• 15 APR 12
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    Norwegian parliamentarians critical of Repacholi’s attack on Brundtland

    From Aftenbladet, courtesy of Microwave News:

    Norwegian Parliament’s top health Politicians Bent Høie (H) and Laila Dåvøy (KrF) believe Gro Harlem Brundtland and others who claim to get sick from mobile-phone radiation.

    By Thomas Ergo

    (Machine translation cleaned by H. Eiriksson)

    – Whether mobile phone radiation is harmful or not, I have no idea. But that people have health problems from the radiation, there is no doubt, says Bent Høie, leader of Norway’s Parliament’s Health and Human Services Committee.

    – I believe people who say they are allergic to mobile phone radiation, committee member Laila Dåvøy said to newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad.

    Statements run contrary to what the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority and the World Health Organization says about electromagnetic hypersensitivity not being documented as a real phenomenon.

    Høie: no doubt

    Stavanger Aftenblad wrote Thursday about the former head of the WHO EMF project, Michael Repacholi, who for years led the research on mobile phone radiation and health. In an interview with the magazine Plot, he claimed that Gro Harlem Brundtland has created fear of wireless radiation in the population, when she went public ten years ago and said she got headaches from mobile-phone radiation. At the time she was Director General of the World Health Organization. The assertion is largely supported by Norwegian researchers.

    – This is an unfair criticism of Gro. She stated that she is electro-sensitive and that can not be criticized. I think there is no doubt that there are people who are electro-sensitive, as some are allergic to peanuts and oranges. But we can not conclude that radiation, peanuts and oranges are bad for everyone, says Høie, who is eagerly awaiting the government’s expert committee, which will soon present a report on whether such mobile-phone radiation poses any health risk.

    – Disrespectful

    Also Dåvøy respond to the former WHO EMF project leaders criticism of Gro.

    – I think it’s rather incredible and disrespectful to react this way, when Gro has chosen to be open about her problems with electrical hypersensitivity. Gro has been brave. But I find that very many are dismissed and ridiculed by those who claim to be experts on this, says Dåvøy to Aftenbladet.

    She knows of several cases where children have been sick, and that the symptoms disappear when the source of wireless radiation is removed.

    – Experts say that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is something people think they have. But you can not blame children for getting sick because of them hearing talk of it being able to make them ill, says Dåvøy.

    Both she and Høie are skeptical of the Norwegian Radiation Protections advice in the field, and believe that Norway’s policy should take greater account for the fact that mobile-phone radiation can pose a health problem for many people. International research shows that anywhere between 1½ to 10 percent of the population are electro-sensitive.

    – It is difficult to be electro-hypersensitive when the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority provides the kind of advice they give to health authorities. Electrical hypersensitivity is dismissed as non-existent. I think we must look more to countries like France, which has a more proactive precautionary policy than Norway. In a few years it may be too late, says Dåvøy.

    – Sold out public health

    The renowned American journalist Louis Slesin from Microwave News in the U.S. has followed Repacholi for decades, and Slesin has also revealed Repacholi’s close ties to the mobile industry. In 2006, after Repacholi retired as head of WHO’s research program in mobile-phones and health, it emerged that the mobile industry had funded at least half of the WHO mobile-phone research, via the Australian hospital Repacholi previously worked for. Repacholi insisted that the hospital only served as a practical “firewall” between industry and research and that researchers integrity was well preserved.

    – Mike Repacholi turned his research project at the WHO into a supporter for the mobile industry. It was very sad to see him sell out public health for money from the industry. Some of us believed what he did was contrary to WHO’s rules, but no one seemed to care, Slesin said to Aftenbladet.

    The Swedish journalist Mona Nilsson, author of the book “The Health Risks of Mobile-Phones” says the former WHO project leader Repacholi has been the mobile industry’s errand boy. She refers to research reports that will prove that all from Korean students to mouse fetuses and animals generally react to mobile phone radiation.

    – So we can conclude that Gro has managed to scare not only Korean students, but also animals and insects into imagining being harmed by mobile-phone radiation, Nilsson writes in a scathing e-mail to Aftenbladet newspaper.

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