Report on the State Department’s Mercury NGO Stakeholder Meetings
August 18, 2011 Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, August 18, 2011, the State Department held “Mercury NGO Stakeholder Meetings” in Washington, D.C. The meetings were held in preparation for the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a globally legally-binding instrument on mercury (INC3), which will be held by the United Nations Environmental Programme in Nairobi, Kenya from October 31-November 4.
The State Department noted in an e-mail sent as an invitation to stakeholders to attend the August 18th meeting:
“As you know, mercury is recognized as a chemical of global concern because of its: (1) long-range transport in the atmosphere; (2) persistence in the environment; (3) significant negative effect on human health and the environment; and (4) ability to bioaccumulate. Governments at INC-3 will continue to work towards the creation of a legally binding mechanism to regulate mercury. Intergovernmental organizations and representatives from the civil society are encouraged to take part as observers. For more information please visit: http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/INC3/tabid/3469/Default.aspx
The U.S. government is interested in hearing the views of the NGO community on the issues being discussed. We will be hosting stakeholder meetings at the State Department, which is located at 2201 C St. NW in Washington, DC. Unlike the stakeholder meetings before INC-2, we will be holding two separate NGO stakeholder meetings. One will be for environmental NGOs and will be August 18th, 10:00-11:30 AM. The other meeting will be for NGOs concerned with mercury in the medical sector such as in medical devices, dental amalgam, and vaccines. This meeting will be the same day, August 18th, 12:00-1:30 PM.”
The State Department made it clear that the medical sector portion of meeting was called to LISTEN to mercury stakeholders, not negotiate with us. Apparently, they realized people have strong feelings about the mercury being used in dental amalgam and vaccines, so they allotted specific time to hear people out on the issue.
They also explained that they would be holding another meeting at the beginning of October prior to Kenya, after they processed the information from the August 18th meeting.
The current position of the U.S. and most recent recommendations for INC3 can be found here: http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Portals/9/Mercury/Documents/INC3/United%20States.pdf
At the “medical” segment of the August 19th meeting, there were no time slots assigned to speakers, so it was very open, and everyone who wanted to speak got a chance to do so.
Those speaking against the mercury used in amalgam fillings discussed many issues related to dental mercury, such as the impacts on the environment and human health, and they included the following individuals:
* Dr. Matthew Young, President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT, www.iaomt.org )
* Charles Brown, Esq., President of the World Alliance for Mercury-free Dentistry (www.toxicteeth.org )
* Dr. Blanche Grube, DMD and IAOMT member
* Dr. Mark McClure, DDS and biological/mercury-free dentist
* Former Senator Charlotte Pritt of West Virginia
* Freya Koss, injured consumer, IAOMT affiliate, and President of the PA Coalition for Mercury-Free Dentistry
* Sylvia Dove, assistant to Charles Brown
* Amanda Just, injured consumer, IAOMT affiliate, and Board Member of Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (http://www.flcv.com/dams.html )
Dr. Mark Geier, David Geier, and Rev. Lisa Sykes of the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD, http://mercury-freedrugs.org/ ), a Maryland-based, non-profit organization, spoke out against both mercury fillings and Thimerosal (a mercury-based compound used as a preservative in certain vaccine in vaccines). Jackie Lombardo, a board member of Safe Minds (http://www.safeminds.org/), also spoke against Thimerosal.
YOU CAN VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION FROM IAOMT PRESIDENT MATT YOUNG BELOW.