On February 26 News Hub published an article titled “Health Minister David Clark dismisses 5G radiation exposure warnings”. l

The article quoted New Zealand scientist Bruce Rapley, PhD, one of the signatories to the International EMF Scientist Appeal  (https://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal) which calls for “Protection from Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Field Exposure” and warns that “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines.”

Dr. Rapley is quoted as saying that “It is nearly impossible to get funding for research, the outcome of which may affect commercial profit,” adding that “the proof of this is the strong opposition encountered by any scientist who dares to research and publish results that are indicative of harm, thus threatening profitability of a corporation.”

He further warns that: “For as long as those that control our society are predicated on profit rather than public health, we will continue to experience problems, and disasters. The precautionary approach is a dead concept, killed in a hit-and-run by the Almighty Dollar.”

In contrast, the article quoted the Minister of Health, David Clark as saying:  “I am advised by Ministry of Health officials that the balance of research evidence suggests that exposure to the radiofrequency produced by any transmitter, including those that will be used by 5G services, do not cause health problems, provided they comply with international guidelines.”

What could account for the widely differing perspectives?

Dr. Rapley is a scientist and accustomed to assessing evidence.  The Minister of Health David Clark was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister prior to entering politics. (His PhD thesis examined the life of a German theologist.)

The source of advice upon which the Minister has chosen to reply when it comes to non ionising radiation and health is a committee named “The Interagency Committee on Non Ionising Radiation”.  As is explained in Part 3 of the article at this link:  https://www.5g.org.nz/2018/10/09/5g-in-nz-the-legal-and-regulatory-situation/

“…meets regularly with the ostensible aim of considering new research and making recommendations to the Director General of Health. The committee’s remit to report on non ionising radiation covers research relating to low frequency non ionising  radiation (such as from household wiring and high voltage power lines) in addition to higher frequency radiation such as microwaves*.  If 5G is introduced, this committee would become responsible for assessing health effects from millimetre wave exposure. (*NB: Documents produced by the committee tend to use the term “radiofrequency radiation” or “RF fields” rather than the words “microwaves” or “microwave radiation”.)

The “Terms of Reference for the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields” lists the following information under the heading “Composition of the Committee”

“‘The membership of the Committee will include representatives from the following agencies, organisations, and sectors:

  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Energy Safety Service, Workplace Health & Safety, Radio Spectrum Management
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • public health unit
  • local government
  • academics/scientists
  • consumers
  • electrical industry: transmission and supply
  • telecommunications industry’”

I have bolded up the type of some of the categories of committee members to emphasise that the composition of the committee that is supposed to provide independent advice on health effects on non ionising radiation was intentionally designed to include representatives of organisations responsible for producing non ionising radiation. 

Specifically, Radio Spectrum Management is a business unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which, among other things, is responsible for authorising the use of specific microwave and other frequencies in NZ.  Assignment of rights for the commercial exploitation of specific frequencies is often done by auction so you could consider that there is a financial incentive for the Radio Spectrum Management NZ (and perhaps the MBIE) to support the proliferation of wireless communications infrastructure over safer wired communications infrastructure.

The telecommunications industry produces microwave radiation emissions from its cellular phone towers etc. and now wants to add new millimetre wave emissions. 

The electricity industry produces low frequency radiation (an inadvertent by-product of from the transmission of AC electricity over our national grid) plus it has become an unnecessary source of microwave radiation in many NZ homes thanks to the introduction of so-called ‘smart” or “advanced” meters which emit powerful pulses of microwave radiation. 

I don’t know about you, but I think most thoughtful people would agree that it is a bad idea to for a committee that is supposed to assess health effects to include representatives of industries that produce the types of radiation that the committee is charged with assessing.

Back to quoting from part 3 of the article that you can read in its entirety by clicking HERE:

“One of the people whose names regularly features on the lists of committee members is Sally Gilbert from the Ministry of Health – presumably the same Sally Gilbert from the Ministry of Health who was part of the “Telecommunications Industry Reference Group” who wrote the report that formed the basis of the National Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF).) [You can read more about the NESTF in Part 2 of the article at this link – Ed.]

“Another person whose name frequently appears on the list of members of the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects on Non Ionising Fields is Martin Gledhill who has provided consultancy services to companies in the electricity  (see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-this-the-reason-network-tasman-ltd-has-been-reluctant-to-answer-the-questions-about-the-radiofrequency-radiation-produced-by-its-smart-meters/) and telecommunications industries.  (For example, see https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/monitoring-vodafone-cellsites-annual-summary-2016.pdf and https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/spark-cellsite-compliance-monitoring-annual-summary-2017-18.pdf )

“Sally Gilbert is listed on the website of the World Health Organization as a National Contact for NZ with respect to electromagnetic fields.  http://www.who.int/peh-emf/project/mapnatreps/nz/en/

“The most recent report (June 2018) made to the WHO in behalf of NZ, available at this link http://www.who.int/peh-emf/project/mapnatreps/nz_emf_2018.pdf?ua=1 includes the following statement:

“‘The  results  from  recent  research  considered  by  the  Committee  have  not  given  cause   for  concern and no change to existing regulations.’

“This statement is included despite the completion of the US National Toxicology Project (NTP) research showing excess cancer risk in rats exposed to microwave radiation. (http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/cancer-expert-declares-cell-phone-and-wireless-radiation-as-carcinogenic-to-humans-849135.htm)

“(An Italian research team found that rats developed similar cancers with microwave radiation exposure (see: https://ehtrust.org/worlds-largest-animal-study-on-cell-tower-radiation-confirms-cancer-link/) although this study was not published at the time of the annual report was made to the WHO.)”

One would hope that the current Minister of Health’s statement was made in ignorance of the fact that the advice that he is receiving from the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields may be biased in favour of the telecommunications industry due to the composition of the committee.

If it was, one would hope that as an ordained Presbyterian Minister, David Clark would have sufficient backbone to stand up to the telco lobby, support the international appeal against the deployment of space-based 5G and call for a moratorium on the introduction of 5G into New Zealand until such time as proper pre-market safety testing has shown the technology to be safe.  

If the Minister wants good quality advice about non ionising radiation and health, there is no shortage of scientists who are not beholden to the telco industry who could provide him with genuinely independent advice. 

He could use this advice as the basis for urgently needed public education programmes about the health risks of wireless technology as well as reforming the NZ regulatory system so that it protects New Zealanders’ health instead of facilitating massive profit-making by the wireless industry.

Let’s hope Dr. David Clark has a genuine desire to be a Minister for Health – not a Minister for Sickness.

End note

The wireless industry in NZ has had what virtually any thinking person would consider undue and inappropriate influence over the development of the NZ standard (NZS 2772.1:1999) that governs how much microwave radiation is allowed to be emitted by cellular phone towers (and similar infrastructure).

Similarly, the telecommunications industry has had what most people would consider undue and inappropriate influence over the standard (the National Environmental Standard on Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF)) that largely determines where cellular phone towers (and other wireless infrastructure) are allowed to be sited.

The NZ Ministry of Health has set up a committee (the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects on Non Ionising Fields) which is supposed “provide the Director General of Health with high quality, independent scientific and technical advice on any potential health effects from exposures to extremely low or radiofrequency [microwave] fields…” (See: “Terms of Reference for the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields”)

However, the reports from the committee available on the WHO’s website (http://www.who.int/peh-emf/project/mapnatreps/nz/en/ ) and the Minutes of its meetings suggest that the committee has a pattern of dismissing research that most people would consider to show evidence of harm.

Most people have no idea of how failure to take into account conflict of interest and/or ineptitude on the part of successive New Zealand governments has led to New Zealanders being exposed to unprecedented levels of microwave radiation.

I hope that you will share this post widely to help your friends, family and colleagues understand why devices and infrastructure that produce microwave radiation that conform with New Zealand standards CANNOT be assumed to be safe.

The sad fact of the matter is that the current system of regulation of microwave radiation emissions in New Zealand essentially provides a license to the telecommunications industry to legally produce levels of microwave radiation that have been linked to a variety of adverse health effects, including increased risk of cancers.

Until the majority of New Zealanders realise that the current regulatory system for microwave radiation emissions is a essentially a license for the wireless industry to pollute –and sicken and even kill in its quest for profits – there is little chance that this outrageous state of affairs can be remedied.

A good summation of the development of NZ’s current standard for infrastructure that emits microwave radiation may be read at this link: https://www.5g.org.nz/2018/10/09/5g-in-nz-the-legal-and-regulatory-situation/

UPDATE:  If you are on Facebook, please like and follow the new FB page https://www.facebook.com/5GFreeNewZealand/

Website editor’s note:

Thank you for reading this post on www.5G.org.nz, NZ’s 5G information website. If you found it to be interesting, please share it with your friends and family.

If you would like to help in any way with the campaign against 5G in NZ, please email through the Contact Form on this website.

There is a now Resources page on the site where you can download flyers and poster for printing and distribution and also download the new 5G Free New Zealand Personal Action Plan.

We now also have an Events Page in which events relating to 5G will be listed as information comes to hand.

If you would like to stay up to date with information on what is happening in NZ in relation to smart technology, 5G and wireless and health issues, please sign yourself up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org,nz 

This will mean that you receive occasional newsletters from Stop Smart Meters NZ which include information on these topics.