by Christian Rappaz, Illustré, 25 November 2018 - translation *
|© Magali Girardin|
Dr. Favre, why did you sign this appeal for a moratorium against 5G in May 2015 (2)?
You will understand from the summary:
"We the undersigned scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and citizens from many countries, urgently call for a halt to the deployment of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network, including 5G from space satellites. 5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law."
The Federation of Swiss Doctors (FMH) also opposes the operators' request to increase the power of base stations in our country. Can we say that there is a real outcry from the health sector against this new technology?
I wonder if the FMH doesn't see coming in the short term an epidemic of electrohypersensitive persons, with all the incurred, related health costs that are going to explode. Doctors are more and more confronted with emerging diseases due to environmental factors. Over the last few years, the level of electrosmog has increased exponentially.
Doris Leuthard, our Minister for Energy, has set up a working group in charge of looking into the radiation and its effects. Does that mean she has heard of the opponents' appeal?
I recently asked the Federal Councilor in writing to participate in this group to give my point of view and share my experience on the issue. I am awaiting her reply.
Concretely, what are the adverse effects of radiation and waves on people's health?
It is also a question of considering animals and plants which are also suffering the adverse effects of electromagnetic waves. The environment is always forgotten in this matter. Thousands of scientific articles report adverse effects and are available on sites like "Electromagnetic Radiation Safety" of Berkeley University in the United States. These effects are numerous.
Tinnitus, attention loss, headaches, dizziness, eye inflammation, depression, nervous tension, chronic fatigue infectious diseases, etc. The adverse effects have been found in birds, mice and rats, insects (bees, ants, flies) as well as nematode worms and bacteria. In 2011, I published in the scientific review Apidology proof that mobile telephony was strongly disrupting the behavior of honey bees in the hive, by inducing the signal to swarm. This could explain the sudden abandon of entire hives in one or two days, especially in winter.
At this stage, isn't it just a matter of alleged dangers?
The precautionary principle must be applied. The health impacts, both on the population and the environment, are unknown. As I already said, the deployment of 5G is like conducting experiments on human beings and the environment.
The operators pretend that the 5G antennas, smaller than 4G towers, on the contrary, will reduce health risks.
In the appeal to the United Nations, it says: "If the telecommunications industry’s plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of RF radiation that are tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today, without any possibility of escape anywhere on the planet. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the Earth’s ecosystems. Immediate measures must be taken to protect humanity and the environment, in accordance with ethical imperatives and international agreements."
The World Health Organization (WHO) is much more nuanced. According to it, electromagnetic waves are "possibly carcinogenic" but not proven. From its side, ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) in France considers it is unfounded on the basis of health to propose new limit values of exposure of the population in general. Do you dispute this?
Rather than cite ANSES, it is better to draw on the recommendations formulated in August 2016 by the European Academy of Environmental Medicine (Europaem) (3) take them very seriously. In addition, its Resolution 1815 of 27 May 2011 (4), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe clearly shared its concerns related, among other things, to more or less potential adverse non-thermal biological effects on plants, insects and animals, as well as on the human body, even in the case of exposure to levels below official thresholds.
What are we doing in our country?
In Switzerland, the standards emanate from ORNI - the Ordinance on Protection from Non-Ionizing Radiation. The limit values were decided shortly before the year 2000, before installation of a multitude of antennas, mobile telephony and others. These Swiss standards do not, unfortunately, take into account the permanent exposure to non-ionizing radiation.
A vast study on lab animals was conducted in the United States regarding the risk of cancer from mobile telephony radiation. Have the results come out?
Yes. It concerns the NTP study TR-595 (5) published this month, originating from the National Toxicology Program started by the U.S. Department of Health. This study, which cost more than 25 million dollars and lasted over ten years, reveals that cell phone radiation increases the cancer rate in rats. The exposed rats displayed higher levels of glioma, a malignant tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and of malignant schwanommas of the heart, a very rare tumor. Tumors of the surrenal glands were also observed. It is therefore time to inform the public that cell phone radiation could cause cancer in humans.
The mobile telephony network in Switzerland, it seems, is approaching saturation. By refusing to increase the power of antennas aren't we risking to slow down the digital development of our country, and thus, penalize our economy? The deployment of 5G alone is a multi-billion dollar issue...
We must have a global vision of the situation. We are in what the philosopher and writer Eric Sadin calls the "siliconization" of the world. It is the revolution of digital technologies in all areas of existence. This headlong technological and ultra-liberal rush rests only on economic and materialistic imperatives, to the detriment of the integrity of the biosphere, thus, all living beings. This evolution is leading us towards voluntary servitude to the detriment of human integrity, and is damaging ecosystems. The billions from 5G? Yes, that will increase the PIB to the same extent as all potential collateral damage (diseases etc.) of these technologies! I ask myself, are we not witnessing a massive process of extinction of life, with regard to the loss of biodiversity, the collapse of ecosystems, the disappearance of animal and plant species?
1. International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, also open to individuals for signing, has 22,570 signatories as of November 23, 2018
2. Dr. Favre and ARA also signed the 2015 EMF Scientist Appeal.
3. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27454111 - click on “Full text link”
4. Resolution 1815 of 27 May 2011 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=17994
5. Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies in Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD Rats Exposed to Whole-Body Radio Frequency Radiation at a Frequency (900 MHz) and Modulations (GSM and CDMA) Used by Cell Phones https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/pubs/longterm/reports/longterm/tr500580/listedreports/tr595/index.html )
* Note: Translation from French by the Editor of “Towards Better Health” who has also added links to documents mentioned in the interview.
Original article in French: