Interviewer: So, why do we? I went to Rome to meet the man our government seems to favor over its own advisor, Sir William Stuart. He’s a scientist who’s responsible for the WHO’s position, and who founded the standard-setting body ICNIRP. He’s a controversial character. Dr. Michael Repacholi no longer works for the WHO, but he’s made decisions that affect all our lives.
When you say, on the WHO website, there are no known adverse health effects, is that really giving people the complete picture of the science out there?
Repacholi; When that statement was put on the website, it was meaning that no health effects have been established. And when an effect has been established, it means it has been repeated in a number of laboratories using very good study techniques.
Interviewer: But Henry Lai and OlleJohanssen will say they’ve found them. There are any number of highly esteemed scientists who will say they’ve found them well beneath those levels. Are they wrong?
Repacholi: If they’re published, they are in the mix because every review panel looks at all the studies along with other studies to see if they’re comparable with those studies or point in the same direction. It’s called a weight of evidence approach, and if that weight of evidence is not for there being an effect or not being an effect, that’s the only way you can tell if there really is an adverse health effect.
Interviewer: But, here’s the controversy – Dr. Repacholi used to work for the very industry that helps create this form of radiation. Before working for the WHO, he’d been an expert witness for the phone industry, defending their right to site masts in controversial locations.
Are you truly independent, do you think? As a scientist?
Repacholi: Well, I don’t know how people perceive me, people can say what they like. I know what I am; I will only say what the science says. To me, that’s an independent view.
Interviewer: You did work for industry before WHO and ICNIRP.
Repacholi: I did.
Interviewer: And you worked for them afterwards as well.
Repacholi: I did. I challenge anyone to say I’ve changed my mind because of my funder. Because I sure as hell haven’t.
Interviewer: So, our government has a choice: follow the recommendations of scientists like Dr. Repacholi and WHO, who effectively say, “Roll it out! And don’t stop unless someone proves there’s a risk,” or follow their own advisor, who says, “Hold on, don’t rush ahead until we know for sure it’s safe.”
Until that’s resolved, it’s our kids who become the test bet.
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