Our "groupthink" technology "wave" of history
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 05:46:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Roy L. Beavers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: emfguru <email@example.com>
Subject: Today's Observer: Risk from mobile masts was 'hidden' - Lay
persons break rank (Dean)..
........There is enough valuable information here to have been done in three messages. But all of it is of value - don't skip over it lightly.....
First, Margaret Dean's candid and revealing report about her activities and the activities of NIFATT, including her colleague, Dr. Hilary Kennedy. Margaret and ALL of her NIFATT legion are to be commended for their exceptionally devoted and valuable work in this public service effort. It is an effort which I'm sure will ultimately prove to be of value to people all over the world.
Margaret's discussion below reveals something of what is required by way of commitment and enterprise to carry off such a successful campaign as these folks have done - leading ultimately to the formation and the results of the IEGMP group report.
Second, the document below adds to our knowledge and data base of scientific evidence about EMF risks. Note, in particular, the material which was forwarded by Cindy Sage concerning the Skrunda children's exposure and the study done by Dr. Liakouris (a former member of EMF-L) concerning the exposure of U.S. Embassy employees in Moscow.
With regard to the latter, the important 'fact' I see is the extent to which the NRPB not only failed to properly perform its role in support of the IEGMP, but, in fact, appears to have been engaged in some form of deliberate sabotage of the efforts by Sir William's group to get 'all the facts' on the table.
Third, it should not surprise us, therefore, that the news report in the Observer informs us that the two lay-persons in the IEGMP group are now "breaking ranks" with the group to 'tell all' about the 'unsupportive' efforts of the NRPB.
We see in all of this: why it is so essential that any future study or research activity into this volatile public health issue must be entirely INDEPENDENT!! The forces of the vested interests (industry, government, military) are ALREADY so widely dispersed and infiltrated into the existing institutional structures that the PUBLIC INTEREST cannot be protected except by the public, itself.....
The NRPB is not just the villain in this episode, it is symbolic of the "status-quo defending" institutionalized scientific and engineering community most everywhere.....!!! It is the same in the U.S. - the National Academy of Science, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, the NRPB, the IEEE, America's RICH health bureaucracies (the NIEHS), etc., etc... ALL are staffed 'largely' by people who see their "duty" in terms of destroying "this EMF-health nonsense idea" that they perceive as a "threat" to the advance of technology, and incidentally, of course, securing their careers within the establishment vested interests......
It is certainly NOT that they are evil people, nor are they engaged in some kind of a massive CONSPIRACY..... It is simply that they are the products of a "groupthink" technology culture..... Most all of us are!! My x-generation children are strongly resistant to any suggestion that there can be any risk in their computers or cell phones or microwave oven, etc. It is the "wave" of our 'technological period of history' that we are up against.
But, mankind must wake-up and recognize that this "wave" is being driven by powerful industry/ commercial/ government forces that have become so focused on their goals and interests that they have become almost totally oblivious of any consequences to the public health or the environment......
Our task is to awaken official as well as public awareness about those consequences...... Margaret, Hilary, NIFATT have done so!!!
Cheerio..... (Great stuff below, Margaret, many thanks!!)
Roy Beavers (EMFguru)
It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness
People are more important than profits!!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:39:43 EDT
Subject: Today's Observer Risk from mobile masts was 'hidden' Lay persons break rank
Dear all (Observer Story is at the end of this message)
Many thanks to everyone who has sent emails of thanks etc. They are very much appreciated. However, this has been very, very far from a two-man (or should we say two-person voluntary administrated NIFATT), show. EVERYONE has played their part - and we have all achieved one helluva lot.
We knew that the Press would select, from the Stewart Report, the "headlines". However, there is much, much more to this Report than is immediately obvious. It is well worth taking time to read it FOR YOURSELF instead of relying on a journalist to interpret it for you. If you have email....then you have Internet access. We have already given out the address where the full Report is published, but here it is again: http://www.iegmp.org.uk
Sir William and the Panel are to be congratulated on their Report; they also worked extremely hard to the benefit of everyone. And they were, we believe (apart from the few obvious suspects) a fiercely independent team. Were they perhaps too trusting of the NPRB and the WHO? . NIFATT did warn the Group about both Organisations in our written evidence - submitted in October 1999.
One should concentrate particularly on the Summary and Recommendations at the beginning of the Report, and also on Chapter 6 - which deals with the precautionary approach - particularly with regard to base stations and transmitters. Yes, it DOES take a few minutes to download - but that works out a lot cheaper than Â£20 for the whole Report as a hard copy!
We would also draw particular attention to the list of politicians who actually took the time to provide written evidence to the Independent Expert Group. Bearing in mind that there are 659 MPs in the HoC and ~ 178 so far have been sufficiently "concerned" to sign the EDM of Howard Stoate during this Parliamentary Session. Now for the facts......
Sir William wrote to ALL Members of Parliament asking for their input into the Report. [He also wrote to Members of the NI Assembly (108) , to the Scottish Parliament (129) and to the Welsh Assembly (60)] Those who took the time to provide written evidence are listed on pages 155-158 of the Report (Appendix B Written Evidence)
As they say in the Eurovision Song contest ... The results are as follows: (page 20 of the Report)
House of Commons MPs: 11/659 bothered to acknowledge receipt of Sir William's Letter and ONLY 6MPs got off their backsides and provided the Independent Expert Group with written evidence highlighting the concerns of their constituents. Was yours amongst them?? i.e. MP's Phill Willis, C. Gillan, Joan Walley, D. Prior, H.Best and B. O'Brien.
FOUR MP's (no names given) met with the Group to discuss the issues that concerned their constituents.
Where were YOUR MPs!!!! (Bear this in mind at your next local Council/General elections. Incidentally, where would we have been without the support of the Liberal/Democrats?)
Scottish Parliament: 4/129 took the time to reply to the Group.
Welsh Assembly: 5/60 took the time to reply to the Group.
NI Assembly: 2/108 acknowledged receipt of Sir William's Letter and a further 3/108 gave detailed responses. (Alex Maskey - Sinn Fein; Patrick.Roche - Northern Ireland Unionist Party & Jim Shannon - Democratic Unionist Party). Yes, NIFATT even managed to unite the two parties (Sinn Fein & DUP) at the opposite ends of the political spectrum in N.I. on this issue!
IF YOUR MP HAS APPARENTLY BEEN SUPPORTING YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CAMPAIGN (THROUGH TALKING AT PUBLIC MEETINGS, TO THE PRESS, TO THE MEDIA etc) AND, YET, DID NOT EVEN TAKE THE TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF SIR WILLIAM'S INVITATION (LET ALONE WAS BOTHERED TO PROVIDE WRITTEN EVIDENCE OF YOUR FEARS) DON'T YOU THINK THEY SHOULD EXPLAIN THEMSELVES????
House of Lords, - NO MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS REPLIED..(Nil points!).
Of 80 letters sent to the Department of Health by members of the public, 50 concerned base stations and 30 concerned handsets.
What, then, needs to be done?
ALL CONCERNED (NIFATT are exhausted writing to the DoH and Govt!) NEED TO WRITE TO:
1. Government Ministers and your MP's ask them to implement the report IN FULL.
2. The Department of Health - demanding the same.
3. A letter of thanks to MP Phil Willis wouldn't go amiss either - if it wasn't for him, there would have been no Seminar in the HoC last June!
Margaret & Hilary (NIFATT)
ALSO SEE BELOW URGENTLY!
Hilary and I actually read the Report from cover to cover yesterday. Yesterday morning, fortuitously, I also received a large parcel by post from Cindy Sage, Sage Associates, California. THANK YOU CINDY!
This parcel contained many published scientific studies, one of which is the Latvia Study. I remembered mention of this study in the Report and immediately called Hilary. Both of us frantically scanned the Report againâ€¦..
Chapter 5 part 5.246 of the Report reads as follows:
" These (one of which is the Latvia study) have not been published in the peer-reviewed literature, and we have not been able to obtain sufficiently detailed descriptions of these investigations to evaluate them."
Hilary, who is a research Scientist herself, was able to confirm immediately that this study was, indeed , published in the Scientific Press. (THANK YOU HILARY not just for this, but for All your hard work over the past 2 years, NIFATT couldn't possibly have survived this long without you).
This begs the questionâ€¦ if Cindy could send us this published Study (Latvia) which we received this morning, and it is easily accessible through the normal databases open to the scientific communityâ€¦. . Why the hell could the NRPB and the WHO i.e. Repacholi et al not access this study and give it to the Panel?..READ THE REPORT!
The phones between myself, Hilary and Sarah Ryle of the Observer were red hot, so too were all our fax machines. Hilary obtained the Embassy studies, after Sarah's report was filed. READ THE OBSERVER <http://www.observer.co.uk>
Also note the "Lay Members "broke ranks..!!!! Marie- Noelle Barton (NIFATT's contact,within the group) is a lady we have the utmost respect for. Many phone calls took place between us, and much additional information was provided to the entire Expert Group through her hard work and tenacity.
Here are the Studies in question:
The Latvian study (published in a peer-reviewed journal) and Moscow Embassy study are freely available to the NRPB, GOVT, & THE WHO - Hilary obtained these yesterday without much difficulty. DID ANYONE ELSE ACTUALLY READ THE REPORT???
Lilienfeld AM, Tonascia J, Libaur CA, Cauthen GM (1978): Foreign service health status study Â evaluation of health status of foreign service and other employees from selected European posts. Final report. Washington, DC, US Department of State. 436 p (Contract No. 6025 Â619073) NTIS PB-288163 (Freely available from the NITS - but at a price)
Klolodynski, A. A & Kolodynska V. V: (1996) Motor and psychological functions of school children living in the area of the Skrunda Radio Location Station in Latvia. Science of the Total Environment; 180 87-93. (Available free to any scientist with BIDS database access - i.e. everyone in the UK affiliated to an Academic Institution)
Liakouris AG Johnson (1998): Radiofrequency (RF) sickness in the Lilienfeld study: an effect of modulated microwaves? Arch. Environ. Health 53: 236-7.. Radiofrequency (RF) sickness in the Lilienfeld Study: An effect of modulated microwaves? ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, 1998, Vol.53, No.3, pp.236-238
Abstract: There is a controversy among professionals regarding whether radiofrequency radiation sickness syndrome is a medical entity, In this study, this controversy was evaluated with a methodology adapted from case studies. The author reviewed U.S. literature, which revealed that research results are sufficiently consistent to warrant further inquiry. A review of statistically significant health effects noted in the Lilienfeld Study provided evidence that the disregarded health conditions match the cluster attributed to the radiofrequency sickness syndrome, thus establishing a possible correlation between health effects and chronic exposure to low-intensity, modulated microwave radiation. The author discusses these health effects relative to (a) exposure parameters recorded at the U.S, Embassy in Moscow and (b) the Soviet 10-microwatt safety standard for the public. Given the evidence, new research-with current knowledge and technology-is proposed.
Copyright Â© 2000, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.
Risk from mobile masts was 'hidden'
Observer Sarah Ryle, Consumer Affairs Correspondent Sunday May 14, 2000
Vital evidence of harmful effects on children from transmitter masts was kept from the expert group which last week reported on mobile phone safety. The independent panel asked the government agency acting as its secretariat, the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), for copies of a study on schoolchildren living near a radio mast in Latvia. They were told that the research was unpublished and unobtainable, which they recorded in their final report.
But The Observer has learnt that the research, published in an international scientific journal in 1996, was peer reviewed by other scientists and has been easily obtained by ordinary members of the public who gave evidence during the expert group's investigation. First published in Dutch journal The Science of the Total Environment, the study by the Latvian Academy of Sciences examined the impact of a military radio transmitter on local schoolchildren, comparing them with a control group.
The research, which studied nearly 1,000 children aged 9 to 18, found that 'memory and attention were significantly impaired in all children living in front of the Skrunda station'.
Dr Hilary Kennedy, a biologist and chairperson of Northern Ireland Families against Telecommunications Transmitter Towers (NIFATT), said: 'The nature of the radiation from both installations is pulsed. It is pulse radiation which now gives most cause for concern.'
The Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones acknowledged that pulse radiation, used in the digital signals of most modern mobile phones, needs more research.
Most of the scientific evidence reviewed by the independent panel related to old analogue signals. 'I believe that the NRPB has misled Sir William Stewart's committee,' said NIFATT's secretary, Margaret Dean. 'By withholding the findings of this important study I also believe the NRPB is guilty of a gross disservice to the general public.'
Two of the expert group broke ranks this weekend to condemn the NRPB's failure to advise Ministers or the public properly. The panel glossed over its views on the agency last week. But the two lay panel members, John Fellows, outgoing president of Edinburgh University Students' Union, and Marie-NoÃ«lle Barton, national manager of Women into Science and Engineering Campaign, brought in to represent ordinary people, say NRPB heads were sly and insensitive. 'It became quite clear that if the NRPB had been doing its job properly there would have been no need for our committee,' said Fellows. The panel was told by the Department of Trade and Industry's observer that the NRPB refused a year ago to measure how much energy from the phone is absorbed by body tissue - the Specific Energy Absorption Rate (SAR) - despite an offer of a six-figure sum to do so.
One of the group's main recommendations is that handsets display SAR so consumers can choose phones which emit lower levels. Barton, the only woman in the 12-member group, said: 'People just want to know whether phones are safe or not, yes or no. People are confused and scared by jargon. 'Most queries the NRPB receives are about mobile phones and base stations but they spend a tiny fraction of their budget on this research. I used to use my phone for a 45-minute taxi ride because I thought that was efficient use of my time. Now I will not use it for more than two minutes.'