USA: Hevige polemiek gaande n.a.v. de nieuwe groen-licht-strategie van de FDA

donderdag, 09 juli 2009 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

De hoogste autoriteit op het gebied van de bescherming der burgers tegen schadelijke milieu-invloeden, de FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) heeft op haar website (Cell Phone Facts: Consumer Information on Wireless Phones) alle voorzorg met betrekking tot mobiele telefonie laten varen en alle vroegere verwijzingen naar studies met negatieve effecten op de gezondheid weggehaald.
Daarvoor in de plaats heeft zij een radicale groen-licht-strategie ingevoerd door te stellen dat er geen enkel voorbehoud gemaakt hoeft te worden bij het gebruik van draadloze technologie www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/CellPhones/ucm116282.htm . zelfs niet voor kinderen. www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/CellPhones/ucm116331.htm .
Terwijl gezondheidsautoriteiten in andere landen zoals Frankrijk en België (maar niet in Nederland) juist waarschuwingsgeluiden laten horen begeeft de FDA zich duidelijk (in navolging van de Commissie EMV van de Nederlandse Gezondheidsraad?) op een frontale ramkoers met critici van de draadloze maatschappij.

De reacties in de USA zijn vehement. Onderstaand met dank aan EMFacts Consultancy het weerwoord van Cindy Sage, uitgeefster van het Bio-Initiative Report in twee bijdragen:


1.
From Cindy Sage:

The FDA’s most recent dismissal of brain tumor risk from cell phone
use is stunning in its timing. While other countries of the world are
now advising consumers to take precautionary action, the FDA is
issuing an “all clear”. Based on new evidence of risk from cell
and cordless phone use, we should expect the FDA to step up and give
us confidence they can handle this job of regulating pharmaceuticals
and other potentially toxic exposures. Instead, they are reaching for
another Vioxx moment. This is reminiscent of the National Academy of
Sciences issuing an “all clear” press release at the conclusion of
the study on electromagnetic fields in 1996, when the study itself
pointed to public health risks. Contributing authors complained, but
the damage was done. Get to the press early and confuse the message,
and the public will be flim-flammed with contradictory messages.

In April of this year, I briefed the FDAs Center for Devices and
Radiological Health in Rockville, MD. At their invitation, David
Carpenter and I spent an hour discussing the BioInitiative Report
findings and recommendations. I offered the advice below based on the
in-depth review of relevant published scientific literature and
prudent public health response to it.

Exactly the opposite happened. About two weeks after our meeting, the
FDAs website content changed, but not in the direction warranted by
the growing evidence of harm. FDA’s pronouncement that cell phones
pose no risk to users appears to be a pre-emptive strike. Not only
does it negate the findings of several recent scientific studies and
reviews reporting brain tumor risks at 10 or more years of use, but
will also counter the imminent release of the final Interphone Report.
Several members of the Interphone study teams have openly discussed
that the evidence is showing cell phone users with 10 or more years of
exposure have higher rates of glioma, a malignant brain tumor.

• Who told the FDAs Communications branch to issue an “all
clear” on cell phone risks?

• On what new evidence of safety of cell phones did the FDA Center
for Devices and Radiological Health change its mind and decide it was
time to tell the public that there is no risk?

That the Interphone research would find risk of brain tumors must not
have been anticipated by FDA. Previously they used the on-going
Interphone program work as a benchmark to stall reasonable
precautionary responses to growing public concern and to urge us “to
wait for the evidence”. Now that the evidence is pointing to big
trouble, they’ve taken all references to the Interphone study off
their website.

Issuing a positive assertion of safety and denying evidence to the
contrary puts the FDA squarely in opposition to other countries whose
health agencies are urging parents to reduce cell phone use for
themselves and for their children. It puts the FDA at odds with some
of the research team members of Interphone that have already broken
ranks and given warnings that brain tumor risks are demonstrated.

The international response to FDAs dismissal of cell phone risks has
been immediate and negative. Undermining the message of the final
Interphone Report and other scientific studies and reviews that do
show risks at 10 years and longer cell phone use is widely seen as a
tactic to sow doubt, discredit the research, and undermine cooperative
action among governments to develop new policies and regulations.

The FDA is reaching for another Vioxx moment with this bizarre move.
With its credibility at an all-time low, the FDA should know from
experience it cannot bury evidence of health risks for long.

2.

Comment to the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health
on the issue of cell phones, cordless phones and PDAs.

Cindy Sage
Co-Editor, BioInitiative Report

What the FDA Should Do About Communicating Radiofrequency and
Microwave Radiation Wireless and Cell Phone Risks to the Obama
Administration

FDA should advise the Obama economic team that ignoring health risks
likely to arise from long-term cell phone and cordless phone use will
have high economic costs for health care.

FDA should advise the Obama economic stimulus package team that a
large financial commitment to wireless broadband is premature, and may
result in higher health care costs and costly retrofitting later.
Stick with wired broadband solutions.

FDA should assess the potential costs and health risks likely to be
associated with broadband over powerline (BPL) , SmartGrid wireless
technologies, and mandated use of compact fluorescent bulbs for energy
conservation. All pose potential health risks from chronic exposure
to low-intensity RF/MW.

What the FDA Should Do About Communicating Wireless Risks to the FCC

FDA should take formal note of the BioInitiative Report and other
recent studies that establish the existence of low-intensity ELF- and
RF effects and so advise the FCC.

FDA should formally recognize the three fundamental conclusions of the
BioInitiative Report. 1) Low-intensity effects are conclusively
established (effects that occur at exposure levels far below existing
safety standards); 2) Existing FCC and ICNIRP standards are obsolete;
and 3) New, biologically-relevant public safety limits are needed
with respect to new wireless technologies and for extremely-low
frequency power fields (60-Hz power frequency fields) from power
lines, appliances and electrical wiring.

FDA should advise the FCC on the need for new, biologically-relevant
public exposure standards for cell and cordless phones, and other
wireless devices (PDAs).

What the FDA Should Do About Communicating Cell Phone Risks to the
Public

FDA cannot make a positive assertion of safety on long-term cell and
cordless phone use and should amend its advice to
agencies and to the public accordingly.

FDA should amend its website with updated cautions to the public about
long-term brain tumor and acoustic neuroma risks.

FDA should issue a warning advising against the routine use of cell
phones by children.

FDA should promote wired alternatives to wireless internet for schools
– take a ‘wait and see’ position on new wireless technologies.

FDA should establish a policy that selects for a public-health based
standard of evidence for judging the science. It should reject the
demonstration for scientific certainty of harm from cell phone use and
other wireless exposures as a basis for taking preventative action and
issuing interim warnings.

The FDA should act proportionately to the risks so far reported; and
consider disproportionate risks that may accrue to children.

Why?

FDA will be hard-pressed to explain why no cautionary warnings were
issued for health impacts that could have been greatly reduced or
avoided entirely.

FDA should get ahead of this curve and avoid unnecessary costs to the
healthcare system, unnecessary deaths and medical costs, and
unnecessary investment in wireless technologies that will have to be
replaced at high cost later.

FDA is vulnerable to charges of “too little-too late”, of being
overly deferential to industry at the expense of the public’s health
and children’s safety.

It will be far less costly to implement safer, wired technologies
today than to replace them later, once costs to the health care system
become apparent. Early action to choose non-wireless (wired)
alternatives can prevent much of this economic shock wave.

The public health costs given the millions of users, and more millions
affected by second-hand radiation will be enormous.

FDA stands to suffer loss of reputation and credibility if it fails to
enact/recommend preventive actions that are proportionate to the
current knowledge about NIER. The cost of inaction is too high given
the existing body of international scientific and public health
evidence we have available today.

Potential public health consequences may reasonably include chronic
inflammatory diseases, cancer, neurological diseases, addiction and
sleep disorders (with corresponding loss of cognitive function,
judgment, behavioral problems, loss of healing ability, loss of cancer
surveillance, interference with metabolism.

Other governmental agencies around the world have already issued
various cautions and precautionary advice to the public on wireless
exposures. The governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Finland,
Lichtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Sweden have already
taken public positions encouraging precautionary action. Medical
associations in many countries have issued resolutions that warn the
public of risks from cell phone use and other wireless technologies
like WI-FI and wireless internet. The FDA will have to explain to
Congress and the public why it continues to adhere to outdated
policies and ignores mounting evidence of health risks.

FDAs activities will be seen as cosmetic and enabling to the industry
at the expense of public health and well-being, if it ignores the
global shift to precaution on EMF.

The FDA cannot afford to ignore the potential health effects of
chronic, indiscriminate exposures to ELF and RF – it has the
potential to be another “Vioxx” moment for FDA. Public trust is
already stretched thin over FDA failures to protect the public.

FDA cannot rely on “the NAS research program” or the NTP toxicity
evaluation of RF to justify inaction. These programs are an
insufficient response, are not proportionate to the risks involved,
and provide no cover to FDA for positive assertions of safety that are
no longer credible.

FDA will have to respond to WHO Interphone results on malignant brain
tumors, acoustic neuroma and parotid gland (salivary gland) tumors.
Individual country studies report more than a doubling of risk for
gliomas at 10 or more years of use, ipsilateral use for adults; and
more than a five-fold risk for children who use cell phones in their
pre-teen and teen years as measured when they reach the 20-29 year age
group.

Measures to reduce cell and cordless phone exposures are available,
and would very likely reduce risk of brain tumors.
The FDA should take action to highlight these “early warnings” and
recommend precautionary and preventative action.

The FDA should discuss strategies for emissions reduction with cell
phone manufacturers.

It has been the same for most environmental carcinogens – that
change comes when political will dictates change: not when the science
conclusively proves an effect. An FDA failure to act in a timely and
proportionate way will be judged to be complicit concealment on behalf
of industry interests.

Voor het origineel zie:
www.emfacts.com/weblog/?p=1120 .



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