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Why are people still in denial about radiation?
Bahrain Created: 21 Nov 2012
This is a response to "Alarming Facts" (GDN, November 16), and the interesting observations on the obvious increase of health issues due to electromagnetic field radiation from modern technologies.

The World Health Organisation is not the only entity confirming that health effects do exist from electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Before then, the Bio-Initiative Report was conducted by a group of researchers documenting 2,000 studies of biological effects of low frequency and radio frequency radiation, and calling for more realistic human exposure guidelines.

Dr Zory Glaser who worked in the US Navy, cited similar proof when asked to review literature on harmful EMF effects. The Naval Medical Research Institute made sure to keep his paper in the dark since 1972, until it was recently demanded to become transparent. Why were his papers hidden? Money. His proof would have stopped industries from helping economic growth. Hiding alarming facts while gambling over health was the better option.

It is clear. So why are people still in denial? One group is convinced that industries are making money out of our stupidity. Another group calls that extremist thinking citing from a majority of scientific studies. It seems that opposing sides of the EMF radiation debate has been playing ping-pong for quite a while without knowing the rules.

The fact is that the majority of studies that claim no biological effects from EMF radiation are funded by industries, especially cellphone industries. (Henry Lai, University of Washington). Apparently, money can buy facts and beliefs.

I suggest you visit Dr Magda Havas's website (www.magdahavas.com), who has been doing research on the biological effects of EMF pollution since the 1990s.

Dr Havas works with diabetics, people who have multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and has also done studies on buildings polluted with electromagnetic radiation, especially schools. She wrote an article, titled "Cherry Picking & Black Swans", that pinpoints why many people's denial over the effects of EMF radiation on health continues because scientific proof is being wrongly interpreted by the public, with results that are selectively communicated by the scientist.

She basically says that when testing the statement that microwave radiation is safe, we should not focus on the major studies that show no effect. This would be the same as, for example, counting white swans and claiming that they are all white. And it means that you are being selective according to your preference.

To really find out whether microwave radiation is safe or not, we should simply look at studies that document harm. (i.e. by trying to sight black swans, and if you don't find any, only then can you reasonably prove that all swans are white.) This is what was done in the Bio-Initiative Report.

The Bio-initiative Report was a response to the mantra that "We have no convincing conclusive consistent evidence that electromagnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation are harmful below current guidelines". Therefore, it is not selecting only bad news. Instead, it uses the scientific method called "falsification" to prove that the statement that "electromagnetic fields below existing guidelines are safe" is worth reconsidering.

This simple fact is part of reality, and we should not ignore it. Whether you are a scientist or not, use your common sense. Let reality speak for itself.

"As of 1997, there have been dozens of scientific and medical organisations from around the world, that appealed that current outdated EMF guidelines be updated to protect public health. What are thousands of doctors and scientists worldwide trying to tell us? Houston we have a problem!"

Beisan Al Shafei
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Source: Gulf Daily News, Beisan Al Shafei, 21 Nov 2012

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