Mar 292012

By Betty Ann Adam, The Star Phoenix March 29, 2012

A woman is examined by her dentist. file photo

An activist who fought Census Canada in court is preparing to take on the  federal government again, this time in an effort to ban amalgam dental fillings  because they contain mercury.

Sandra Finley is organizing a citizens assembly this weekend in Saskatoon to  try to get Ottawa to include the mercury in dental amalgam in new regulations  banning the importation of mercury.

Finley, 62, was charged with refusing to fill out the 2004 long-form census.  She defended herself in court, where she was eventually found guilty. By that  time, however, the government had made participating in the long form voluntary  and she was given an absolute discharge.

The Friday night and Saturday event, dubbed Mercury Jamboree, will kick off  with a lecture entitled, Amalgam – facts, fiction and manipulation.

It will be co-presented by Dr. Nestor Shrapka, a dentist and homoeopathy  practitioner from Bonnyville, Alta., who serves as president of the  International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, an organization devoted  to opposing mercury in fillings, and Dr. David Warick, a Hanna, Alta., dentist  who lists alternative dentistry, holistic dentistry and metal and mercury-free  dentistry among his services.

The event will also include the personal stories of two Saskatchewan  residents who, like Finley, say amalgam fillings caused their health problems  and the maladies were cured when the fillings were removed.

Finley has invited dentists, doctors, toxicologists, First Nations groups –  who she says are vulnerable because their government-funded dental care includes  amalgam fillings over other alternatives – and groups for people with  disabilities, which she says can be caused by neurological damage from  poisoning.

Information sessions will be followed by working groups to mount the lobby  for a ban.

Finley hopes Canada will follow the lead of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which  moved away from amalgam fillings in 2008.

“Of course there’s always resistance,” she said.

“I did anticipate that there would be some blowback because it requires a  shift in thinking,” she said.

Dr. Gerry Uswak, dean of the college of dentistry at the University of  Saskatchewan and president of the Canadian Association of Public Health  Dentistry said the profession here still supports the use of amalgam.

“The evidence we find credible in the literature suggests dental amalgam is  still a viable restorative material and should not be banned,” he said.

“We defer to the expertise at the national level, the Canadian Dental  Association (CDA) and Health Canada and the chief dental officer of Canada.  Through a variety of processes they put together expert panels and make  recommendations,” he said.

“Amalgam continues to demonstrate clear advantages in many applications over  other restorative materials especially in relation to the average duration of  restorations,” the CDA says in a position paper.

“Although amalgam fillings release minute amounts of mercury vapour, current  scientific consensus supports the position that amalgam does not contribute to  illness,” the paper says.

“There are no data to suggest the removal of amalgam restorations should be  performed in an attempt to treat patients with non-specific chronic complaints,”  it says.

Mercury Jamboree will be held in Room 146, Arts building, University of  Saskatchewan at 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.

badam  AT

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  One Response to “2012-03-29 Star Phoenix, Mercury Jamboree, Local activist wants Ottawa to ban mercury fillings”

  1. When assessing the credibility of the Dean of Dentistry (“we defer to . . . “), consider the information in this posting: Canada’s chief dentist works for the amalgam industry. No wonder mercury fillings receive an exemption!
    Scroll through the information on mercury fillings: Go to “Health” in the right-hand sidebar. Click on “Mercury Poisoning, dental amalgams” to generate thumb-nail sketches of the various postings.

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