A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Time To Invoke the Precautionary Principle for RF, Say Senior Scientists

Why Don’t the Tenets of Toxicology Apply?

February 28, 2023

The precautionary principle should be applied to public exposures to RF radiation. So say four senior academic scientists —including the former director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP)— in a strongly worded appeal, published today.

Writing in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, Paul Ben Ishai, Linda Birnbaum, Devra Davis and Hugh Taylor point to a “plethora of both experimental and epidemiological evidence establishing a causal relationship between EMF and cancer and other adverse health effects.”

However, they go on, the picture that has emerged in public discourse has been distorted by some “fundamentally flawed, yet widely publicized reports purporting to show no health risk.” They point out that much of this disinformation comes from “industry-affiliated scientists.”

“It is imperative to insist on a complete picture of the evidence and not the whitewashed or distorted version currently promoted,” they say.

In an extended email exchange with Microwave News, Ben Ishai, the lead author of the new paper, decried that the fundamental tenets of toxicology —“to predict and prevent harm”— are being dismissed when it comes to RF radiation. This is a “strange” double standard, he told me. Ben Ishai, a physicist at Ariel University in Israel, described the rejection of both the Precautionary Principle and the Bradford Hill criteria for RF as “a major problem.” We should not be waiting for absolute proof before regulating, he said. (The Hill criteria are used to help establish causation.)

Ben Ishai’s coauthors are: Linda Birnbaum, who led the NTP from 2009 to 2019 and is currently a scholar in residence at Duke University; Devra Davis, the founder and president of the Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a non-profit research and advocacy group based in Teton Village, Wyoming; and Hugh Taylor, the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Both Birnbaum and Taylor are members of the National Academy of Medicine.

Targeting Bias in JAMA Oncology

“The paper evolved from our discussions of several peer-reviewed papers that provided biased analysis, most notably the 2021 review by David Robert Grimes published in JAMA Oncology,” Davis told Microwave News. Indeed, the text of the new paper takes issue with Grimes no fewer than a dozen times —most notably his dismissal of the $30 million NTP animal studies, which found “clear evidence” of a cancer risk. The authors object to Grimes’s assertion that, “The NTP study was so flawed that it did not constitute a valid finding.” This was “amazing,” Ben Ishai told me.

Soon after it was published, Birnbaum and Davis urged JAMA Oncology to retract the Grimes paper, as did Microwave News. The JAMA editors refused.

I asked Birnbaum, who, as the head of NTP, shepherded the RF bioassays through multiple peer reviews, why some are so quick to dismiss the NTP findings. She does not have a clear answer, she replied, but thinks that some people do not want “to believe that non-ionizing radiation can have effects.”

Why don’t the tenets of toxicology apply to RF radiation? Ben Ishai ascribes the problem as a “clash” between two different views of the world. Toxicology is the province of those with backgrounds in biology and medicine who appreciate the possibility of long-term, cumulative effects, he explained, while those with engineering and physics backgrounds look for immediate causation.

Concern over 5G

In their conclusion, Ben Ishai, Birnbaum, Davis and Taylor write that they “add their voices to those of 400 experts in the field calling for discussion of a moratorium on 5G.” (This is known as the 5G Appeal; 5G is the latest generation of cell phone technology.)

Without this, they warn, “We are effectively conducting an uncontrolled experiment on ourselves, our families, and our children.”


Protecting Children

March 23, 2023

The four authors of the precaution paper, together with three others including Tom Butler, have published a companion paper which identifies and seeks to reduce RF risks to childreh.

More here.