News for France

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French court orders 4G mast turn off after 40 cow deaths
France Created: 9 Jun 2022
A French farmer has won his battle to temporarily turn off a 4G antenna after he claimed it was damaging his cow herd’s health.

The administrative court in Clermont-Ferrand ordered the two month switch-off after Frédéric Salgues, a farmer in Haute-Loire, said he suspected that it was damaging his herd’s health.

The court stated: "It is appropriate to order the temporary cessation of the operation of this antenna for a period of two months, taking into account its general impact, with monitoring, by the judicial expert, of the behaviour of the herd, and of the dairy cows in particular, during this period."

Mobile network operator Orange now has three months to act in accordance with the ruling, including stopping the antenna’s operation but must ensure phone coverage continues for their customers in the area affected.

After the decision, Mr Salgues told the French Press that he hoped his cows would be able to 'recover as soon as possible' and called the case ruling 'a major relief and a victory'.

Mr Salgues said that since the antenna’s installation in July 2021 – 200 metres away from his farm in Mazeyrat-d'Allier (Haute-Loire) – around 40 of his normally-200-strong herd had died, and milk production had decreased by 15 to 20% within days of the antenna being switched on.

He claimed: “There are no medical elements that could [otherwise] explain this brutal drop in milk production.”

Philippe Molhérat, the mayor of Mazeyrat-d'Allier, who had previously authorised the antenna’s installation, testified in favour of the farmer.

He said that he feared 'a catastrophe on a human level' and that his 'concerns' were growing for the 1500 inhabitants of his village.

Yet lawyers for the mobile operators affected by the ruling, which as well as Orange also included Free and Bouygues Telecom, said that there was 'no scientific evidence' that there is a link between animal health problems and electromagnetic fields surrounding mobile phone antennas.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Scottish Farmer, John Sleigh, 08 Jun 2022

Mobi-kids: a study infiltrated by the mobile phone industry
France Created: 26 May 2022
Our investigation into the conflicts of interest of the authors of the Mobi-kids study [which analyzes the impact of wireless phones on the risk of brain tumors in young people] has now shown that ten of the eighteen people in charge of measuring the exposure of patients worked directly or indirectly for the mobile phone industry.

What is now also evident in the organization of this study are the proven conflicts of interest with the mobile phone industry of ISGlobal, the Institute of Global Health of Barcelona (which, according to their website, includes the banking foundation “la Caixa“, academic institutions and government agencies).

ISGlobal, la Caixa and financial ties to the mobile phone industry

In fact, that is where the problem lies because, according to the Wikipedia entry on “la Caixa“, there are several close financial ties with mobile phone companies such as Cellnex telecom and Telefónica :

The La Caixa Banking Foundation manages the Group’s shareholdings through Criteria Caixa (formerly Criteria CaixaHolding), a equity instrumental company fully controlled by the foundation. The shares of Criteria Caixa include the ones owned in CaixaBank (as of 31 December 2018: 40.00%),[19] as well as those held in several companies including Cellnex, Naturgy, Saba, Suez and Telefónica.

Can this explain the choices of ISGlobal and its coordinator of the Mobi-kids study, Elisabeth Cardis, of, to say the least, highly controversial experts with important conflicts of interest? You be the judge!

In an article published in June 2014 on the website dedicated to the Mobi-kids study, ISGlobal presents the international team in charge of the “exposure measurement”. There are a total of seventeen people in this specialized working group under the responsibility of the British researcher Myrion Maslanyi.

Mobi-kids: five French experts from Orange with clear conflicts of interest

The French team is led by Joe Wiart. At the time, Mr. Wiart was working directly for the mobile phone operator Orange. He is the manager of Orange Labs. However, despite the evidence of conflicts of interest, here is what has been added to the section “conflicts of interest” concerning him:

« Before 2015 J Wiart was an employee of Orange. At that time, his work in the study was limited to dosimetry. In 2015 he became Ingenieur General des Mines, employed by the Institut Mines-Télécom, a state academic institute. J Wiart has no conflict of interest to declare. »

Really, can we accept this statement that Mr. Joe Wiart has no conflict of interest to declare?

To get a clearer picture, it is necessary to add that his team is composed of four other persons, they too working for the industrialist Orange, namely, Emmanuelle Conil, Nadège Varsier, Abdelhamid Hadjem, and also Thierry Sarrebrousse who was not quoted in the above article (it will be our eighteenth contributor). This means that no less than five people paid by Orange have contributed directly to the study. But the Mobi-kids authors have nothing to say about it!

The three Korean experts of the Mobi-kids study work for ETRI

The Korean team is under the responsibility of the expert Ae Kyoung Lee. The work of the investigation by Phonegate Alert has brought to light the important undeclared conflicts of interest of this author. We are now able to show that the other two members of her team, Hyung Do Choi and Seon Eui Hong, have similar levels of conflict of interest. Indeed, they also work for the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI).

As shown by figures posted by ETRI in 2014 – and remember that the Mobi-kids study ran between 2009 and 2016 – the Institute earned more than $152.3 million in royalties from filed patents. And that’s just a tiny fraction of the money tied to the mobile phone industry.

The Japanese expert’s conflicts of interest disappear…

The same applies to the expert in charge of the Japanese component of the study, Mr. Masao Taki.

Indeed, clearly, Mr. Masao Taki should also be listed in the conflicts of interest section. In fact, it was not made a secret in a previous publication devoted to the Mobi-kids study, published in the epidemiology journal Frontiers in Public Health in September 2014 and signed by the same authors. It stated:

« Masao Taki’s department received a grant to support numerical modeling under a university-industry partnership. »

This conflict of interest simply disappeared in the article published at the end of 2021. However, we have found the explanation, and it would still be the industrialist Orange (formerly France Télécom) that we find in charge through its subsidiary Whist Lab (joint laboratory of the Institut Mines-Télécom and Orange).

The wife of one of the Australian experts owns shares in mobile phone companies

The Australian component of the study was entrusted to Mr. Malcolm Sim. A quick search on our part showed that during the publication of an article in Frontiers in Public Health (September 2014) concerning the Mobi-kids study, Mr. Sim had to declare a conflict of interest concerning shares of firms in the mobile phone industry owned by his wife. However, there is no longer any mention of this today!

Furthermore, Sim was assisted in his task by another author, namely, the expert Geza Benke. The least that can be said about his work on the subject is that it is particularly close to that of ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection). What is more, while Benke is not (to our knowledge) a member of this organization, he has been directly involved in several articles with members of ICNIRP, most recently with its president, Rodney Croft of Australia.

At this stage, our research is still ongoing regarding the British experts Carolina Calderon, Terry Mee and Darren Addison. However, neither the expert Ae Kyoung Lee nor her collaborators, nor Masao Taki, nor Malcolm Sim appear in the “conflicts of interest” section to date. And Mr. Adrian Covaci, co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environment International (Elsevier group) has still not intervened to place a warning or better, to withdraw the article.

Finally, the Dutch part was entrusted to Mr. Hans Kromhout who was assisted by Roel Vermeulen and Geertte Goedhart-Wolf. Our investigation into possible conflicts of interest is also still ongoing.

The Dutch expert ignores numerous conflicts of interest

However, in a recent interview given by Roel Vermeulen, he told the journalist of the BN DeStem website:

« …Critics say that telecom companies are funding this type of research. They question the results of this type of research, also taking into account the important financial interests at stake… ».

Vermeulen, who disputes the role played by industry, seems to be unaware of the many conflicts of interest that undermine the strategic core of the Mobi-kids study, even though our investigative work has shown that ten out of eighteen stakeholders are problematic, which is already almost two-thirds.

An analysis from 2012, entitled “How conflicts of interest can influence research and expertise”, details the strategies implemented by industrialists:

“In any experimentation, in the biomedical field as in other fields, the design of the study influences the results.”

For Dr. Marc Arazi who presides over the NGO Phonegate Alert:

« There is no longer any doubt that the mobile phone industry has infiltrated a study led by ISGlobal and financed mostly by public funds from the European Commission. It remains to be seen how involved the fifty or so scientific authors are. Did they just turn a blind eye to these practices, or worse, did they allow the results of this study to be deliberately biased? »
Click here to view the source article.
Source: PhoneGate, Equipe Phonegate, 13 May 2022

Longitudinal study of exposure to radio frequencies at population scale
France Created: 13 May 2022
Abstract: Evaluating exposure to radio frequencies (RF) at population-scale is important for conducting sound epidemiological studies about possible health impact of RF radiations.

Numerous studies reported population exposure to RF radiations used in wireless telecommunication technologies, but used very small population samples. In this context, the real exposure of the population at scale remains poorly understood.

Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report the largest crowd-based measurement of population exposure to RF produced by cellular antennas, Wi-Fi access points, and Bluetooth devices for 254,410 unique users in 13 countries from January 2017 to December 2020.

First, we present methods to assess the population exposure to RF radiations using smartphone measurements obtained using the ElectroSmart Android app. Then, we use these methods to evaluate and characterize the evolution of RF exposure.

We show that total exposure has been multiplied by 2.3 in the four-year period considered, with Wi-Fi as the largest contributor.

The cellular exposure levels are orders of magnitude lower than regulation limits and are not correlated to national regulation policies. The population tends to be more exposed at home; for half of the study subjects, personal Wi-Fi routers and Bluetooth devices contributed to more than 50% of their total exposure. In this work, we showcase how crowdsource-based data allow large-scale and long-term assessment of population exposure to RF radiations.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ScienceDirect, Boussad et al., 24 Mar 2022

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license
France Created: 8 Apr 2022
France's Conseil d'Etat court is revoking the license [PDF] authorizing Elon Musk's Starlink outfit to use two frequency bands to provide satellite internet in France.

SpaceX reportedly has only one ground station left in France, in Villenave-d'Ornon, Girond. The other two Gateways – which were authorized between July and December 2020 – came up against local opposition. Villagers voiced concerns that the ground network gateways would affect cattle, despite assurances from the country's own ANFR (National Frequency Agency) that it is perfectly safe and far below the regulatory limit value.

According to the decision (handed down yesterday, and translated from French), the associations PRIARTEM and Agir pour l'environnement had requested an annulment of the spectrum use. The rights groups were granted this, the ruling said, because of a lack of public consultation.

The contested decision of ARCEP, which aims to authorize the company Starlink Internet Services Limited... is likely to have a significant impact on the market for the provision of broadband internet access and to affect the interests of end users. Therefore, by taking this decision without having first consulted the public, ARCEP disregarded the provisions of V of Article L. 32-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code.

ARCEP is the "independent agency in charge of regulating telecommunications, postal services and print media distribution" in France.

Starlink had offered speeds of up to 150MBps for satellite internet, with services available in France in beta since May 2021. Current speeds are comparable to 4G, although when it launched, SpaceX said connectivity speeds would improve over time. Users are required to order a small dish with tripod to set up in an open area at home.

Ground stations – aka Gateways – and satellites for Musk's constellation, which is meant to provide connectivity for hard-to-reach rural notspots, can be tracked here.

The SpaceX subsidiary is not the only low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite player. The coverage of each spacecraft is a narrow band around the whole world, meaning it faces global competition. One such rival is Amazon's Project Kuiper, which yesterday said it had secured "up to 83 launches" from Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance. The retail and cloud giant said the agreements comprised "the largest commercial procurement of launch vehicles in history, providing heavy-lift capacity for Project Kuiper to deploy majority of its LEO constellation of 3,236 satellites."

Over in France, Starlink faces a local rival in the form of Paris-based Eutelsat. France's biggest telecoms operator, Orange, inked a deal [PDF] with Eutelsat in 2020 under which it bought out all available capacity on Eutelsat's Konnect satellite to cover the entire French territory, saying it would enable even those living in the most isolated areas to benefit from very high-speed fixed broadband via satellite from January 2021.

In October 2021 [PDF], Eutelsat invested an additional $165 million in OneWeb and upped its stake in the satellite broadband provider after giving it a cash injection of over half a billion dollars earlier that year. The outfit was bought out of bankruptcy by the government of the United Kingdom and Indian multinational Bharti Global the year before.

The London-based constellation slinger, in contrast to Starlink, is a wholesale-only proposition.

Just two weeks ago, OneWeb turned to SpaceX after its rocket rides to orbit fell victim to sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. What a tangled web they weave.

We have asked SpaceX for comment. ®
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Register, Jude Karabus, 06 Apr 2022

The Critical Importance of Molecular Biomarkers and Imaging in the Study of Electrohypersensitivity
France Created: 9 Jul 2021
Abstract: Clinical research aiming at objectively identifying and characterizing diseases via clinical observations and biological and radiological findings is a critical initial research step when establishing objective diagnostic criteria and treatments.

Failure to first define such diagnostic criteria may lead research on pathogenesis and etiology to serious confounding biases and erroneous medical interpretations.

This is particularly the case for electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and more particularly for the so-called “provocation tests”, which do not investigate the causal origin of EHS but rather the EHS-associated particular environmental intolerance state with hypersensitivity to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF).

However, because those tests depend on multiple EMF-associated physical and biological parameters and have been conducted in patients without having first defined EHS objectively and/or endpoints adequately, they cannot presently be considered to be valid pathogenesis research methodologies.

Consequently, the negative results obtained by these tests do not preclude a role of EMF exposure as a symptomatic trigger in EHS patients. Moreover, there is no proof that EHS symptoms or EHS itself are caused by psychosomatic or nocebo effects.

This international consensus report pleads for the acknowledgement of EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and for its inclusion in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.

Read the entire study (open access) via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Belpomme et al., 07 Jul 2021

5G phones may interfere with aircraft: French regulator
France Created: 15 May 2021
The latest generation of smartphones, 5G, can interfere with aircraft altitude instruments, the French Civil Aviation Authority warned Tuesday as it recommended they should be turned off during flight.

"The utilisation of 5G devices onboard aircraft could lead to risks of interference that could potentially result in errors in altitude readings," a spokesman for the agency told AFP.

The potential phenomenon is due to "signal interference from a close frequency source of a strength that is similar or even superior to that of altimeters."

This interference can cause errors "in instruments that are extremely critical during landing," said the agency, known by its French acronym DGAC.

It sent a bulletin on the issue to airlines last week, recommending that 5G phones should either be turned off completely or put in "airplane mode" during flight

Most countries have long required that mobile phones be turned off or placed in airplane mode due to concerns that previous generations of mobile telecommunications networks can interfere with a plane's navigation and communication equipment.

The DGAC also recommended that in cases of disruption to an aircraft's equipment that the flight crew immediately notify air traffic controllers who can then alert authorities at the airport.

DGAC also noted that it had laid out conditions for the positioning of 5G base stations in order to limit the risks of interference during landing at French airports.

The strength of signals from 5G base stations placed near France's main airports has been restricted, said the DGAC, which has been conducting additional testing since November when French telecommunications operators were given the green light to begin rolling out 5G services.

It is continuing to monitor 5G base stations around all French airports in cooperation with the agency responsible for radio frequencies.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: France24, afp, 16 May 2021

5G Could Worsen Climate Change, Claims French Government Advisor
France Created: 23 Dec 2020
The widespread installation of fifth generation cellular broadband networks (5G) will likely increase greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years, according to France’s High Council on Climate.

The report by the independent government advisory body, commissioned by the French Senate, found that 5G deployment in France would result in between 2.7 and 6.7 million tons of CO2-equivalent in 2030. That’s a significant increase compared to the tech sector’s current total environmental impact - about 15 million tons of CO2-equivalent.

The main impact comes from the manufacturing of the many component parts of 5G infrastructure and the new devices that will be produced to use it. Those devices use raw materials which must be mined, causing more emissions.

So far, much of the opposition to the rollout of 5G towers has been on health grounds, with critics citing unsubstantiated claims that the signals are hurting humans. Some internet conspiracy theories have even said 5G causes the COVID19 pandemic, again without offering any evidence.

5G has become such a controversial topic in France that in September a group of far-left and Green MPs in the French parliament asked for a moratorium on its deployment. The Senate report is an effort to shore up that objection.

In response, French President Emmanuel Macron has doubled down on his commitment to rolling out 5G, saying its critics were subscribing to an “Amish model” of living. “We're going to explain, to debate, to put an end to all the false ideas but yes, France will make the 5G shift," he said at a tech event in Paris in September.

Critics say the High Council on Climate’s report casts a wide net to encompass emissions that might happen whether or not 5G is rolled out. For example, it counts the emissions caused by manufacturing new 5G-compatible smartphones and the construction of telecoms infrastructure and data centers. It also factors in an expected increase in electricity consumption, assuming an increase in internet use as a result of the faster speeds.

The report sets out recommendations for how to limit the climate impact of 5G deployment. For instance, the EU should set stricter energy-consumption requirements for electronic devices and for the infrastructure providing internet, it says.

Governments have been caught off guard by the ferocity of objections to 5G, since there was no such widespread resistance to 4G. But unlike the previous generational changes of wireless signals, the latest improvement doesn’t allow a specific new technology but rather just an increase in speed. 1G allowed calls, 2G allowed text messaging, 3G allowed limited internet features, and 4G allowed streaming.

5G will allow for almost instantaneous data downloads that would take hours with current networks. There are concerns that being able to download an entire movie to a phone in a matter of seconds will drive an increase in internet usage what would be detrimental to both society and the environment.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Forbes, Dave Keating, 21 Dec 2020

Protesters Halt the Chopping of 20 Trees For 5G Antenna in France
France Created: 14 Dec 2020
Forty residents and demonstrators gathered at Saint-Cadou in the town of Sizun ( Finistère ) to block the installation of a 5G antenna belonging to the Telecom company Free, reports Le Télégramme .

Loggers were proceeding to fell about twenty trees in area where the antennas were to be located. But protesters climbed the trees, making the operation too dangerous. Unable to work, the companies mobilized on the site were forced to turn back. Protesters voiced that the antennas were to close to residents and they raised the issue of health and environmental impacts.

Read more at:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EHTrust, 19 Nov 2020

Dissent at Heart of Telecom Industry Undermines France’s 5G Push
France Created: 2 Oct 2020
A quarrel has emerged inside France’s biggest phone company over whether to build a new generation of wireless networks, days before the industry is due to commit billions of euros to their deployment in the country.

A group of employees of Orange SA called repeatedly for management to scrap the rollout of 5G services in memos circulated to colleagues on the Plazza social media platform.

The memos, issued in October 2019 and in May of this year, said the technology will be unprofitable and will damage the environment, according to three people familiar with their content.

Company managers investigated the employees after the memos were leaked to the French telecom industry federation, the people said.

The source of the leak was not found and no employees were sanctioned, one of the people added..The internal discord could fuel a growing anti-5G movement that began on social media and was adopted by the opposition Green party, which won control of several cities in local elections in June.

It’s become the most consequential of several grass-roots campaigns against the technology in Europe, some driven by conspiracy theories linking it to Covid-19.

Unlike neighbouring countries, France has not begun to deploy commercial 5G, which advocates say will enable applications from digital factories to driverless cars and supercharged smartphones.

It can consume up to three times more energy than 4G but handles many times more data at much higher speeds. The government has warned 4G towers will reach the limit of their capacity within the next couple of years.

A spokesman for Orange confirmed the company had conducted an investigation into the possible leak of an internal document, but it was not its intention to censor employees.

Orange “reaffirms the importance of 5G technology for the country’s competitiveness and its major usefulness in accelerating the environmental transition,” the spokesman added.

Health Concerns.

The government has resisted calls to delay the auction of 5G frequencies set for Sept. 29 that will begin the national rollout.

This week it published a report dismissing health concerns linked to 5G. In a speech on Sept. 14, President Emmanuel Macron portrayed 5G’s critics as hostile to progress.

The Orange memos were written by “I’m So Green,” a group of employees that says it has around 1,000 members. Bloomberg obtained a copy of the second, 24-page memo titled “Without 5G: Orange in The Future World.”

It said the main beneficiaries of 5G will be smartphone makers, tech platforms, such as Whatsapp or YouTube, and the government.

“Orange will bear all the heavy investments (licenses, equipment, rollout) that will benefit other companies at the bottom of the food chain and possibly the state,” the authors wrote.

Senior people in the industry have also voiced reservations over 5G, wary of a headlong rush to deploy it given the uncertain outlook for investment returns. France was emerging from a brutal wireless price war when coronavirus lockdowns took another chunk out of the profits needed to pay for 5G. Orange shares on Sept. 8 reached their lowest closing level since March 2014.

The chairman of Bouygues Telecom’s parent company, Martin Bouygues, questioned the wisdom of pressing ahead with 5G this year, arguing in an op-ed piece in May that the technology was not a priority in a pandemic. Still, all four of France’s big phone carriers say they’ll bid at the auction, in a process that will commit them to installing 5G equipment at 10,500 sites by 2025.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Bloomberg, Helene Fouquet & Ania Nussbaum, 18 Sep 2020

Bordeaux: new mayor Pierre Hurmic wants a debate on "the dangers of 5G"
France Created: 12 Jul 2020
(auto-translated:) The new mayor of Bordeaux wants to consult the population on 5G. Other Green candidates expressed their opposition to the technology during the campaign. But they do not have the powers to oppose the government's timetable.

Will the ecological wave that swept through France in the municipal elections put a stop to the deployment of 5G in the territory? Invited to RTL's morning show on Monday (June 29th), the new ecologist mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic, said that he wanted to "open the debate on 5G" while the Bordeaux metropolis is one of the French territories selected by Arcep (telecommunications regulatory authority) to test a 5G experimentation platform in the coming months.

"I find it totally unacceptable that we can impose 5G without explaining, without discussing, without seeing what the aspirations of the inhabitants are. You know, I'm a civil lawyer, I've been fighting Linky (SmartMeter) in the last few years. I don't like the techniques imposed. 5G deserves a real debate, we have to tell our citizens what the dangers of 5G are, there are dangers of 5G, and I think we need to put this discussion on the table so that Bordeaux and Bordeaux do not learn overnight that their territory is covered by 5G," he explained.

This position echoes one of the proposals on the "Bordeaux Breathe" list that he led to victory in the municipal elections in Bordeaux. Candidate Pierre Hurmic promised to obtain a moratorium on the city's experimentation with the 5G network and to launch a major public debate around the deployment of this technology.

As in Bordeaux, several newly elected Green mayors expressed their opposition to 5G during the campaign. In Nantes, Grenoble or Besançon, they questioned the impact of 5G on health and the environment and denounced the increasingly important weight taken by technology in society. But, they should not have the means to prevent operators from deploying their antennas and the future network.

Mayors can't oppose 5G

On Twitter, telecoms network lawyer Alexandre Archambault recalled that in a 2011 decision,the Council of State ruled that "only the state authorities designated by law (minister, ARCEP, ANFR) have the authority to regulate the implementation of mobile phone relay antennas in general. "A mayor cannot therefore regulate by decree the establishment of relay antennas on the territory of his municipality, on the basis of his general police power," the public institution said.

Contacted by RTL, the lawyer explained that "given the obligations of deployment, respect for emission powers and environmental integration, the flexibility of the communities will be almost nil once the licences have been granted by the end of the year". "Regarding Bordeaux, it is all the more limited because the metropolis has committed itself to the ARCEP to facilitate experimentation," he stresses.

The current climate of distrust of 5G should not prevent the government from keeping its timetable. Despite the appeal filed before the Council of State by associations, the moratorium requested by the Citizens' Convention and the dozens of relay antennas that have been targeted across the country in recent weeks, the executive has maintained the auction for the allocation of frequencies at the end of September with a view toa commercial launch before the end of the year. The results of the Anses evaluations on the health effects of 5G are expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: RTL, Benjamin Hue, 29 Jun 2020

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