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Carriers sue City of Berkeley to inhibit radiation warning requirement on cell phones
The City of Berkeley, California is currently getting sued by the biggest wireless industry trade group regarding the blockade of a new ordinance that might spread some unwarranted fear to consumers. The Berkeley City Council last month passed an ordinance, which you can read here, that would require retailers to include a notice with the purchase or lease of all cell phones claiming that carrying a phone inside their pockets or bras may potentially exceed federal safety limits.
Filed by CTIA – The Wireless Association on Monday, the lawsuit claims that while Berkeley may be entitled to its unfounded opinions, the ordinance requires retailers to force a misleading, controversial, and government-crafted statement upon consumers regarding the “safety” of cell phones. CTIA’s suit goes on to explain that Berkeley’s ordinance is not only “baseless and alarmist”, but also undermines the government’s ruling that cell phones are safe for everyone.
Now, the government didn’t approve cell phone usage for everyone just based on its opinion. These claims are backed up by proven facts, validated by the FCC, WHO and other organizations. The lawsuit goes on to say:
The (FCC) implements a mandate from Congress to create a nationwide, uniform set of regulations for wireless communications devices. Pursuant to that mandate, the FCC—consulting with expert federal health and safety agencies and drawing from international standards-setting bodies—has carefully reviewed the scientific studies that have examined cell phones for possible adverse health effects, including health effects from the radio waves—a type of radiofrequency energy—that cell phones emit in order to function. The FCC has determined, consistent with the overwhelming consensus of scientific authority, that “[t]here is no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other problems, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss.”
It should be noted that the trade group used a similar argument to revoke a San Francisco ordinance back in 2013.
Just last month, we told you about the potential “dangers” cell phones can have on our bodies when kept in a pocket or a bra. As it turns out, there isn’t a whole lot that people should be worried about when it comes to cell phone radiation. The FCC and the World Health Organization have shown time and time again that there is no solid evidence that cell phone radiation causes cancer or any other problems. Even so, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley isn’t planning on giving up anytime soon:
Berkeley officials said they were confident the ordinance would be upheld. Councilman Max Anderson, the measure’s lead sponsor, said the warning language was taken directly from manufacturers’ statements in product manuals. Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, helped to draft the ordinance and has agreed to defend it without charge.“I believe Berkeley has a right to assure its residents know of the existing safety recommendations,” Lessig said by e-mail.
Until there is further evidence that displays even a shred of possibility that cell phone radiation can hurt us, ordinances like Berkeley’s will likely not be upheld. I understand that it’s the job of the government/FCC/other regulatory associations to protect the people, but is it really protecting them if the labels are instilling more fear than necessary? We’ll have to wait for a verdict to find out for sure.