Senator Jeffords

Senator Jim Jeffords, my fellow Rutland Vermont skier, just passed on at 80, but his heroic contributions live on, including one that has been virtually a secret. With the help of EIGHT Native American leaders, he helped reduce U.S. dental mercury by 48%, which has spread to 105 countries.

PHOTO Caption (above): Senator Jeffords, (Center) as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, with Senator Ted Kennedy (right), and tribes helped significantly reduce mercury in US waters. Photo courtesy of Jeff Munger.

I met Senator Jeffords on the day of my dad, Keen Chaffee’s funeral in 2004, which was amazingly upbeat, like his spirit. Maybe Keen was orchestrating clearing the fishing streams of America of mercury, starting with Vermont, which the Abenaki and Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower also loved, but you be the judge… (Keen’s best day ever was fishing downstream of where the Secret Service stocked it for Ike!).

Senator Jeffords, who stayed friends with his Rutland High School classmate, my cousin Mayor Maryanne Christie, showed up for dinner at Wheeler Williams Restaurant at the end of the funeral reception that my brothers Kim, Rick and Mark and I hosted for our amazing dad. With the Senator was Jeff Munger (Iroquois), his confidant on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that Jeffords chaired.

Jeff Munger and Jim Jeffords
PHOTO Caption (above): L-R Jeff Munger (Iroquois) and Senator Jim Jeffords enjoying the simple life in Vt in between being America’s Earth Guardians in DC. Photo: Liz Jeffords

Thanks to Munger being very interested in our Native American Olympic Team Foundation’s Native Ski programs that snowballed across North America (, we spent some heart-warming time talking there. Jim said that his late wife and my mom Stevia, were also good friends. Since protecting Water is a priority of the Iroquois could they and our moms also be coaching Senator Jeffords and Munger to champion a mercury-free America, considering what happened soon after?

I met Anita Tibou (Ariwak) at Brazil’s John of God Center, where I was on a cane hoping for a miracle to avoid a hip replacement. I had dislocated it in 1967, when I was three seconds ahead in the World Series of Ski Racing, but the Vail clinic couldn’t put it back in, so they had to drive me to a Denver hospital. To protect other athletes, my Olympic mom pioneered having a US Ski Team Doc.

My NAOTF co-chair Brian Wallace (Washoe Chairman) and Paiute leader Paul Chavez, helped make the trip possible in appreciation for their native ski programs at Tahoe’s Heavenly Valley and Mammoth, pioneered by Dave McCoy.


Anita was on fire after just attending a World Mercury Congress where many countries banned dental mercury, “the 3rd most toxic substance known to science,” led by Norway and Sweden. She shared shocking stories about its dangers, including her Brazilian tribal husband Pedro getting dementia, but it was reversed with amalgam removal! She also shared about the gag order in the U.S: Despite California passing the “Right to know dental Mercury Law” that it causes fetal brain damage in pregnant women, it hadn’t been enforced in 12 years!

So while John of God couldn’t restore my hip, going there gave me much more, a chance to help prevent the suffering of generations by arming moms with knowledge, and state dental boards from taking away the licenses of ethical dentists who offered us a choice of safer white resins instead of mercury. From the high levels of mercury exposure that affects the brain, dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession, plus the threat of losing their livlihood, is why the family dentists didn’t warn us about “silver” mercury fillings.

I also met at Brazil, Shoe Guinness, wife of Lord Moyne Guinness of the most Ancient tribe of Ireland. Out of love for our tribes for sending barges of food during their potato famine, their niece Marina is now spearheading our skiers-led International Healing of (Native) America inspired by Mandela.

On returning to the states, Dr.Steadman, my world renowned Olympic doctor, quietly advised me to have my mercury fillings removed before my hip replacement since this heavy medal would exchange ions with a titanium hip and mess up my surgery. Bless him for clueing me in since it could have led to a lifetime of pain and frustration! Yet who knew?


At the California Dental Board’s meeting brilliantly orchestrated by the dynamic legal eagle of the Consumers for Dental Choice, Charlie Brown, I testified about what Dr. Steadman said. Plus how the University of Rome found mercury fillings caused the fatal heart attack of an elite runner since mercury lodges mainly in the heart and brain. Our bodies protect our vital organs by surrounding them with fat, so those with low body fat, like Olympians, are more vulnerable to mercury poisoning. My fellow Olympian John Nabor, President of our Olympic Alumni Association, suggested I do a mercury expose back then. Given this madness, I put it off out of fear for my own well-being, but I informed many tribes and the Olympic Training Centers since eliminating dental mercury can also help our athletes get a natural winning edge.


My chance encounter with Senator Jeffords was also a dream come true for Brown and Tibou. Plus learning that Senators Jeffords and Edward Kennedy (my Title IX champion), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, had just done press conferences up the Eastern Seaboard warning pregnant women to limit eating fish to twice a week due to fish having high mercury levels. Schools have been evacuated when a mercury thermometer was broken. Since one mercury filling can contaminate a small lake, insist your dentist filters it!


The Right to Know law was authored by another visionary angel, California Congresswoman Diane Watson (African-American). Together we had our mercury fillings painlessly removed by one of the world’s top biological dentists, Dr. Roberto Villafana (Mayan-Yaki), using the highest safety protocols while watching movies. Thank heaven Anita insisted we go to him in Tijuana, Mexico, where removals are also a little more affordable, since he also introduced me to the tasty South American Tribal-discovered zero carb sweetener stevia. It has protected my teeth and heart from plaque, and kept me lean and clean since I was predisposed to diabetes and alcoholism by two grandfathers.


Enforcement for Watson’s law got wide support, including Nabor and some California tribes, like my Chumash Elder friend, Akima Castineda. He was an example of how Native Americans (and Blacks) are more affected by dental mercury than Europeans. They developed antibodies from mercury exposure in the stiffening of top hats from getting the MadHatters disease.

Akima just passed after leading the Gratitude Snowdance at the LA Ski Show, where the skiers honored the participants who helped end Southern Cal’s 7 yr drought in 2004, praised by KTLA weatherman Fritz Coleman. It inspired Mother Earth to blanket the whole West with snowblessings.


Congresswoman Watson said after her mercury removal “that some extra weight (to protect her vital organs) just dropped off,” demonstrating that Mercury fillings are a major contributor to obese America, especially among poorer minorities. A secret to the Biggest Loser TV Show is eliminating toxins in our lifestyles.

At the Cal board meeting in 2004, I said that they could be heroes by finally doing the right thing, since California sets American trends. During the recess their lawyer accidently dropped his Chapstick, and everyone laughed when he admitted he was a “Suzy Chapstick” fan, so I confided that the tobacco lawsuits could pale in comparison to “dental mercury-gate!”


Why? Thanks to the Native American chair of the U of Kentucky’s Chemistry department, the world knows that mercury robs the cells of critical oxygen molecules, basically strangling them and us from the inside out. Fetuses and babies are the most vulnerable, and it has been linked to over a hundred diseases.

Munger got us Senator Jefford’s heavyweight letter of support to the dental board on decision day, which together helped get California’s “Right to Know Mercury Bill” finally enforced in 2005!

Since then dentists have been warning women that so-called “silver” dental fillings, which turn black, are 49% mercury, and can cause fetal brain damage in pregnant women. In case you haven’t heard about this, before getting a filling, check out this video so you can make an informed choice:

Here are some ways to heal or detox from mercury poisoning, including cilantro and lamb.

Mercury is also in many vaccines. I stayed with a tribal family where their bright beautiful six yr old girl developed autism from the mercury (or aluminum) in shots. So always ask what’s in them.


What happened in California then rippled across America, and Brown teamed his coalition with “Moms Against Mercury.” These are outraged moms who have been unnecessarily saddled with caretaking suffering family members from up to 100 related diseases, for the sake of profit. The following year, their teamwork beat the FDA, which has since “warned dentists to warn pregnant women and sensitive people, or get sued.” Families can also sue for damages from mercury shots. Since health is priceless, please spread the word.

Jeffords flies with eagles
PHOTO Caption (above): Jeffords, a friend to Nature and children, now flies with eagles. Photo courtesy of Jeff Munger.

Therefore, added to Senator Jeffords’ long list of contributions, lauded by the NY Times, he was pivotal in reducing U.S. dental mercury by 48% so Wall Street no longer funds mercury mining.

My dad, whose heaven on earth was fishing and hunting with his father Fred and the tribes, got his dream along with millions of fishermen – helping clean up America’s streams. More moms got to protect their babies and grow happier, smarter families by having purer water, the key to health.

In appreciation, Congresswoman Watson and Dr. Villafana, who has also made progress in protecting Mexican children from mercury fillings, invited me to President Obama’s first Inauguration!


When I called Brown about Jeffords’ passing, I was euphoric to learn about the phenomenal progress he had made – the seeds we planted in 2004 had gloriously bloomed. In 2013, as President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, 105 nations signed their Global Mercury Treaty to protect the environment by agreeing to phase down dental amalgam.


What also helped this world progress was the Iroquois ancestral spirits also helping 70 yr old Seneca Elder RobertJohn Knapp inspire Pope Benedict to declare in 2008, “It’s a sin to poison water.” After joyfully singing like St Francis, with representatives of seven countries as they followed the steams to Rome, Knapp told the pontiff, “The Earth is not in trouble, humans are. If we don’t align with Nature’s Laws, we will perish. We are like children who haven’t behaved, and Mother Earth has told us we must clean up our rooms, or else…” That is why the Oneidas are organic farming leaders. The Elder reminded the Pope of “our Original Instructions: To give thanks for all our gifts, when we drink a glass of water or eat an apple, and take time to enjoy life, through ceremonies, games, and caring for one another.” How hard is that?

So ban more toxins, especially mercury, from your family, community, state and country and ask your dentist for the cheaper-in-the-long run white resin fillings. Also to give your babies mercury-free breast milk and enjoy a more vibrant family life, get you mercury amalgams removed before you become pregnant, and never when you are sick, pregnant or nursing. Only use a biological dentist who uses the highest safety protocols – a dam to prevent swallowing mercury, protection from inhaling gases, and safe disposal.

The E.U. has banned 35 toxins, while the US has banned only 5, according to UN’s Environment Program (UNEP), resulting in the IQs of the average American being 14 points lower than 100 years ago. Despite parental sacrifices and student debt to get the best education, the mercury and pesticides we have allowed in our waters have resulted in our children ranking 15th in math and science.

So save a fortune and raise brilliant kids so they can create the bright future they want, by helping pass S. 1961: Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of … 2014, to protect our waters from contamination by chemical storage facilities. It was sponsored by California Senator Barbara Boxer, the first Chair“mom” of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Joe Manchin:

See the plea to parents by a World Youth leader, Colorado’s 13 yr old Xiuh (Shoe) Martinez, my godchild, on TED –

To also win this critical step to cleaning up our waters, please call your Senators to support S. 1961 at (202) 224-3121 or direct numbers on your Senators’ websites.

The fish will jump for joy blessing you and this valiant team on both sides of the aisle and veil, who were given a big boost by a Senator of rare integrity with Mother Earth and all Her children, Jim Jeffords!

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Article is Copr. © 2014 by Suzy Chaffee and originally published on – all commercial and reprint rights reserved. Opinions are those of the author and may not reflect the opinion or policy of this site or its publisher. Content has not been edited beyond simple typo checks in order to retain the author’s unique voice. READ MORE from Suzy at: .

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Suzy "Chapstick" Chaffee Bio - as first woman on the USOC board in the 70s, she led the successful reform of the Olympic Rules with Legends like Bill Bradley, Muhammad Ali, Jack Kelly, Kip Keino, which leveled the playing fields with the government supported countries through Madison Ave, then led the Title IX March in DC. In 1996 she co-founded the Native American Olympic Team Foundation that has inspired ski areas across the US and Canada to invite tribal youth to share the joy of skiing with over 10,000 youth, which inspires their Elders to lead snowdances that have saved ski areas from droughts for 55 years. At the request of SLOC, she orchestrated a snowdance that restored their snow and also a Native ceremony with Ali, that protected Utah from expected terrorism, and every Olympics since then, including RIO!