Saturday, May 04, 2013

Groups file class action suit over smart meters

Groups file class action suit over smart meters

Two anti-smart meter groups have filed a class action lawsuit against BC Hydro in an effort to end the installation of the devices in the homes of people who oppose them.
For two years, Sharon Noble of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters said she's received "hundreds" of emails from people who say they were pressured by BC Hydro to replace their analog meters with the new wireless model and are now suffering health problems.
An Okanagan Valley customer alleges that BC Hydro cut off her power last week. 

According to a press release by the two groups, the woman, who suffers from electro-sensitivity, had had a smart meter installed against her will. (In January, BC Hydro announced it would not install smart meters against a customer's will.)

The press release alleges that after repeated attempts to get the corporation to remove it, the customer ordered a replacement analog meter from the United States, but BC Hydro said it didn't meet Canadian standards. The customer then found a Canadian meter that met the requirements, but the corporation insisted on the smart meter. Refusing, she had her power cut off, alleges the release.

Noble said the groups are protecting the identity of the woman, who is now seeking her own injunction against BC Hydro's action.

The class action lawsuit is seeking participants who have indicated to BC Hydro that they did not want a smart meter placed in their homes, yet one was, or will soon be, installed regardless.

"The way the smart meter program is being rolled out right now should be stopped," said the director of Citizens for Safe Technology, Una St. Clair. "It's not about the health of the people, it's about the health of the industry's pocket."

A BC Hydro spokesperson in charge of spokesperson was not available for a phone interview by press time, but a statement from the power generator authority said that smart meters have been proven safe and "are helping make substantial improvements to our electrical grid.

"Smart meters communicate using radio frequency signals similar to those used safely for decades in televisions, radios and other common household devices," the statement reads.

Noble explained the lawsuit is based on two premises: that the Open Access Transmission Tariff, which details how BC Hydro interacts with its customers, describes the rules and regulations around meters but not transmitters (a category under which the two groups classify smart meters); and a violation of the recently introduced intrusion upon seclusion law by the Ontario Supreme Court, which protects people's personal privacy. Noble claimed smart meters collect and transmit personal data in a way that violates this law.

The two groups announced the lawsuit Monday, and Noble couldn't say how many people had signed on yet.

"If a lawsuit does proceed, BC Hydro would work through the judicial process to present the facts about the new metering system," BC Hydro told The Tyee in a statement.
Nearly 30,000 people have signed Citizens for Safe Technology's petition calling for a moratorium on the smart meter program until the above conditions are met.

Noble wants a no-fee opt-out process introduced so that people have the choice whether or not to have smart meters in their homes, and those who have had them already installed may request they be removed.

She said the election influenced the timing of the lawsuit: "I want a commitment from Adrian Dix that he will change the Clean Energy Act so that no other family will face the threat of having their electricity turned off because they don't want radiation in their house."

Dix has said that, if elected, he will have the BC Utilities Commission review the smart meter program. The BC Greens promised in their platform to provide alternatives to those adversely affected by the wireless devices and to call a public inquiry into the smart meter program.

Natascia Lypny is completing a practicum at The Tyee.
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Cell Phone Cancer - Information About Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuits

Friday, May 03, 2013

From Hawaii to Maine, Legislators Take Action on Cell Phones and Children

From Hawaii to Maine, Legislators Take Action on Cell Phones and Children



While Obama Appoints Ex CEO of Telecom Industry to Head the FCC, Cell Phone Concerns Addressed Across the Nation:

From Hawaii to Maine Legislators take Action on Cell Phone Use and the Effect on Children’s Brains

San Francisco – April 30, 2013

On February 7, 2013 in Pennsylvania, Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown announced she is re-introducing former House Bill 1408 which would require the placement of warning labels upon cellular telephones. This legislation proposed to create the Children’s Wireless Protection Act.  Specifically, this act would prohibit the sale of cellular telephones unless both the product and its packaging display a non-removable warning label outlining the dangerous effects of cellular telephone usage.

On February 8, 2013, Senator Joshua Green of Hawaii introduced a measure requiring warning labels for cell phone radiation in the Health Committee of the Hawaii State Senate.

On May 2, 2013, in the face of mounting evidence of increased risk for malignant brain tumors with cell phone use, including a recent Italian Supreme Court ruling that cell phone use does cause brain tumors and the banning of sales and advertising of cell phones to children in several nations, Rep. Andrea Boland  of Maine, re-introduces The Children’s Wireless Protection Act, a legislative bill to inform Maine consumers of the possible health risks associated with cell phone use.

The overall impetus behind this legislation is to create widespread awareness among the citizens regarding the possible health risks, particularly as they relate to pregnant women and children, of direct exposure to electromagnetic radiation, which is emitted through the usage of cellular telephones.

Ironically on May 7 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote  whether or not to  kill San Francisco’s pioneering ordinance  (Cell Phone Right to Know ) requiring cell phone retailers to provide information about how customers may reduce their exposure to the radiofrequency radiation (RF) emitted by cell phones. They may cave to the CTIA- wireless association’s lawsuit against San Francisco although District Court Judge Alsup is prepared to re-hear the case.  Seems the Supervisors’are being trumped by the wishes of their Mayor to keep peace with telecom.

The Supervisors’ vote comes just as the FCC has formally opened an assessment of their 1996 RF exposure safety standards and testing procedures in the face of the unprecedented use of wireless devices by children. Also, last week the International Agency for Research on Cancer published their Monograph stating there is evidence linking gliomas and acoustic neuromas to cell phone use. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the radiation of cell phones as a possible human carcinogen based upon an increased risk of brain cancer associated with cell phone use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a July 2012 letter to the FCC, declares “children….are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. In fact, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, when used by children, the average RF energy deposition is two times higher in the brain and 10 times higher in the bone marrow of the skull, compared with mobile phone use by adults.”

.A new study, “Incidence Trends in the Anatomic Location of Primary Malignant Brain Tumors in the United States: 1992–2006” (Zada et al, 2012) references 3 U.S. cancer registries (including cancer rates from the National Cancer Institute) that reveal an increase in brain tumor rates in the State of California in those areas of the brain closest to where cell phones are held.

“San Francisco’s law is exactly what is needed and it will be a tremendous blow to public health across America if they stand with industry rather than the rights of their constituents to informed consent of a device even children use daily,’” said Ellen Marks of the California Brain Tumor Association (CABTA), a non-profit she and her son Zachary founded in 2009 after her husband developed a brain tumor on the same side of the head to which he held his cell phone for many years.

“The hypothetical legal costs to the city of defending their unanimously voted upon law are a drop in the bucket compared to the probable public health care costs in failing to inform consumers of simple ways to reduce their exposures to cell phone radiation,” Marks pointed out.  In 2010, Stanford University reported the average cost of initial treatment of a brain cancer is approximately $600,000.

Today’s announcement that President Obama has appointed CTIA- wireless industry ex CEO to chair the FCC, the non-scientific agency regulating cell phone safety is  a disappointment to many advocacy groups and Senators.

Contact:  (925) 285-5437  or  (360) 201-3959

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Obama nominates former wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler to lead FCC

Obama nominates former wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler to lead FCC

By Adi Robertson on  

As expected, President Barack Obama has officially nominated former wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Wheeler, who served on the Obama-Biden transition team, is known for his work with the CTIA, a mobile industry group that he headed from 1992 to 2004. He has also spent time as the head of the National Cable Television Association. Wheeler has been widely floated as a potential replacement for Julius Genachowski, the former FCC head who stepped down in March.
Obama has also named an acting chair to serve until Congress either confirms or rejects Wheeler. Mignon Clyburn, who will fill this gap, has been a member of the FCC since 2009. Before joining, she spent over a decade with South Carolina's Public Service Commission, which oversees the state's telecom regulations. Unlike Wheeler, a top-tier lobbyist who has spent much of his career in the cable and wireless industries, Clyburn has worked steadily on the regulatory side. Consumer protection group Public Knowledge has said it is "delighted" with Clyburn's selection, calling her a "passionate voice for the underserved and underrepresented" and urging her to push for changes during her time as interim chair.
In a statement yesterday, Public Knowledge was more circumspect about Wheeler himself, though it offered cautious praise. "I have no doubt that we will disagree with Tom at times. But I also have no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind," wrote President Gigi Sohn. Reactions from other quarters have been more enthusiastic.AT&T has called Wheeler an "inspired pick," saying that his "high intelligence, broad experience, and in-depth knowledge of the industry may, in fact, make him one of the most qualified people ever named to run the agency." Wheeler previously praised AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile, before the merger was blocked by the FCC — a sign of where he might differ from previous leaders.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

"You do the science. I'll take care of the politics." Tom Wheeler


THE STREETS AND sidewalks of Long Beach, California, were bake-oven hot on this mid-June day in 1999, but that was nothing compared to the heat that was being generated inside the air-conditioned comfort of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. There, in a conference room, more than 100 scientists and dozens of trade-press journalists from five continents were attending a "State of the Science" colloquium, convened to discuss the public-health impact of cell phones. The audience was listening with more than just scientific interest. For at the podium was the organizer of this colloquium, Dr. George Carlo, a public-health scientist with graying hair and a grayer beard, who many in the hall used to refer to as the cell phone industry's "hired hand" (but always behind his back, of course!). Now Carlo was sounding the one warning the industry executives who had funded his research least wanted to hear. 

"It is very clear to me that everyone is doing their job—and the consumers are not being protected," Carlo declared ruefully. He outlined new evidence indicating that cell phones may indeed cause cancer and other health damage to consumers. Months earlier, he  had given the findings to the cellular telecommunications industry's top Washington lobbyist, Thomas E. Wheeler—the man who hired him six years earlier to run the industry's science research program. But the industry had kept Carlo's troubling new findings carefully under wraps. Now, Carlo stunned most of the audience by calling upon the industry's top officials to tell the public everything they knew about the health risks posed by mobile phones—and to develop an entirely new standard for the amount of radio wave emissions that can safely emanate from these instruments which people everywhere hold against their heads. The old standard, he said, was based upon old data, old science, and old theories that were now invalid—perhaps dangerously so. His words rang alarm bells throughout the industry. 

Tom Wheeler had not bothered to fly out from Washington, D.C., just to hear this too-public warning issued by the scientist he'd personally brought into his cell phone inner circle in 1993. Back then, the industry's strategy seemed to be a masterstroke of science-veneered damage control; it would take a scientist to keep the scientific community in check, keep the government regulators at bay, and keep the cell phone consumers blithely buying—by assuring one and all that cell phones are safe. 

At first, back in the early and mid-1990s, Carlo, a medical professor of epidemiology and a cautious, deliberate researcher, had been quite comfortable issuing public assurances that scientific research had found no health risks in radiation from cellular telephones. But then, as he followed the science, he came up with new research evidence that cast serious doubt on those early studies. Early in 1999 the new evidence raised cause for serious concern about health risks and made additional research an urgent imperative. Carlo had gone to the offices of the president of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and told Wheeler about the existence of credible new evidence of health risks. When he added he could no longer say publicly that the research showed no health risks from cell phone radiation, the industry lobbyist moved quickly to distance himself from the scientist who was the bearer of bad news. And he did it in a mover-and-shaker sort of way. 

"We need to talk privately," said Wheeler. "Let me buy you a shoeshine." They'd walked down Connecticut Avenue from the trade association's headquarters to Washington's stately Mayflower Hotel, the site of many presidential inaugural balls and a fine shoeshine stand. Sitting side by side in the stand's tall chairs, they were a most unlikely looking Washington power duo: one a clean shaven, bespectacled power-lobbyist wearing a finely tailored dark suit, white custom-made shirt with "TEW" monogrammed above the pocket, shiny cufflinks clasping white French cuffs; the other a gray bearded, shaggy-haired epidemiologist, in a tweedy sport jacket, shirt, and sweater. 

"You and I are tied at the hip on this," Wheeler said, speaking candidly as if oblivious to the presence of the two middle-aged gentlemen who were in front of them, shining their loafers. "If you succeed, I succeed. If you don't succeed, I don't succeed." 

What the lobbyist wanted, Carlo believed, was not Siamese-twin comradery, but political separation: an ample degree of detachment from the bad news and himself. When the new scientific findings had to be reported to his powerful multibillion-dollar association's board members, Wheeler told Carlo to deliver the news—at a board meeting that was closed to the public and the press. 

And to that very public worldwide scientific colloquium in Long Beach, Wheeler sent CTIA vice president Jo-Anne Basile to represent the industry and do what she could to stroke the scientists and spin the journalists. Meanwhile, Wheeler remained at his Washington, D.C. command headquarters 3,000 miles away— where, being a Civil War buff, he was putting the finishing touches on a book, to be published by the end of 1999, about leadership lessons that 21st-century business executives can learn from the generals of the Union and Confederate armies. 

Wheeler's new war-game strategy for the cell phone industry seemed clear: regroup, retrench—but never retreat. 

So it was that in Long Beach, when Carlo finished issuing his public call for new industry safety standards, all eyes seemed to shift from the podium to Wheeler's CTIA representative in the audience. Jo-Anne Basile rose from her seat; surely she was expected to say something in response. "You have caused us a few sleepless nights," she told Carlo, who was still standing at the podium. Her public response in that hall indeed emphasized the civil, rather than the war. 

But shortly after the meeting adjourned, Basile and Carlo came face-to-face in the corridor—and their chance meeting quickly erupted into a shouting match. The dark-haired industry rep blasted Carlo for daring to make a public call for a new radiation-emission standard without first clearing it with the CTIA. 

Carlo responded that the industry was failing to meet its public-health responsibility—"and that's shameful." 

Basile fired back: "How dare you talk to us like that after all the money you've been paid!" 

Suddenly, Carlo was aware that people in the corridor had stopped to listen. The fact that his research project was funded by the industry had always been a sensitive point with Carlo. He saw himself as an independent researcher whose only goal was to follow the scientific evidence and protect public health. Yet he knew that people had long been saying he was industry's hired hand. Over the past five-plus years, he'd heard it every time he issued a public statement that basically brought aid and comfort to the industry CEOs by discounting some of the early scientific scare studies on the grounds that they were, in fact, flawed. 

"I take my job seriously," Carlo said, now making sure he was speaking loudly enough for all eavesdroppers to hear. "Money has nothing to do with that."


It is easy to pinpoint the moment that set in motion the chain of events that caused Wheeler to put Carlo in that job—and eventually resulted in an epic collision of science and politics. 

It was January 21, 1993, and Washington was alive with new beginnings. A new president had just been inaugurated. A new Congress had just been installed. At both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, the powers of the nation's capital were still celebrating their good fortune. But at CTIA headquarters Tom Wheeler, the newly appointed president and chief lobbyist of the powerful trade group, was scrambling his troops in an effort to stave off an indus try crisis and, in fact, a nationwide panic. 

On this politically charged day after Inauguration Day, CNN talk-show host Larry King wound up making major news by booking a guest who had nothing to do with politics at all—a private citizen from Florida whose story ignited a crisis that would shake the power brokers from Washington to Wall Street. David Reynard of Tampa, Florida, told Larry King why he was filing a lawsuit naming cell phone industry companies as defendants. Reynard was alleging that his late wife, Susan, had suffered a fatal brain tumor due to her repeated use of her cellular telephone. 

"Suit Over Cellular Radiation Raises Hazard Questions," said a headline in The Los Angeles Times. 

"Cellular Phone Safety Concerns Hammer Stocks," said The Wall Street Journal. In the week following that Larry King Live interview, Motorola's stock prices dropped by $5.37 to $50.50 after a brokerage house lowered the stock rating for the nation's largest cellular phone manufacturer. And stock prices for cellular service provider companies dropped as well: McCaw Cellular stock fell $2.87 to $33, and Fleet Call stock fell $1.62 to $20.52. 

Meanwhile, the cellular phone industry had its own headline spin: "CNN Runs Scare Story," the CTIA Newsletter had dismissively declared. But the industry's problem was that the story really did seem scary to millions of cell phone users. News of the lawsuit, and its hard-to-prove claim, quickly became a national and international news sensation. It triggered an instant inquiry from a subcommittee chairman in the U.S. Congress, and it quickly caught the attention of an even more powerful and influential opinion-shaper: Jay Leno made it part of his late-night TV comedy monologue. Before the year would end, Tom Wheeler would write a memo to his top advisers that aptly characterized his beleaguered industry's view of its public enemy: "The Hydra-Headed Cancer Scare."


It was, in a sense, a fluke that first brought George Carlo and Tom Wheeler together in 1993. But in another sense it was the sort of happenstance that actually occurs just about every day somewhere in the nation's capital. The two were introduced by a public-relations man who was trying to become a power broker between industry and government. 

In the spring of 1993, Carlo was at a bed-and-breakfast inn he owned on the Maryland shore of the Chesapeake Bay when he received a telephone call from Mark Shannon, of the Ketchum public relations firm in Washington, D.C., who knew of Carlo's work as a pathologist and epidemiologist willing to get involved in the business of giving advice to industries. Shannon wanted to consult—to get a few expert thoughts and phrases. He was about to meet with the cell phone industry's chief lobbyist, when he would be making a pitch on damage control in the hopes of landing a lucrative PR contract. 

Carlo listened, then gave some quick advice. Almost as an afterthought, Shannon asked Carlo to come along to the meeting with Wheeler, thinking this would add scientific credibility to his PR pitch. And so, a few days later, Carlo found himself in an office building on 21st Street NW that at the time housed the CTIA. (As the industry's fortunes soared in the years to come, Wheeler moved the association into its current headquarters on Connecticut Avenue.) A dark-haired, 46-year-old career lobbyist, Wheeler had already earned a reputation for his ability to move within Washington's corridors of power. He'd become known as one of the capital's most savvy movers and shakers when he served for five years as president of the cable television industry's trade association. He'd been with the grocery manufacturers' trade association before that. In short, Wheeler had long ago proven his mastery of the Washington art of political science. In the coming years of crisis in the cell phone industry, he would expand his skills into the selective use of highly political science. 

Wheeler struck Carlo as a formidable and commanding presence, a takecharge CEO. Indeed, he was that. His book, entitled Leadership Lessons from the Civil War, summed up his own management style in his choice of chapter titles: "Lesson One: Dare to Fail; Don't Confuse Victory With Avoiding a Loss . . . Lesson Three: Yesterday's Tactics Make Today's Defeats; Embrace Change . . . Lesson Five: Information Is Only Critical If It Is Used Properly; Use It or Lose It . . . Lesson Seven: Small Skirmishes Decide Great Battles; The Power of the Individual... Lesson Nine: If You Can't Win . . . Change the Rules; Think Anew." 

Wheeler's literary table of contents became his literal battle plan when the cellular telecommunications industry came under attack. The standard Washington response of any political organization being attacked in the media is to mount a strong, well-financed PR campaign. And to be sure, Wheeler would see to it that his forces mounted one of the best. But in January 1993, with his fledgling industry buffeted by the forces of CNN, the Congress, and Leno, Wheeler had come to another quick conclusion: He was not about to be seen just sitting in his headquarters, firing off press-release popguns in response to the salvos of media allegations of this life-or-death magnitude— allegations that there might be a connection between cell phones and brain tumors. 

To keep the public buying and the government regulators at bay, Wheeler decided that the CTIA must mount its own initiative quickly and publicly. Just one week after that Larry King interview on CNN, Wheeler held a press conference and announced that the industry would be sponsoring a huge industry-funded research program. 

"Despite the many research studies showing that cellular is safe, it has become necessary to reassure those whose doubts have been raised by this scare," Wheeler said in his January 29, 1993, press statement. "It is time for truth and good science to replace emotional videotape and unsupported allegations. Therefore, the cellular communications industry is today announcing that it will fund research to re-validate the findings of the existing studies, which have found that the radio waves from cellular phones are safe." 

Reassurance—a scientifically vouchsafed guarantee of cell phone safety— was what the research program was about. The cell phone industry would pay $15 to $25 million over three to five years for a scientific study that would be expected to "re-validate" previous findings that "cellular phones are safe." 

Wheeler began hunting for the right person to oversee his research effort. It would be two months before his announcement that he had found that man in a 39-year-old Washington-based epidemiologist, Dr. George Carlo, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at The George Washington University School of Medicine, who held doctorates in both pathology and law. It would be years before George Carlo would come to understand the message that was implicit in the wording of Wheeler's initial announcement of the research program—that he and Wheeler did not exactly share the same sense of mission and purpose for the research effort that Wheeler's trade group was going to finance and Carlo was going to direct. 

Looking back, it is also easy to see that Wheeler may have viewed Carlo in a way far different from the way Carlo viewed himself. Wheeler understandably would have deduced from his background check of Carlo that he was hiring a public-health research coordinator who could be counted upon to be an industry kind of guy. After all, in addition to his teaching at the university, Carlo also ran a company that did public-health risk management studies for some prominent corporate clients who themselves had been caught up in controversies. Carlo had performed breast implant studies for Dow Corning that had concluded there was minimal public-health risk to their products. And he had made dioxin studies for the Chlorine Institute that concluded low levels of this chemical did not endanger public health. Wheeler might well have expected that any work Carlo did for the cell phone industry would produce results that would be equally welcomed by the industry executives whose companies were paying for this research. 

• • •

In April 1993, Wheeler told Carlo he wanted him to run the cell phone public health research effort. The deal was drawn up quickly and the two men shook hands on it. Carlo didn't realize this new assignment would prove far more controversial than anything he had ever done before. In fact, he was both pleased and impressed with his new role. 

I sensed that Tom Wheeler was one of Washington's most savvy lobbyists. And there was no doubt that he was a forceful leader. I remember the day in Wheeler's office conference room when we came to terms. Tom leaned back in his chair and said to me, "It's a good idea. But I'm not going to be the fall guy if this goes bad . . ."—and suddenly he sprang forward, jabbed his index finger at my solar plex-is, and added—"You are!"

• • •

Carlo's appointment by the CTIA to direct its $25-million scientific study project was greeted with little enthusiasm within two sectors that would be crucial to his efforts. 

Among the scientific community's narrow circle of recognized researchers and experts in the field, there was widespread surprise and puzzlement at the choice of a fellow they considered an outsider who lacked their expertise. Carlo was a public-health scientist whose specialty was epidemiology—the study of epidemic diseases and their effects on the population. Carlo had never researched, let alone published, anything about bioelectromagnetics—the core discipline of the cell phone radiation controversy. Scientists inspect each other's credentials in the same way that our grandmothers once inspected chickens at the poultry market: they sniff here and there and then shake their heads. So the scientists frankly didn't expect Carlo could accomplish much of significance in this area that was, after all, their life's work and not his. 

Among reporters who cover the telecommunications industry, there was a widespread view that Carlo would be a lackey and shill for the cell phone industry. He was, after all, a handpicked expert who they frankly expected would merely provide a polished scientific patina for the industry's standard, high-gloss "no-problem" refrain. 

Carlo was very aware of what the scientific community and the news media had been saying about his appointment. 

To ease the concerns of the experts who thought he was lacking in credentials, Carlo created two panels of prominent scientists. First, he formed the Science Advisory Group (SAG), and recruited two top experts to work with him. As he recalls, the key to its success was that he was able to convince two top experts to work with him. 

I first recruited Dr. Arthur (Bill) Guy, perhaps the dean of all bioelectromagnetics scientists and certainly one of the world's foremost experts in the measurement of radio frequency radiation. He was Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, and had done work for the cellular industry before. The CTIA had suggested that I approach Dr. Guy about participating, but I did not follow the suggestion until I had the opportunity to vet him myself. That process was easy—a simple literature search yielded his name on virtually every important committee over the past two decades, and what seemed like literally hundreds of publications had him in authorship. My first contact with him was at a meeting in Washington, D.C., at CTIA headquarters. He was in town giving advice to CTIA about the siting of base stations for transmitting cellular telephone calls, and I had arranged to meet with him. I believed it was important for me to reach out to him, out of respect for his stature in the field. After the first five minutes I knew we not only wanted him to be part of the SAG, but we needed him. He was a tall, rugged-looking man in his early 60s, with a disarming and low-key demeanor. He looked like a professor, probably the type that every student wanted to work with. We talked radio wave dosimetry, the concept I had developed for the SAG, and what his role would be—the head of all the dosimetry work. He had many tough questions, and I sweated it out for a while. After all, I knew very little about this science, had done no research in it, and I was about to embark on, and in fact head up, the largest program ever attempted in this field, with no prior experience. So I was worried, at first, about trying to impress the man who many people believed was "the field." But when the conversation drifted to salmon fishing, it was clear we were comfortable with each other. He agreed to sign on. To round out the SAG I recruited Dr. Ian Munro, a world-renowned toxicologist with whom I had worked on a number of prior projects involving herbicides and drug development. A former high-ranking official in the Canadian Health Ministry, Dr. Munro would handle oversight on all nonhuman research in the program. He was also a fisherman. So the SAG was in place with Dr. Guy overseeing dosimetry, Dr. Munro toxicology, and me covering epidemiology, public health, and general management. We began daily phone conferences and designed our program. This was April of 1993, and we needed to present our overall program to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 22. 

Carlo made one other major move to ease the concerns of the scientists— and to impress the politicians. He created a Peer Review Board (PRB) that would be headquartered at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, led by the respected Dr. John Graham, of the Harvard University School of Public Health. The peer-review group would be comprised of internationally recognized experts who would examine the findings of studies done by or funded by Carlo's SAG project and also review funding proposals from outside researchers. That clearly pleased the officials at the FDA; their agency was already enmeshed in a major controversy over breast implants and did not relish the prospect of having to be on the front lines of two political wars simultaneously. 

Those moves enabled Carlo to ease, at least initially, the concerns and jealousies within the scientific community. 

To ease the concerns of the journalists who thought he would be an industry shill, Carlo—well, Carlo frankly did not know what, if anything, he could do quickly. He didn't see how he could win the media's respect, or at least a decent interval of benign silence, until he had time to prove himself by doing his job. Carlo knew, deep down, he was not going to be a shill; but then again, truth be told, he always thought, deep down, that his research project would conclude what the early studies and the cell phone industry had always asserted—that there was no evidence that wireless phones cause cancer. So Carlo just went about his job, hoping his SAG and the Harvard-led peer review group would provide valuable credentials of respect. He believed that if he conducted himself responsibly, he would be judged responsibly.


The cellular telephone industry unwittingly created the first impossible task for its new research chief. In the wake of the first wave of scare stories in the news media and panic selling of cell phone stocks on Wall Street, the industry had offered instant reassurance.

On January 26, 1993, a senior Motorola executive told reporters that "thousands of studies" had already shown cellular phones were safe. It was a classic overstatement that all in the industry would regret enormously. 

News accounts everywhere began referring to the existence of thousands of studies as if it were, in fact, a fact. Carlo found himself swept into the rushing stream of assuring rhetoric, as he too was quoted on several occasions talking about these thousands of studies. Naturally, news reporters began asking the industry to make those 1,000 studies public. Carlo put his staff to work at the task. A research firm was contracted to conduct a huge Internet database search for the thousands of studies. But thousands of studies were not to be found. Months later, the CTIA staff was still scrambling, to no avail. 

On July 13, 1993, the CTIA's director of industry relations, Cilie Collins, wrote an urgent plea to Dr. Om Gandhi, of the University of Utah, one of the pioneer scientists in the field of cellular telephone research. "We need copies of any studies that are pertinent to this issue to be available to the press," Collins wrote. "As you know, one of the main causes of the cancer-scare media coverage was that the industry was unable to produce the 'thousands of studies' that have been conducted on the cellular phone frequency." 

There was of course only one reason why the industry was never able to produce evidence of those "thousands of studies" that said mobile phones were safe: The studies did not exist. The entire industry regretted its initial reflexive-response "thousands of studies" posture, as journalists began to view a bit more skeptically every assertion the industry would make during the coming years of political and scientific war-games.


In mid-May 1993 Wheeler opened a meeting of his top policy and public relations advisers and his science adviser, Carlo, in the CTIA boardroom by announcing that their agenda for the session consisted of two items: One was the credibility of Carlo, and the other was the credibility of the SAG program Carlo had been appointed to run just a month earlier. Wheeler had a habit of writing meticulous, printed notes in his day-timer calendar, and he was reading from those notes. 

"What do you have to say about the flap in Science magazine?" Wheeler was looking directly at Carlo, who was clearly caught off guard. He was referring to a magazine article about a controversy that had caused Carlo to end his six-year relationship with the Chlorine Institute—after the industry's public-relations representatives had put Carlo's name on top of a PR paper that he had not only never written but never even seen. Wheeler had never mentioned this issue before—it seemed obvious to Carlo that someone had brought the matter to Wheeler's attention as a way of questioning whether Carlo should be running the industry's science research program. 

Carlo explained the dioxin uproar: In February 1991 Science carried a story about a controversy that had erupted after publication of a paper listing Carlo as its author. It characterized the views of a scientific advisory group sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official. When one participant wrote an angry letter to Carlo and others protesting these comments Carlo had allegedly written, Carlo was shocked. He had not written the paper, and had not even seen it before. All he had done was write a summary of a conference he had attended which carried the notation that "the meeting reinforced the notion that dioxin is much less toxic to humans than originally believed." That phrase became part of a new chlorine industry position paper The chlorine industry officials told Carlo they had put his name atop the paper as its author to give the document added credibility. The industry and the PR firm each said they thought the other had told Carlo about it—which of course would still have been unacceptable because he simply hadn't written the document. Wheeler listened intently to Carlo's explanation. 

I had the sense that he saw this as an issue on two levels: First, could he trust me to carry his interests forward? It surely appeared to him that I may have turned against the Chlorine Institute. And second, would there be any spillover onto the SAG program? Had the "flap" as Wheeler termed it, harmed my reputation as a scientist? 

I tried to reassure him on both counts. I saw the "flap" as a simple indication that I played by the rules, and that I expected those with whom I was working to play by the rules as well. The feedback I had gotten about the controversy from my scientific colleagues in the months following the Science article was overwhelmingly positive. Many of my friends in the chemical industry thought the situation was unfortunate but did not blame me for my response. 

"I am satisfied with your explanation, George, but I still don't think you can be out there alone on this," Tom said. 

"That is precisely why we'll have a Peer Review Board," I answered. "With some of the world's top scientists helping us, our science will be above reproach. It will speak for itself." 

"Not good enough," Tom responded. "Politically, and from a public relations view, we need more cover." 

I disagreed with him and argued that everyone's interests would be served if we trusted in the science and did the best science we could. Everything would flow from that. We didn't need to contaminate this with politics. 

Tom gave me an angry rebuke: "You do the science. I'll take care of the politics."

From CELL PHONES: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age by Dr. George Carlo, 2001, pp. 3-18, CARROL & GRAF PUBLISHERS, INC: NEW YORK

Blatant Conflict of Interest in the Appointment of Former Wireless Industry Lobbyist as Head of FCC

From: Jean Hudon

Obama To Reportedly Nominate Former Telecom Lobbyist Tom Wheeler As FCC Chair

The White House will reportedly confirm that former telecommunications lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be nominated to chair the Federal Communications Commission. Current FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will act as interim chairman while outgoing Chair Julius Genachowski enjoys his luxurious new life as a fellow at the Aspen Institute policy think tank. A decade ago, before he was a venture capitalist at Washington D.C.'s Core Capital Partners, Wheeler helped telecommunications companies secure more wireless spectrum and protected them against lawmakers who wanted to ban cell phones in public areas for fear of radiation.  CLIP

Sources: Obama will name former telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler as FCC head (April 30, 2013)

The White House will soon name former telecommunications industry lobbyist and businessman Tom Wheeler as the head of the Federal Communications Commission, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed to The Verge. President Obama is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday, setting the stage for Wheeler to replace the outgoing Julius Genachowski. Wheeler currently works with venture capital group Core Capital, but he spent over a decade as head of the CTIA wireless industry group, leaving in 2004. Before that, he served as president of the National Cable Television Association. A 2002 Los Angeles Times profile describes Wheeler as "the rock star of telecom," crediting him with helping to fuel a major spectrum expansion for the mobile phone industry. He's also not a surprise pick for the FCC chairmanship, either. Similarly to Genachowski, who helped with Barack Obama's campaign, Wheeler was named as a member of Obama's Presidential transition effort following the 2008 election; his name was floated as a possible replacement not long after Genachowski stepped down in March. So far, responses from public interest groups have been mixed. Free Press said that "on paper" Tom Wheeler did not look like someone who would "stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest," but Public Knowledge - which characterized Genachowski's tenure as "one of missed opportunities" - had more praise to offer. "Some have expressed concern about Tom's past history as the head of two industry trade associations," wrote Public Knowledge head Gigi Sohn. "But his past positions should be seen in light of the times and in the context of his other important experiences and engagement with policy.

Obama to Name Tom Wheeler as New FCC Chairman

WASHINGTON -- President Obama is expected to nominate Tom Wheeler, a technology investor and former head of two major trade associations, as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, according to the Wall Street Journal. Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement: "The Federal Communications Commission needs a strong leader - someone who will use this powerful position to stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest. On paper, Tom Wheeler does not appear to be that person, having headed not one but two major trade associations. But he now has the opportunity to prove his critics wrong, clean up the mess left by his predecessor, and be the public servant we so badly need at the FCC. "The FCC faces significant challenges - and historic opportunities - and Mr. Wheeler has a unique opportunity to address those issues, ranging from Net Neutrality and broadband competition to media diversity and election-ad transparency. He will face challenges from powerful companies to the most basic consumer protections and help determine whether the free and open Internet stays that way. We hope that he will embrace the FCC's mission and fight for policies that foster genuine competition, promote diversity and amplify local voices."There is a much to be done - and the honeymoon will be short - but we look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and the other commissioners at the FCC to engage the public and make policies that truly benefit all Americans."

You Should Care That Obama Is Going to Pick Tom Wheeler to Head the FCC

Start reading from HERE in George Carlo's book Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age,  and you'll see what a powerful enemy Obama is choosing against those who are sick and tired of the negationist stance of the wireless industry...

Wheeler will certainly uphold the recent FCC's decision...

FCC looks into cell phone radiation, decides to keep limitations same as before (Mar 30th 2013)

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office released a report after spending a year researching the health aspects of cell phone usage that stated the radiation limit needed to be reevaluated, the first time such a required had been made in nearly two decades. At the time of the report, the FCC had the SAR (specific absorption rate) set at 1.6W/kg. The FCC reevaluated the radiation limit after the report was published, and has now published its own response, in which it states that the SAR limit is staying the same as it has been for many years. However, all is not staying unchanged. Per the report, the outer part of the ear has been reclassified as an extremity, a designation that legally allows it to absorb more radiation under current specifications. The effects of cell phone radiation on humans is mostly unknown, but is typically regarded to be safe and to not cause some of the speculated conditions that populate conspiracy boards. Still, more research is needed on RF radiation and its potential health effects, something that could be prodded by the ever-increasing use of smartphones in our digital, mobile world.

Politics: Everything is Rigged: The Biggest Financial Scandal Yet (APRIL 25, 2013 )

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three - and perhaps as many as 16 - of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history - MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets." That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks - including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland - that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.

(...) The only reason this problem has not received the attention it deserves is because the scale of it is so enormous that ordinary people simply cannot see it. It's not just stealing by reaching a hand into your pocket and taking out money, but stealing in which banks can hit a few keystrokes and magically make whatever's in your pocket worth less. This is corruption at the molecular level of the economy, Space Age stealing - and it's only just coming into view.This story is from the May 9th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

White House to Name Wheeler to Be Chairman of U.S. FCC

From: EMFacts Consultancy <>


White House to Name Wheeler to Be Chairman of U.S. FCC

President Barack Obama will name Tom Wheeler, a top campaign fundraiser and former leader of wireless- and cable-industry groups, to head the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Wheeler, managing director at Core Capital Partners LP in Washington, would succeed Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat who has pushed to expand access to high-speed Internet service, said a White House official who asked not to be named because the appointment hasn’t been announced.

Wheeler’s appointment will be announced by the White House today, the official said. Genachowski on March 22 announced his departure from the post he has held since 2009.
Wheeler needs Senate confirmation before joining the independent agency that regulates broadcasters, cable companies and telephone-service providers.

Read the post here.

Unwittingly Affected (ohne es zu ahnen beeinträchtigt) in German

Unwittingly Affected 2 German

Can You Be Allergic To Wireless Radiation?

Cicadas and Cell Phones: Welcome to the 21st Century

Cicadas and Cell Phones: Welcome to the 21st Century

Posted: 04/30/2013 10:52 am
Devra Davis, Ph.D.

What does the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) have in common with the cicada bug? They both follow 17-year cycles. In 1996, the first and last time the agency considered standards for cell phones, cicada carcasses clogged Washington, D.C. streets, a stamp cost 32 cents and there was no email. Its Good Friday afternoon announcement that the FCC would seek advice on cell phones is long overdue.

Five years ago, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, head of Pittsburgh's Cancer Institute, recommended simple steps to reduce microwave radiation exposures from cell phones. Since then more than a dozen other tech-savvy nations -- including Israel, India and Finland -- or expert groups, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, have offered similar advice. Just this week, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer published a detailed explanation of their 2011 determination that cell phone and other wireless radiation was a "possible human carcinogen."
In a new publication, Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., chief of neuro-oncology at the University of San Diego, believes that evidence mounted since 2011 warrants the classification of cell phone radiation as a"probable human carcinogen," warning that resources to treat new cases of this highly-malignant tumor cannot meet the projected increase in demand. He notes that the only studies in the world to include those who began using cell phones as teenagers find that younger users develop between four to eight times more malignant brain tumors than those whose use starts in their 20s.
The wisdom of Herberman's advice from 2008 has more than withstood the test of time. Just as theGovernment Accountability Office advised in its report to Congress this past July, it's long overdue that the FCC questions the use of 20th century methods to handle 21st century technology.
Current standards for phones mistakenly assume that weak pulsed radiation cannot possibly produce any heat or other biological impact. In fact, Memorial Sloan Kettering radiation physicist David Gultekin and Bell Labs electrical engineer Lothar Moeller reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that this assumption is wrong. Low levels of pulsed microwave radiation emitted by today's cell phones create tiny hotspots -- as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit -- in cow brain tissue kept alive in the laboratory. Scientists understand that warming the brain should be avoided at all costs, as this can lead to nervous system damage, hearing loss, and potentially, cancer.
Other recent research led by Yale University chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology Hugh Taylor finds that prenatally-exposed mice develop damaged brains and serious learning and behavioral problems. Experiments produced by NATO-supported teams led by Nesrin Seyhan in Turkey have also found that offspring of rabbits, rats and mice exposed in utero to cell phone radiation have damaged brains, liver, skin and eyes. 

Smart phone manufacturers understand that new science requires new policies and now include warnings to keep phones off the body. Apple advises that iPhones are tested and should be used at least 10 millimeters away -- advice that can be found within the phone by going to settings/general/about/legal/radiofrequency radiation. Blackberry users are told in fine print to keep phones an inch from the body and avoid exposure to the pregnant or teenaged abdomen. Tawkon and Cell Spacer are but two of a number of growing apps that squawk or light up to warn users when their devices exceed approved limits. 

Based on these and other developments, the Russian National Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the Austrian Medical Association, the Israeli Dental Association and the European Environment Agency, have also issued precautionary advice about phones and other wireless devices. Israel, France and Finland are among those nations urging that phones be used with speakerphones or headsets and that wired connections are safer, faster and more secure. Belgium and Turkey have banned sales and advertising of phones for young children. Professor Erik Peper, an award-winning expert on computer safety, generally advises that simple precautions are appropriate to reduce direct wireless exposures.

Unaware of these growing concerns, American parents are providing their youngsters with more and more of these devices at younger ages. In light of growing use of these two-way microwave-radiating devices by toddlers and young children, the FCC's notice is a case of better late than never.
Left unaddressed in this FCC announcement is the troubling fact that the U.S. has no major training or research program underway to identify potential health impacts of these ubiquitous devices. Most physicians have no training in electrical engineering, and most engineers remain unaware that these remarkable technologies can have important health impacts.
Cell phones today are like cars were in the 1960s -- essential devices for which safety standards can improve efficiency and reduce risks. Simple reprogramming and other software reconfiguration can save battery life and reduce radiation exposures and network demand. If phones sought signals from towers every 10 seconds rather than every 0.9 seconds and went into airplane mode whenever signals were weak, body and brain absorbed radiation would be reduced and batteries would last longer.
The FCC's overdue request for advice on how to update its standards provides a welcome chance to get rid of outmoded assumptions of current standards and provides a rallying point for those concerned with protecting brains and bodies from avoidable exposures to microwave radiation. If distance is kept between the phone and the body, extending the life of batteries could also improve that of humans.
For more by Devra Davis, Ph.D., click here.
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