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On June 18th, 2015 the Vancouver Sun published a fairly balanced story titled “Parliamentary report warns cellphones, Wi-Fi a serious health issue” by reporter Tiffany Crawford. Approximately 10 hours later without explanation the Sun took down the article, and replaced it with a very different one titled “Parliamentary report warns cellphones, Wi-Fi a serious health issue – But several leading Canadian health experts say that cellphones and Wi-Fi devices pose less risk to humans than run-of-the-mill fevers.” The revised version was a collaboration between the Sun’s reporter Gillian Shaw, and the National Post’s health reporter Sharon Kirkey. The National Post published a near identical article simultaneously.
The National Post story and the 2nd version of the Vancouver Sun pc quote Natalia Nikolova as a Canadian medical expert reassuring everyone there is no issue with short term exposure. What both articles fail to tell readers is that Nikolova is in fact an engineer who has carried out research funded by Research in Motion (Blackberry) since 2007. The irony here is that her major funder RIM actually disagrees with her outdated statement that cell phones and Wi-Fi “do no harm”. Blackberry’s own user manual states: “Use hands-free operation when available and keep the device at least 25 mm from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers) when the Blackberry is turned on and connected to the wireless network.”
Also, in the Sun’s article “Dr. Perry Kendall, says there is no scientific evidence that current standards for wireless exposure present a health risk to either children or adults, and he suggested the parliamentary report had been influenced by an advocacy group…”.
This is completely false and misleading as the report was influenced by leading scientists and medical doctors from Canada and around the world. They included experts from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Trent University, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, the University of Helsinki, Finland, Columbia and Harvard Universities in the United States. All of these experts presented scientific evidence to the Committee showing harm from wireless devices below Health Canada’s safety standards, or demonstrated how the process Health Canada uses to evaluate the evidence does not meet international standards, or both. They also called for Health Canada to minimize exposure to wireless radiation, especially among children.
It is exactly this ignorance in the medical community that led to the recommendation that the Canadian Medical Association educate our doctors about the symptoms of EHS, and safer ways to use wireless. Similar to how doctors used to smoke in their offices but now are the main source of smoking cessation advice, times change.
The unexplained flip flop of the Sun’s coverage along with the National Post’s misleading article is disappointing and threatens the health of all Canadians.