13/10/2005 - Open letter to the HPA
On Wednesday the 12th of October (Radio 4 programme "You and Yours"), Dr
Michael Clark (UK, HPA-RPD) boldly stated that there is no scientific case for
adverse health problems being caused by TETRA or GSM communication signals. We
would like to challenge the HPA to respond to an eloquent open letter of
criticism from Andy Davidson of Tetrawatch (see bottom of this news article).
Listen to the interview in full (Real Player Required)
We have already previously shown that there is good research indicating that
pulsed microwave communication signals such as those found in TETRA and GSM
systems are causing adverse health effects (see links on this page). It was disappointing that the anti-masts
interviewee failed to provide specific references for her claims of adverse
health effects. Without this it becomes very easy to be made to sound like
"preaching from a soapbox" without adequate evidence.
Unfortunately, Michael Clark, a senior spokesperson for the HPA, said
quite explicitly that there is no scientific basis to support this, and that
radio waves have been around for over a century without apparent problems. Of
course this is highly misleading, as the problems that appear to be associated
with these technologies seem to be related specifically to their pulsing nature.
This is a relatively modern phenomenon, as these technology systems have only
become common in this country over the last 10 to 15 years. We would
therefore like to challenge the HPA to defend their claim that there is no
scientific basis that low powered microwave communication technologies cause or
aggravate health problems. (Response form at the bottom of this page)
To: Mike Clark, HPA
Date: 12 October 2005
This is intended to be an open letter, just as the programme today on BBC
Radio 4 "You and Yours" was public.
I was saddened to hear your comments on the case of Nicola Packard, her
epilepsy and masts, not because they were predictable, nor because you have
stopped thinking about the issues, preferring "campaigners" to see the
problem as political.
This is not a political issue at all. If it was, MTHR would never have
existed. But above all, with a government determined that we should have 11
national mobile infrastructures (4 x GSM, 5 x UMTS, Airwave and NetRail),
and that these must be established with some 90% coverage each, the
political consequence is that masts MUST be embedded in residential areas
irrespective of any consequence at all, for purely commercial reasons.
Missing masts means broken networks. This is a function of the short range
of 3G transmitters. There is therefore no political solution, and mast
campaigners are beginning to realise this.
What do you mean by saying "impartial groups all come to the same conclusion:
there is no convincing evidence, ie no scientific or medical issue". No
issue? Is it not the role of the HPA to investigate? If all these common
problems attributed to masts and phones has nothing to do with EMFs, calling
it idiopathic ("without known cause") environmental intolerance is an
evasion of the HPA's role to secure public health.
The issue IS one of public health. This is what people want to know about;
not "designer masts" in trees or chimney pots, that we do not know are
there. The issue is profoundly one of science: not science at a distance,
but science in the community.
You said on the programme that "there is a large research programme funded by
the Home Office going on into TETRA". This really is not true. The amount of
work on TETRA is pitifully small. In fact I was somewhat surprised that you
majored on TETRA, knowing that Nicola's condition was first manifest with an
Orange mobile phone mast.
I continue to be surprised that you see no difference in biological
interaction between radiowaves in general and modulated microwaves. You know
as well as I do that modulated microwaves are used for medical purposes,
that pulsed radiation has greater effect, and that some of the healing
properties at least have to do with electrical, not thermal, interaction.
You also know as well as I that EM radiation has military purposes, that it
has been used in theatre, and not only for its thermal effects. Maybe you
don't read Jane's Defence Weekly, but applications exist and are used, based
on frequency, not power to heat.
And what, for pity's sake is the content of: "radiowaves have been produced
since the 1890s"? Are you seriously suggesting that our EMF environment has
remained unchanged since Marconi sent a message across the Atlantic?? Was
the case against Vatican radio a spurious knee-jerk reaction without
foundation? I hear you dismiss case after case like this, with no offer of
cooperative investigation to improve the data or the analysis.
I was equally surprised that you said: "There isn't evidence to do with
epilepsy that I'm aware of." My written summation of peer reviewed studies
demonstrating how and why EMR (electromagnetic radiation) precisely could
cause interaction connected with epilepsy is abroad in the HPA, and I would
be surprised if you had not taken any time at all to acquaint yourself with
a direction of such profound importance. Published on the Tetrawatch site,
this paper is open to scrutiny and comment, and all the scientists to whom I
have sent it recognise that there is a real issue here. Of course I know, as
you do, that because I, with qualifications outside your field, put the
papers together, it has no credence with HPA at all. But the content stands
by itself. I am as intelligent a researcher at this level as someone with
equivalent degrees in relevant sciences. If you stop listening to anyone but
yourselves, if you exclude Russian studies because they are Russian, or
German studies because they are German, or my literature survey because I
have arts degrees ... you will only ever hear yourself talking.
One of the most interesting directions of research right now has to be the
effect of chronic exposure of mitochondrial DNA to low level microwaves, and
the potential effects on key enzyme activity. We both know this, because
published peer-reviewed studies have indicated that this might indeed be the
case. Taking just one: the nitric oxide synthases, leads inevitably to very
serious misgivings indeed.
Do you seriously not recognise the significance of disturbing the balance of
nitric oxide in the body? Actually, you do know. I have to assume that you
have read Prof. Martin Pall on multiple chemical sensitivity and concluded
that he also is entirely mistaken. So where are the studies on enzyme
responses in real people who claim to react to EMF, taken in the field with
real EM sources? Nitric oxide levels help explain ALL the reported EHS
symptoms of exposure to microwaves from masts and phones, AND the
fibromyalgia, thyroid problems and so on down to MND (motor neurone disease)
and cancer. I am convinced you know this too. And yet you say:
"There is a whole list of things that are being suggested. ... this can't
all be true because radio waves have been around so long and radio engineers
don't have particular problems from working near radio waves."
Firstly radio engineers have been reporting problems for a long time:
cancers, behavioural changes, mood etc. The same dismissal of their
attributions as to cause simply means that proper investigation has not been
made, keeping all incidences apart and thereby preventing a coherent picture.
Secondly, as I say, if even only iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) is
influenced by EMR, the wide range of symptoms become explicable, even
Once again, both you and I realise that permitting this interpretation is
profound. If even the range of EHS symptoms have a common cause, then that
cause must be investigated for its wider implications: what else might
happen over time? And we both know that if EMR + iNOS = EHS, then EMR + iNOS
+ time = cancer
Maybe this is a dead end line of enquiry, maybe it explains too much but is
nevertheless incorrect. I accept that. But in order to find out there must
be a serious attempt to show this is not happening, and proposals for NO
research were dropped (what did happen to the Babraham Institute MTHR
study?) while hundreds of thousands were spent on "communicating uncertain
science" and risk (to allay people's fears).
You appear to be determined to continue to inform the public from an expert
standpoint that this effect cannot possibly be true, despite all the
indicators to the contrary and the absence of effort to find out. Just as
you insist that the only cause of cancer is photonic energy breaking
covalent DNA bonds, when it is well established that free radical damage to
mitochondrial DNA does just that. Cancer is not all caused by ionising
radiation! So why can you not accept that EMR can cause the same
prerequisite chemical changes? With iNOS we are staring it in the face.
"No definitive scientific proof" is a pretty shoddy response in matters of
public health. Not your words, I appreciate on this occasion, but certainly
consistent with your sentiments. John Snow, cholera and the Broad Street
pump may be a popular analogy, but if he had waited for definitive
scientific proof of something as absurd as the notion of a biological agent
in the water supply, how many more would have died? He set a principle: if
in doubt, remove the potential cause and see what happens.
I am sorry if you find this long and tedious, and that radio programmes are
short and inadequate, but you are publicly excluding and denying science
directions and perpetuating people's suffering, whether or not it is
finally, definitively, scientifically proven to be from EMR or not.
Open letter from Andy Davidson, Tetrawatch
We will publish any response to this that we receive from the HPA, in the aim
of encouraging some positive debate between the involved parties.