Society - Activists sent a series of questions to all candidates for the Swiss Parliament to find out their position.
by Céline Garcin, ABO, Tribune de Genève, 2 September 2019 - translation
|Operators continue to deploy 5G antennas, but opponents|
of this new technology are not giving up.
Image: Martial Trezzini
Few studies available
"The few studies available point to unprecedented effects on insects and biodiversity," said Michèle Rivasi, a French Green MEP who was in Geneva yesterday. "Operators themselves acknowledge in their presentation that MiMo multibeam antenna technology results in radiation levels at 50 m much higher than those from conventional 3G or 4G antennas. [...] This is why it is urgent to have all the necessary biological and health impact studies available before any deployment of 5G."
Both the MEP and the Green National Councillor Lisa Mazzone regret that governments are responsible for this. "The moratoriums voted by the cantons have no legal basis for implementation," says the Swiss ecologist. We should be able to give priority to the precautionary principle in situations that are of concern to the majority of politicians. It is essential that the cantons have a say."
To put the issue on the national agenda, the association "5G moratorium for Switzerland" and the Geneva Coordination 5G moratorium decided to survey all candidates for the Swiss Parliament in October on this issue. "While questions relating to 5G are almost exclusively the responsibility of the Federal Council, the parliament has been able to redact the draft amendment to the ordinance on protection against non-ionizing radiation, which sets the limit values," notes Jean-Daniel Zeller, a member of both associations.
The 4,600 candidates in the federal election received a document in early August with nine questions to be returned before September 15. On what exactly do they have to decide? The activists are asking them to take a position on the introduction of a moratorium, and also on the relevance of a law that regulates or replaces the current ordinance, the consideration of "the impact of radiation at the cellular level on living organisms (plants, animals, humans)", the recognition of the disorders of so-called electrosensitive people and a strengthening of the surveillance of installations.
"The important thing today is to open a social debate on 5G," notes Jean Rossiaud, Green member of the Grand Council and member of the Geneva coordination.
As chairman of the tax commission, the ecologist is also considering a draft tax on the turnover of telecom operators. The money raised would be used to finance a fund dedicated to research on the impact of 5G waves on health and the environment.
They suffer from the waves
Linda Orr-Easo, 61, and Elidan Arzoni, 50, are among these so-called electrosensitive people. "My symptoms began in 2011 after installation of a more efficient Wi-Fi system in the office next to mine," says the first. "I then began to feel burning sensations in my head and face, insomnia and tachycardia, and tingling in my mouth." After several tests, some of them blind, this resident of the Pays de Gex managed to identify the causes of her ills. "It's an ordeal, I can't go to the movies, to friends' houses, to the shops...", she regrets.
To limit inconvenience, when Linda Orr-Easo leaves home, she now wears an undershirt and a scarf made of silver fibers. "It allows me to have a semblance of a normal life," she says.
Elidan Arzoni, 50 years old, does not suffer from the same ills. In his case, wave intolerance is manifested by severe headaches, chest pain and ringing in the ears. The symptoms appeared this spring overnight following a change on the Swisscom antenna next to his home," he explains. "I then learned that two people in my neighborhood were experiencing the same troubles," he says. Fearing a heart attack, Elidan Arzoni one day went to the Emergency Room of the Cantonal Hospital. "When I asked the doctors if my symptoms could be due to the waves, they told me that they were not trained in this field."
The professional director regrets that the only remedy he has been offered is to move.
Original article in French: