FDI fully supports the Minamata Convention on Mercury, its nine provisions on the phase-down of dental amalgam use defined in Annex A, Part II of Article 4 as well as the amendments agreed at the fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) that came into force on 28 September 2023.
The phase-down approach safeguards the oral health of populations globally, promotes equity and protects the evidence-based approach to identifying alternatives to dental amalgam.
COP-5 Decision upholds the phase-down approach
The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 October to 3 November 2023. COP-5 reviewed a proposal to amend Part I and Part II of Annex A submitted by Botswana and Burkina Faso. The proposal called on Parties to adopt 2030 as the phase-out date for dental amalgam. It proposed that Parties that have not phased-out dental amalgam should submit a national action plan on their efforts to do so. It also asked Parties to exclude the use of dental amalgam in government insurance policies and programmes.
Ahead of COP-5, FDI worked with the International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (IADR), with the support of the American Dental Association (ADA) and International Dental Manufacturers to prepare an official response, which was submitted to the COP-5 Secretariat. FDI members were also invited to co-sign the response and show their support, to help make an even bigger impact. FDI, IADR and ADA also participated in COP-5 and delivered a statement on the importance of the phase-down approach.
COP-5 amended Annex A, Part II of Article 4 by introducing a new provision in response to the proposal submitted by Botswana and Burkina Faso. Parties that have not yet phased-out dental amalgam will submit a national action plan or a report on their efforts to phase-down or phase-out dental amalgam every four years. FDI welcomes this new provision which acknowledges that Parties must adopt the most appropriate strategies to address the use of dental amalgam while safeguarding the oral health of their populations.
However, Parties could not agree on a phase-out date for dental amalgam. There was also no consensus on the proposal to exclude the use of dental amalgam in government insurance policies and programmes.
FDI thanks all its members for their support and will continue to advocate for the importance of ensuring access to restorative materials as all stakeholders work together to identity mercury-free alternatives with similar clinical longevity under different clinical conditions, safety, and cost-effectiveness.
Read the joint FDI-IADR statement at COP-5