Australian Senator "stands up" against vested interests


10 May 2001
...........From EMF-L...........

Senator Allison joins a growing list of courageous public officials who are willing to stand up and be counted -- even against powerful industry pressures.

Her detailed statement deserves to be "heard" around the world!!!

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.....


-------- Original Message --------
Subject:Australian News on Inquiry report
Date:Fri, 4 May 2001 14:36:30 +1000
From:"Benson, Sarah (Sen L. Allison)" <>
To:"''" <>

Hi RoyHere is our press release, plus attendant meadia which I will post as it comes to hand.The Report is on line BensonElectro Magnetic Radiation Inquiry Tabling statement by inquiry chair, Democrats’ Senator Lyn Allison:
Our electromagnetic radiation exposure standards and assumptions are based on heat exposure ? the capacity of a mobile phone to heat the core temperature of the body by 1oC - and yet a growing body of scientific evidence shows conclusively that even low level radiation with virtually no heat output, has the capacity to change and damage biological systems.

Research around the world has shown that exposure to radiofrequency and microwave radiation can cause changes to cells including DNA breaks, protein shock response, changes in the movement of substances across cell membranes, changes in the blood brain barrier, oncogene change, melatonin reduction and altering of calcium ion signalling.

Animal studies have demonstrated a doubling of the incidence of cancer and embryo deformities.

Studies have reported consistent and alarming symptoms which consumers attribute to the use of their mobile phones and yet there is no process in place to deal with such complaints or systematically collect the medical data.

Industry and government agencies have persistently tried to discount and discredit scientific research showing results which are unfavourable to industry but the time has come for an honest evaluation of the risks and for government to accept that there is at least a doubt that our standards safeguard us against cancer and other health risks.

The report is a comprehensive, balanced presentation of the extensive evidence presented.No doubt attempts will be made to discredit it too.

Scientists disagree about the long term implications for health of the biological effects that have been demonstrated.The many analyses and reviews of research studies come up with contradictory conclusions which are laid out in the report.

There clearly needs to be more research and it should be completely independent of industry influence.The current system of deciding who gets grants for research has not been demonstrated to be so.

The standard setting process has been a sham wherein members of the Standards Australia committee, including the CSIRO, said they were not satisfied that there was the need or the scientific justification to relax the standards, yet the Government stepped in and changed the process to get the outcome industry wanted.

The telecommunications industry has shown no interest in developing safer mobile phone or transmitter technology.It has shown no interest in allowing people to make a choice which might minimise the health risk and it continues to promote mobile phones to children who are likely to be more vulnerable than the rest of the population.

Contact: John Derry0394161880or0417963480

Inquiry split on mobile telephone health risks

Sydney Morning Herald

By Anne Davies and Julie Robotham

A Senate committee investigating the health risks of mobile phone use has split over the need for tougher radiation controls.

The report of the electromagnetic radiation inquiry will be tabled in Canberra today, following extensive hearings with scientists and examination of scientific evidence.

But having heard from the experts, the committee members have failed to agree on health risks, the need for tougher standards or whether more government money should spent on further investigations.

The chairwoman, the Democrats' Senator Lyn Allison, is expected to be a lone voice in concluding that scientific evidence supports her concerns about health risks.

She is expected to call for more government funding for research and a freeze on plans to relax the standard on mobile phone emissions until more is known about health risks.

Although Liberal senators will support her calls for further investigations, they will not back her key recommendation for a freeze on the emission standard.

The ALP has also produced its own report of 50 pages. Highly critical of Senator Allison's approach, it says the body of scientific evidence does not warrant causing deep concern in the community over use of mobile phones.

The split nature of the report will mean that the debate over the link between mobile phone use and brain tumours will continue.

Dr Bruce Hocking, a specialist in occupational and environmental medicine and the author of a study that found increased cancer rates in areas around television transmission towers, said yesterday: "I would hope the committee realises there are still uncertainties regarding these health effects."

He said it was important to take a precautionary approach to people's exposure to power stations and distribution lines, as well as to mobile phones.

Dr Hocking said a recent British report by the epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll had concluded there was a possible doubling of childhood leukaemia among children exposed to intense magnetic fields from power equipment.

Ms Lyn McLean, the secretary of the Electromagnetic Radiation Alliance of Australia, said she hoped the report would address concerns about a new draft standard for mobile phones and mobile transmission towers.

This standard would allow a fourfold increase in radiation emissions at some frequencies.

Ms McLean said she hoped the report would echo Britain's Stewart Report, which recommended extra precautions relating to children's exposure to mobile phone radiation.

Senator Allison has expressed concern about industry's role in attempting to discredit research it regards as unfavourable.

Recently she said industry representatives had tried to subvert the committee process by persuading some senators to question the credentials of scientists during public hearings.

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