Today, the Senate will hold hearings to formally approve President Obama’s nomination of Thomas Wheeler to head the FCC. Tom Wheeler ran the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) at a time when the mobile phone industry, according to Devra Davis, was “war-gaming” to block research which showed deleterious effects of cell phone radiation. Wheeler has been called the “mastermind” (Davis) of this war gaming as well as an “industry crony” (Levitt).
See this excerpt from an interview Davis gave to Brad Jacobson for his article, You Really Are Addicted to Your Cell Phone:
“Devra Davis: The example in the 1990s, which is documented in my book, was that [University of Washington researchers] Henry Lai and Narendra N.P. Singh found significant evidence of DNA damage caused by cellphone light radiation comparable almost to the damage you would get from X-rays, which is ionizing. At the time, it was generally believed by some people that non-ionizing radiation, which comes from a cellphone, could not possibly be physically damaging because it was so weak. . . .
So the industry understood this could be of enormous consequences, so they did three things. First, they wrote to the university and tried to get the scientists fired for violating the rules of the contract that they were working under at the time. They then wrote to NIH [National Institutes of Health]—and . . .. they accused the scientists of fraud for misusing funds to do the study. Then, when that didn’t work they actually had somebody meet with the journal editors to try to get the article accepted for publication unaccepted.
After those three things didn’t work, they also hired a scientist named Jerry Phillips to try to show they could not replicate their work. Fortunately for history, Phillips was an honest person. He replicated their work and when he insisted on publishing his work both he and Lai effectively stopped working in this field. They were no longer funded to do any more work in the field.
In case all of that wasn’t enough, as the coup de grace, a memo was written from Motorola to its PR firm saying we think we sufficiently “war-gamed” the science. . . .
Where it gets really interesting now is that President Obama just nominated the guy who ran the CTIA [Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association] at the time this was going on to become the head of the Federal Communications Commission. His name is Tom Wheeler. He’s been a huge fundraiser for Democrats and Republicans, more Democrats than Republicans. And under his leadership at the CTIA (which has been written about by [research scientist] George Carlo in his book about this industry) a $27 million joint program was run to study health effects of cellphones. And that study, according George Carlo, was shut down when they started to produce positive results.”
To give your feedback about Wheeler’s appointment, please call your senators:
For California: Senator Barbara Boxer 202-224-3553; Dianne Feinstein 202-224-3841 Other States: Phones numbers can be found here