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New WHO Finding on Cellphones: Will CTIA Let FCC Take a More Proactive Stand?

Today the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released the above statement on a possible connection between “wireless phone use” and cancer.

CTIA’s ever quotable John Walls responded,

“Today, an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group in Lyon, France categorized radiofrequency fields from cellphones as ‘possibly’ carcinogenic based on ‘limited evidence.’ IARC conducts numerous reviews and in the past has given the same score to, for example, pickled vegetables and coffee. This IARC classification does not mean cellphones cause cancer. Under IARC rules, limited evidence from statistical studies can be found even though bias and other data flaws may be the basis for the results.“The IARC working group did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies. Based on previous assessments of the scientific evidence, the Federal Communications Commission has concluded that ‘[t]here’s no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer.’ The Food and Drug Administration has also stated that ‘[t]he weight of scientific evidence has not linked cellphones with any health problems.’”

CNN posted the following video on the issue:

Your blogger agrees with the tone of the CNN video. There is no need to “freak out”, but we should try to reduce exposure in reasonable ways. This is something that has been proposed here several times along with references to to the proactive stance of CTIA’s French counterpart.

Unfortunately, CTIA and its members are still stonewalling behind the viewpoint that since cellphones meet all present federal standards, nothing else is needed. Industry sources tell your blogger that this is based in part on trying to limit industry liability if health problems are later found. I hope the public finds that reassuring and is glad to know that FCC supports CTIA’s parochial interests in this matter.
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