Accusations of Russia lobbying are ricocheting around the media and have now been extended through a front-page article in the New York Times positing that scientists and consumer advocates calling to halt 5G have fallen under the spell of RT, a news network registered as a Russian foreign agent in the U.S. Could it be a coincidence that following on the heels of the NY Times story, the Wall Street Journal and the UK Telegraph have echoed the same smear of guilt by association, portraying scientists who warn of the potential environmental and health damages of 5G as untethered alarmists unwittingly linked to Russian propaganda? These otherwise credible media sources ignore the substantial body of science pinpointing hazards of wireless radiation and 5G detailed in independent journalistic investigations that have appeared extensively in media throughout Europe and been covered by major networks.
William J. Broad, author of the Times’ unusually placed opinion piece, is an award-winning investigative journalist, known for searching studies of complex technical issues including matters of space exploration and national intelligence. By relegating concerns about 5G to a Russian ploy, he misses altogether the fact that the purportedly independent international authorities on which he relies that declare 5G to be safe are an exclusive club of industry-loyal scientists. China, Russia, Poland, Italy and several other European countries allow up to hundreds of times less wireless radiation into the environment from microwave antennas than does the U.S.. Moreover, while many other countries regularly monitor levels of environmental radiation, the last EPA report on the topic was released in 1986, back when a gallon of gasoline cost less than one dollar and streetcars still ran in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Environmental levels of wireless radiation in the U.S. and worldwide are growing exponentially.
The history of research on the environmental and public health impacts of radio frequency microwave radiation (“wireless radiation”) reveals some uneasy parallels with that of tobacco. In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists who showed the harmful impacts of tobacco found themselves struggling for serious attention and financial support. The validity of their views was only accepted after the toll of sickness and death had become undeniable. For health impacts from wireless radiation, a similar pattern is emerging. Each time a U.S. government agency produced positive findings, research on health impacts was defunded. The Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Environmental Protection Agency all once had vibrant research programs documenting dangers of wireless radiation. All found their programs scrapped, reflecting pressure from those who sought to suppress this work.
Russian’s 50 years of research on electromagnetic radiation since the Cold War has led to their clear understanding that this exposure does have biological effects. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection issued a 2011 Resolution recommending persons under 18 not use a cell phone. Further, in asserting that there is no science indicating risks of wireless radiation, Broad ignores his earlier reporting that American diplomats serving in Cuba and China have been diagnosed with brain disorders that serious scientists like Professor of Medicine, Beatrice Golomb, MD PhD, have attributed to targeted microwave radiation. He also discounts scientific reviews and studies from several nations showing sperm damage from cellphone radiation along with the advice from the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics for men to keep phones off their bodies if they want to have healthy babies and optimal performance, as well as advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics that families should reduce wireless radiation exposures.
In response to first U.S. reports that wireless radiation damaged the DNA of rat brains in 1994, Motorola directed their public relations agency to carry out strategic efforts to “war-game” the science and dismiss and discredit both the research and researchers. Motorola once sponsored the most brilliant and productive scientists in the field of bio-electromagnetics. But, as one insider recently relayed, as industry scientists began to produce studies indicating the need to reduce radiation exposures, their work was suspended. That program no longer exists.
The autobiographical “Cell Phone Radiation — Russian Roulette” tells the story of senior telecom engineer, Robert C. Kane, who had willingly served as a guinea pig for Motorola and other companies developing new wireless technologies in the 1980s. Until he died from brain cancer in 2002, Kane sought to persuade others about the dangers, noting:
“Never in human history has there been such a practice as we now encounter with the marketing and distributing of products hostile to the human biological system by an industry with foreknowledge of those effects.”
In 2018 the U.S. gold standard National Toxicology testing Program (NTP) confirmed that wireless radiation from cell phones could cause the same malignant brain tumor that felled Kane. The FDA rejected the NTP conclusions arguing that NTP exposures were not relevant to humans, despite the fact that the agency had requested the studies and approved the specific design a decade earlier. Dr. Ronald Melnick, the senior NIH toxicologist who designed the $30 million study concluded:
“The NTP studies were conducted to test the widely-held assumption that cell phone radiofrequency radiation could not cause cancers or other adverse health effects (other than by tissue heating) because this type of radiation (non-ionizing) did not have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. The NTP findings that cell phone radiation caused cancers in the heart and brain, DNA damage in brain cells, heart muscle disease and reduced birth weights clearly demonstrate that the assumption that non-ionizing radiation cannot cause cancer or other health effects is wrong.”
The absence of a major epidemic of brain cancer at this time should not be misconstrued as proof of safety for cell phones or other wireless technology.. The technology is too new, the expanded uses too recent, and the ways we employ phones keep changing, making it even more challenging to evaluate their impacts or for us to be able to see any evidence of major population pattern changes. It took four decades before increases in smoking produced measurable increases in lung cancers. The tremendous increase in cellphone use in infants, toddlers and young children, has led Israel, France, Belgium, India, and other high tech nations to reduce exposures in the young.
When it comes to downplaying the potential risks of wireless radiation, the telecom industry makes the tobacco industry look like rank amateurs. For years, respectable American and European scientists carried out research supported by the Tobacco Industry Research Council, at a time when there was little government sponsorship of science. Only when bodies of evidence accumulated, making the dangers of tobacco undeniable, were tobacco-funded studies brought to an end. The achievements of the tobacco industry in manipulating science led Judge Gladys Kessler to confirm a verdict of racketeering that included manipulating institutions such as the American Medical Association and National Cancer Institute — both of which at various times worked to build a safe cigarette.
As GQ reported a decade ago, the telecommunications industry uses the same PR strategies, some of the same industry consultants and scientists to promote disinformation in defense of their addictive products. Further, in 2015 a Harvard expose tracked the revolving door between the FCC and the telecom industry and concluded that the FCC is a captured agency and that “Consumer safety, health, and privacy, along with consumer wallets, have all been overlooked, sacrificed, or raided due to unchecked industry influence.”
Surprisingly for someone who has charted the work of NASA for years, Broad appears oblivious to the fact that serious scientists are raising questions about the ways that “Global 5G wireless networks threaten weather forecasts.” A recent story in the respected scientific journal Nature explains that water vapor is measured at a frequency quite close to those employed by Earth-observing satellites flying over areas of the United States. If widespread proposed 5G wireless coverage fills the airways, then satellites will not be able to detect changes in water vapor in the atmosphere key to predicting massive shifts in weather that we have been experiencing in recent years.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a threat to what I’d call the crown jewels of our frequencies — the ones that we absolutely must defend come what may,” says Stephen English, a meteorologist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK.
Reportedly, weather experts within the U.S. government are being muzzled. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA are currently locked in a high-stakes negotiation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees US wireless networks. When NOAA and NASA asked the FCC to protect these frequencies from interference as 5G rolls out, the FCC rebuffed the weather scientists. The sale ended on 17 April and reaped the U.S. nearly $2 billion. This week, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington have written the FCC urging that steps be taken to protect national security and weather science.
Could the failure to report these critical 5G issues and correct misleading information regarding health effects of wireless and 5G in the New York Times have anything to do with the their new joint venture with Verizon in 5G journalism, or the fact that the Times board of directors includes officials from Facebook, Verizon, Media Lab, and other stalwarts of the telecom industry, while Carlos Slim, head of some of the largest telecom firms in the world, has downsized and now owns just 15 percent of its stock?
It is frankly astonishing that a seasoned science journalist like Broad would rely on an outdated “factsheet” from 2014, that was prepared for the EMF Project of the World Health Organization, a group led by industry-supported scientists. Curiously, Broad cites this 5 year old World Health Organization (WHO) statement as showing that cellphones are safe, and ignores the fact that another expert group within the WHO reached an entirely different conclusion nearly a decade ago. In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011 declared that cellphone radiation was a possible human carcinogen. More recently, the IARC advisory group has called for a re-evaluation in light of the NTP and other new studies published since 2011. Several experts now consider wireless radiation to be a definite human carcinogen.
Although one would not know it from the Times, the WSJ and other accounts, other nations are demanding safety information before proceeding with 5G. The health minister of Brussels recently declared that their citizens will not be guinea pigs, effectively halting 5G in Europe’s capital. Reports from Switzerland indicate that officials in Geneva, Vaud, and Neuchatel voted to halt new deployments until safety is demonstrated. Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. WSJ columnist has just pointed out that, contrary to the notion that all concerns about 5G are merely the work of clueless feckless Russian trolls, British, U.S. and Russian research on the dangers of electromagnetic fields go back thirty years.
Also missing from these recent stories is any mention of the fact that Senator Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Representatives. Anna G. Eshoo and Jackie Speier (California), Thomas Suozzi (New York), and Peter A. DeFazio (Oregon) have all demanded evidence of safety from the FCC. At a March, 2019 Senate Commerce hearing where Blumenthal directly questioned officials, he criticized the government’s lack of response stating , “I believe the American people deserve to know what the health effects are…We are flying blind here on health and safety.”
Long before RT America began to cover the issue of 5G a year ago, more than 230 distinguished scientists with relevant publications called for a moratorium on 5G. Around the nation, communities from Bethesda, Maryland, Long Island, New York, Asheville, North Carolina, to San Diego, California, and Kauai, Hawaii have held protests to halt 5G. International protests are being held from Israel to Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the UK and Australia.
Finding such a slanted report in the Times, is especially disconcerting to those who have long believed that that newspaper printed all the news that was fit to print without prejudice, and that the ‘truth is now more important than ever.’ Indeed it is the truth, and our capacity to agree on what that constitutes, that is imperiled by stories such as Broad has filed, and others are now echoing.
Devra Davis, PhD., MPH, is Visiting Professor Medicine, The Hebrew University. An award-winning writer and scientist, she is also President of Environmental Health Trust www.ehtrust.org.