Phonegate scandal goes unreported in Canadian media

You may have heard of Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, where the company was caught out misreporting for decades their vehicles’ carbon emissions levels. While that made global headlines, a similar new scandal, ‘Phonegate,’ has only managed to penetrate European headlines. The advocate heading up the campaign to raise awareness of this debacle is French physician Dr. Marc Arazi.

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Smart phones aren’t quite so smart when you actually consider the health risks.

“Details were revealed in July 2016 in a scientific report published by the French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), entitled, ‘Exposure to Radiofrequencies and Child Health,’ reports Dr. Arazi on his blog. “The ANSES Report highlighted the results of the French National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) 2015 measurement tests of 95 mobile phones tested in body contact positions – meaning with no separation distance. ANSES announced that 9 out of 10 mobile phones tested in contact with the skin exceeded the regulatory threshold of 2 W/kg, some of them more than three times. No one paid attention to this information.”[1] Dr. Arazi has established a ‘Taskforce Phonegate’ Facebook page in the hopes of forcing health and safety regulators to re-examine and revise their microwave radiation exposure standards.

At scientific conferences in Israel and Colorado last year, Dr. Anthony Miller announced that the science on wireless radiation has reached a consensus of risk. Physicians for Safe Technology announced in 2017 that, “It appears that we are at the same point of emerging science similar to early recognition of health impacts associated with tobacco, asbestos, coal dust and lead.”[2] It’s analogous to tobacco in the 1950s, when enough scientific studies had accrued to confirm a link between smoking and lung cancer. Of course, through political lobbying and commercial propaganda, the tobacco corporations managed to hold off the cancer warnings on their products for another three decades.

According to Dr. Miller, there is now ample scientific data to place the telecommunications industry in a similar position. “Dr. Miller concluded that the body of evidence has increased since the World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency fields (RFR) in 2011. The current research evidence in 2017 indicates that RFR should be considered a probable human carcinogen and the public should take cautionary steps to reduce exposures.”[3] At present the WHO lists RFR as a Class 2B ‘possible carcinogen.’ Scientists such as Dr. Olle Johansson and Dr. Lennart Hardell have been arguing for years it should be raised to a Class 1 ‘known carcinogen,’ and Dr. Miller agreed: microwave RFR “fully meets criteria to be classified as a ‘Group 1 carcinogenic to humans’ agent, based on scientific evidence associating RF exposure to cancer development and cancer promotion.”[4]

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French physician Dr. Marc Arazi, head of Taskforce Phonegate.

Except for one rather large problem. Wireless telecommunications is a multi-billion dollar global industry that now rivals Big Oil and Big Pharma for economic (and therefore political) power. The media is increasingly dependent upon the advertising revenue coming from Big Telecom, and naturally, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Through powerful lobbying groups like the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the industry has exerted enormous pressure on regulatory bodies such as the American FCC and Health Canada to keep standards low, even helping write the codes that govern emissions. The usual tactic is to stack regulatory review boards such as IARC with former industry ‘consultants.’ A supposedly independent Royal Society of Canada review panel in 2013-2014 was so riddled with conflicts of interest its chair Dr. Daniel Krewski was forced to resign.[5] And he wasn’t the only one on the panel with ties to the industry. It’s a classic, time-tested tactic, whether it’s tobacco, asbestos, drugs or wireless: stack and skew the panel, sway the government to your point of view, and then refer all comers to the government safety standard as the guarantee your product is ‘safe.’ And then insist—as was done with climate science for decades—that the data is ‘inconclusive.’

After a long legal battle with CTIA, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released its first guidelines on ‘How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation for Cell Phones’ on December 13, 2017. It’s the first public health agency in North America to finally concede the overwhelming scientific evidence of potential harm from the use of wireless devices.[6]

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Dr. Olle Johansson has been at the forefront of microwave frequency research. 

What the Phonegate scandal points up is that our testing standards for determining risk are nothing short of farcical. The ‘SAR’ measurement (the Specific Absorption Rate of radiation) that is used has long been cited by scientists as either unreliable or unrealistic. Even the top testing labs in the US visited by CBC journalist Wendy Mesley still use the questionable methodology of a plastic, water-filled dummy head for determining SAR exposure rates.[7] In November 2017, Dr. Dimitris J. Panagopoulos, Dr. Olle Johansson and Dr. George L. Carlo released a paper critical of SAR “as an entirely inadequate method of measuring EMF dosimetry and bioactivity assessment.”[8] Dr. Arazi points out another absurdity of the testing regime: “Before June 2016, In France and all of Europe, a manufacturer could measure SAR values by placing the cell phone at a distance of 15 to 25 millimeters from the skin of the trunk and limbs. Under these quite unrealistic conditions, all cell phones obtained an authorization to be placed on the market. Mobile phones, however, are not held in the air, but rather, they are in our hands, in our pockets, often for hours at a time, in direct contact with the skin.”[9]

The fact is, we’re being frog-marched into a massive public health crisis and none of our health authorities nor the medical profession is remotely briefed on the state of affairs. A neurosurgeon interviewed by Mesley admitted that there is currently no consistent tracking of brain tumour statistics. Cancer agencies in both Canada in the US routinely rely on Big Telecom for advice on public safety recommendations. Thankfully, independent scientists and physicians like Dr. Arazi around the world are raising red flags, dutifully doing untainted research or combing the thousands of available studies to report the real data. I interviewed him via email with the help of a living translator (not Google Translate!).

SEE PART 2: PHONEGATE INTERVIEW WITH DR. MARC ARAZI

[1] ‘Phonegate: The Health and Industrial Issues of a Global Scandal,’ Dr. Marc Arazi, December 17, 2017. http://arazi.fr/wp2/2017/12/phonegate-the-health-and-industrial-issues-of-a-global-scandal/

[2] ‘Wireless Technology and Public Health,’ Executive Summary, Physicians for Safe Technology, https://mdsafetech.org

[3] ‘Cell Phone Radiation Is Likely A Human Carcinogen,’ Dr. Anthony Miller, Environmental Health Trust, https://ehtrust.org/dr-anthony-miller-cell-phone-radiation-is-likely-a-human-carcinogen/

[4] ‘Cancer Expert Declares Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation as Carcinogenic to Humans,’ EM Facts Consultancy, August 18, 2017. https://www.emfacts.com/2017/08/cancer-expert-declares-cell-phone-and-wireless-radiation-as-carcinogenic-to-humans/

 

[5] ‘Controversy dogs wireless health panel,’ Howard Solomon, IT World Canada, August 1, 2013. https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/controversy-dogs-wireless-health-panel/83916

[6] ‘California Department of Public Health Leads in Recommendations for Cell Phone Radiation Protection,’ Physicians for Safe Technology, December 16, 2017. https://mdsafetech.org/2017/12/16/california-department-of-public-health-leads-in-recommendations-for-cell-phone-radiation-protection/

[7] ‘The Secret Inside Your Phone,’ Wendy Mesley, CBC Marketplace, March 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2015-2016/the-secret-inside-your-phone

[8] ‘Scientists call for cell phone tests to ‘get real’, claiming simulated results grossly misleading,’ Nya Dagbladet, Sweden, November 2, 2017. https://nyadagbladet.se/vetenskap/scientists-call-cell-phone-tests-get-real-claiming-simulated-results-grossly-misleading/

[9] ‘Phonegate: The Health and Industrial Issues of a Global Scandal,’ Dr. Marc Arazi, December 17, 2017.

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About seanarthurjoyce

I am a poet, journalist and author with a strong commitment to the environment and social justice. If anything, I have too many interests and too little time in a day to pursue them all. Film, poetry, literature, music, mythology, and history probably top the list. My musical interests lie firmly in rock and blues with a smattering of folk and world music. I consider myself lucky to have lived during the great flowering of modern rock music during its Golden Age in the late 1960s/early '70s. In poetry my major inspirations are Dylan Thomas, Rilke, Neruda and the early 20th century British/American poets: Auden, Eliot, Cummings. My preferred cinema includes the great French auteurs, Kirosawa, Orson Welles, and Film Noir. My preferred social causes are too numerous to mention but include banning GMOs, eliminating poverty (ha-ha), and a sane approach to forest conservation and resource extraction. Wish me—wish us all—luck on that one!
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2 Responses to Phonegate scandal goes unreported in Canadian media

  1. Pingback: « Phonegate scandal goes unreported in Canadian media » par Sean Arthur Joyce | Blog citoyen de Marc Arazi

  2. Pingback: Les médias canadiens passent à côté du Phonegate | L'errance d'un électrosensible

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