The Swedish Strålskyddsstiftelsen’s newsletter, published on August 21, 2020, contains a comment on the 98-pages report “The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Conflicts of interest, corporate capture and the push for 5G” published by the European Parliament members Dr Klaus Buchner and Michèle Rivasi. The post is signed by “Admin”. The utterly detailed investigative character of the comment however makes it likely that Mona Nilsson is the author. Who is Mona Nilsson?
On the page: “Styrelse“[board] on the website of the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation “Strålskyddsstiftelsen” the name Mona Nilsson is the first mentioned. She is an investigative journalist specialized in the topic of risks with radiation from mobile telecommunications systems. She is the author of ”Mobiltelefonins hälsorisker”[Mobile phone’s health risks], ”Spelet om 3G”[The game about 3G] and many articles on the subject. She has examined most aspects of the issue for over 14 years and is today one of Sweden’s most knowledgeable experts in the field. She has a master’s degree in international economics from Uppsala University and has further education in the environment at Stockholm and Uppsala universities.
Playlist with videos: YouTube
Multerland translated the Swedish text via Google into English, linked some names and terms, and put some corrections / additions between brackets, to offer extra information or to avoid confusion.
EU report on ICNIRP shows links to telecommunications companies
The recommendations on permissible radiation that the organisation ICNIRP has developed are influenced by the large telecommunications companies according to a new in-depth review commissioned by two EU parliamentarians[of which Dr Klaus Buchner has retired in the meantime]. ICNIRP’s recommendations for permissible radiation, which are applied in Sweden and recommended by the EU and the WHO, have long been heavily criticised for being severely inadequate as protection against proved effects of harmful radiation. The new report accuses ICNIRP, which is alleged to be independent of industrial influence, of turning a blind eye to the harmful effects of the radiation and of being under the influence of the large telecommunications companies whose activities are greatly affected by ICNIRP’s assessments.
ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) is the organisation based in Germany that determines how much radiation the telecommunications companies may expose people to. They have been issuing recommendations since 1998, which are then recommended by the European Commission, the WHO and most EU member states.
The two EU parliamentarians, the Frenchwoman Michèle Rivasi (Europe Écologie) and the German Dr Klaus Buchner (Ökologisch–Demokratische Partei) have commissioned an examination of ICNIRP’s alleged “independence”. In light of the many independent researchers who for many years have warned about health risks with radiation from wireless technology, but ICNIRP gives a completely opposite message and claims that no risks would be seen or exist, the two EU parliamentarians felt the need to investigate the powerful organization . The parliamentarians recognized the behaviour of other environmental and health scandals, when those in power have for too long turned a blind eye to scientific facts and researchers’ warnings, such as tobacco, asbestos and pesticides. ICNIRP is a closed circle of like-minded self-appointed experts, as new members are elected by former members, according to the report “The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Conflicts of interest, corporate capture and the push for 5G”.
ICNIRP’s neutrality is a lie
The growing scientific evidence for harmful health effects is something that ICNIRP has completely turned a blind eye to before the expansion of 5G. Instead, ICNIRP issued new recommendations in March 2020, with ICNIRP [then]President Eric van Rongen[now vice chair, M.], who is also an expert on WHO and SSM, stating that “the most important thing that people should remember is that 5G will not be able to cause harm for so long. our new recommendations are applied ”.
There is a complete lack of research on the health and environmental effects of exposure to 5G in combination with 4G and other environmental impacts, ie what people and the environment are exposed to in reality;
The increasing evidence of adverse effects at levels well below ICNIRP’s limit values from existing technologies (2G, 3G, WiFi).
Unlike ICNIRP, more than 380 scientists and doctors believe that 5G should be stopped due to serious potential health consequences. (5G Appeal).
There is increasing scientific evidence for adverse health effects well below ICNIRP’s recommendations, the report states. In the article “Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact”, published in The Lancet (December 2018), researchers from ORSAA, Australia and the University of Albany, USA, state that out of a total of 2,266 studies on the effects of EMF, less than 68% “significant biological or health effects”.
– This means that the argument that there would be no scientific evidence to act is simply not true. ICNIRP pretends to be scientifically neutral and free from ties to the telecom industry. We show in this report that it is playing with the truth or even a lie. It is a great shame that ICNIRP and in particular the European Commission and Member States continue to not protect their citizens with the argument that there is scientific uncertainty, the two MEPs write in the preface.
Links with telecom
The report describes the history of ICNIRP and reviews the conflicts of interest for each of the 45 members of ICNIRP’s so-called “main commission” and “scientific expert group“. Is ICNIRP really an independent organization or are there conflicts of interest within the organization?
The new report shows that ICNIRP is not reliable as an independent basis for decision-making. ICNIRP’s composition is very one-sided and is not representative of the research world’s view. In addition, just over half of the members have conflicts of interest in the form of financing from the telecommunications companies. In addition, several members of the industry organization ICES are within the IEEE. ICES also issues guidelines on permissible radiation in line with ICNIRP’s view that there are only immediate heating effects and nothing else to worry about. Within ICES, representatives from telecom, military and energy companies are actively involved in the decision-making processes. Nevertheless, in 2016, ICNIRP [then]President Eric van Rongen chose to invite ICES members to comment on the new ICNIRP proposals. According to the report, several other events show close cooperation between the industrial organization ICES and ICNIRP. The fact that Eric van Rongen and several other members of ICNIRP are also members of ICES reinforces the image that ICNIRP is not independent, as alleged.
ICNIRP has worked closely with IEEE / ICES in drafting the new guidelines published earlier this year. This means that large telecommunications companies as well as the US military have had a direct influence over ICNIRP’s recommendations.
In 2019, the German daily Der Tagesspiegel also published a review of ICNIRP, which described ICNIRP as a cartel that systematically rejects all research findings that show harmful effects and that neither the European Commission, the radiation safety authorities nor the responsible ministers question this action. It seems that this self-appointed commission is acting “under force majeure”, the newspaper stated.
The internationally renowned cancer expert Chris Portier and Hans Kromhout, chairman of a Dutch inquiry into electromagnetic fields, believe that ICNIRP is a closed circle of self-appointed scientists with the same opinion that has become a skewed scientific club.
Klaus Buchner believes that the European Commission should stop funding ICNIRP and that it is high time for the European Commission to create a completely independent advisory committee on the issue.
Comment from the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation:
The criticism of ICNIRP is not new but has been presented for more than 20 years, both from the research community and from political organizations, individual politicians, environmental and health organizations. ICNIRP reference values are seriously insufficient to protect against health risks. They only protect against immediate effects as the radiation is so intense that it warms the body by 1 degree within 30 minutes and is based on an outdated and long-disproved notion established by the US military in the 1950s. It excludes protection against harmful effects of prolonged exposure that is not due to warming, although these harmful effects, including the risk of neurological effects, DNA damage and cancer, have been shown repeatedly in many scientific studies for many years.
ICNIRP has a major influence on the member states’ risk assessments not only through their recommendations but also because ICNIRP’s members also sit on many other expert chairs within other organizations, for example with the WHO, the EU, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Swedish Public Health Agency. A majority of their expert groups are also members of ICNIRP. So when the telecommunications companies refer to WHO, ICNIRP, the EU and SSM as well as the Public Health Agency coming to the same conclusion, it is largely due to the fact that it is the same limited cartel of experts who made the assessments. In addition, these ICNIRP experts in many cases have ties to telecommunications companies in the form of research funding, as the new report also confirms.
Karolinska Institutet‘s ethics council already considered in 2008 that membership in ICNIRP could constitute a conflict of interest, which should be stated when ICNIRP’s members express themselves as experts for another organization.
Some EU countries have not accepted ICNIRP’s recommendations but have chosen to introduce significantly lower limit values, including Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. In 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended that Member States lower the limit value to 100 microW / m2, compared with ICNIRP’s recommendations of 10,000,000 microW / m2.
In 2011, the IARC decided to classify radiofrequency radiation, including microwave radiation from wireless technology, as “possibly carcinogenic”. This meant a rejection of ICNIRP’s views and values that exclude cancer as a possible effect. However, this has not affected ICNIRP’s new recommendations or Swedish authorities’ risk management since 2011. On the contrary, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has continued to turn a blind eye to the fact that evidence for cancer and other health risks has strengthened since 2011, and instead claimed that evidence would decrease. An obvious distortion of facts. SSM’s expert group has throughout the years been dominated by people from ICNIRP. An example in recent years is Eric van Rongen, ICNIRP’s chairman.[Now vice chair, Rodney Croft is the new chair. M.]
ICNIRP is similar to a front organization that defends the interests of the military and telecom industry. Despite the fact that there is an ever-increasing amount of research results that show health risks below ICNIRP’s limit value, ICNIRP has consistently and for many years ignored them. The composition of the expert group shows that the WHO has given up its main task, which is the defense of public health. This important task is provided for the benefit of industrial interests “, stated the 47 organizations, including the Radiation Protection Foundation.
In 2015, the EMF Scientist Appeal was launched, which is now signed by a clear majority of researchers working in the field. 252 scientists note that there is growing evidence of health and environmental effects at levels below ICNIRP recommendations:
“More and more scientific studies show biological effects and increased health risks far below current guidelines: increased cancer risk, increased formation of harmful free radicals, genetic damage, impairment of learning and memory, neurological diseases and negative effects on well-being…. However, ICNIRP continues to claim that no new evidence has emerged despite the growing evidence to the contrary. ”
In the opinion of the 252 scientists, ICNIRP’s recommendations are insufficient to protect against health effects as they do not protect against harmful effects due to prolonged exposure at lower levels.
In 2018, EMF Call was launched, which called for better protection against health risks with radiation. 164 scientists and doctors as well as a number of environmental organizations active in the field stated that ICNIRP’s conclusions and guidelines are unscientific and protect industry but not public health:
“In order to protect the public and the environment from known harmful effects of electromagnetic fields, we urge the UN, WHO and all governments not to accept ICNIRP’s guidelines. They do not protect. Rather, they pose a serious risk to human health and the environment because they allow the world’s population to be exposed to harmful exposures, even the most sensitive, with the help of the unscientific claim that they are “protective”.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) relies heavily on ICNIRP members and, like ICNIRP, chooses to boycott all researchers who are critical of ICNIRP’s values and who warn of health risks due to radiation. In all the years since its inception in 2002, SSM’s Scientific Council has constituted at least half of the members of ICNIRP. As a natural consequence, in every report, all risks below ICNIRP’s values have been dismissed. For almost ten years, the two members of ICNIRP Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting from Karolinska Institutet were chairman respectively. secretary in SSM’s expert group and also in all other state expert investigations in the matter. Both receive financing from telecom companies (Ericsson, Telia, etc.)
In their latest environmental health report (2017), the Swedish Public Health Agency has had Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting write the chapter on the risks of electromagnetic fields. The chapter dismisses all health risks and the Radiation Protection Foundation has reviewed the worst factual distortions in a review.
Maria Feychting was the Vice President of ICNIRP from 2012-2020 and is co-author of the latest recommendations published in March 2020. In November 2019, she stated that it is “very unlikely that radio waves from 5G will lead to health effects”.
In 2011, Maria Feychting stated that results that generally consistently showed an increased risk of brain tumors for mobile-using children were “calming” and that no increased risk would be observed. The study had also been manipulated so that the possibility of observing increased risk would decrease.
In 2010, Maria Feychting and Anders Ahlbom claimed that the large Interphone study did not show an increased risk of brain tumors, despite the fact that the study showed an increased risk of brain tumors among those who used the mobile phone the most, corresponding to about 30 minutes a day. The increased risks of the interphone study a year later were the basis for mobile phone radiation being classified as “possibly carcinogenic” by the IARC’s approximately 30 international experts.
Anders Ahlbom claimed until 2010 that there was nothing in Interphone or in previous results that indicated that there would be any risks with this. At the same time, Interphone’s project manager told the international press that it was worrying that the largest users were at increased risk according to the result. In 2012, Anders Ahlbom further said that his starting point is that there is no reason to suspect that there would be any risks with the radiation. It is not an appropriate starting point for an impartial assessment. Anders Ahlbom’s brother was for several years at the same time as Anders Ahlbom acted as an “independent” expert, lobbyist for Telia in Brussels.
In 1996, the first President of ICNIRP, Michael Repacholi, became head of the WHO’s work on the issue. He ensured that the WHO began an intimate collaboration with ICNIRP, which led to the WHO being largely an extended PR arm for ICNIRP and ICNIRP’s recommendations that are favorable to the telecommunications companies. The telecommunications companies’ interest organizations Mobile Manufacturers Forum, MMF, of which Ericsson is a member, and GSM Association, of which Telia is a member, were allowed to finance the work at WHO to market ICNIRP’s recommendations for the whole world, among other things through a so-called “harmonization project”.
Undoubtedly, there are many indications that ICNIRP is the telecommunications companies’ front organization and that ICNIRP’s “independence” is merely a smokescreen.
For many years, the Radiation Protection Foundation has been behind the demand for significantly lower limit values that protect against proven risks against radiation and that investigations of health and environmental risks must be balanced, representative of the research world’s and carried out by people without ties to the strong economic stakeholders. years opposed recognition of health risks due to radiation from mobiles, mobile masts, WiFi for example.
These demands come, among other things, from the Council of Europe Resolution 1815, the completely independent industry organization BioInitiative and from the medical and research group EuropaEM EMF Guidelines.
International press about the report:
- Le Monde: 5G : l’impartialité du comité qui guide l’Europe pour protéger la population des ondes en question
More on the subject:
- Vad är ICNIRP som bestämmer hur mycket strålning du ska tåla?
- Forskare och miljöorganisationer kräver bättre skydd mot strålningsrisker
- Så här högt är Sveriges gränsvärde för tillåten strålning
- WHO-chefen: “Inga tvivel om hälsoeffekter av mobilstrålning”
- Genomgång av SSM:s expertgrupp
- Granskning av organisationen ICES/IEEE av NRK 2008.