, a Fellow at the respected Hoover Institute at Stanford
(and an FDA employee for 15-years), calls Dr. Crawford “the ultimate
go-along-to-get-along bureaucrat with no fire in his belly,” and warns that “he will at
best be a caretaker and at worst asleep at the wheel.” Lester Crawford is,
according to Miller’s op-ed published in the San Jose Mercury News, “the
wrong person at the wrong time to guide the agency through political and policy
minefields.”
Dr. Miller’s views certainly describe Dr. Crawford’s role in protecting
mercury fillings from scientific scrutiny:
* To Senator Hatch and Senator Kennedy, Dr. Crawford wrongly claims
that no studies show the harm of mercury fillings – when in fact the
overwhelming number of peer-reviewed studies show their potential harm, especially to
the developing brain of children and fetuses.
* Dr. Crawford and Dr. Schultz, Director of the Center on Devices,
repeatedly have refused to investigate the corrupt sequence of steps engineered
by FDA and NIDCR officials to produce a sweetheart deal on mercury fillings.
A cabal inside FDA and NIH -- with no bid or RFP -- handpicked an ally to do
an “independent” study of the Science on mercury amalgam; installed a
company specializing in coordinating conferences to “run” the study; made their
friend the stealth “subcontractor”; demanded a panel devoid of any scientist
with experience researching mercury amalgam; and wrote out in advance the
desired result (which they of course got).
* That FDA/NIH deal with beltway contractors BETAH and LSRO stunk so
much that NIH Director Elias Zerhouni is now conducting a full investigation.
Disregarding requests from Senator Lautenberg, Congresswoman Watson, and
Congressman Michaud for an investigation by the Inspector-General, Dr. Crawford
praises the contract and says he will rely on its bogus results for his next
decision on mercury fillings.

A stand-in Commissioner no longer fits this do-or-die moment in FDA history.
It’s time FDA addressed the problem of mercury in every health product, not
just horse medicine and fish. It’s time FDA reverses its slide out of being
the world’s gold standard regulator.
Sincerely,
Charles G. Brown
National Counsel
_brownchas@starpower.net_ (mailto:brownchas@starpower.net)


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