Thursday, 25 February 2021

EMF sceptic now in key UK radiation committee


Back in 2019, the BBC broadcast a programme called Health: Truth or Scare, which included a segment that dismissed claims that wireless radiation is harmful (see my blog post 'Mobile Phones: BBC Bias'). One of the BBC's chosen experts was Professor Malcom Sperrin, Director of the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (or Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, depending on whichever website you look at).

This is what he said in this programme: 

"There's no evidence that suggests you should worry".

Professor Sperrin's name now appears in the membership list of COMARE (Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment), which advises the UK Government on 'the health effects of natural and man-made radiation, both ionising and non-ionising'.

COMARE has been attempting to recruit 'a radiation scientist with interest in non-ionising radiation' for quite some time, as can be seen from the minutes of the 121st meeting. There is a significant lag between each meeting and the release of the minutes, so we don't yet have the minutes of the 127th meeting, which would have taken place in (or around) November 2020. However, it appears that Professor Sperrin may have been recently appointed, as his name doesn't appear on previous meeting minutes.

Whether he is involved as a non-ionising radiation expert, or an expert on ionising radiation, is not known. However, given his past output on the subject of wireless technologies, his inclusion on this committee is concerning, as it appears to bias the committee even more than it was before towards the ICNIRP thermal effects-only paradigm (i.e. that exposure to non-ionising radiation, within current limits, is essentially safe).

Professor Sperrin has form; he has been denying that WiFi, mobile phones, mobile masts, and so on, are harmful for many years. The first article that I have found in which he does this appeared following the broadcast of the seminal BBC Panorama programme, WiFi: A Warning Signal, in 2007 (this programme attracted a furious response from a number of  individuals - well, two, it appears - as well as from the then ICNIRP Chairman, Dr Mike Repacholi). 

Professor Malcom Sperrin: "
The type of radiation emitted by radio waves (wi-fi), visible light, microwaves and mobile phones has been shown to raise the temperature of tissue at very high levels of exposure - called a thermal interaction - but there is no evidence that low levels cause damage".

Since then, Professor Sperrin has appeared regularly in the media to debunk myths concerning the safety of wireless technologies; for example, he is included in a number of expert opinions published by the 'Science Media Centre', and is a regular BBC contributor.

In response to the Italian court ruling on brain tumours and mobile phone use. he said:

"It is not clear what reliable scientific evidence has been submitted to justify a perceived link between mobile exposure and risk.  Great caution is needed before we jump to conclusions about mobile phones and brain tumours".

COMARE took over responsibility for non-ionising radiation after the former Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) was abruptly disbanded in May 2017. Coincidentally or not, this followed the publication of a highly critical paper, written by Dr Sarah Starkey, concerning conflicts of interest and scientific cherry-picking at the AGNIR.

The inclusion of Professor Malcolm Sperrin in COMARE surely raises legitimate concerns about the impartiality of this key committee, and its ability to provide objective and precautionary advice and information to the UK Government.

COMARE has already been the subject of a formal complaint by the UK & Commonwealth EMF Action Group (the specific details of which have not been publicised), and the appointment of Professor Sperrin to this committee, whether or not he is there as an expert on non-ionising radiation, will presumably be greeted with dismay by many.

Further Information:

Real-life story - Professor Malcolm Sperrin - NHS

WHO says cell phone use "possibly carcinogenic" - Reuters, 31st May 2011

Italy: Supreme Court Ruling on Mobile Phones and Tumors - Library of Congress, 23rd October 2012

Could wifi harm our health? IOL, 24th November 2014

Mobiles do NOT cause brain cancer: Scientists put decades of fears to bed by reassuring there is no scientific evidence phones lead to the disease - Mail, 23rd April 2019

Glastonbury residents sign petition to BAN 5G ahead of music festival: here's why - Mirror, 13th June 2019

Hampstead solicitor raises more than £32,000 in bid to stop the roll-out of 5G - Ham&High, 15th May 2020


Image from:

Friday, 29 January 2021

5G Scientist Prof. Alexander Lerchl Guilty of False EMF Study Allegations


Professor Alexander Lerchl, who is leading a study examining the effects of 5G on human cells (funded by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection), has been found guilty by the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen of disseminating false allegations about the results of the 2004 REFLEX EMF study. Professor Lerchl has to bear the costs of the legal proceedings...

(Below is an auto-translation of an article published by Diagnose:Funk on 28th January 2021 - please see the original article for links)

The Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen sentenced Professor Alexander Lerchl to withdraw his falsification allegation against the REFLEX study 

Text of the judgment and report by Prof. Adlkofer

The final judgment was made in December 2020: The falsification claims against the REFLEX study may no longer be repeated. In other words: the results of the REFLEX study from 2004 that cell phone radiation has a genotoxic potential are correct. We document the judgment text and the assessment of Prof. Franz Adlkofer, the former coordinator of the REFLEX study, on this judgment.

Preliminary remark diagnose:funk: 

"The reflex study is fake - cell phone radiation does not trigger tumors!" - In 2008 we read this message in consternation in Spiegel, the Süddeutsche, in almost the entire press. Politicians calmly prayed this all-clear up and down. But we soon knew from reports from the scientists involved that the studies were being carried out properly. But at that time the power of interpretation had the mobile communications industry and the media, which did not look properly.

Little did we suspect that it would turn into a science thriller with character assassination, lawsuits and the destruction of livelihoods, which will be exposed as a scandal right away, but will not be legally concluded until 2020. One can learn from this what industry and a corrupted science can do. Now we have it official: the results of the REFLEX study are correct, the claim that they are falsified can no longer be made. A revision of the judgment is not permitted.

On December 11th, 2020 the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen announced the following decision (supplemented by diagnose: funk for better readability):

"The defendant [Prof. Alexander Lerchl] is convicted of avoiding a fine to be determined for each case of the offense of up to EUR 250,000 and, in the event that this cannot be recovered, of custody or up to 6 Months to refrain from publishing and / or having published with reference to the plaintiff [his falsification allegations for the REFLEX study]. The defendant has to bear the costs of the proceedings. The judgment is provisionally enforceable. The amount in dispute is set at EUR 20,000. The revision is not permitted."

The REFLEX study demonstrated:

* GSM-1800 and GSM-900 change the structure and function of genes below the applicable limit value of 2 W / kg in various human and animal cells after intermittent and continuous exposure. The following effects were found:

* Increase in single and double strand breaks in DNA in human fibroblasts, HL60 cells and rat granulosa cells, but not in human lymphocytes

* Increase in micronuclei and chromosomal aberrations in human fibroblasts

* Changes in gene expression in several cell types, but especially in human endothelial cells and embryonic stem cells from mice. A significant increase in DNA strand breaks was found in human fibroblasts at an SAR value of 0.3 W / kg.

This has now been confirmed directly and indirectly by other large-scale studies, most recently by the NTP , Ramazzini , AUVA studies and many individual studies, confirmed in more than 90  reviews.

* In light of this judgment, we thank Professor Franz Adlkofer for having endured this grueling argument for 12 years.

* In light of this ruling, we urge the media to correct their reporting from 2008 and now to let people know what risks they expose themselves to when using the phone.

* In view of this judgment, we ask the management of the Medical University of Vienna to comment on the intrigue that they have approved and covered at their facility.

* In view of this ruling, we call on the Federal Office for Radiation Protection to cancel the assignment of the 5G study to Prof. Lerchl after his claims about the REFLEX study were condemned as incorrect.

* In view of this judgment, we ask the EMF portal to change the following discriminatory passage. In the EMF summary of the REFLEX studies Diem et al. (2005) and Schwarz et al. (2008) up to now: "Information from the Medical University of Vienna dated May 23, 2008: Suspicion of a faulty study by the former Department of Occupational Medicine and the press release Science and Ethics . In a statement by the Austrian Commission for Scientific Integrity dated November 23, 2010, the falsification allegations not be verified. " This must be supplemented and corrected with the results of this judgment.

The so-called "Viennese forgery scandal" and the "final document", with which Prof. Franz Adlkofer evaluates the process, are important documents in the history of science. This scandal is one of the scandals documented by the European Environment Agency in the two volumes "Late lessons from early warnings". That is why we are documenting Franz Adlkofer's article here in full. Anyone who wants to find out more about the history of the Viennese staging of the mobile communications industry can do so on the website, where the dispute is documented, or in the brochure of the Competence Initiative Radiation Protection in Contradiction with Science (free download), can be ordered as a brochure from diagnose:funk shop.

Documentation: Comment by Prof. Franz Adlkofer on the judgment

"The Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen sentenced Professor Alexander Lerchl to withdraw his falsification allegation against the REFLEX study

Franz Adlkofer

The end of a long story

(Pdf in German here:

The legal dispute before the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen against Alexander Lerchl, professor of biology and ethics at the private Jacobs University in Bremen, was about the final clarification of the question of whether he can prove his assertion, which has been repeated since 2008, that the results of the The REFLEX study funded by the EU Commission from 2000 to 2004 are falsified. 

The finding that cell phone radiation can damage genes in isolated human cells was beyond his understanding. In order to give his claim credibility, he accused Elisabeth Kratochvil of falsification, who, as a technical assistant at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW), had made a significant contribution to the REFLEX results. His aim was twofold. On the one hand he wanted to prevent that the REFLEX follow-up study, which was highly rated by the experts of the EU Commission, is also funded. With that he was successful. On the other hand, he wanted to have the REFLEX publications withdrawn from the scientific literature. With that he failed. He was unable to convince the editors of the specialist journals in which they had appeared of his allegation of forgery. They saw through his intentions and were not prepared to allow themselves to be used for the purposes of a lobbyist for the wireless industry, as he was already known at the time. 

Although Prof. Lerchl from the Hamburg district court together with the laboratory journal in 2015, in which he had portrayed Elisabeth Kratochvil in a defamatory manner as a criminal forger, had been legally convicted of omission [1], he continued his slander. He interpreted the judgment in the sense that the Hamburg Regional Court had only forbidden him to mention the name of the forger, but not that the REFLEX results were falsified. In the meantime, he was able to dispense with the further denigration of Ms. Kratochvil, which for him from the beginning was only a means to an end to give credibility to his falsification allegation. This was ensured by his reports on the alleged forgery, which were still widely distributed worldwide and accessible to everyone, and which he only partially withdrew despite his conviction before the Hamburg Regional Court. The pain,

The reason for the continuation of the proceedings in Bremen was Prof. Lerchl's video appearance under the title “Pick Up The Phone” on YouTube and his report “Lerchl: Cell phone radiation, cable breaks and court judgments” at, Austria's press portal for German-speaking countries. 

On YouTube he claims: "And these studies, which are at issue, from the years 2005 and 2008, they are fabricated ... also according to the judgment of the Medical University of Vienna, which still has them available on its website as information." This refers to the publications from the MUW belonging to the REFLEX study. 

On he comments on a film by Klaus Scheidsteger in which the REFLEX study is reported as follows: “The judgment [of the Hamburg Regional Court] only speaks of that the name of a certain person may not be mentioned in connection with the falsification allegations that I have made against the REFLEX studies. The accusation of producing the results remains of course ... especially since the Medical University of Vienna is still making the accusations available online in a press release!”

The MUW press releases were actually still online when the two articles appeared, but were released shortly afterwards deleted by order of the new rector of the MUV because the statements contained therein are not true. The request of Elisabeth Kratochvil's legal representative to stop the falsification allegations in the future and to withdraw the reports because they violate her client's personal rights and honor was answered by Prof. Lerchl unwilling to comply. Following the advice of her legal representative, she filed a lawsuit with the Bremen Regional Court on November 8, 2016.

The Bremen Regional Court dismissed Elisabeth Kratochvil's complaint on October 12, 2017 as unfounded [3]. The MUW press releases were still available at the time of Prof. Lerchl's statement. Since the statement in the past corresponded to the fact, there was no unlawful infringement that would induce a risk of repetition. 

The first complaint, "And these studies, which are at issue, from the years 2005 and 2008, they are fabricated ..." is, according to the Regional Court, not a criminal assertion of fact, but a permissible expression of opinion. An average audience understands by "fabricated" that the studies are makeshift, amateurish, or painstakingly tinkered with. As with expressions of opinion, such an understanding would have a predominantly judgmental character. 

The second complaint, "The allegation of data production, of course, remains in force", according to the Regional Court, meets the criteria for an expression of opinion. In the context of a scientific discussion, such remarks are common. Elisabeth Kratochvil's legal representative considered this reasoning of the regional court to be legally erroneous because it contradicts the highest judicial rulings. She therefore urgently advised an appeal, which Elisabeth Kratochvil then submitted to the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen on October 20, 2017. 

At the appeal hearing on February 16, 2018, the presiding judge stated that the Higher Regional Court had given its own thoughts to the question of whether the prohibition "The accusation of data production remains upright" is a value judgment, ie an expression of opinion or a factual assertion. 

Since the text with the prohibition statement also speaks of "allegations of forgery", the meaning content can actually only be understood as an allegation of forgery. Under no circumstances should this interpretation be ruled out. In addition, the Stolpe case law of the Federal Constitutional Court asserted by Ms. Kratochvil must be taken into account. Since, with this approach, the falsification allegations are assertions of fact, Prof. Lerchl to bear the burden of proof for a forgery. 

In a ruling of March 9th, 2018, the Higher Regional Court ordered that evidence be raised about Prof. Lerchl's assertion, “that the REFLEX studies from 2005 and 2008, which were carried out with the participation of Elisabeth Kratochvil as co-author or first author, are falsified, which is From this it follows that the data shown in the studies could never come from real experiments for statistical reasons or reasons of mathematical probabilities, but only allow the conclusion that they were invented. "

The expert commissioned by the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court with the report on the suggestion of Prof. Lerchl is a German university professor for applied statistics, but without any understanding of the biological test procedure used by Ms. Kratochvil at the MUW. 

In his report of July 1st, 2019, he came to the conclusion that the objections to the REFLEX results were understandable, but by no means allowed the conclusion that they were falsified. In his supplementary report of November 26th, 2019, which the court thought necessary due to the criticism of the original report submitted by Prof. Lerchl, the expert went into Prof. Lerchl's remarks in detail, but stuck to his original statement without any restriction. Prof Lerchl's demand the Higher Regional Court rejected the expert because of concerns about bias. On December 11th, 2020 it announced the following decision [4]:

“On appeal by Elisabeth Kratochvil, the judgment of the Bremen Regional Court is changed. Prof. Lerchl is convicted of avoiding an administrative fine up to the amount of EUR 250,000 for each case of violation and, in the event that it cannot be recovered, to refrain from custody or from custody for up to 6 months, with reference to the plaintiff to publish and / or have published his allegations of falsification (see above). Prof. Lerchl has to bear the costs of the proceedings. The judgment is provisionally enforceable. The amount in dispute is set at EUR 20,000. The revision is not permitted."


The lesson from history

Since his conviction by the Hamburg Regional Court, Prof. Lerchl has tried to convert his criminally assessed factual allegations about the REFLEX study into an expression of opinion free from punishment. On December 30, 2016, he affirmed in lieu of an oath that he had only "expressed the suspicion, corroborated by expert reports, that the results of the REFLX study ... were falsified." That this is a false statement that is popularly called perjury , he obviously accepted as someone to whom truth means little [5]. His attempt at deception at the Bremen Regional Court was still successful. The Hanseatic Higher Regional Court saw through the fraud. In order to change it in his favor anyway, he had his legal representative present the following in the final phase of the proceedings:

"The defendant has been a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of research into the biological effects of magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation for 30 years. He has over 100 peer-reviewed specialist publications in English. In 2008 he was appointed by the then Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel as chairman of the Committee for Non-Ionizing Radiation as a member of the Radiation Protection Commission (Annex B60, SSK Lerchl Gabriel.pdf). In 2010 he was appointed by the then Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen appointed as a member of the Radiation Protection Commission for a further two years (Annex BGV SSK Lerchl Röttgen.pdf). Dr. Röttgen wrote: "Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent work so far, especially as chairman of the Committee for Non-Ionizing Radiation." In 2012, the then Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier (Annex B62, SSK Lerchl Altmaier.pdf) wrote: "After successful work in the Radiation Protection Commission leave this body at the end of the current year. I would like to thank you most sincerely for your long and committed cooperation in the deliberations of the Commission."

The defendant was and is active in numerous advisory bodies, including the WHO. The defendant was awarded the contract for a recently publicly tendered “Policy advice report to assess the need for regulation in the transition area of ​​the occupational health and safety ordinances to electromagnetic fields (EMFV) and artificial optical radiation (OStrV)" by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The defendant is therefore undoubtedly a scientifically recognized expert.

The findings published by the plaintiff and her co-authors on alleged damage to the genetic material (DNA) caused by mobile communications (Annexes B1 and B2) would be of great importance for all people who use a mobile phone or smartphone, since the alleged damage were real would pose an imminent threat to health and life, as DNA damage results in cancer. Thus, the defendant's critical statements are of paramount public interest ” .

After completing the legal disputes about Prof. Lerchl's handling of the REFLEX study, the following conclusions emerged:

1) The REFLEX results have wrongly lost their scientific importance due to the history of forgery invented by Prof. Lerchl and spread around the world. Because he was unable to provide evidence of the forgery, which he had been predicted several times, he was sentenced in 2015 by the Hamburg Regional Court and again in 2019 by the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen for failing to make allegations of forgery. This justifies the requirement that the results of the REFLEX study must regain their original scientific significance. They contribute significantly to the still ongoing discussion about the biological effects of mobile phone radiation.

2) On September 22nd, 2009 took place in Vienna under the title Seriöseforschung or Junk-ScienceA workshop was held that was organized by the PR organizations of the mobile communications industry in Germany and Austria responsible for science with the aim of finally putting an end to the REFLEX results. Prof. Emilio Bossi, President of the “Scientific Integrity” commission of the Academies of Sciences in Switzerland, was invited to give a lecture on the fatal consequences of scientific misconduct. Subsequently, Prof. Lerchl reported on a particularly bad case of fraud, namely the falsification of the REFLEX results, which he uncovered on his own. In the discussion that followed, Prof. Bossi was asked whether he was aware of cases in which data production was only claimed to get rid of unpleasant research results. This was Prof. Bossi's answer: Such a procedure occurs and is particularly vile, because something of such slander always gets stuck, which could even lead to irreparable damage to the results. Of course, anyone who indulges in something like this - in this case Prof. Lerchl - must be treated in the same way as a forger [5].

3) Within the framework of the German Mobile Telecommunications Research Program from 2002 to 2008, no one from politics and the mobile telephony industry received funding as generously as Prof. Lerchl. He thanked them by providing the results they needed to avoid having to change the guidelines for radiation protection of the population [6]. He was recently made available a further € 1.1 million to study the effects of 5G radiation on human cells. Presumably he will not disappoint you, so that the 5G installation, which, like the earlier generations of mobile communications, is being introduced without any prior risk assessment, can at least retrospectively be presented as harmless. Politicians have to be asked how long they want to expect the public to work with Prof. Lerchl.

However, Prof. Lerchl is not responsible for the fact that the current state of mobile radio research and the associated radiation protection of the population are extremely inadequate, but only politics, which use him to enforce their interests. His understanding of lobbying, which usually runs on the borderline between legal and illegal, is obviously broader. Nor does he shy away from criminal practices if - as in the present case - there is a good chance that their use will remain secret. In order to uncover such cases, courts are required that are not bound by politics but by law. That was the case here. "


[1] Judgment of the Hamburg Regional Court


[3] Judgment of the Bremen Regional Court

[4] Judgment of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen



Original Diagnose:Funk article (in German):

Background to this story:

EU Reflex study shows DNA damage caused by radiation from wireless devices and mobile phones - JRS Eco Wireless


Alexander Lerchl: Microwave News Article Archive

How the Medical University of Vienna dealt with important results from mobile communication radiation research, by Franz Adlkofer and Karl Richter

Replication of the NTP study by Japanese and South Korean scientists - Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 7th May 2019

WHO Research Agenda for Radiofrequency Fields - 2010 (Prof. Alexander Lerchl: participant in technical discussion)

Children's Health and RF EMF Exposure, September 2009, funded by T-Mobile Germany

Report authors: Peter Wiedemann, Holger Schütz, Franziska Börner, Gabriele Berg-Beckhoff, Rodney Croft, Alexander Lerchl, Luc Martens, Georg Neubauer, Sabine Regel, and Michael Repacholi

Letter from Drs. Robert Baan and Vincent Cogliano (IARC Monographs Section) to Dr. Alexander Lerchl, 26th October 2010

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

"Just the facts [about 5G], ma'am..."


We are bombarded on a daily basis with 5G propaganda, both in terms of breathless, gushing articles extolling the virtues of the nascent technology (and of the necessity of 'winning the race' to saturate our respective countries with 5G coverage), and also of articles condemning - often in the most strident and offensive terms - those 'conspiracy theorists' and 'Luddites' who urge precaution in our adoption of the next generation of possibly carcinogenic technologies. Indeed, President Macron of France recently compared such people to the Amish.

I was confronted by an article in the Guardian this morning, reporting on the recent results of a study from the director of the 'Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab', Dr Sander van der Linden, who is a 'Social Psychologist', and also 'co-convener of the Cambridge Special Interest Group on Disinformation and Media Literacy':

Poor numerical literacy linked to greater susceptibility to Covid-19 fake news - Guardian, 14th October 2020

Alongside the obligatory '5G conspiracy graffiti' image that accompanies the article, it discusses how people with 'poor numerical literacy' are allegedly more likely to believe 'misinformation' and 'fake news'. The paper quotes from the Cambridge University study:

'Participants were presented with nine statements about Covid-19, some false (for example, 5G networks may be making us more susceptible to the coronavirus) and some true (for instance, people with diabetes are at higher risk of complications from coronavirus)'.

The study in turn refers to the World Health Organisation's 'Mythbusters' page on Covid-19. If you look at the entry for 5G (please see the link at the bottom of this post), you will see that what the WHO actually says is this:

FACT: 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19

Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.

The claim that viruses travel on radio waves, and spread Covid-19 is a completely different thing to the claim that the prevalence of 5G radiation, and the radiation from other wireless technologies, may increase our susceptibility to viruses. Conflating one hypothesis with the other proves absolutely nothing, and is of no scientific value.

Anybody who has studies the biological effects of the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from wireless technologies, including 5G, will know that there is substantial and credible independent scientific evidence showing that sustained exposure to these EMFs can have profound health effects throughout the body. For example, the $30m National Toxicology Program cell phone study results showed 'clear evidence' of a link between the radiation from 2G and 3G phones and cancer, as well as DNA damage.

Also, the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the radiofrequency radiation that is emitted by wireless technologies (WiFi, smart meters, mobile phones, mobile phone masts, Bluetooth devices, etc. etc.) as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen.

The statement '5G networks may be making us more susceptible to the coronavirus' is determined to be false by the authors of this paper, based on a misreading of what the World Health Organisation actually said. It is unclear to what extent the authors have conducted their own research in order to have arrived at their conclusion. 

My challenge to them is this: Please provide us with the evidence that clearly rules out the possibility that the radiation from 5G, and other wireless technologies, may be making us more susceptible to viruses in general, and to this virus in particular. This evidence can then be scrutinised, to establish its quality.

If the scientific evidence doesn't exist to back up the author's claim, then I'd suggest that they are themselves guilty of disseminating 'misinformation' and 'fake news', at least until scientific certainty, one way or the other, is established.

Please: just the facts, chaps...


Susceptibility to misinformation about COVID-19 around the world (Royal Society Open Science)

'Mythbusters': 5G - World Health Organisation

National Toxicology Program cell phone studies

IARC Monograph 102 Press Release

Dr Sander van der Linden - Cambridge University

Image: Dan Aykroyd in the film Dragnet


Saturday, 10 October 2020

Dr James 'Nocebo Effect' Rubin awarded an OBE


In a development that is likely to shock and infuriate EMF-aware and electrosensitive people around the world, Dr Gideon James Rubin, a psychologist, has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for 2020 [1], which recognises the 'the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom'.

Rubin's name is notorious among the EMF/EHS advocate community, for his repeated claims that EHS is a 'nocebo effect': in other words, that electrosensitivity is a sort of irrational fear of technology, which precipitates symptoms which the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises are 'certainly real', but which are not linked to electromagnetic fields.

According to the WHO, the symptoms: 

'include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances).' [2]

(Any EHS person will probably know that the actual symptoms go far beyond these, but the WHO's list is a useful starting point, and presumably anybody with more than half a brain cell would recognise the unlikelihood of a 'nocebo effect' leading to some of these physiological signs, many of which are experienced on a daily basis by sufferers such as myself).

Dr Rubin received his OBE specifically in recognition of his 'services to Public Health particularly during Covid-19' [3]. He sits on the UK Government's SAGE Committee (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) - which is a SAGE sub-group, and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), which is another SAGE sub-group [4].

The Times newspaper noted on 10th October 2020 that:

'The government’s scientific advisers on the coronavirus have received honours for their work before a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic...Boris Johnson promised in July to hold an independent inquiry into the pandemic so that “lessons could be learnt”. Sage was criticised early in the pandemic for a delay in advising the lockdown. Jeremy Hunt, who was Britain’s longest-serving health secretary, accused the advisers of giving ministers the wrong advice by failing to propose a test and trace strategy in the early stages of the pandemic.' [5]

Given what many people feel to be the shambolic and ineffectual way that the UK Government has responded (and is responding) to the Covid 19 issue, and the role that it's scientific 'experts' have played in this response, the critics of the honours awarded to SAGE members, including Dr Rubin, surely have a point.

However, it is EHS individuals who have surely suffered more than most, as a result of the work of Dr Rubin, and people like him. To this day, denial of EHS as a real and incapacitating condition that is directly linked to EMF exposure usually cites Dr Rubin's flawed EHS provocation studies, and the equally flawed Essex University EHS studies, which were carried out by Dr Stacy Eltiti and Professor Elaine Fox [6].

At around the same time as Dr Rubin was producing papers denying that mobile phone technologies are harmful and claiming that EHS is a psychological issue [7], he also worked on behalf of the wireless industry, in a test case concerning Wispire Ltd., which wanted to install 'WiFi transmission equipment' in a Norwich church spire.

Objections to this were lodged by Electrosensitivity UK and a number of electrosensitive individuals, but unfortunately the Church Consitory Court, with the assistance of Dr Rubin, and Dr Azadeh Peyman from Public Health England, ruled in its favour [8] and [9]. 

(Dr Azadeh Peyman, principal radiation protection scientist at Public Health England (PHE), has co-written a number of papers which state that the transmissions from smart meters are safe, and she has appeared in a number of media articles making similar claims - eg. [10] ).

Below, I've included a number of direct quotes from papers on electrosensitivity to which Dr Rubin has put his name. All references are included at the end.


'These (EHS) symptoms can be associated with the presence of a wide range of electrical devices including visual display units (VDUs), mobile phones  and domestic appliances: devices which do not cause illness in the large majority of those who use them and which produce EMF levels far below those believed to cause adverse physiological effects'. (JR1)

'Some people report symptoms associated with mobile phone use. A minority also report 'electrosensitivity', experiencing symptoms following exposure to other electrical devices. Research suggests that electromagnetic fields do not trigger these symptoms'. (JR2)

'Mobile phone use in the United Kingdom has grown exponentially since the mid-1990s, with almost all households now owning at least one handset. This rapid uptake has been accompanied by a persistent low level of concern, with the perceived association between mobile phone use and the onset of nonspecific symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and concentration problems being of particular concern to the public. There exist no generally accepted bioelectromagnetic mechanisms that might explain this correlation, and experiments that have exposed healthy adults to mobile phone signals under blind placebo-controlled conditions suggest that exposure to this form of electromagnetic radiation is not causally linked to symptom onset'. (JR2) 

'Previous research into processes that cause people to attribute symptoms to innocuous exposures has suggested that the presence of negative effect is a risk factor for developing this association'. (JR2)

'To date, 46 studies involving 1175 volunteers with IEI-EMF have tested whether exposure to electromagnetic fields can trigger the symptoms reported by this group. These studies have produced little evidence to suggest that this is the case or that individuals with IEI-EMF are particularly adept at detecting the presence of electromagnetic fields. On the other hand, many of these studies have found evidence that the nocebo effect is a sufficient explanation for the acute symptoms reported in IEI-EMF. Thus while continued experimental research in this area will be required to clarify the role of chronic exposures and to test the effects of new varieties of electromagnetic emissions, the best evidence currently available suggests that IEI-EMF should not be viewed as a bioelectromagnetic phenomenon.' (JR3)

'The aetiology of 'electromagnetic hypersensitivity' is contraversial. While most patients and some scientists believe that the condition is caused by an as yet unrecognised 'bioelectromagnetic' mechanism, most mainstream medical bodies maintain that there is not sufficient evidence to support this theory and that the symptoms experienced by sufferers are unrelated to the presence of electromagnetic fields'. (JR3)

'...when faced with someone who describes subjective symptoms that are apparently associated with exposure to an electrical device, it would be wise for clinicians and policy makers to begin with the assumption that an alternative explanation for these symptoms may be present, either in the form of a conventional organic or psychiatric disorder, or in terms of the more subtle psychological processes associated with the nocebo response. In the latter case, treatment based on cognitive behavioural therapy may be helpful for some patients'. (JR3)

'Previous systematic reviews have found no causal link between the presence of electromagnetic fields and the reporting of adverse symptoms'. (JR4)

'Most expert groups, including the UK's Advisory Group for Non-Ionising Radiation * and the World Health Organisation, agree that electromagnetic fields and probably not the cause of the condition. Instead, studies have shown that believing that one has been exposed to electromagnetic fields is sufficient to trigger the symptoms associated with IEI-EMF, regardless of whether or not exposure has actually occurred, suggesting an important role for psychological processes, culminating in a 'nocebo effect' '. (JR5)

'Evidence concerning the most appropriate treatments for the condition corresponds with this (the nocebo effect): while reducing electromagnetic fields provides no more than a placebo effect for sufferers,cognitive behavioural therapy may provide more in the way of long-term benefit...'. (JR5)

'We know from past experience that promoting precaution to the public is often viewed as a sign of danger: people often assume that there is 'no smoke without fire' and studies have consistently shown that providing people with precautionary advice about mobile phones has increased anxiety levels and made mobiles appear more threatening. In addition, the type of alarmist media reporting that often accompanies precautionary recommendations has also been experimentally shown to increase the chances that someone will mistakenly attribute physical symptoms to a device or substance. So because precautionary advice exacerbates precisely these psychological variables that may help to trigger electrosensitivity in the first place, it is entirely plausible that increasing the level of precautionary advice that is given out about mobile phones, wifi and related technologies will increase, not decrease, the number of people who come to believe that exposure to these technologies is making them ill'. (JR6)


Considering the excessive harm that has been experienced by EHS individuals as a direct result of Dr Rubin's industry-friendly dismissal of EHS as a psychological condition, and even leaving aside for now his contribution to the UK Government's 'management' of Covid 19, the idea of honouring him for his 'services to Public Health' is deeply offensive, and it sets a terrible example (deny the value of non-conflicted scientific and medical research on EMFs in order to support Big Wireless, and you will be rewarded).

Instead of receiving awards for their contribution to 'Public Health', people like Dr James Rubin must one day be held to account for the Public Harm that they have caused, and the unrecognised daily misery experienced by electrosensitive people all over the world.

General References:

1. Birthday Honours Lists 2020

2. Electromagnetic fields and public health - Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, World Health Organisation, 2005

3. Awards for BD2020 (Covid-19) Recipients

4. List of participants of SAGE and related sub-groups

5. 'Too soon to honour SAGE, say critics of pandemic response' - Times, 10th October 2020 (subscription required)

6. Mobile phone mast sensitivity: is it all in the mind? NHS, 26th July 2007

7. Dr James Rubin - Kings College London Research Portal

8. Wi-Fi mast: conditional permission - Church Times, 19th October 2011

9. Re All Saints, Sharrington - Judgment

10. Smart meters on trial: how safe are they and how will they affect my bills? Express, 17th May 2018

Papers with Dr Rubin as author or co-author

JR1. A Systematic Review of Treatments for Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. Rubin et al

JR2. Psychological factors associated with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phones. Rubin et al

JR3. Ideopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (Formerly 'Electromangnetic Hypersensitivity'): An Updated Systemic Review of Provocation Studies. Rubin et al

JR4. Can exposure to a terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA)-like signal cause symptoms? A randomised double-blind provocation study. Rubin et al

JR5. Ideopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields: A Content Analysis of British Newspaper Reports. Rubin et al

JR6. Electrosensitivity: A Case for Caution with Precaution. Rubin

Saturday, 30 May 2020

UK: Ofcom EMF Consultation: Have Your Say...

Quite often, people who have recently joined up the dots and linked exposure to EMFs to their symptoms - in other words, people who have realised that they are 'electrosensitive' - try to get their heads around what has happened to them, and why. I know that I did.

A dawning awareness of the harmful nature of the electrosmog which now pollutes our homes and everywhere else prompts incredulity that the 'authorities' can let it happen.

Surely, if the NHS, Public Health England, the Government, the World Health Organisation, and so on, are just told that people are becoming extremely ill as a result of all of the wireless technologies everywhere, they will urgently leap into action, and sort this growing public health disaster out with all of the determination and competency that they are currently showing in handling the Coronavirus pandemic?

(Ok, perhaps with a little more determination and competency than that...).

In the early days, like many people, I tried all of the usual things; writing letters to my MP about my electrosensitivity, trying to get health professionals to recognise my condition and do something about it, and writing to Public Health England. All to no avail, of course.

I could not understand how it benefited anyone for me, and for others like me, to be severely and chronically impaired, unable to work, and with no realistic prospect of 'getting better'. What I wasn't factoring in was the other side of the equation; just how imperative it is for organisations and individuals with vested interests that the link between electrosmog and harmful health effects is NEVER publicly admitted.

As I now know, electrosensitivity is the thin end of the wedge. Admit the existence of this 'condition', and the myth that electrosmog is safe for all is blown away. If some - i.e. 'electrosensitive' - individuals can be shown to be directly harmed by technologies that are said to be safe, then it also follows that individuals who do not consider themselves to be affected by electrosensitivity may also be being harmed. This, of course, is exactly what the independent, non-conflicted, science overwhelmingly shows.

Once I had passed from naivety to a terrible awareness of how things really are, I became very interested (perhaps 'consumed' is a better word) in the conflicted individuals and organisations that:

  • Pretend that the EMFs from wireless technologies which are everywhere now are safe (you just have to do an online search for '5G Health', and you will see hundreds of articles debunking EMF-related 'myths')
  • Claim that EHS isn't caused by EMFs
  • Conspire - and I don't use the word lightly - to cherry-pick and corrupt the science, infiltrate the very organisations that should be protecting us, corrupt the decision-makers, set non-protective EMF exposure levels, and fail in their fundamental and overriding duty to protect life on this planet

All of which brings me to ICNIRP - the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. It's a grand and authoritative-sounding name, isn't it?

This organisation (basically, a private, self-electing and self-appointed club) sets EMF exposure Guidelines which are very convenient for the tech and communications industries, and deeply harmful for the citizens in every single country that adheres to their recommendations, including the UK.

ICNIRP offers the following protection from Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation, which wireless devices and infrastructure use in order to communicate with other wireless devices and infrastructure: if the RF radiation doesn't actually cook you, then it's fine! A number of countries adopt maximum RF radiation exposure levels that are significantly lower than ICNIRP's, but unfortunately the UK isn't among them.

Somebody I know put it roughly like this:

If someone asked you to stick your head in a microwave oven when it is switched on, you'd no doubt refuse. But what if they said that they would reduce the power, but still leave it switched on? Would you stick your head in it then?

Most right-minded people would say, no, of course I wouldn't. And yet, these same people now spend their lives immersed in a sea of microwaves, from all of their own wireless devices, plus the second-hand microwaves they are exposed to from satellites, mobile masts / cell towers / small cells, WiFi, smart meters, DECT cordless phones, DECT baby monitors, tv and radio transmitters, and so on.

We are all living in what is basically a low-powered microwave oven, and yet very few of us realise it, and even if we did, there's very little that we can do about it - other than replace our own wireless devices with safer alternatives. Meanwhile, so many of us are just becoming sicker and sicker...

Anyway, all of this preamble leads me to the subject of this post, which is a consultation by Ofcom - the 'government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom'.

Ofcom wants to change the law to formalise the use of ICNIRP's Guidelines in the UK, so that all installations of telecoms infrastructure, for example 5G masts, are required to adhere to them. Remember that ICNIRP's Guidelines - to the great convenience of the industry (what you might call 'Big Wireless') - only stop you from being cooked. Nothing else.

Ofcom is holding a consultation to solicit views from stakeholders, including the public. This is our chance to put on record our objection to the use of ICNIRP's Guidelines in the UK. I would argue that it is strongly in our interests to take part in this consultation. We may not achieve a revolution, but the alternative is just to sit back, and let it all happen. I would hope that many EHS and EMF-aware people would feel that this is not something that they could countenance doing.

If you'd like to send your own comments in to Ofcom, the link below will take you to the relevant page on the website. Please note that submissions must be made by June 12th 2020, and that there is a form to fill in with your responses, and a document explaining the rationale for the consultation.

Consultation: Proposed measures to require compliance with international guidelines for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)

My own submission (in addition to completing and returning Ofcom's form, I provided additional comments, which you can access via the link below)

Comments from: Dave Ashton (PDF file)

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

BBC Bias, Part 2: 5G and WiFi

The story so far...

Last year, I complained to the BBC, concerning its woefully biased coverage of the EMF/Health issue on a tv programme it broadcast called Health: Truth or Scare:

Mobile Phones: BBC Bias

To cut a long story short, the BBC refused to accept that this programme was biased and that it misrepresented the science on the health effects of wireless technologies such as mobile phones, mobile masts, Wi-Fi and smart meters (although it did concede one or two points that I made in my complaint).

I escalated my complaint through all stages of the BBC's complaints process, and then, because I still wasn't satisfied with the responses that I received, I escalated it to the regulator, Ofcom. My complaint then, to all intents and purposes, disappeared into the ether. I may publish the full correspondence between the BBC and myself on this blog at some point.

Since then, the BBC has continued to deny the health effects associated with technologies such as 5G, as you can see from these articles on the BBC website:


In November 2019, an edition of the BBC's Click programme featured predictably biased coverage in response to the question, Is 5G Safe?

Click - Is 5G Safe? 9th November 2019

A subsequent interview with Professor Tom Butler, carried out by Claire Edwards, responded to this biased programme:

5G Safety: Truth, Lies & the BBC - 27th November 2020

What happened next...

On 14th April 2020, Radio 4's Today programme did a piece on 5G 'conspiracy theories', following recent alleged links being drawn between Coronavirus and 5G, David Icke's recent interview on the subject, numerous mobile phone masts being set on fire by alleged anti-5G activists, and some controversial comments on the subject made by Eamonn Holmes on ITV's This Morning programme, as detailed in this article (and many others):

On the Today programme, Justin Webb discussed the 5G 'conspiracy theories' with the BBC's technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. Here's the audio of this conversation, in MP3 format:

This is a transcript of what Rory Cellan-Jones said on the issue of advocates who say that wireless technologies such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi are harmful (with all of the 'ers' and 'ums' removed):

[Concerns about wireless technologies] '...go back a long way, remembering when there was material about WiFi; attempts to ban WiFi from schools; there's been a vibrant little community claiming that this electromagnetic radiation causes harm, [that] there needs to be curbs on it, [that] there's evidence of harm, [but] without any scientific backing behind them...'

So, the BBC's Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, claims that there is no scientific evidence to show that wireless technologies are harmful. This is, of course, an outrageous and irresponsible lie, and it will surprise no reader of my blog that I fired off a complaint to the BBC.

My Complaint to the BBC

Complaint: BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Category of complaint: Factual error and bias
Date/time of broadcast: 14 Apr 2020 / 6am - 9am

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'd like to complain about the segment of the Today programme, broadcast on Tuesday 14th April 2020, concerning 5G and Eamonn Holmes, etc. This segment is from 2.35.45 to 2.43.15 on the BBC Sounds app.

My complaint is that Rory Cellan-Jones misled the British people, on air.

In his somewhat rambling discourse concerning the supposed lack of health effects associated with wireless technologies such as mobile phones and WiFi, Mr Cellan-Jones said (emphasis mine):

'...go back a long way, remembering when there was material about WiFi; attempts to ban WiFi from schools; there's been a vibrant little community claiming that this electromagnetic radiation causes harm, [that] there needs to be curbs on it, [that] there's evidence of harm, [but] without any scientific backing behind them...'

The claim that there is no scientific evidence behind wireless radiation concerns simply is not true. I am surprised that a seasoned correspondent like Mr Cellan-Jones either hasn't carried out some basic research, or else has chosen to ignore what the non-industry, non-conflicted science clearly shows.

Here are just a few rebuttals to the outrageous, and completely untrue, claim made by Mr Cellan-Jones:

1) The formal classification in 2011 of Radiofrequency (RF) radiation as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen by the World Health Organisation / International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), on the basis of an increased risk of glioma. (1)

2) The recommendation of an IARC expert committee that high priority be given to a re-evaluation of RF radiation, in light of recent scientific findings. (2)

3) The results of two recent scientific studies, carried out by the National Toxicology Program in the U.S., and the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, which found 'clear' and 'statistically significant' evidence respectively of a link between mobile phone / mobile phone mast radiation and tumours, as well as DNA damage. (3)

4) The 30,986 scientific papers on the effects of electromagnetic fields that are held on the EMF Portal, which is maintained by RWTH Aachen University. (4)

This does not represent pseudo science, or fake news, made up by 'deranged' individuals and groups.

The BBC should not be in the business of disseminating industry propaganda and misrepresenting the science – especially when there is such an extensive scientific literature showing harmful effects, and where there is an overriding obligation for the nation's broadcaster to give the public accurate, fact-based information (no matter how inconvenient it may be).

The organisation, and Mr Cellan-Jones in particular, needs to issue a public apology for such irresponsible and misleading coverage of this hugely important issue, and should ensure that  future output concerning the health effects of wireless technologies is based upon what the science actually shows, rather than on what the BBC might wish the science to show, given its own enthusiastic involvement with 5G technologies.

Yours faithfully,


1) IARC Monograph 102

2) IARC to review carcinogenicity of RF Radiation, Lancet Oncology, 17th April 2019

3) National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Radiation Studies

Ramazzini Institute study

4) EMF Portal

I'll update this blog post with any response from the BBC to my complaint.

Image from:

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

BOOK: The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life

The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, by Arthur Firstenberg

This book, written by Arthur Firstenberg in 2017, is one of the definitive texts on electrosensitivity, in all of its different shapes and forms. The 'Invisible Rainbow' of the title refers to electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum, most of which is completely invisible to humans, apart from a tiny portion of it which we can perceive as visible light; the colours of the rainbow.

Just as most of the electromagnetic spectrum cannot be seen with the naked eye, so it seems that 'electrosensitivity' is invisible to most non-sufferers. Symptoms arising from chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and radiation in the environment are probably experienced by most, if not all, people, and yet - officially - these harmful effects don't even exist, or else they are given to different causes.

As well as writing this book in 2017, Arthur Firstenberg has launched the INTERNATIONAL APPEAL to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, which to date has been signed by 183,714 signatories from 208 nations and territories (as at 2nd December 2019).

This Appeal is an urgent call to the UN, the World Health Organisation, the EU, the Council of Europe, and worldwide governments, to take action:

'We the undersigned scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and citizens from (__) countries, urgently call for a halt to the deployment of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network, including 5G from space satellites. 5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.'

With proceeds from the sale of this book going towards the costs of the 5G Appeal, I thought that now was a good time to write a short post to remind people about this excellent book, and especially so in the run-up to Christmas. The book definitely isn't cheap, and it's not widely available, but it is well worth searching out.

I've included links to some reviews of this book below, and at the bottom of this post, there are details of where to purchase it from.

Reviews of The Invisible Rainbow

My own comments, posted in a Facebook group:

'I found it extremely well-researched, well-written, and generally/genuinely fascinating; I certainly learnt a lot of things about electricity and electrosensitivity that I didn't know before.

As others have mentioned elsewhere, it's got a fascinating chapter called "Porphyrins and the Basis of Life", although I really need to re-read this to take it all in. I remember feeling that I was on the verge of an epiphany on reading it for the first time...!

Arthur describes some pretty spectacular and persuasive correlations between EMFs and a variety of diseases, including, topically, influenza. I guess that this sort of thing will be familiar to anyone who has read Sam Milham's book - especially when it comes to the so-called diseases of civilisation.

So yes, a riveting, eye-opening read, and up there with The Body Electric by Robert Becker I think (although thankfully without acres of felled woodland devoted to the subject of amputated salamanders...!).

The only thing that I thought could have been delved into in much greater detail - and perhaps this will be in the next book - is the huge conspiracy to bury this issue and pretend that nothing's actually wrong - the key individuals and organisations behind this, their methods, their vulnerabilities, their conflicts of interest and motivations, and so on.

Having said that, the book is sub-titled as "A History of Electricity and Life", and it certainly lives up to that description in bucket-loads. Well worth reading, if you can buy or borrow a copy.'

The Invisible Rainbow - A REVIEW AND APPRECIATION, By Miriam Lindbeck, EMRS - Ecodwell

The Invisible Rainbow - EMF Inspect

Book Review, by Frank de Vocht (Dr Frank de Vocht is a member of the COMARE committee in the UK, which guides the Government on issues relating to ionising and non-ionising radiation)

Where to buy the book:

Direct from the Cellular Phone Task Force website in the U.S.

Down to Earth EMF Services (books can be despatched to Europe and the UK):