Can Wi-Fi harm kids?
by Rob Wipond, March 2011
Hearings on Wi-Fi in classrooms discover large differences in the level of trust of information about health impacts.
It’s not often CBC radio host Gregor Craigie’s soothing voice puts someone on the defensive. But Craigie said he’d heard from many people complaining about the Greater Victoria School District’s (GVSD) decision to appease protesters by holding hearings about the health dangers of Wi-Fi. Since all the science shows Wi-Fi is safe, Craigie posed to school board chair Tom Ferris, “They wonder why [such hearings] would even be considered.”
Eventually, the elected official gave up portraying GVSD’s “investigation” as much more than political flak-catching. “The thinking is that if people don’t have an opportunity to air their views and get some sort of response,” Ferris answered, “then it’s something that may go on and continue to worry parents.” Read more here.
As often is the case, the comments here reveal more layers to the story.
While Lorne Trottier has obtained his Masters in Electrical Engineering from McGill University it was his donations to the Lorne M. Trottier building at McGill that resulted in his honorary doctorate of Science, On the Wi-Fi issue, he’s not without self-interest, as co-founder of Matrox, a computer company specializing in computer graphics (such as those in cell phones) and transmission systems.
It appears Trottier has taken the time to respond to Rob Wipond’s article himself. See Wipond’s response:
The perspectives of a number of posters seems to be well summarized by Mr. Trottier’s statement that, “This suggestion of a massive conspiracy, involving virtually all the world’s most prestigious health science organizations, is simply preposterous.”
This was in response to my statement that, “Most government regulators are former and future wireless industry insiders. Most studies of possible negative side effects are industry-funded. And many are being published in the same journals that have been struggling for years to overcome the epidemic of conflicts of interest in health and medical research.”
Actually, the facts of that “conspiracy” are, in my opinion, the least debatable facts in this article. And this notion that those facts are nothing more than laughable is disturbing, and to me indicates that the “debunkers” on this issue are at least as clouded if not more clouded by emotion as the so-called “alarmists” they decry.
In fact, choosing one specific area of example, all of the world’s most renowned medical journals have been locked in a battle for over a decade now to get control of the epidemic of conflicts of interest in the health science field. I refer to NEJM, AMAJ, CMAJ etc. These journals have gone public frequently with their concerns, at times stating that over 90% of the studies they see have been clearly manipulated to produce positive results in support of drugs, treatment safety etc while the evidence, when independently reviewed, is pointing in the opposite direction. This has been widely reported, written about and discussed, in both the mainstream media and the scientific literature. When NEJM began its anti-conflict of interest campaign, their editorial decried that they could not find any qualified person to write the editorial who did not also have too many conflicts of interest! The U.S. FDA has been engaged in hearings before Congress about how these same conflicts of interest have nearly gutted the abilities of health regulators, too. Various proposals have been tested, like requiring full disclosures, requiring registering of all experiments before they occur (so they cannot be hidden afterwards) etc, but so far nothing has stuck or really solved the problems.
And then we have to listen to utterly uninformed people suddenly tell us all that the very notion that this is occurring is “preposterous”, and that we are simply imagining it all.
With an irony beyond ironies that would be humorous if not written with such righteousness, another poster tells us to “follow the money”, as if Wi-Fi critics like Magda Havas and her ilk are bigger players to be wary of in this regard than the biggest profit-making industries on the planet.