Press release: Open letter of “no confidence” to WHO – European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health (PECCEM)

Press release: Open letter of “no confidence” to WHO 26.01.17
European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health (PECCEM)

The Conflict of Interest Scandal is repeating itself in the WHO: European citizens’ organisations uncover conflicts of interest between the health and radiofrequency WHO expert group and telecommunications or electric companies.

Almost 40 organizations and European Platforms (which in turn include many regional, national or local social organizations), supported by the International EMF Alliance (IEMFA), denounce the flagrant conflict of interest of the Core Group of experts for drafting, in the current year, of a WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radio-Frequency Fields.

The “European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health” sent an open letter of “no confidence” to WHO denouncing the conflict of interests of the members of the expert group on radio frequencies at the end of January 2017 (1), joining the request made in the same line by the BioInitiative Working Group (2), independent panel of internationally recognized scientists and experts who have reviewed more than 4000 scientific studies related to electromagnetic fields and health. The radiofrequency electromagnetic fields should be classified as “Carcinogenic to humans” into IARC / WHO Group 1, according to the BioInitiative review of latest published scientific studies in the past years.

The preponderant presence of members of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reminds us that this organization (and other institutions with the same criteria) refused to accept new scientific evidence of potential health risks from non-thermal, low-intensity radiofrequency radiation despite recent scientific advances in knowledge on the subject. ICNIRP not only does not guarantee transparency or independence but conflicts of interest of its members are well known and reported, due to impartiality that should govern the regulation of Public Exposure Standards for non-ionizing radiation. Although it is essential that industry be involved and cooperate in this process, industry should not be allowed to bias its processes or conclusion. In June 2015 the AVAATE organization issued a detailed report on such conflicts of interest (3).

The signatory European social organizations subscribe, together with organizations around the world (4), International EMF Scientist Appeal (5), more than 220 scientists from 41 nations that have published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing radiation, requested the WHO and the UN to protect human and wildlife exposure to such fields:
“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life. These findings justify our appeal to the United Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures, and educating the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public health agency”

The signatory European social organizations emphasize the need to ensure a high level of transparency, impartiality and plural criterion to expert assessments on health risks of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF), at all levels of decision, on basis of the WHO rules, the Resolution 1815 (2011) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment, and the Aarhus Convention (1998) on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. The implementation of these principles would guarantee not only a pluralistic WHO RF EHC Core Group membership, but also the presentation of alternative scientific interpretations, the “views” of citizens and the presence of relevant groups involved with this issue.

Please refer to the pdf link for references,as well as the list of organizations that have signed this submission European.coordination.press.release-february-2017(2)

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