• 01 NOV 16

    Off with their heads! ABC’s Catalyst staff to be sacked and weekly TV show format scrapped

    Note: In the below article it is apparent that one of the reasons the present format of the Catalyst science program is now being scrapped, including sacking of the staff, is because of a chorus of so-called “independent” expert opinions, all claiming that the Catalyst Wi-Fried program as incorrect in not supporting the “scientific consensus” that there are no hazards from wireless technology.

    According to ACEBR Director, Rodney Croft, any other scientific opinion on this issue is fringe science and that “there is no substantiated evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency emissions encountered by mobile telecommunications can cause any harm”.

    In other words, ABC management has taken the easy option and succumbed to the Procrustean Approach…..

    Don

    ABC’s Catalyst staff to be sacked and weekly TV show format scrapped

    SNIP

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    • 26 OCT 16

    Australian Senate TPP submissions close on October 28

    For anyone who wishes to make a brief submission/comment to the Senate committee considering the TPP there are only two days left.

    The TPP inquiry is at:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/TPP

    Submissions close on Oct 28.

    Regards
    Don

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    • 26 OCT 16

    The TPP Attack on our food safety standards

    Will the current Australian Senate inquiry wake up to the many dangers of the TPP in their forthcoming discussions? Here’s more of what to expect if they ratify the TPP.

    From a report by the US based Food and Water Watch

    Selected excerpts:

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has new and expansive provisions governing food safety and agricultural protection rules that can weaken consumer protections, undermine U.S. food safety standards and expose U.S. crops and livestock to dangerous diseases and pests. This broad area of domestic law and regulation that includes food safety inspection, laboratory testing protocols and quarantines to prevent the entry of livestock diseases and crop pests would be subject to the TPP’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) provisions that make food safety rules more vulnerable to challenge at international trade tribunals. SNIP

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    • 25 OCT 16

    New report on the Trans Pacific Partnership and the implications for Australia

    For months now, the Turnbull Government has flatly refused to conduct an independent analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). So GetUp members chipped in and did it for them – and the findings of our new report, detailing the most controversial part of the deal, are explosive.

    The report, Canary in the Coal Mine, analyses the enormous risks Australia will face from the TPP’s dangerous Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, that would give new powers to multinationals to sue our government in secret courts.

    Right now, the Senate is holding an inquiry – Australia’s last line of defence against ISDS – and Dr Kyla Tienhaara, who authored the report, has submitted it for their consideration. But many members of the committee will do their best to ignore its finding. That’s where we come in.

    Together we can back her in, flooding the submissions process with community concern about the unacceptable risks detailed in the report. Our Senators will have no choice but to face up to the risks – and recommend that the Senate vote down the TPP.

    THE CANARY IN THE COALMINE: WHAT CANADA’S EXPERIENCE WITH INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT TELLS US ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE UNDER THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

    Dr. Kyla Tienhaara
    School of Regulation & Global Governance(RegNet) Australian National University
    14 October 2016

    SUMMARY
    Australia signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement on 4 February 2016……SNIP

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    • 01 OCT 16

    Monsanto and the EPA, a loving embrace????

    From the Huffington Post

    Upcoming EPA Meetings on Safety of Monsanto Weed Killer Drawing Scrutiny
    By Carey Giliam

    29/09/2016 11:24 PM AEST | Updated September 29, 2016 23:24

    Excerpt

    Bayer better be paying attention to this.

    The German company’s intended $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto Co. comes amid growing concern over the future of the company’s top-selling weed killer, a chemical called glyphosate that Monsanto introduced to the world 40 years ago as the active ingredient in its Roundup herbicide. Monsanto reaps billions of dollars annually, roughly a third of its sales, from those products.
    So it’s no small matter that in mid-October the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to spend four days holding public meetings with a scientific advisory panel on the topic of whether or not glyphosate can cause cancer. The idea of shining a public spotlight on this mounting concern about the world’s most widely used herbicide has not set well with Monsanto and the rest of the industry that profits from glyphosate products like Roundup. Agrichemical interests have gone so far as to tell the EPA that the meetings should not be held at all, and have said that if they are, many of the world’s top scientists should be excluded from participating.
    The industry clearly does not welcome the public scrutiny the meetings bring, but it should be satisfied that the EPA has made it clear it has no intention of contradicting Monsanto’s claims of glyphosate’s safety. After all, in a Sept. 12 report issued to the public, the EPA offered a 227-page evaluation of glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential that ended with a “proposed” conclusion that glyphosate was ‘”not likely to be carcinogenic to human’ at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.” All of this before the meetings are held.

    SNIP

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    • 16 SEP 16

    Auctioning off the FCC to the highest bidder

    From Josh del Sol (Take Back Your Power)

    On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released this bombshell:

    Documents obtained by a hacktivist showed that DOZENS of 6-to-7 figure donations to the DNC (US Democratic National Committee) resulted in ambassadorships and other high-level government appointments.

    And guess how much the previous FCC chair bought his position for? $3.5 MILLION.

    That’s right. Julius Genachowski donated $3,494,919 to the DNC, then was named Chairman of the FCC from 2009 to 2013.
    SNIP

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    • 16 JUL 16

    A historical perspective on the Catalyst Wi-Fried program controversy

    With the current Media Watch attack on the Catalyst program Wi-Fried and calls for its producer Maryanne Demasi to be sacked, it is worthwhile to note that this is not the first time in Australia that such an attack has happened when questions on the safety of wireless technology have been raised.

    In this other case it was not a reporter or TV program but a senior CSIRO research scientist and his entire research department. Consider……

    In early 1994 the Spectrum Management Agency, forerunner of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) commissioned the CSIRO’s Division of Radiophysics to undertake a comprehensive review of the available world-wide research on the biological effects of radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) exposure on the human body. Funding for the study came from the national carrier Telecom (later Telstra), and the carriers Optus and Vodafone and the resulting report was authored by Dr. Stan Barnett from CSIRO’s Ultrasonics Laboratory, Division of Radiophysics. SNIP

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    • 16 JUL 16

    Stephen Cleary (1936-2016) An Insider Unafraid To Challenge the Microwave Orthodoxy

    From Microwave News

    Excerpt

    Steve Cleary, who died last month, spent his entire professional career as a radiation biophysicist investigating microwave health effects. He was a remarkable scientist who played it straight, but who got tripped up in the politics surrounding health studies on cell phone radiation some 20 years ago.

    Cleary had first-hand experience with those who sought to suppress microwave research and who defended arbitrary exposure standards. He called them the “microwave mafia.”

    I first met Cleary in 1979 and we stayed in touch over the years. I’ve a written a personal reminiscence. Take a look and you will see shadows of what goes on today. One of those responsible for the roadblocks standing in Cleary’s way back then is now the chairman of the FCC. SNIP

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    • 13 JUL 16

    Read “Nation on the Take” to understand why Wheeler now heads the FCC

    Excerpt

    About Nation on the Take by Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman

    American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.

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    • 12 JUL 16

    The New York Times on Wheeler as F.C.C. Chairman (May 2013)

    Excerpt

    From the New York Times, MAY 1, 2013

    Telecom Investor Named to Be F.C.C. Chairman
    By EDWARD WYATT

    WASHINGTON — Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s pick to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, knows all about the most advanced telecommunications systems — of the 19th century.

    In his 2008 book “Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War,” Mr. Wheeler, an investor in start-up technology and communications companies, documents how Lincoln was an “early adopter” of what has been called “the Victorian Internet.”

    Lincoln’s championing and advancement of popular uses of the telegraph are not unlike the challenges Mr. Wheeler is likely to face as chairman of the F.C.C…..
    SNIP

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    • 12 JUL 16

    Leszczynski: Wheeling and dealing at the FCC

    The following article was originally published in the Washington Times Communities on May 2, 2013 in relation to the appointment of industry lobbiest Tom Wheeler as director of the FCC. As an indicator of the influence the wireless industry has over the media the Washington Times has removed and discarded from its website all articles published by Leszczynski. This one however has survived.

    Leszczynski: Wheeling and dealing at the FCC

    Post published on Thursday, May 2, 2013

    HELSINKI, Finland, May 2, 2013 – In my previous post, I urged the FCC to tighten exposure safety standards for cell phone radiation, as we do not have sufficiently good scientific evidence to support the validity of the current safety standards. On the other hand, we have evidence of the possible problem – as I called it ‘red flags’.
    SNIP- Read on….

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    • 11 JUL 16

    change.org’s petition on ABC’s removal of the Wi-fried Catalyst program

    From change.org:

    Stop Media Censorship by ABC – Unfair Attack on Catalyst and Producer Dr. Maryanne Demasi

    We, Australian citizens are appalled by the action taken by the ABC to retract the Catalyst episode that investigated potential health risks of wireless devices, titled “Wi-Fired?” and suspend the talented science journalist Dr. Maryanne Demasi.
    ABC’s Audience & Consumer Affairs report is bogus. It has distorted facts to unfairly condemn the Catalyst program. The report clearly reveals that it was the mobile and wireless industry that has put pressure on the ABC (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, AMTA). Heavily industry-funded researcher University of Wollongong psychologist Prof. Rodney Croft and sociologist Prof. Simon Chapman also led a media campaign to unfairly discredit Dr. Demasi and this episode of Catalyst.
    SNIP

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    • 10 JUL 16

    FCC under industry control now pushes for ubiquitous 5G coverage throughout America

    In May 2013 President Barack Obama, as “payback” appointed Tom Wheeler, an industry lobbyist and top campaign fundraiser and former leader of wireless- and cable-industry groups, to head the U.S. FCC. An example of Washington’s “revolving door” between government agencies and corporate America, Wheeler’s appointment was helped on by his fundraising investment on behalf on Obama’s re-election campaign. AS a result the FCC operates not as a regulator but essentially as a promotor of wireless technology free of regulatory limits. Currently we have the FCC pushing 5G for ubiquitous coverage throughout America. Read about the latest on the proposed 5G rollout from Katie Singer:

    SNIP

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    • 06 JUL 16

    Science Censorship in Australia: The retraction of the ABC TV Catalyst “Wi-Fried?”

    Excerpt

    From the blog of Dariusz Leszczynski, Between a Rock and A Hard Place:

    Excerpt:

    As there are no perfect scientific studies, there are no perfect TV science programs. Every scientific study could be improved and every TV science program could be improved, too.

    The Australian ‘Catalyst’ program tackled the very controversial science dealing with the possible health effects of wi-fi and cell phones, in a provocatively entitled “Wi-Fried?”, broadcasted on February 16, 2016 by the ABC TV.

    Many of the viewers agreed with the opinions presented in the “Wi-Fried?” and many disagreed. Those who disagreed pressured the ABC TV to retract the “Wi-Fried?” and they succeeded. As of the July 5, 2016, by the decision of the Director of Television, Richard Finlayson, the program was retracted and is no longer available on the Catalyst’s website.

    While I personally do not agree with several statements made in the “Wi-Fried?” program, I think the retraction of the program and suspension of the journalist, Maryanne Demasi, are too harsh actions. It appears that the ABC TV was possibly “pressured” to act and “scapegoats” were to be found and “retracted and suspended”. SNIP

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    • 06 JUL 16

    ABC bows to “vested interests” pressure and retracts the Catalyst WI-Fried program and suspends producer

    Excerpt

    Bowing to a barrage of criticism, the ABC has retracted the Wi-Fried program that aired in February 2016 on ABC TV Australia, i.e. it has been removed from the website and it is no longer available.

    ABC has issued a statement on the website here:
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4494933.htm

    On 16 February 2016, Catalyst aired ‘Wi-Fried?’, a program about the safety of wireless devices such as mobile phones.

    The ABC’s independent Audience & Consumer Affairs (A&CA) unit investigated complaints about the program and found that it breached the ABC’s impartiality standards by unduly favouring the unorthodox perspective that wireless devices and Wi-Fi pose significant health risks.

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    • 14 JUN 16

    The WHO’s EHC for RF and the EC on endocrine-disrupting chemicals: will industry win the day?

    Dariusz Leszczynski reports in his blog Between a Rock and A Hard Place the current status of the WHO’s next Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) for telecommunications frequencies (RF/MW). This criteria, once written and ratified, will form the basis for RF/MW regulations for years to come – so for the Telco industry a lot is riding on the outcome. I recommend a read of Leszczynski’s WHO analysis then consider the scandal unfolding with the European Commissions criteria for identifying and regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals – a huge concern for the chemical industry.

    Will industry influence rule the day for both?
    Read on….

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    • 01 JUN 16

    Telstra takes over Australia’s new National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)

    In its 2004 Annual Report, Australia’s Telstra corporation stated, under the heading “Risk factors”, that “the establishment of a link between adverse health effects and electromagnetic energy (EME) could expose us to liability or negatively affect our operations”. This concern is understandable for Telstra – for if a clear trend emerges in cancer statistics that there may be a connection between telecommunications technology and cancer, such as brain cancers from mobile phone use, it would be bad news indeed for Telstra.

    Could this be a factor in Telstra going after control of Australia’s new National Cancer Screening Register, which the government has said “will ensure Australia remained a world-leader in cancer research, prevention and treatment”.

    Will we see the register later enlarged to include brain cancers as well? If this were to be the case then it is not inconceivable that ‘inconvenient’ cancer data could be easily and quietly ‘massaged’ or hidden for the benefit of Telstra’s corporate interests.

    Of course Telstra would never do such a thing would they? LOL!

    The other BIG question is why has the government selected Telstra over far more experienced organizations to take control over the NCSR?

    It will be interesting just who Telstra selects to run the NCSR….the usual suspects perhaps? READ ON.

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    • 12 APR 16

    Endocrine disruptors’ link to infertility confirmed (but what is more important?)

    The emerging danger to future human generations from our exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals which are found in plastics is becoming a major concern in the US and Europe. For example in 2009 ,testing in the US found more than 200 Chemicals in newborn umbilical cord blood. In Sweden in the 1990’s Research supported by the Karolinska Institute found that since 1972 there have been significant annual increases of brominated flame retardants (related to PCBs) in human breast milk.

    Despite the clear scientific evidence that endocrine disruptors pose a substantial risk to public health, the European Commission has refrained from introducing firm measures that would finally limit their use. This is a result of the continuing campaign of maintaining scientific uncertainty from the European chemical/plastics industry sector who argue that it is unscientific to legislate any precautions without first having absolute scientific certainty that harm exists.(Sound familiar?). This viewpoint is clearly seen in the concluding sentence of the following article from Euractive.com.
    SNIP

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    • 09 APR 16

    Science for Sale: US Senators seek better conflict disclosures for scientific articles

    Excerpt

    From the Center for Public Integrity

    March 31, 2016

    Excerpt

    Citing a recent Center investigation, lawmakers express ‘growing concerns about objectivity’ of research in a letter to the National Institutes of Health

    Citing the Center for Public Integrity’s recent “Science for Sale” series, a group of U.S. senators has asked the National Institutes of Health to make it easier to tell who funds research published in scientific journals.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, on Wednesday released a letter sent to NIH Director Francis Collins asking that the National Library of Medicine make changes to its public database of 25 million journal articles, called PubMed, to reveal conflicts of interest in research.

    “With industry now employing more scientists than nonprofits, universities and the government combined, and industry funding the research of many independent researchers, there are growing concerns about objectivity in numerous scientific disciplines — including nutrition science and research on health risk from chemicals,” the letter said.

    The letter also cited a New York Times story about Coca-Cola Co. quietly funding academic researchers who blamed lack of exercise, rather than soft drinks and fast food, for the epidemic of obesity and diabetics.
    SNIP

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    • 09 APR 16

    More on ICNIRP from Dariusz Lesczcynski

    As written by DL on Between A Rock and A Hard Place on April 8, 2016

    Is ICNIRP reliable enough to dictate meaning of science to the governmental risk regulators?

    Excerpt

    This post is a follow up to my posts published on April 4 and April 5.

    *****

    In my two last blog posts, last two blog posts ‘ICNIRP did it again…’ and ‘Mike Repacholi responds to ICNIRP did it again…’, I presented several reasons why the current modus operandi of ICNIRP is prone to provide unreliable and skewed evaluation of the scientific evidence on EMF and health.

    I was strongly opposed by Mike Repacholi, Chairman Emeritus of the ICNIRP, scientist who is responsible for the “birth” of this organization.

    In my opinion the major problems of ICNIRP are: SNIP

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