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A new report published by Harvard University claims the telecommunications industry has unlimited access to shape Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policies at the expense of public health, consumer safety, privacy, and consumer wallets.

The Corrupted Network

The report claims that the FCC, which is a government agency that is supposed to act as a regulator, sits at the heart of a “bipartisan Washington web of institutional corruption” that has for many years been championing corporate interests often at public expense. This industry stranglehold extends from:
  • Its well-placed campaign spending in Congress
  • Control of the FCC‘s Congressional oversight committees
  • Persistent agency lobbying.
The report goes even further by saying that in the case of wireless radiation health issues industry control extends beyond Congress and regulators, to basic scientific research. 

Troubling Body Of Evidence Linked To Negative Health Effects

Whilst guardedly describing the EMF science as “controversial” the report admits that “a troubling body of evidence suggests exposure to even low emission levels at typical cellular frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz can have a wide range of negative effects.”

The report goes on to cite some of the numerous studies that link wireless exposures to adverse health effects:
  • A 2002 study that compared the health of people living at different distances within 300 meters of cell towers with those living more than 300 meters away ―Results indicated increased symptoms the closer a person lived to a tower.
  • A 2007 cell tower study in Egypt found headaches, memory changes, dizziness, tremors, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbance were significantly higher among exposed inhabitants.
  • A 2013 Indian study concluded that, “RF-EMF [electro magnetic fields] radiation exposure can change neurotransmitter functions, blood-brain barrier, morphology,electrophysiology, cellular metabolism, calcium efflux, and gene and protein expression in certain types of cells even at lower intensities.”
Experts Speak Out Against The Dangers

Dr. Martin Blank, Special Lecturer in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, sees cause for concern in the type of radiation emitted by wireless devices, “the biology tells you unequivocally that the cell treats radiation as a potentially damaging influence…..the biology tells you it’s dangerous at a low level.” Professor Leif Salford, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the prestigious Lund and former president of the European Association for Neuro-Oncology has stated that wireless usage constituted “the world’s largest biological experiment ever.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 60,000 physicians states, “children are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. The differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child‘s brain compared to an adult‘s brain could allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults.”

Wireless Industry Uses Dirty Tactics Tobacco Industry Used Previously

The report reveals that the wireless industry uses similar ‘dirty’ tactics to those that the tobacco industry used previously, such as:
  • Refusing to examine the scientific evidence of adverse health effects
  • Bullying and aggressive legal action
  • Stonewalling PR
  • Undermining the credibility of scientists that produce studies which could alarm the public
  • Cutting scientist funding where the findings could prove damaging
  • Intentionally publishing contradictory science
  • Trivializing dissenters even when they are highly credible
  • Creating a misleading view about scientific consensus
  • Light to non-existent regulation
Revolving Door Between Industry & Regulator

Revolving door is a term used to describe a free-flow of movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries themselves. Nowhere, it appears, is this more true than with the wireless industry and the FCC. The current president of the FCC is none other than Tom Wheeler, a man who previously led two of the most powerful industry lobbying groups, the CTIA and the NCTA.

The report points out that this is the same Tom Wheeler who once supervised a $25 million industry funded research program on cell phone radiation health effects. But when the research leader concluded that cell phone radiation did raise the risk of brain tumors the CTIA, under Wheeler‘s direction, allegedly rushed to muffle the message. Dr. George Carlo the research leader recalls Wheeler saying, “you do the science. I‘ll take care of the politics.”

According to the report this revolving door of movement of key personnel is also evidenced in the appointment of these former FCC commissioners now heading these powerful lobbies:
  • Meredith Atwell Baker: now in charge of the CTIA
  • Michael Powell: in charge of the NCTA
  • Jonathan Adelstein: head of wireless Infrastructure Association
Impossible To Stop A Cell Tower Being Erected On Health Grounds

Undoubtedly the most worrying aspect of this report is the revelation that scientific evidence as to the adverse health effects of wireless radiation has been covered up. The report traces this back to the Telecom Communications Act of 1996, which in declaring “no state or local government may prohibit any entity from providing telecommunications services” effectively made it impossible to prevent a cell tower from being erected on purely health grounds. And yet the health concerns are real.

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