News for Austria
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|New case study confirms increased cancer risk by mobile phone mast radiation|
|Austria||Created: 13 Feb 2008|
Graz - Austrian Press Agency (APA) - stated a "significantly increased cancer risk in the periphery of 200 meters by portable telephone radio radiation" was determined by the Salzburg environmental physician Dr Gerd Oberfeld in the context of a study given by the health department of the county of Steiermark ordered in the year 2005.
Cancer incidence data was collected in the area of Vasoldsberg / Hausmannstaetten (district of outer Graz) where a mobile phone base station for the C-net (NMT450) was operated from 1984 to 1997.
Starting point of the study was the suspicion about the number of cancer illnesses in the local population. This was confirmed by the study author Dr Gerd Oberfeld. In the study design it was assumed that the mobile phone basestation could be a factor. The study area was a circular area with a radius of approximately 1,200 meters around the transmitter. A case control study was carried out using three different samples. One of the conditions was for people to live at least five years in the area being studied. The most meaningful sample covered 67 cases - living persons and the deceased cancer patients based on the medical records - compared with the 1,242 ‘control people’.
With one of the three samples (84 persons) the radiation strength in the sleep areas measured using a test signal generator which was set up 25 meters beside the original basestation. In addition, the radiation levels were calculated with the help of a computer program. The agreement between the measurements and computations was very good according to Oberfeld: "that was a sufficiently good approach for the former exposure. This meant that the computation results could also be used for evaluating the larger samples.
Vasoldsberg/Hausmannstaetten was "an exceptional case with an antenna height of only about eight meters, in the middle of a residential area", stated the study author in the APA discussion. Normally the omnidirectional antennas with a length of approximately two meters for C-net were located on higher masts on elevated sites.
The distance between two transmitters lay usually in the range 30 to 50 kilometers. Oberfeld: "It would be meaningful to examine a second location with a similar features to confirm the result of Hausmannstaetten ."
The results of the study caused the political head of the public health authority of Styria Helmut Hirt (S), to pass the study on directly to the "working group health effects of electromagnetic fields" of the Ministry of Health. The working group will examine the results further in February in a special meeting and will introduce further measures if necessary.
The C-net, also as "in-car telephone C" become known, was switched off at the end of 1997 after 13 years.
Like Austria, since 2004 other Western European countries have licensed the NMT 450MHz system again. In the year 2006 Austria and the Swedish Green network acquired the frequencies for a radio T-Mobile InterNet system.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Austrian Press Agency, Prof. Gerd Oberfeld, 12 Feb 2008|
|New Dr. Oberfeld study on basestations|
|Austria||Created: 4 Feb 2008|
Case-Control Study on Cancer and a NMT450 Mobile Phone Basestation in Austria.
I would like to draw your attention to a report released today, I wrote on behalf of the Public Health Department of Styria (AUSTRIA).
The study was designed as a case-control study in order to assess the cancer risk associated with the individual exposure from a Mobile Phone Base Station (NMT450) operated for 13 years in a residential area. The omni directional antenna was mounted 8 meters above ground.
For the results see pages 14 to 16. The study will be discussed at the Austrian Ministry of Health in February.
(get the report PDF by clicking the source link below)
Gerd Oberfeld MD
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Dr. Gerd Oberfeld, 03 Feb 2008|
|The Vienna Medical Association: Children and Mobile Phones - Caution Is Warranted|
|Austria||Created: 4 Jan 2008|
No zero tariffs and no mobile phone advertising targeting children and adolescents, members of the Vienna Medical Association demand - Because of possible health impacts, it is not only this association making recommendations about the cautious use of mobile phones, but the Austrian chief public health officer and the European Environment Agency warn as well.
From Martin Weatherall with translation by Katharina Gustav
Österreichische Ärztezeitung ÖÄZ 22, 25 November 2007
By Agnes M. Mühlgassner
Positions could not be more controversial. While the mobile phone industry vehemently denies any adverse health effects caused by modern telecommunication, the opponents’ criticism does not stop. At the forefront of the opposition: the Vienna Medical Association, which in 2005 took up the mobile phone issue for the first time.
In the meantime quite a few things happened: The information campaign on the cautious use of mobile phones “became a success story” as Walter Dorner, the president of the Vienna Medical Association, pointed out. The accompanying poster with the 10 Medical Rules for Mobile Phone Use was also a success: Up until now, over 21,000 were printed and put up in schools, community halls, etc. The poster is also available in English, French, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Hungarian and Dutch.
Walter Dorner finds zero tariffs especially bothersome. “We should really do away with them,” he says. He also refuses to recede from his demand for labeling mobile phones with the SAR-value (=specific absorption rate; up to 90% of the emitted RF radiation is absorbed by the user’s head). Banning the advertising that specifically targets children and adolescents is meant to change the image of mobile phones. “The possibility of adverse health effects is real,” the president of the association stresses. By now even the chief public health officer did issue a recommendation about the cautious use of mobile phones, which for Dorner is a “sweeping success.” Warnings are also issued at a European level. Only recently, the European Environment Agency (EEA) explicitly warned about the health risks associated with mobile phones. Background: There seems to be clear evidence that persons who had used their mobile phones for more than 10 years for about 460 hours per year showed an increased brain tumor risk.
The European Environment Agency also found that today mobile phones are used at an earlier age, longer and more frequently, including children and adolescents, the environment advisor of the Vienna Medical Association, Erik Huber, pointed out. After all, 70% of teenagers between 12 and 13 own their own mobile phone; among the 8- to 9-year-olds every fourth child calls it his or her own. “The powerful advertising that conveys a positive image of mobile phones,” Erik Huber sees as a huge problem as well as a “kind of manipulation.” In contrast, science takes a much more sophisticated approach. “Scientists do not argue anymore whether mobile phones are harmful, but how harmful they are.”
There is evidence for double-stranded DNA breaks; the “missing link” is the causal association. Huber points out that it was only in the mid-1990s that the evidence of a causal association between lung cancer and smoking could be demonstrated. “In the case of mobile phones, I hope it will not take quite as long.” A meta-analysis, for example, revealed that brain tumor risk increased substantially by 200% after ten years of mobile phone use.
“Children under the age of 16 should never use a mobile phone,” said Huber. For children the health effects are far more serious because their skullcap is much thinner and on top of that it still contains blood-forming bone marrow. “It is assumed that, relatively speaking, microwaves penetrate much deeper into a child’s skull.” This means that even though the penetration depth is similar to that in adults, because of the smaller skull diameter deeper-lying areas are reached. For Huber it is a matter of raising awareness: “When an 8-year-old child starts using a mobile phone, by the age of 30 or 40 his or her head will be exposed to an unprecedented level of RF radiation stress.”
Huber makes the following concrete demands to the politicians:
• Ban of mobile phone advertising targeted at children and adolescents
• No zero tariffs
• No repudiation of health care professionals
• Low-emission mobile phones
• SAR labeling for mobile phones
“Scientists do not argue anymore whether mobile phones are harmful, but how harmful they are.”
The head of the Institute of Environmental Health of the Medical
University of Vienna, university professor Michael Kundi, calls for epidemiological data, provocation and long-term studies as well as in vitro investigations.
“The technology was introduced without ever clarifying side-effects. What we need is a scientific risk assessment.” After all, when making a phone call with a mobile phone, “a microwave emitter is held right next to one’s head.”
When digital mobile phone systems were introduced to Europe at the beginning of the 1990s, estimates of that time assumed that about 20,000 to 40,000 Austrians would make use of this new technology. Kundi also remembers that around the mid-1990s his institute received more frequent inquiries regarding side-effects from mobile phones. According to the statements of an Australian mobile phone service provider, 10,000 studies had existed at that time, all of which could not show any adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones. “A pure mystery,” says Kundi. Such studies did not exist. How many studies did actually exist? Kundi says, “A total of a few hundred.” And he continues, “Today we can start to assess the risk.” The drawback: At the moment we could assess only one technology, which does not exist anymore, that is, the first generation of mobile phones.
Yet a basic rule in environmental medicine states, “Damage effects can be generalized from equivalent to similar situations.” Thus Kundi deduces, “The knowledge we have about the previous technology is sufficient to devise precautions.”
“The technology was introduced without ever clarifying side-effects.”
In the Stewart Report from 1999/2000, it already said that children should be discouraged from using mobile phones. Why? “Data on the long-term impact on children have not yet been forthcoming. But today, many kindergarten children already have a mobile phone and we fear that the earlier use could have an adverse impact on their health.”
There are actually two studies in the planning stages: one by IARC (International Agency of Research on Cancer from the WHO) about childhood tumors in the head area due to the use of mobile phones; another study shall be part of the 7th EU research program. ….
• If you take a mobile phone with you, prefer not to put it in the pockets of your pants but in a briefcase or bag you carry with you.
• Make longer phone calls from a corded phone.
• During sleep, turn mobile phone off and preferably avoid storing it next to your head.
• Phone calls from a car: When using an external antenna, the risk decreases towards zero. A Bluetooth hands-free system represents a second source of radiation.
• If possible, avoid surfing the wireless Internet; the card will radiate for two to three hours.
• No playing games with the mobile phone (except off-line)
• Headsets do not reduce exposure; Bluetooth even increases it.
- Use an airtube headset.
- Don’t use a microwave phone inside a car/bus/train/elevator, as the signal is reflected back creating a microwave oven effect.
- Wear a shield between your body and the place that you carry your phone. Do NOT shield the entire phone, as that will cause it to boost the radiation.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: EMFacts, Don Masich, 03 Jan 2008|
|The Repacholi interviews & responses|
|Austria||Created: 10 Aug 2007|
Mike Repacholi has released his latest "set the record straight" interviews with RF Gateway for free distribution.
Get them in Adobe Acrobat PDF format here:
Interview with Repacholi on the WHO EMF project:
"ORDINARY PEOPLE STILL TRUST WHO ON HEALTH MATTERS, SAYS FORMER EMF CHIEF":
Responses to the interviews by Next-Up members, Iris Atzmon and more:
|Source: Mike Repacholi, RF Gateway, Next-up organisation|
|Repacholi admits half of WHO EMF funding from Industry|
|Austria||Created: 7 Aug 2007|
Mike Repacholi has now revealed that up to half of the funds raised for his EMF Project came from industry. This admission comes in an interview with Resource Strategies Inc. in an effort, he states, to "set the record straight." Repacholi is circulating the text of the interview far and wide because, he says, he wants "the truth about WHO" to be known.
While Repacholi has acknowledged in the past that he raised funds from industry, the extent of the industry support is much greater than anyone has previously suspected. Repacholi has never disclosed how much money he received and from whom. He insists that the EMF Project was not "influenced by industry." (For more on Repacholi's relationship to industry, see WHO Watch.)
Repacholi stepped down as the director of WHO's EMF Project last year. Some activists have openly speculated that he was forced out by senior WHO managers because of his ties to industry, but these allegations have never been substantiated. Repacholi has repeatedly stated that he left on reaching WHO's mandatory retirement age.
In an e-mail to one activist, which was forwarded to Microwave News, Repacholi touts the interview as an example of "where the press finally got it right." Resource Strategies, however, can hardly be considered "the press" in the usual meaning of the term. Resource Strategies is a corporate consulting firm that prepares briefing papers for clients, which are almost exclusively in the wireless and electric utility businesses. Among them are EPRI, FGF, GSM Association and MMF. All of these industry groups supported the EMF Project during Repacholi's tenure. And to bring it all full circle, the WHO is also on Resource Strategies' client list.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 30 Jul 2007|
|Use of evidence in WHO recommendations|
|Austria||Created: 20 May 2007|
Background: WHO regulations, dating back to 1951, emphasise the role of expert opinion in the development of
recommendations. However, the organisation’s guidelines, approved in 2003, emphasise the use of systematic reviews
for evidence of eﬀects, processes that allow for the explicit incorporation of other types of information (including
values), and evidence-informed dissemination and implementation strategies. We examined the use of evidence,
particularly evidence of eﬀects, in recommendations developed by WHO departments.
Methods: We interviewed department directors (or their delegates) at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and
reviewed a sample of the recommendation-containing reports that were discussed in the interviews (as well as related
background documentation). Two individuals independently analysed the interviews and reviewed key features of the
reports and background documentation.
Findings: Systematic reviews and concise summaries of ﬁndings are rarely used for developing recommendations.
Instead, processes usually rely heavily on experts in a particular specialty, rather than representatives of those who
will have to live with the recommendations or on experts in particular methodological areas.
Interpretation Progress in the development, adaptation, dissemination, and implementation of recommendations for
member states will need leadership, the resources necessary for WHO to undertake these processes in a transparent
and defensible way, and close attention to the current and emerging research literature related to these processes.
Read the entire document (PDF format) at the link below.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: The Lancet, Andrew D Oxman, John N Lavis, Atle Fretheim, 09 May 2007|
|WHO crisis: OPEN LETTER TO DR MARGARET CHAN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION|
|Austria||Created: 12 May 2007|
From: Katz, Alison, Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007 4:29 PM, Subject: Open letter to Dr Chan, Geneva, January 2007
Dear Dr Chan,
You have taken office as Director-General of the World Health Organization after two discouraging decades in which the international health authority has been progressively subjected to pressure from powerful minorities, separated from the people it serves and diverted from its public health mission.
In short, WHO has fallen victim to neoliberal globalization - as have most social and economic institutions serving the public interest. A number of WHO staff, in senior and less senior positions, have struggled against the worst excesses of this process, but the damage has been extensive. In addition to the tragedy (and scandal) of continuing, avoidable disease and death, WHO has lost friends among the people it serves and has gained rich and powerful "partners" in search of new areas of influence.
Almost certainly, the world’s people will force a return to the goal of social and economic justice, and in the area of health, to the promise of Alma Ata - which was itself explicitly predicated upon a new international economic order.
"Health for All" became WHO’s slogan at the end of "Les Trentes Glorieuses" (1945-1975) - thirty years of genuine progress towards a fairer - and therefore a healthier - world. This was the era of decolonization, when the need for redistribution of power and resources, including the rights of peoples to self determination and control over national resources, was widely recognized and there was strong commitment to universal, comprehensive public services to meet basic needs for health. A time of optimism, moral vision and genuine progress.
Optimism was fully justified because the world had (and still has) ample resources to ensure peace, security and the wellbeing of all. Health for All is no utopia. It was and is achievable even if it is far more ambitious than the Millennium Development Goals which are - quite literally - a set of half measures defined and delimited by the G8.
If thirty years is the length of cycles of progress and backlash, with social progress for people always overtaking, if only by a small margin, the backlash of powerful minorities to maintain their privileges, we are embarking now on the new 30 year cycle of progress.
And your five years as Director-General (DG) of WHO coincides with that new cycle of progress.
Before I leave, I would like to comment on some of the excellent points you have made in various speeches (1) since your election, confident that your vision - if you can realize even part of it unimpeded, will reinforce and accelerate that progress.
1. Inequality should be the focus rather than poverty and insecurity
You identify poverty and insecurity as two of the greatest threats to harmony which as you rightly state is "a word at the core of the WHO constitution". You state that "health is intrinsically related to both development and security, and hence to harmony". The social justice perspective would go further by stating that peace and security cannot be achieved without justice, and health cannot be achieved without equitable and emancipatory development.
Our focus today should be on inequality rather than poverty, not because of a preference for the relative over the absolute, but because unequal power relations are themselves the root cause of both poverty and insecurity, and because inequality, over and above any level of material wealth or deprivation, is bad for health and for cohesive, safe, healthy societies. Current inequalities - in which the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000 and the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total - are not only grotesque in their divisiveness, they are lethal.
2. Time to focus attention on the rich but to meet with the poor
It has become fashionable to focus attention on the poor but to meet - and establish partnerships with - the rich. In order to address the fundamental problem of inequality, this pattern must be reversed. It is time to focus attention on the rich and powerful because they are the experts in the mechanisms of unequal power relations and the architects of policies and strategies which produce, reinforce and accelerate inequalities. Those systems must be closely examined and opened up to public scrutiny and democratic control. To clarify, this is not a discourse on good and evil; the issue is one of profoundly antisocial and violent systems not of the use made of those systems by a handful of rapacious individuals.
Poor people do not attend G8 summits, board meetings of the latest "Global Fund" or "philanthropic" foundation, let alone the World Economic Forum - where Chief Executive Officers of transnational corporations are offered even more privileged access to political leaders than they already enjoy. But poor people also hold meetings and they are represented - if imperfectly - at the World Social Forum (and in national and regional social fora), in trade union, social and political movements and elsewhere.
As Director-General of WHO, you are committed to "the people of Africa who bear an enormous and disproportionate burden of ill health and premature death" and you have made this "the key indicator of the performance of WHO". Your presence at the next World Social Forum on Health (Nairobi 21-23 January 2007 unfortunately coincides with your first Executive Board) and many other such events in the future, would represent real hope and inspiration for the world’s people and an essential counterbalance to high level meetings with government leaders and their corporate backers/advisers - who are increasingly one and the same.
3. Public-private partnerships or a solid, equitable tax base?
You note that "the landscape of public health has become a complex and crowded arena for action, with a growing number of health initiatives" and you remind us that WHO is "constitutionally mandated to act as the directing and coordinating authority on health". As you know, public-private partnerships have become the policy paradigm for global health work despite the evident conflict of interest which would have outlawed such arrangements thirty years ago. Agencies and organizations with public responsibilities are "partnering" with the private sector for one reason. It (appears to have) become the only source of funds. This situation has arisen because under neoliberal economic regimes, public sector budgets have been slashed and tax bases destroyed. Those developments are themselves the result of the influence of transnational corporations on governments and the international financial institutions.
The solution to this problem is not for public bodies to go begging to the private sector, nor to the foundations of celebrity "philanthropists" with diverse agendas, from industry. The solution is economic justice, including an adequate tax base, both nationally and internationally, to cover all public services, as well as proper funding of public institutions such as WHO through regular budgets so that they may fulfill their international responsibilities unimpeded by corporate interests.
You report that "the amount of money being made available by foundations, funding agencies and donor governments is unprecedented". This will be entirely positive if you are able to use these funds to pursue your vision and priorities, as is your right and your duty. It can be argued that if WHO had operated exclusively on regular budget, even with a significantly smaller workforce but one that was dedicated to WHO’s constitutional mandate, far more progress towards Health for All would have been achieved.
As you say "Primary Health Care (PHC) is the corner stone of building the capacity of health systems. It is also central to health development and to community health security." PHC will remain health rhetoric if it is not supported by a solid, equitable tax base and other forms of redistributive justice (debt cancellation and reparation, fair trade, abolition of tax havens, democratic control of TNC activities etc). WHO itself needs to set targets for the level of core funding, starting perhaps at 70% of total expenditure, and increasing annually until undue influence is removed. The private sector has no place in public health policy making at global or national level. This does not of course exclude responsibly designed interactions as in the past but it does exclude partnerships because partners must share the same goal.
4. Knowledge for the public good - the world cannot afford corporate "science"
You cite technical authority as one of WHO’s four unique assets and you state that "we can be absolutely authoritative in our guidance" and that "WHO must influence the research and development agenda". WHO’s role as the technical health authority is indeed the jewel in its crown. All the more important then to address the current crisis in science and reclaim knowledge systems for the public good.
The commercialization of science and the close relationship between industry and academic institutions (2) should be at the centre of WHO’s concerns. In this regard, the public has every right to insist that assurances be provided that WHO’s recent reports on the health effects of Chernobyl and on the safety of genetically modified foods were researched, developed and produced in full consultation with independent scientists, unimpeded by other interests.
In relation to the corruption of traditional ideals of science, an editorial in the Lancet reported that "Academic institutions . . . have become businesses in their own right, seeking to commercialize for themselves research discoveries rather than preserve their independent scholarly status". Equally worrying is the new trade-related intellectual property regime which represents an unprecedented privatization of knowledge. Knowledge should be in the public domain, accessible to all. It must above all be truthful and reliable - a reminder which is not superfluous today.
Given continuing high levels of avoidable disease and death, alarming resurgence and emergence of old and new infectious disease respectively, and the devastating effects of environmental degradation and resource depletion on population health, the world cannot afford corporate "science". As the world’s technical health authority, WHO must take the lead in transforming the way scientific research is conducted and funded and the way knowledge is acquired and applied.
5. Ethical values and independence of international civil servants
You state that "We share the ethical foundations of the health profession. This is a caring, healing and science-based profession dedicated to the prevention and relief of human suffering. This gives us our moral authority and a most noble system of ethical values".
It has not always been easy for staff to stay close to WHO’s mandate nor to maintain respect for ethical values either as public servants or as colleagues during the neoliberal decades. The pressure often proved overwhelming while the independence of international civil servants was increasingly undermined. As you know, staff management relations reached a low point and resulted in the first industrial action in WHO’s history in November 2005, a massive work stoppage involving 700 staff. This was despite threats of disciplinary action including dismissal from the Director-General’s Office which reflected not only deep dissatisfaction on the part of staff but astonishing disregard for international labour standards on the part of a UN agency.
The work stoppage was not an event to be deplored, lamented, let alone sanctioned.(3) It was a needed signal to Member States and WHO’s wider constituency that radical change was needed. Staff who struggled against the tide during these past two decades were often "guilty" of their attachment to the Declaration of Alma Ata which clearly identified social and economic root causes of avoidable disease and death, placed the debate squarely within international power structures and insisted on a broad public health perspective which addressed non-health sector determinants of health. They were part of the broad movement led by civil society organizations promoting a return to the values and principles of Health for All, which was instrumental in the creation of WHO’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
Some, through the Staff Association, were also guilty of revealing to member states, as is their duty, (4) corruption, nepotism, abuse of rules and procedures and an ineffective internal justice system. In an exemplary response, members states called for a progress report on staff management relations at the next EB (January 2007) and an audit of all direct appointments at and under the D1 level.
The response however of the last administration was dismal. WHO staff are now represented by a "Staff Committee" which, apparently in collusion with administration, opposed discussion of the application of international labour standards (human rights in the workplace) in WHO, at the Annual General Meeting of the HQ Staff Association. This is an absurd situation, unworthy of a UN agency. Today, there is an opportunity for civilised and dignified staff management relations in which staff concerns and perspectives are welcomed with interest and respect. The first step will be to declare that WHO supports not only a rights-based approach to health but a rights-based organization which fully respects the ILO Covenants. Staff morale and motivation will soar as will confidence in their leadership.
6. Health for All is value laden and explicitly political
In discussion with colleagues about all the above concerns, I have often heard that with my views, I should rather work for an NGO, that my perspective is "political" and that WHO is not an implementing agency. My response to the first comment is that WHO staff should surely be more committed to the values and principles of Health for All than staff of any other organization, just as all UN staff should be at the frontline of the defense of the UN Charter.
My response to the second comment is that health is political and that the PHC approach and Health for All was and is an explicitly political project - as is the neoliberal project for health and health care. Today’s international health establishment denies any political values, intentions or interests and presents itself as neutral, objective and armed with scientific facts. But scientific objectivity requires awareness and acknowledgement of underlying values and principles. The States Parties to the Constitution, in line with the Charter of the United Nations accepted a set of nine ethical principles when they established the World Health Organization. This is the source of our "moral authority" and it is a value laden and highly political document - if one accepts that politics is about the organization of societal structures and functions, in particular in relation to the distribution of power and resources, for the benefit of its members.
My response to the third comment is that although WHO is not an implementing agency, it has a clear advocacy role in terms of identifying and promoting policies and strategies - on the basis of serious science and sound evidence - that will ensure the meeting of basic needs for health, among other things.
7. Conflicting loyalties
In the neoliberal decades, WHO staff, and other international civil servants, have found themselves in an uneasy position with conflicting duties of loyalty on the one hand to WHO’s constitutional mandate and the UN Charter, and on the other hand - as WHO is an intergovernmental agency - to member states and current office holders and their interpretation of these mandates. The most obvious examples are UN sanctions and the invasion of Iraq which have caused public health catastrophes.(5) These actions have been qualified as war crimes and genocide respectively.(6)
Less spectacular examples of conflicting loyalties relate to certain policies and strategies which do not make the headlines but which cause illness and death on a daily basis and an even larger scale. WHO has failed to denounce, in the strongest possible terms, unfair rules of trade and commerce, odious debt, ruthless liberalization of economies, privatization of public services and continued exploitation of people’s national resources. This is despite ample evidence that these processes create poverty and inequality, interfere with people’s capacity to provide themselves with adequate supplies of food and water, and maintain more than half the world’s people in unspeakably miserable living conditions.
At least 10 million children die every year and the vast majority of those deaths are avoidable. Life threatening, structural violence requires principled, unambiguous resistance not cautious admonitions, let alone timid acquiescence.
We live in exceptional times when leaders of powerful nations, who scarcely represent their own people let alone all member states, embark on illegal action leading to death and destruction and when transnational corporations, in collusion with international financial institutions - with no democratic legitimacy or accountability - are allowed to impose policies which have been shown to have devastating effects on population health. Should staff choose loyalty to current office holders and selected member states rather than loyalty to the mandate of their organization and the world’s people who are often, very poorly represented by their governments? Should respect for human rights and confidence in our own moral judgment tip the balance in these conflicting loyalties ?
8. Perhaps exceptional responses are required in exceptional times
"The way in which citizens of the rich countries currently live their lives is, on the whole, morally acceptable". (7) Recognition that "everyone’s favourite prejudice" is profoundly wrong is fundamental to the struggle for social justice and Health for All.
WHO (and other UN) staff may be misinformed (by failing to consult alternative sources of information) and disinformed (by accepting la pensée unique of mainstream and conventional sources of information). However none of us can claim lack of access to full information. It is time to consider whether the way in which UN and WHO staff serve the UN Charter and WHO’s constitutional mandate, respectively, is, on the whole, morally acceptable or whether this belief is "our favourite prejudice".
Dr Chan, the vision you have articulated is exemplary and an inspiration to staff. But you will need them to summon up the courage of their convictions, stand strong in the face of powerful opposition, and keep close to WHO’s constitutional mandate, if they are to assist you in its realization.
1. Speech to the World Health Assembly, 9 November 2006 as DG elect and Address to WHO staff, 4 January 2007, as DG.
2. This section is drawn from the Convention on Knowledge, Institute of Science in Society. www.i-sis.org.uk/conventiononkn owledge.php
3. My post was abolished three weeks after the work stoppage and three weeks before the normal renewal of my two year contract, after 17 years service. This has been qualified as retaliation for industrial action (a violation of human rights) by Swiss unions and staff association lawyers.
4. According to an Executive Board Resolution EB91/1993/REC/1
5. Just prior to February 2003, WHO was involved in preparations for post-invasion emergency health measures. In the interests of contributing to the prevention of violence rather than merely participating in the "mopping up operation" staff asked administration if they might circulate a petition in support
of the UN Charter (available on request). They were informed that if they did so they would be asked to present their resignations.
6. See for example Initial Complaint prepared for the First Hearing by staff of the International War Crimes Tribunal http://deoxy.org/wc/warcrim2.htm and report on effects of UN sanctions http://iraqnfo.org/
7. Thomas W. Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights, Polity Press 2002
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: cadtm.org, 14 Mar 2007|
|Schäden an Bienenvölkern|
|Austria||Created: 17 Apr 2007|
Seit vielen Jahren betreibe ich zuerst in Wien und dann in Engelhartstetten Imkerei. Für Imker habe ich zahlreiche Kurse über Bienenpathologie abgehalten. Seit einigen Jahren habe ich selbst Probleme mit meinen Bienenvölkern, die ich nicht auf eine Krankheit oder eine Vergiftung durch Spritzmittel zurückführen konnte. Imidacloprid und Fipronil sind nicht Ursache des weltweiten Bienensterbens (Maus, Chr., Curé, G., Schmuck, R., 2003.- Safety of imidacloprid seed dressings to honey bees: a comprehensive overview and compilation of the current state of knowledge.- Bulletin of Insectology 56 (1): 51-57.) Die Probleme sind erst aufgetaucht seit in unmittelbarer Umgebung meines Bienenstandes mehrere Sendeanlagen errichtet wurden, wie die Abbildungen zeigen. Dazu wurde ich vor deren Aufstellung als Anrainer nicht befragt. Bei meinen Bienenvölkern (anfangs ca. 40 Stück) waren eine starke Unruhe und ein stark erhöhter Schwarmtrieb zu beobachten. Als Magazinimker benutze ich einen sogenannten hohen Boden, die Bienen haben in diesem Raum Waben nicht in Fortsetzung der vorgegeben Rähmchen, sondern kreuz und quer dazu weitergebaut. Besonders auffällig war das starke Verkleben der Beuten, sodass die Magazine nur mehr schwer zu trennen waren.
Ich habe eine rasante Frühjahrsentwicklung beobachtet, sodaß frühzeitig eine Schwarmbekämpfung notwendig wurde.
Es kam zu unerklärlichen Zusammenbrüchen von Bienenvölkern im Sommer. Die Bienenbeuten wurden einfach von den Bienen verlassen.
Im Winter konnte ich beobachten, dass die Bienen trotz Schnee und Minusgraden ausflogen und neben der Beute erfroren. Völker die dieses Verhalten zeigten sind zusammengebrochen, obwohl sie vor der Einwinterung starke, gesunde, weiselrichtige Völker waren.Sie waren ausreichend eingefüttert und auch das Pollenangebot im Herbst war mehr als ausreichend gewesen.
Meiner Meinung nach werden die Bienenvölker durch die Mobilfunkstrahlung so geschwächt, dass Krankheiten wie die Varroatose in Verbindung mit Viruserkrankungen zum Zusammenbruch der Völker führen und da die gegenwärtig praktizierte Varroabehandlung nicht mehr ausreichend ist. Vor 15 Jahren konnten Bienenvölker einen wesentlich höheren Befall an Varroamilben verkraften als jetzt.
Interessant waren die Reaktionen meines Artikels in der „Bienenwelt“ und meiner Umfrage im „Bienenvater“ . Leider bekam ich nur 20 schriftliche und fünf mündliche Antworten. Die Frage nach einem Mobilfunksender wurde von 100% positiv beantwortet. Die Frage nach einer erhöhten Aggressivität wurde von 37,5% positiv beantwortet. Die Frage nach der erhöhten Schwarmneigung wurde von 25% positiv beantwortet und die letzte Frage aber nach unerklärlichen Völkerzusammenbrüchen wurde von 62,5% positiv beantwortet.
„Seit 37 Jahren habe ich Bienen. Vor 5 Jahren (1998) hat mein Nachbar wegen seiner Schulden einen Sendemast errichten lassen. Unser Schlafzimmer ist 50m entfernt. Im Mai 2002 starb meine Frau plötzlich an Herzrhythmusstörungen. Im selben Jahr versuchte ich vergeblich Ableger zu machen. 2003 habe ich alle Völker verloren.“ K.Z. aus Linz,Oktober 2003
In wissenschaftlich durchgeführten Tierversuchen von Altmann und Warnke (1971 bis 1976) wurde der Beweis erbracht, dass niederfrequente elektromagnetische Felder von 50Hz völlig anomale Reaktionen bei Bienen verursachen. Bringt man Bienenvölker in die Nähe von Hochspannungsleitungen, reagieren die Bienen klar gegen ihren sonstigen Instinkt. Sie werden scheinbar grundlos aggressiv und richten ihre Stacheln gegeneinander. Die letzten Überlebenden fallen sogar über ihre eigene Königin her und töten sie. Horn zeigte 1983 in ausführlichen Versuchen, dass ab 10 kV/m die Bienen ihre Bruttätigkeit aufgeben und Brutstadien entfernen. Bei neugefüllten Kästen ziehen die Bienen aus. Es kommt zu einer starken Verkittung der Beuten. Während der Überwinterung kommt es zu einem um 25% erhöhten Futterverbrauch. Signifikant höher ist der Wintertotenfall zwischen 55 und 100%. Es wurde festgestellt, dass ein unruhiger Wintersitz mit einem erhöhten Befall von Bienenkrankheiten verbunden war. Es kommt durch EMF zu Änderungen des Brutkurvenverlaufs mit einer rascheren Frühjahrsentwicklung.
Diese Ergebnisse im niederfrequenten Bereich können auch benutzt werden um im hochfrequenten Bereich Auswirkungen vorherzusagen. Die wissenschaftliche Forschung hat nämlich gezeigt, dass die Effekte die von niederfrequenten EMF in biologischen Systemen induziert werden identisch zu Effekten sind die von hochfrequenten EMF induziert werden und vice versa.
Prof.Stever von der Universität Koblenz schrieb mir:" Ihren Artikel über Schäden durch Elektrosmog habe ich mit großer Aufmerksamkeit gelesen. Seit einigen Jahren arbeiten Dr.Kuhn (Physiker) und ich an dieser Problematik mit Bienen und haben zu meiner formalwissenschaftlichen Theorie entsprechende explorative Studien durchgeführt.Großangelegte Feldstudien durchzuführen ist uns leider nicht möglich."
Kuhn, J. und H.Stever, 2001 kommen an Hand eines praktischen Versuchs mit gepulsten Mikrowellen zum Schluss:"In einem völlig feldfreien Raum sind (sowohl schädigende als auch evtl. heilende) Wirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder auf deren Umwelt ausgeschlossen . Ziel muss es also sein, einen Raum zu schaffen, in dem das HF-Feld nicht eindringt." Bienen fliegen bei der Nektar-und Pollenernte kilometerweit durch die von den Basisstationen des Mobilfunks bestrahlten Gebiete, auch durch "hot spots", die infolge von Reflexionen und Interferenzen auftreten. Dafür einen strahlungsarmen Raum zu schaffen wäre nur mittels Abschaltung der Basisstationen möglich. Eine Abschirmung der Beuten allein ist zuwenig und schützt lediglich die Brut vor teratogenen Schäden. Die Untersuchung ( Kuhn,J. und H.Stever, 2002) von zwei Völkern die mit einem CB-Funkgerät mit 27Mz und 4W aus unmittelbarer Nähe bestrahlt wurden, ergaben eine höhere Agilität, einen erhöhten Schwarmtrieb und fehlende Wintertraubenbildung. Die Autoren leiten daraus keine negativen Auswirkungen ab. Diese Versuchsanordnung stellt unserer Meinung nach allerdings keine wissenschaftliche Aussage über den Einfluß von gepulsten Mikrowellenfeldern von GSM Basisstionen mit 900MHz und 1800Mhz dar.
Leider kann zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt nach der flächendeckenden Einführung des Mobilfunks mit gepulsten Mikrowellen eine wissenschaftliche Doppel-Blind-Studie nicht mehr durchgeführt werden, es fehlt schlicht die Kontrolle. Die natürliche HF-Strahlung weist eine Leistungsflussdichte von nur 0,000 001µW/m² auf. Dieser Wert wird überall im Flugbereich der Honigbienen weit überschritten und ist in der Nähe von Sendeanlagen noch um mehrere Zehnerpotenzen höher. Es ist zu hoffen, dass sich die Bienen bald genetisch an die neue Situation anpassen, denn ein Zusammenhang von Völkerverlusten und der Mobilfunktechnik ist sehr wahrscheinlich.
Einen Einfluß könnten unter anderem die im Hinterleib der Honigbiene vorhandenen Magnetosomen haben. Diese gibt es in Bakterien und dienen diesen zur Orientierung im Erdmagnetfeld. Auch bei Fischen, Vögeln und im menschlichen Gehirn wurden derartige Magnetitkristalle nachgewiesen.
Die Sinnesorgane der Honigbienen sind hochentwickelt. Die Honigbienen vermögen es Farben zu sehen. Im Gegensatz zum Menschen hat sich das Spektrum bei ihnen allerdings in Richtung Ultraviolett verschoben. Das bedeutet, sie sehen rot wie schwarz, sind aber in der Lage Ultraviolettlicht zu sehen. Ebenfalls sehr hoch entwickelt ist bei der Honigbiene der Geruchssinn. Darüber hinaus hat sie ein sehr gutes Ortsgedächtnis und die Fähigkeit ihren Stockgenossinnen mit Hilfe der Bienesprache die Lage, Entfernung und Art einer ergiebigen Futterquelle mitzuteilen. Wenn sich die Nahrungsquelle innerhalb eines Umkreises von 80-100m befindet, wird von der Biene ein Rundtanz getanzt. Bei einer weiteren Entfernung der Futterquelle geben die Bienen mithilfe eines Schwänzeltanzes Auskunft. Beim Schwänzeltanz tanzt die heimkehrende Trachtbiene zunächst eine gerade Strecke, dann tanzt sie nach links. Danach folgt wieder eine gerade Strecke und dann tanzt die Trachtbiene nach rechts. Die Entfernung der Futterquelle wird durch die Anzahl der Ausschläge mit dem Hinterleib auf der geraden Strecke angegeben. Dies nennt man Schwänzeln.
Die Duftstoffe, die der Trachtbiene anhaften geben den anderen Bienen Auskunft über die zu beschaffende Nahrung und die anzufliegende Pflanzenart. Die neuesten Untersuchungen an Bienen zeigen, dass diese wahrscheinlich hinten im Hinterleib eine magnetisch beeinflussbare „Region“ besitzen, die Magnetit enthält, sogenannte Magnetosomen. Auf diese Weise können die ausgeflogenen Trachtbienen unter Einfluss des Erdmagnetfeldes nach dem Sonnenstand den Winkel zu den Trachtquellen ermitteln und den Winkel auf die senkrechte Wabenfläche übertragen. Bei Magnetit handelt es sich um ein schwarzes, metallisch glänzendes, undurchsichtiges Mineral mit der Formel Fe3O4 das Mikrowellen absorbiert. Die Kristalle werden von Magneten angezogen.
EMF veranlassen infolge ihrer zeitlichen und räumlichen Kohärenz , trotz zu geringer Energie und Intensität für eine direkte Zellschädigung das zelluläre Warnsystem darauf zu reagieren. In Selbstverteidigung werden eine Vielzahl biologischer Effekte im Zellstoffwechsel aktiviert.Diese schließen eine Änderung der Aktivitäten von Genen, Hormonen, Enzymen und Proteinen ein, die alle die Zelle in eine Stresssituation führen, um die Zelle gegen Umgebungseinflüsse zu schützen. Der Notfallmechanismus ist für den Fall einer kurzen Exposition gut und schützend. Wiederholt sich aber die Exposition über eine längere Periode, was im allgemeinen bei EMF der Fall ist, kommt es zu einer dauerhaften Alarmsituation. Das kann zu einer Erschöpfung des zellulären Repairsystems führen, eine Situation die am Ende die Produktion einiger der wichtigsten Repairenzyme und Stressproteine unterdrückt und dabei die Fähigkeit dieser Funktionen verringert.Ist aber die Stressproteinproduktion durch die wiederholte Exposition durch ein EMF Feld zu stark erschöpft wird dieser Prozess nicht aktiviert und die Moleküle bleiben unrepariert.Dieses plausible biologische Wirkmodell auf physikalisch - molekularbiologischer Basis, das von mehr als 70 wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten gestützt wird, beschreibe ich näher in meinem online-Artikel Macht Elektrosmog krank? Darüber besteht ein wachsender Konsens in der wissenschaftlichen Gemeinschaft.
Stever et al. haben 2005 in einer Pilotstudie Verhaltensänderungen unter elektromagnetischer Exposition festgestellt. Mehrere Völker Apis mellifera carnica wurden der Strahlung einer DECT Basisstation ( 1880 – 1900 MHz, 250 mW EIRP, gepulst mit 100 Hz, Reichweite 50 m) kontinuierlich ausgesetzt, vergleichbare Völker wurden als Kontrollgruppe am selben Standort untersucht. Für beide Gruppen wurden die Parameter Baufläche, Wabengewicht und Rückkehrverhalten erhoben. Bezogen auf das Rückkehrverhalten war die Anzahl der zurückkehrenden Bienen aus unbestrahlten Völkern deutlich höher, zum anderen war die Rückkehrzeit der wenigen zurückkehrenden Bienen aus bestrahlten Völkern deutlich länger. Zu keinem Zeitpunkt der Untersuchung kamen mehr als sechs bestrahlte Bienen im Beobachtungszeitraum zurück, mehrfach sogar keine, während bei den unbestrahlten Bienen zu jedem Untersuchungszeitpunkt zurückkehrende Bienen beobachtet werden konnten.
Altmann G., Warnke, U. :Einfluß unipolar geladener Luftionen auf die motorische Aktivität der Honigbienen; Apidologie 2 (4), 309-17 (1971).
Altmann G., Warnke, U.:Der Stoffwechsel von Bienen (Apis mellifica L. ) im 50 Hz-Hochspannungsfeld; Zeitschrift für angewandte Entomologie 80 (3), 267-71 (1976).
Balmori, A. : Efectos de las radiaciones electromagnéticas de la telefonia móvil sobre insectos. Ecosistemas, 2006/1, 1-11
Bednar, H. : Wirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder auf Pflanzen und Tiere,in: P.C. Mayer-Tasch. B.M.Malunat, 1995
Kuhn,J. und H.Stever: Handy-Boom: eine Gefahr für die Imkerei? ADIZ/db/IF 2/2001
Kuhn,J. und H.Stever: Auswirkungen hochfrequenter elektromagnetischer Felder auf Bienenvölker. Deutsches Bienen Journal,4/2002, 19-22
Ruzicka,F.: Schäden durch Elektrosmog. Bienenwelt, 10/2003, 34-35
Stever, H. und J.Kuhn:Elektromagnetische Exposition als Einflussfaktor für Lernprozesse - Ein Einwirkungsmodell der Bildungsinformatik mit Bienen als Bioindikatoren. 15.Intern.Conf. Systems Res., Inform.,Cybern. 28.Juli 2003 in Baden-Baden
Stever, H. et al.:Verhaltensänderung unter elektromagnetischer Exposition. http://agbi.uni-landau.de/ 2005
Warnke, U.: Neue Ergebnisse der Elektrophysiologie der Bienen; Apidologie 4 (2), 150 (1973).
Warnke, U.: Physikalisch-physiologische Grundlagen zur luftelektrisch bedingten "Wetterfühligkeit" der Honigbiene; Diss., Universität des Saarlandes (1973).
Warnke, U., Paul R.: Bienen unter Hochspannung; Umschau 75 (13), 416 (1976).
Warnke, U.:Die Wirkung von Hochspannungsfeldern auf das Verhalten von Bienensozietäten; Zeitschrift für angewandte Entomologie 82 (1), 88 (1976).
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Robert Riedlinger|
|Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use|
|Austria||Created: 29 Nov 2006|
A new report has seen the light of day!
It casts a Very Big Doubt on the "Impartiality" on research sponsored wholly or partially by the Mobile Phone Industry.
The report is published in Sept. 2006 and 2 of the writers (Anke Huss & Martin Röösli) were involved in the Swiss TNO replica study (publ. 06.06.2006).
The Authors conclude:
We examined the methodological quality and results of experimental studies investigating the effects of the type of radiofrequency radiation emitted by handheld cellular telephones. We hypothesized that studies would be less likely to show an effect of the exposure if funded by the telecommunications industry, which has a vested interest to portray the use of mobile phones as safe. We found that the studies exclusively funded by industry were indeed substantially less likely to report statistically significant effects on a range of endpoints that may be relevant to health.
Read the whole report here at the link:
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
|Many people report symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness, WHO|
|Austria||Created: 7 Jun 2006|
"A lot of people report symptoms similar to yours, and there is even a name for it, electrical hypersensitivity (EHS)", writes Chiyoji Ohkubo of the EMF-radiation project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an e-mail to a patient. Though the WHO confirms the problem is serious, there will be a 'fact sheet' by the EMF-project within a few weeks, totally denying the existence of radiation sickness. The information is based on instructions by a working group of five people in Prague, 2004.
It reads like a political manifesto, to hush up the epidemic and leave the patients behind without any care.
Main Category: Public Health News
Article Date: 12 Sep 2005 - 11:00am (PDT)
Read the whole article at link.
Comments by Robert Riedlinger. Canada:
Swiss study .
Politicians should play the ball now. A growing amount of municipalities takes the anxiousness of citizens seriously, but they don't register or investigate the reports of electromagnetic radiation sickness. Politicians are not much interested in this part of public health. They wait for the results of a study in Switzerland, about 3G (UMTS) and well-being. Coordinator Peter Achermann: "we are currently in the process of analyzing the data. We hope to have a publication ready by the end of 2005." Before he warned the politicians that whatever are the results of the study, it does not say anything about postponed effects and the consequences of permanent radiation. It has been established already, that these effects exist. In a report for T-Mobile by the Jülich Institute of May 9 2005, the experts report effects on the central nervous system, cerebral bloodflow, neuronal activity, EEG, working of the brain and cognitive function. The European Reflex study found damage to DNA, which is an confirmation of earlier research and has been confirmed afterwards.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Robert Riedlinger|
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