Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Letter to Commission of Public Sector Integrity

Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:04 PM
Subject: Letter to Commission of Public Sector Integrity

Dear Dr. Martin MP
Please find attached a letter I wrote to the Commissioner of Public Sector Integrity, who, I have been told, has the responsibility for overseeing public civil servants. As I said in the letter, I have received no adequate response to my petition to the Auditor General. Health Canada and Industry Canada have shown nothing but contempt to the public and for the public's health. I ask you to do whatever you can to ensure that the Commissioner follows through with a thorough investigation into these departments and their relationships with the telecommunications industry. It is long overdue.
Sharon Noble

Victoria, BC V9C 3V5

December 2, 2008

Commissioner, Public Sector Integrity Canada
60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7

Dear Sir or Madam,

In June of this year I submitted a petition to the Auditor General regarding Health Canada and Industry Canada, asking about Health Canada's use of industry-funded research regarding electromagnetic radiation from telecommunication transmitters. I have tried for more than 2 years to obtain information explaining why Health Canada's Safety Code 6, which regulates the amount of radiation to which the general public can be exposed, allows levels higher than those allowed in many other countries. Also, I have asked why independent studies from credible international scientists are not considered when establishing these levels.

In the petition, I provided evidence of direct associations between researchers both within Health Canada itself and the various professional panels, such as the Royal Society, and the telecommunications industry which they are authorized to monitor. I gave specific examples of industry funding for research used to justify the current public exposure limits. It is a widely acknowledged that funding can and often does influence the outcome of research. But Health Canada chose to ignore the evidence. It chose, instead, to respond, in virtually all instances, with the phrase "Safety Code 6 is safe."

Meanwhile, people are suffering the consequences with skin problems, neurological disorders including memory loss, and, even, cancer. These health disorders are shown in numerous studies to be the effect of prolonged exposure to non-thermal levels of radiation far below those allowed under Safety Code 6. Even though the WHO and ICNIRP, another investigative body, both acknowledge that Safety Code 6 standards are for thermal radiation only, and not non-thermal, Health Canada, for reasons of its own, maintains that they apply to non-thermal radiation as well.

As more cellular transmitters and Wi-Fi are being brought into schools and residential neighbourhoods, people, especially children, are being exposed to ever increasing amounts of electromagnetic radiation.. Dr. Martin Blank, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, and co-author of the BioInitiative Report, 2007, has said this is a monumental epidemic waiting to happen.

And Industry Canada, which is empowered with enforcing the out-dated Safety Code 6, is not performing its job. In June, 2008, Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, measured radiation levels at my home and found that they exceeded Safety Code 6 maximum allowable limits by more than 200%. When, at Dr. Havas's urging, I subsequently asked for a test of FM transmitters 100 meters from my home, I was told Industry Canada does not test the output of transmitters to determine if the level of radiation is within Safety Code 6, even though, under Industry Canada's mandate, one of its prime responsibilities is the regular monitoring of telecommunication antennae. The explanation I was given by the Regional Director of Industry Canada on Vancouver Island was that there are too many transmitters so they only test if there is reason to suspect a transmitter of not being in compliance. When I asked what would cause a suspicion of non-compliance if no testing were done, the Director did not reply.

It appears as if no one is watching out for the public's welfare -- neither Health Canada which sets the regulations nor Industry Canada which is charged with enforcing them. Prior to the testing which was done on July 30 as a result of my request (the results of which are still being kept from us), the power of the transmitters was reduced drastically. This was confirmed by meters and by reduction in levels of harmful interference with telephones, electrical equipment, etc. experienced by neighbours as far away as 2 kilometres. Certainly it appears as if collusion between Industry Canada and the broadcasters is occurring, with the officials giving forewarning of testing to the very people they are supposed to be monitoring.

Many members of the public, including doctors and scientists, have been asking Health Canada and Industry Canada for years to reconsider the radiation levels, only to be ignored. Given the magnitude of evidence that Safety Code 6 levels of non-thermal radiation are dangerously high, and the fact that both Health Canada and Industry Canada are being negligent in performing their jobs, it is high time that action be taken. Could your department investigate the officials and researchers in these departments, including the members of the panels to whom they look for advice, for conflicts of interest?

My petition to the Auditor General contains over 20 pages of detailed evidence. If you feel that it might assist you in considering my plea, I would be most happy to send it to you.

Yours respectfully,

Sharon Noble