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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).

You and Yours archives - 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)

Open Letter in full: View source

To: Mike Clark, HPA
Date: 12 October 2005

Dear Mike

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 inevitable.

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.

Best regards,
Andy Davidson

Open letter from Andy Davidson, Tetrawatch
View source

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.