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FTC Asked to Investigate Maine Dental Board for Antitrust Violation; Petition Filed by Three Nonprofit Groups

AUGUSTA, Maine – October 31, 2019 - Three national nonprofits have petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the Maine Board of Dental Practice for antitrust violations. According to the petition, the dental board refuses to enforce the state’s amalgam fact sheet law. As a result, some dentists who still use dental amalgam are withholding information from patients about amalgam’s mercury content.

 

Consumers for Dental Choice, Organic Consumers Association and Mercury Policy Project state in their petition that the Maine board engages in a variety of actions[1] to evade enforcing the state law requiring every dentist who uses amalgam to give patients a state-approved fact sheet. 

 

“The Maine Dental Board is not above the law,” said Katherine Paul of Freeport, Maine, speaking for Organic Consumers Association. “As with any other state agency, the board must support, enforce and adhere to the law.” If this board doesn’t want to fulfill its duty, Maine’s Governor should appoint a new dental board.”

 

“The behavior of the Maine dental board raises serious antitrust questions because the board is protecting the income of the pro-mercury dentists,” said Charles Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice and a former antitrust law specialist. “This board must redirect its loyalty from protecting sales of amalgam to protecting Maine’s families and consumers.”  

 

“Dental amalgam is a major mercury pollution source worldwide resulting from its continuing use in Maine and elsewhere,” said Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project. “Consumers must be told that amalgam is mainly mercury, but also that there are nonmercury alternatives available that work just as well or better.”

 

The petitioners note that use of the term “silver fillings” instead of “amalgam” deceives patients.

 

Contact:

 

--Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Ass’n,  katherine@organicconsumers.org; 207.653.3090

--Charles Brown, Consumers for Dental Choice,  charlie@mercury-free.org,  202.544.6333
--Michael Bender, Mercury Policy Project, mercurypolicy@aol.com.802.917.8222

 

[1] For example, the dental board advises dentists that compliance with the mandate is optional (although it is required), and the board held a secret vote to ally with the Maine Dental Association to defeat a state law that would shift MaineCare to mercury-free dentistry.  The dental board has proposed a rule regarding disclosure, but it fails even to mention the Maine fact sheet law or the official fact sheet, which was written by then Director of Health Dora Mills.

 

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