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11 December 2016

Switzerland: "No" to More Mobile Radiation

Council chamber in session.  © www.parlament.ch 
Switzerland: "No" to more mobile radiation
8 December 2016 (translated by Google with grammatical corrections)

Doctors against an increase in limit values

In the vote of 8 December 2016, the Council of States voted against the motion to increase limit values ​​for mobile phone antennas, with 20 to 19 votes and 3 abstentions. In order to ensure the implementation of motion 163007 "Ensure modernization of mobile radio networks as quickly as possible", both the National Council and the Council of States would have had to vote for this. The motion is thus off the table.

The pressure on the senators was great. Before the vote, they were sent letters and e-mail from various sources. Many concerned and affected organizations and citizens tried to influence this highly-charged issue.

Ahead of the debate, particularly the Medical Association FMH (to which belong more than 40,000 physicians) and doctors of AefU [Doctors for the Protection of the Environment] urged Councillors to refrain from voting for an increase in limit values because of the unclear health effects of mobile phone radiation. The FMH pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently investigating new studies, the results of which are to be available only in 2018.

In addition, before the vote, Diagnose-funk [environmental and consumer protection organization regarding mobile technology] informed the Councillors by mail, e-mail, and personal contact by means of an argumentation package on the typical misinformation and were asked not to put economic interests above national health.

The outcome of the vote in the Council of States was very narrow.  It is also a novelty for Switzerland to vote against the interests of the mobile communications industry.  It is obvious that there has been an awareness of electrosmog problems among the population and in politics. The reports of people suffering from electrohypersensitivity, results of studies which are terrifyingly consistent regarding genotoxicity, and well-documented cases of damage to livestock from farms have contributed significantly to the rethinking.

The increasing exposure of the population to electromagnetic radiation has led to increased awareness. Concerns and fears can no longer be countered by simple arguments. It is also not a contradiction if a mobile user wants lower limits, which can currently be seen in the public discussions about the excessive SAR value of the Apple smartphones. In fact, everyone has to defend himself against the forced radiation from mobile phone stations using current studies, the warnings of WHO, the risk classification of the reinsurer Swiss Re, etc. in the sense of applying the  precautionary principle. Corresponding findings have also been published, among other things, in the most recent study by the Allgemeine Österreichische Unfallversicherung (AUVA - [Austrian workers' compensation group]), which warned against permanent irradiation by mobile technology.

The initiators of the rejected motion spoke misleadingly of the "modernization of mobile networks", wanting to provide only existing technology with even higher performance, although technical alternatives are well known. Diagnose: funk, as a consumer organization which continuously analyzes studies together with specialists, therefore calls for the implementation of technological alternatives and network adaptations that as far as possible exclude health risks. A potential approach to this is the expansion of small cell networks. A rethinking of the best possible mobile coverage and the greatest possible protection against mobile radiation is and has been one of the central concerns of its information policy. Especially in the coming months, after this vote, awareness-raising will be very important, which is why we have already planned further publications, especially regarding limit values.

in German:
To the vote of the Council of States on 08.12.2016

Video of the debate on the vote

Original article in German:

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