Can World Health Organization Be Trusted On Power Line Hazards?
Can the World Health Organization (WHO) be trusted to properly warn the world about the health risks associated with overhead high voltage transmission lines?
Whenever individuals or community organizations raise health impacts as a serious concern associated with overhead high voltage power lines, they are told by electricity transmission companies that the WHO suggests there is no conclusive evidence of transmission line electromagnetic fields (EMFs) negatively affecting human health. Anyone who has tried to keep a new overhead transmission line from getting built next to their home, childrens’ school or place of employment, will have heard this standard response from their local transmission company.
Information that has recently been made public indicates that the WHO may not be exercising the due diligence that one would expect from this United Nations health agency.
The WHO has most recently been criticized for bungling the response to the Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives (Edmonton Journal). “The Ebola outbreak points to the need for change,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general. She admitted that the WHO was too slow to grasp the significance of the Ebola outbreak, which is estimated to have killed more than 8,600 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In response to the sharp criticism over its handling of the West Africa epidemic, the WHO’s executive board recently discussed proposals that could drastically change the agency.
Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University, said, “The groundswell of dissatisfaction and lack of trust in WHO over Ebola has reached such a crescendo that unless there is fundamental reform, I think we might lose confidence in WHO for a generation. Ebola revealed all of WHO’s inherent weaknesses and the international community saw painfully what it was like to see WHO not being able to lead. That resulted in thousands of deaths that were completely avoidable. If that doesn’t light a fire for reform, I don’t know what will.”
Less than a year ago, medical writer Susan Foster wrote this shocking exposé on corruption within the WHO ranks, relating to scientific causality of harm to human health (primarily cancer) from electromagnetic radiation (EMR) – cell phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies. The article suggests the WHO and the media have been unduly influenced by the very powerful telecommunications industry to erroneously report no health concerns with EMR. This is particularly alarming, considering 14 million new cancer cases are being diagnosed worldwide every year, and the number is expected to double over the next 2 decades.
These reports on corruption and incompetence at the WHO are similar to the charge against the WHO by many credible scientists with respect to health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) such as those emanating from overhead high voltage transmission lines. For many years, the electricity transmission industry has unduly influenced the WHO not to recognize the negative health effects of overhead high voltage line EMFs. Collusion between the WHO and the electricity transmission industry triggered the following quote from Dr. Don Maisch in 2006, “Such a blatant disregard for the fundamental principles of credible science as well as WHO’s mission on protecting world health speaks of a desperation to bury independent science at all costs, even if that cost is the integrity of WHO.” (Dr. Maisch is a well-known and respected scientist who has extensively researched health effects of EMFs and EMR.)
Also in 2006, Dr. Magda Havas, a Trent University, Ontario scientist who has conducted research on health impacts of EMFs, indicated that Health Canada – which follows the WHO’s lead on this issue – “is more concerned in protecting the electric utility than it is in protecting the health of Canadians.”
It is a well-known fact that the electricity transmission industry heavily lobbies leading health agencies such as the WHO and Health Canada, just as the tobacco industry did before the cause-effect relationship was definitively determined between smoking and lung cancer.
Once the electricity transmission industry had successfully influenced the WHO many years ago to suggest there is no conclusive evidence of EMFs negatively affecting human health, is it any wonder transmission companies then cite the WHO in an attempt to placate those who raise health concerns every time a new overhead high voltage line is built?
See this link for more information on corruption within the WHO, including collusion with industry. See this link for information on the many negative health risks of overhead high voltage power lines.