Mark Hertsgaard, the Nation’s investigative editor and the author of seven books, and award-winning investigative journalist Mark Dowieoffer the first exposé of the wireless industry’s decades-long, global campaign to war-game science, manipulate media coverage, andmassage government officials into convincing the public that cell phones are safer than independent science suggests.
Everyone knows Big Tobacco lied about cigarettes; Big Oil lied about climate change. This is the third leg of the stool: how Big Wireless used the same exact playbook to deceive the public and create the appearance of scientific uncertainty—making people think that cell phones are safer than independent science suggests. This, despite the fact that the wireless industry’s own scientists privately warned itdecades ago there were “serious questions” about wireless radiation’s links to cancer and genetic damage.
(One key player has not been swayed by all the wireless-friendly research: the insurance industry. We found not a single insurance company that would sell a product-liability policy that covered cell-phone radiation. “Why would we want to do that?” one executive asked with a chuckle before pointing to more than two dozen lawsuits outstanding against wireless companies, demanding a total of $1.9 billion in damages.)
In the 1980s, cell phones were allowed onto the US consumer market without any government safety testing. This year, 5G is poised to roll out across the country, where antennas the size of a pizza box will have to be installed approximately every 250 feet to ensure connectivity. Wall Street is salivating at the potential trillions of dollars in economic activity—but by fast-tracking the technology and not doing premarket safety testing, will we make the same mistake with 5G as we did with cell phones?
According to the National Toxicology Program’s study, commissioned by the FDA in 1999, there is much more evidence of a cancer-cell phone connection than is widely assumed. More shockingly, NTP brass attempted to water down the public health implications of their findings—in line with the wireless industry’s long-standing denial that cell phone users face risks.
“How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation” is the April 23, 2018, cover story for The Nation, on stands the week of April 9.