In 1976, Congress directed FDA to classify (determine the risk of) every medical device. Dental fillings are a medical device. FDA proceeded to classify all filling materials except the most common one – and the most controversial one – mercury amalgam.
Despite letters, petitions, Congressional hearings, and a lawsuit, FDA refused to budge. FDA had no intention of doing what by law it was required to do.
Why? Because by classifying amalgam, FDA would have to address the dirty little secret of dentistry — FDA would have to tell the American people that amalgam is mainly mercury. So instead of letting parents know that their child is getting a dose of the most toxic and the most volatile of the heavy metals, FDA stood as the silent partner of the pro-mercury American Dental Association. For 32 years, from 1976 to 2008, FDA defied the law.
Consumers for Dental Choice
explains the history of FDA’s classification of dental mercury fillings