Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
11 August 2010
Wi-Fi opponents make waves
By Alex Browne - Peace Arch News
Published: July 29, 2010 1:00 PM
Updated: July 29, 2010 1:06 PM
Tourism White Rock's Andrea Temple, with a banner announcing Wi-Fi at the beach.
Doug Shanks photo
Opponents of wireless technology – particularly the new free Wi-Fi and Bluetooth service along White Rock Beach – took over the public question period at White Rock council's meeting Monday night.
Speakers, including South Surrey's Linda Honing of Citizens for Safe Technology, seemed more intent on voicing their concerns about the health impacts of wireless signals – and, specifically, the new BlueZone initiative of Tourism White Rock – than framing questions.
But ultimately their queries boiled down to two: would the city take a serious look at information on the perceived dangers of Wi-Fi and would someone get back to speakers to confirm that it had?
The answer to both, said Mayor Catherine Ferguson, was yes.
"Ms. Clark (city manager Peggy Clark) will be taking a look at this and she will be getting back to you," Ferguson said, thanking speakers for expressing their concerns.
Ferguson noted earlier that council did not have authority or control over the granting of licences for wireless technology.
In pleading for more attention on the issue, some questioners applauded White Rock's stance on pesticides and smoking, drawing the parallel that both were health issues that, in earlier decades, had not been taken seriously.
Noreen Johnson, a Royal Avenue resident, said her high sensitivity to wireless technology would force her to move her home out of White Rock – and even made it difficult for her to speak in council chambers due to heart palpitations.
"Humans are bio-electric beings," she said.
"How are you going to compensate businesses and individuals who are going to leave the city?" she said.
South Surrey resident Farren Lander said the 14 new routers for the BlueZone were adding to some 240 already in the area; adding to "literally a fabric of frequencies around White Rock."
He added that effects of wireless signals can range from headaches and skin rashes to hormonal imbalances and sleep disorders.
"The tapestry is growing," he said.
"My fear is we are reaching a tipping point."
Parishioners protest plan for cellphone antennas in Ridgefield church steeple
Monday, August 9, 2010
BY SHAWN BOBURG
RIDGEFIELD — Voicing concerns about their health and property values, dozens of parishioners and neighbors of St. Matthew's Church rallied Monday night to protest a plan to install cellphone antennas inside the church steeple.
The deal with T-Mobile would make the church the first in the Archdiocese of Newark to lease its steeple to a wireless communications company. It also would bring in much-needed money, church officials say.
But critics worry that radiation from the eight panel antennas could cause little-understood health issues for worshippers and residents, even though T-Mobile and the church have said the antennas meet safety guidelines.
"Cellphone towers don't belong near a school or near a residential area," rally organizer Pat DeCandia yelled into a bullhorn, as about 75 people standing on a cordoned-off section of Prospect Avenue chanted "No cell tower."
Many held signs, including "Newark Archdiocese: Don't cell out Ridgefield" and "St. Matthew's signed a pact with the devil."
The rally comes a week before the start of a trial that could bring the nearly two-year controversy to an end. The borough's zoning board rejected T-Mobile's proposal in June because it said the company did not prove the apparatus was necessary. T-Mobile sued the zoning board, arguing it illegally rejected the plan.
The company is seeking a court-ordered approval of the antenna array, which it says will fill a cellphone coverage gap in the borough.
But critics at the rally vowed to put pressure on T-Mobile and the archdiocese to walk away from the signed lease — even if the court overturns the town's decision.
"Let the church know how you feel," DeCandia implored. "Let's stand up against big business."
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said Friday that the parish will honor the $2,000-a-month lease agreement, even though the pastor, the Rev. Donald Sheehan, has had a change of heart since signing it.
"The pastor has written to T-Mobile to tell them that he prefers that they didn't go forward right now, but he will honor the contract," said spokesman Jim Goodness. "It has caused a lot of pain in the community, but there is still solid support because it would be a revenue producer."
Several residents and parishioners at the rally said they feared the effects of electromagnetic radiation on Prospect Avenue, a mostly residential street. Others predicted property values would drop or worried that heat produced by the antennas would cause a fire in the 95-foot steeple.
"I'm concerned about the health effects, plus it's not right to deface a church that's been here so many years," said Gonz Fernandez, a Prospect Avenue resident for 43 years.
Under federal law, local boards are not allowed to consider health issues when deciding on such applications. Consultant reports commissioned by T-Mobile also concluded that the antennas posed no health risk. A T-Mobile spokesperson and its attorney in the lawsuit declined comment.
A trial on T-Mobile's lawsuit against the zoning board will begin Aug. 17 in Hackensack Superior Court.
The zoning board denied the plan, in part, because it said T-Mobile could not prove the antennas were needed. Residents pointed out that T-Mobile's website at the time said cellphone coverage in the area was excellent.
T-Mobile said at the hearing that customers have complained of dropped calls in the area. It also maintains that proving a "significant gap" in coverage is not legally required, according to court records.
"The zoning board feels very strongly in their denial," said Ridgefield's zoning board attorney Craig Bossong. "We hope the court decides the zoning board's decision was grounded in fact and law."
Society is in a 'wireless trance'
Published: August 10, 2010 3:00 PM
Editor: Re: "Cell tower feedback sought," (The Times, July 28).
More information about the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation from wireless technology is coming out every day.
Not enough is being done in the U.S. by cities, counties, states and the federal government to protect us from the potentially devastating health and environmental effects, and the same is likely true in Canada.
Through the 1996 U.S. telecommunications act, the telecoms are shielded from liability and oversight. Initially cell phones were released with no pre-market safety testing, despite the fact the government and the military have known for more than 50 years that radio frequency is harmful to all biological systems.
Health studies were suppressed and the $4 trillion a year industry was given what amounts to a licence to kill.
On the face of it, the 1996 telecommunications act is unconstitutional and a cover-up. Within the fine print city governments are not allowed to consider "environmental" effects from cell towers. They should anyway.
It is the moral and legal obligation of our governments to protect our health and welfare. Or is it? When did this become an obsolete concept?
A cell tower is a potential microwave weapon which may be capable of causing cancer, genetic damage and other biological problems. Bees, bats, humans, plants and trees are all affected by radio frequency and electromagnetic fields.
Communities fight to keep cell towers away from schools, yet they allow the school boards to install Wi-Fi in all of our schools, thereby irradiating our kids for six to seven hours each day. Kids go home and the genetic assault continues with portable phones, cell phones, Wi-Fi and Wii's. A tsunami of cancers and early Alzheimer's awaits our kids.
Young people under the age of 20 are 420 per cent more at risk of forming brain tumours, according to a Swedish study conducted by Dr. Lennart Hardell, because of their soft skulls, brain size and cell turnover time.
Instead of teaching "safer" cell phone use and the dangers of wireless technology, our schools mindlessly rush to wireless. They are bending to industry pressure, rather than making informed decisions.
We teach about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and safe sex but not about "safer" cell phone use. We are in a wireless trance and scientists are panicking, while young brains, ovaries and sperm (are damaged).
More reasons why Health Canada cannot be trusted.
Dr. Shiv Chopra was a drug company insider and also worked for what is now Health Canada -- the Canadian equivalent of the FDA – for 35 years. In this interview he discusses the issue of food safety, and the toxic elements of our conventional food supply.
Dr. Mercola's comments
You may remember Dr. Shiv Chopra from my interview with him last year, discussing the problems with the swine flu vaccine. He is truly an expert on this topic, having spent 18 years on vaccines and antibiotics for humans with Health Canada. But he also spent another 17 years in the Human Safety Evaluation of Drugs given to food-producing animals, with the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs.
When it comes to the inner workings of the regulatory authorities that are involved with drugs for both humans and livestock, there are very few people in the world who are more qualified than Dr. Chopra to comment on these issues.
The Not-So-Safe Safety Review Process
In his latter position, which he took on in 1988, the first drug safety review that landed on his desk was that of the recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is used to significantly increase milk production in cows.
The genetically engineered drug was produced by Monsanto, and their competitor, Eli Lily.
"I was concerned," Chopra says, "so I raised some questions, because it was a growth hormone... The questions I raised were very simple, normal scientific questions.
If you're going to give something to food-producing animals, then under the laws of both the countries [Canada and the US], the company must demonstrate that it will produce no harm, ultimately, to people who consume that product.
They said no, they don't want it tested, and there is no need to test it because it's the same hormone, although it's genetically engineered, that the cow produces.
I said it doesn't matter. Even if it's naturally produced hormone obtained from the cows, if you give an excess of it, just like if you take too much insulin for yourself, you can die…
I said, "You must test it in laboratory animals as required under the law." They did not want to test it…"
In fact, Dr. Chopra never received any of the studies he'd requested to make a determination about the safety of rBGH in Canada, and therefore refused to approve it.
The US FDA, however, went ahead and approved rBGH for use in February 1994, despite nationwide protests by consumer groups.
"… The pressure from my bosses, all the way going up to the top and out into the political circles of the government bureaucracy, under the prime minister, they were saying "Just pass it because the U.S. has passed it," Chopra says. "So the pressure went on and on and on until I blew the whistle in 1997."
What did the US FDA base their decision on, considering that Chopra on the Canadian side had been so unsuccessful in receiving the safety tests and data he needed in order to make a determination?
That's a great question, especially in light of what Dr. Chopra discovered next.
Dr. Chopra's Concerns Turned Out to Be Right
While producing a department ordered report on rBGH in 1997, called the Gaps Analysis Report, the team discovered that the data he'd requested back in 1988 had in fact been produced by Monsanto, but he'd never gained access to it.
And, Monsanto's tests confirmed Dr. Chopra's initial fears.
The tests showed that rBGH increased insulin-like growth factor in rats, increased thyroid activity, and produced effects in the testes. (He had also requested tests in female rats to check for effects on the ovaries and progesterone, however those tests were never performed.)
"The matter then exploded in Canada. I was hauled before the Senate Committee on Agriculture with my colleagues. We had to testify under oath… This is the beginning of my trouble and exposure of Health Canada, and exposure of the U.S. -- what the U.S. did; how it happened," Chopra says.
Our Only Line of Defense Against Harmful Drugs are Often Ignored, or Worse…
Part of the "trouble" Chopra is referring to occurred in 2004, when he and two of his colleagues were fired by Health Canada on charges of insubordination.
" We're still in court for wrongful dismissal," Chopra says. "… Insubordination means that you refuse to work. We didn't refuse to work. But we refused to pass drugs which we thought should not be passed. The courts will have to decide whether we were insubordinate or not."
This is a fascinating commentary on the entire system of drug approvals, and a testament of how the system that is designed to protect public health, whether in the US or Canada, simply does not work anymore.
Again and again, we see this repeating pattern: when concerned scientists who really understand the issues voice their concerns, they're oftentimes fired.
They're dismissed because they interfere with the collusion between government and these large multinational corporations whose primary intent is to increase their profits – not to serve the public health.
The fact is, as Chopra describes, the ONLY safety stop we have are the scientists reviewing the data provided by these corporations. Once they pass it, everyone assumes the drug is safe, and more importantly, politicians and the corporations themselves are off the hook.
The health of tens of thousands of consumers depend on them to ask the right questions, and make the right judgment call.
The Canadian system is perhaps even worse than the US, as Canada only performs paper verification and doesn't do any testing of their own on these products, which the US has the capacity to do.
Either way, essentially what we have now is a politically run system where companies do NOT have to prove the safety and efficacy of their product in peer-reviewed scientific literature.
All they have to do is manipulate the regulatory authorities to approve their product, and they can then use that approval as proof and documentation -- rather than the actual science -- that their product is safe!
Dr. Chopra's book, Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower, tells the entire sordid story of what happens within our regulatory agencies, and it's not a comforting picture.
How a Scientist Can Be Pressured to Relinquish His Ethical Obligation
So, how exactly does this manipulation work?
Dr. Chopra explains:
"At every election time, the pharmaceutical companies, slaughterhouses, all these mega companies get together and bring pressure on the politicians, because they make political donations and so forth… And there are registered lobbyists who even get jobs inside the cabinets -- like Michael Taylor at the U.S. FDA.
There were people like that in Canada as well, working in the Minister of Health's office and pressuring, "Where is this product?" It's that kind of pressure, [it's an] incestuous relationship between corporations and the government.
The public just assumes that government is looking after them; they assume everything is alright. If an individual scientist like me blows the whistle, everybody gangs up and say, "He's not a team player. He's a troublemaker. Get rid of him."
I have letters documented in my book, showing how the companies wrote to the Minister of Health; how they went to the Privy Council; how they went to the Prime Minister saying "Fire Shiv Chopra, and fire whoever stands with him."
That's how the three of us were fired. That is the kind of power these companies have."
The Destruction of Our Food Supply
In this interview, Dr. Chopra covers a lot of ground, including the fact that so much of the foods you find in your local grocery store aren't even real food anymore – and far from safe to eat.
Again we see politicians colluding with big business, which inevitably results in less safety for you and more money for them.
I highly recommend listening to this interview in its entirety, or reading through the transcript, to get the full story.
The use of veterinary antibiotics, for example, has now become a major public health hazard, yet little is being done to curb its overuse.
Seventy percent of all antibiotics used in the US are used in animals raised for food. You need to understand that commercially raised livestock are given these drugs indiscriminately – not because they're sick, but to prevent infections – which are inevitable in factory farm environments, but not in organic farming -- and to stimulate increased growth.
This is one of the driving factors behind the rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.
You are literally ingesting antibiotics every time you eat factory-farmed meat, and such regular consumption of antibiotics is an open invitation to develop hardier antibiotic-resistant bugs.
A variety of hormones are also used to promote growth in animals raised for food, and many of them are 'complete carcinogens,' Chopra says.
"Animals don't live long enough to get cancer. Animals are slaughtered and eaten. But there are leftover hormones in their meat. Some of them are synthetic hormones that have been proven to be complete
carcinogens. In other words, they can initiate a new cancer, or they can promote an existing cancer. They'll do both. Therefore they are called complete carcinogens.
They are in the food supply!
If something is a carcinogen, you cannot determine the safe limit for such a product because a single molecule of such a product can attach to a single cell in the body, and if it's done on a daily basis for life, it can trigger and promote cancer.
So therefore, it takes a long time to develop, and the government is saying there is no proof that it causes cancer…
But how are you going to get proof unless there are lifetime studies? And lifetime studies in animals have not been done. They're not allowed to be done. And the governments are not asking for them."
What Can You Do to Protect the Health of Your Family?
If you listen to Dr. Chopra's interview, it will surely drive home the importance of eating organically-grown and raised foods… Ideally, you'll want it to be from a local source as well, for several reasons, one of which is to ensure optimal freshness.
Chopra's descriptions of factory farming conditions and practices are enough to send chills down your spine and question what's really in the food you eat every day. And then, of course, there's the issue of genetically engineered food ingredients, and pesticides, and processing practices that denature the food, ridding it of all its health-promoting goodness, and the list goes on...
There's no doubt in my mind that if you want to maintain good health, you simply must educate yourself about how the foods you eat are produced. When you compare unadulterated, organic foods to conventional processed foods, there's simply no question that one is real food, and the other is anything but!
You may spend more money on organic food today, but your payoff of good health should more than make up for it – and reduce your health care costs in the future.
For more information about the benefits of organic, grass-fed beef, see this previous article, which discusses several of the benefits of grass-fed over factory farm-raised meats. If you're on a tight budget, but want to improve your diet by shopping organic, this is definitely where you'll want to start, as animal products tend to bioaccumulate toxins, concentrating them to far higher concentrations than are typically present in vegetables.
Here's also a listing of great resources to obtain organically-grown, wholesome food:
- Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Farmers' Markets-- A national listing of farmers' markets.
- Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
- Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
- FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA's, and markets near you.
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