[Press Release] Phonegate in the Netherlands: Legal Battle Launched After Advertisement of Children Using Mobile Phones Disregards Cell Phone Radiation Health Risk
Phonegate in the Netherlands. Soon to be meetings with Agentschap Telecom because of unsound advertisement.
April 2018 Press Release posted with permission.
An advertisement by the Dutch telecom provider KPN shows that two toddlers are holding a mobile phone against their body. In the safety warnings, however, it is stated that you have to keep the phone at some distance from the body in order to use it safely. Furthermore, according to research carried out by ANFR, the French Radiocommunications Agency, the SAR values (the limit values that a telephone must meet) are far exceeded in 9 out of 10 phones when used on the body.
Legal battle for responsible mobile use
This advertisement and one in which a teenager keeps a telephone in his pocket was the beginning of a long legal battle that Martine Vriens, a legal consultant from the Netherlands, has been waging to the present day. In 2015 and 2016, she submitted complaints to the Advertising Code Foundation, which ensures that advertisements are sound. However, the Foundation has not recognized in its legal decisions that the advertisements were unsound and has even made erroneous claims that it has not been established that damage to health may occur above the limit values.
Letter to Agentschap Telecom
Because this is incorrect and children are at risk of health damage, Vriens – also on behalf of ten organizations* – wrote a letter to Agentschap Telecom (the Dutch Radiocommunications Agency), which monitors compliance with the limits of mobile phones and for this reason has once taken a phone off the market. Agentschap Telecom has announced in writing and by telephone that the department supervising the enforcement of the limits will look into it in detail. After this, meetings will take place between Agentschap Telecom and a delegation of the organizations, and later on possibly with KPN and the Advertising Code Foundation.
Agentschap Telecom also indicated that it was interested in developments in France. There, Dr. Marc Arazi, chairman of the association ‘Phonegate alert’, argues that millions of phones should be taken off the market because they exceed the SAR limits when used on the body. This is the case for 9 out of 10 telephones. This is called the Phonegate scandal. He also wants more information and transparency on the safe use of mobile phones. Marc Arazi, doctor, and whistleblower talks about an alarming situation.
Withdrawal Hapi 30
Last week, thanks to his tireless efforts, the mobile telephone operator Orange announced to recall 90,000 Hapi 30 mobile telephones. A first and a big step forward. Especially since ANFR has indicated in an interview that such recalls can be repeated because it has recorded some other phones that exceed limits. Agentschap Telecom said it would inform the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) about these developments.
Prohibition of advertisement of KPN
In the light of these developments, Vriens advocates a ban on advertisements showing a use of mobile phones that is reason enough to recall them in France. Advertisements of mobile phones addressed to children are already prohibited in France and Belgium. How responsible is it that KPN shows children in dangerous situations and presents this as a normal use! And the Advertising Code Foundation, which consciously turns a blind eye, it seems. Parents and children need to be properly informed about safe use. Marc Arazi of Phonegate Alert, therefore, intends to launch a series of information and protection measures in France and Europe as soon as possible.
Children particularly vulnerable
The importance of this issue, especially for children and young people, is confirmed by Dr. Annie J Sasco, MD, DrPH, former Chief of Unit of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – World Health Organization: « In May 2011, the IARC classified the EMF exposure as a possible carcinogen. Since then new studies were published, both epidemiological and experimental ones, reinforcing the evidence of carcinogenicity and several other detrimental health effects were described. With the new data on SAR measured in contact with the body, it becomes more than ever necessary to strengthen the safety recommendations to preserve the health of everyone in particular of fetuses, babies, and children. The California guidelines move exactly in the right direction. »
Vriens and the organizations are looking forward to the meetings with Agentschap Telecom. They will call for a ban on the advertisement and, more generally, for better information on how to use the telephone safely. And further to follow the example of their colleague ANFR and to enforce compliance with the regulations by the manufacturers, which should lead – also in the Netherlands – to recall campaigns.
Contact Martine Vriens +31497338030 [email protected]
*Stopumts, EHS Foundation, SOS Stop-Overdosis-Straling, Zeeland Platform Radiation Risk, Reduction Electrosmog, National Platform Radiation Risk, Association of Meteorologists Electromagnetic Radiation (VEMES), Zendmast Anders, Electromagnetic Radiation Knowledge Platform, Radiation Awareness, em.prof. Michiel Haas MSc/PhD (founder NIBE), Mr. Leon Kraijenbrink.
**The origin of the term Phonegate comes from Pierre Le Hir (Le Monde, 23 December 2016) “Soupçons sur les ondes des téléphones portables”.
Visit our page about Phonegate to learn more.
Press release, April 16, 2018 – Posted with permission.
On April 5, 2018, the French site, “60 Millions de consommateurs”announced the recall by the mobile telephony operator Orange of 90,000 cell phones of the model “Hapi 30”. The reason for the recall is that studies conducted in 2016 by the French National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) showed that the SAR limits to which the telephone must comply were exceeded when in contact with the body. ANFR says recalls could be repeated since they have recorded some other phones that exceed the limits.
As in France, a study of the SAR values was also carried out in the Netherlands by Agentschap Telecom – which controls the compliance of the placing on the market of mobile phones sold in the Netherlands – in its ‘Onderzoek inzake SAR-waarden van mobiele telefoons’ in 2009. The reason was that an inspection in 2008 revealed that a phone exceeded the prescribed SAR value of 2W/kg and was therefore withdrawn from the market. After 2009, Agentschap Telecom saw no reason to carry out another investigation. The ANFR’s test results, which are relevant not only for France but also for all European countries, urgently call for this as well as for transparency. The Dutch have the right to know what levels of radiofrequency radiation they are exposed to on a daily basis and they must be informed about this.
Certainly in the light of the health and industrial scandal Phonegate. This is called a scandal because 9 out of 10 phones, tested by ANFR in 2015, when used on contact with the body exceed the radiation limits and some by three to four times. The test seems to be rigged. Phones are passing compliance tests but violate radiation limits because the test strategy does not measure use against the body in the way we actually use cell phones. Dr. Marc Arazi, whistleblower and president of the association “Phonegate Alert”, speaks « of a first and a big step forward with the recall of the Hapi 30. He calls for millions of phones to be taken off the market because they exceed SAR limits when used on the body, exposing consumers to values that have not been safe for decades. Recalls should also take place in the Netherlands ».
In the light of these developments, it is worrying that telecommunications companies are showing children in unsafe situations, thereby promoting unsafe behavior. This is the case in an advertisement by the Dutch telecom provider KPN in which it is shown that two toddlers keep mobile phones on their bodies. This advertisement and one in which a teenager keeps a phone in his pocket have been the start of years of legal battle that Martine Vriens, legal consultant, has been waging to the present day, and which is in line with the Phonegate scandal.
Because this is incorrect and children are at risk of health damage, Vriens – also on behalf of ten organizations* – wrote to Agentschap Telecom. Negotiations will soon take place between the Agentschap and a delegation of the organizations, and later possibly with KPN and ‘Stichting Reclame Code’. The Agency indicated by phone that it was interested in the developments taking place in France and it would inform the Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) (National Institute of Public Health and the Environment).
The importance of this issue, especially for children and young people, is confirmed by Dr. Annie J. Sasco, MD, DrPH, former Chief of Unit of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – World Health Organization: « In May 2011, the IARC classified the EMF exposure as a possible carcinogen. Since then new studies were published, both epidemiological and experimental ones, reinforcing the evidence of carcinogenicity and several other detrimental health effects were described. With the new data on SAR measured in contact with the body, it becomes more than ever necessary to strengthen the safety recommendations to preserve the health of everyone in particular of fetuses, babies, and children. »
In the negotiations with Agentschap Telecom, Vriens will argue for a ban on the advertisement and, more generally, for information campaigns on how to use mobile phones safely. Research on SAR values will also be needed. And, like their colleague ANFR, this should lead to recalls.
April 6, Interview with Dr. Marc Arazi by French journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin for RMC-BFMTV:
April 14, RTL Belgium article on Phonegate: https://www.rtl.be/info/magazine/sante/attention-aux-ondes-de-votre-gsm-un-scandale-sanitaire-pourrait-bientot-etre-revele-1013065.aspx
Martine Vriens – Phonegate Alert Nederland martinevriens(at)hotmail.com
Dr Marc Arazi, President and co-founder Phonegate Alert drarazi(at)phonegatealert.org
*Stopumts, Stichting EHS, SOS Stop-Overdosis-Straling, Zeeuws Platform Stralingsrisico, Verminder Elektrosmog, Nationaal Platform Stralingsrisico’s, Vereniging Meetspecialisten Elektromagnetische Straling (VEMES), Zendmast Anders, Stichting Kennisplatform Elektromagnetische Straling, Stralingsbewustzijn, em.prof. Michiel Haas MSc/PhD (founder NIBE), mr. Leon Kraijenbrink.
Visit our page about Phonegate to learn more.
Letters From Dr. Marc Arazi to Agnès Buzyn Minister of Solidarity and Health and Nicolas Hulot Minister of the Ecological Transition, France on Cell Phone Scandal
As detailed in a Press Release on June 22 2017, Dr. Marc Arazi wrote Mrs. Agnès Buzyn Minister of Solidarity and Health and Mr. Nicolas Hulot Minister of the Ecological Transition to inform them of the health scandal concerning all mobile phones sold both in France and Europe since 1999. He asked them to take action. He pointed out that data is still missing- the SAR for extremities (limbs) and certain phones- and this information needs to be publicly released.
From Dr. Marc Arazi Press Release on June 22 2017
The long electoral sequence ended last Sunday. Both Agnès Buzyn and Nicolas Hulot have been confirmed in their respective ministerial responsibilities. It is therefore time to write to them officially to inform them of the health and industrial scandal concerning all mobile phones sold both in France and Europe since 1999 and ask them to take action.Arazi-letter-to-Ministers-19-June-
In the registered letter sent on 19 June 2017, we wished to alert them to the lack of transparency of the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) which, although belatedly publishing on 1 June 2017 an initial series of data concerning the specific absorption rates (SAR) for mobile phones, has deliberately concealed many equally important data. We have therefore copied to the Ministers our 12 June Email to the Director-General of ANFR, Gilles Brégant, which to this day remains unanswered, reminding them that “an additional delay in the transmission and publication of this missing data would without doubt be inexcusable.”Email-to-Bregant-12-June
Moreover, faced with the failure of the international control protocols which dramatically echo Dieselgate, we are asking that the new RED 2014/53/EU Directive entered into force on 13 June 2017 be revised as quickly as possible at the European level for all new equipment. This new directive gives priority to the interests of industry to the detriment of the health of users and does not hesitate in article 5 to assure manufacturers of the “confidentiality” of the collected information. Such a lack in transparency is no longer acceptable to citizens, recalling that the petition launched by the journalist Elise Lucet against the “Directive on the protection of undisclosed business information” was signed by more than 540,000 people.
Registration of radio equipment types within some categories
- As from 12 June 2018, manufacturers shall register radio equipment types within categories of radio equipment affected by a low level of compliance with the essential requirements set out in Article 3** within a central system referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article prior to radio equipment within those categories being placed on the market. When registering such radio equipment types, manufacturers shall provide some, or where justified all, elements of the technical documentation listed in points (a), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) of Annex V. The Commission shall allocate to each registered radio equipment type a registration number, which manufacturers shall affix on radio equipment placed on the market.
- The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 44 specifying which categories of radio equipment are concerned by the requirement set out in paragraph 1 of this Article, and the elements of the technical documentation to be provided, taking into account the information on the compliance of radio equipment provided by Member States in accordance with Article 47(1) and following an evaluation of the risk of non-implementation of the essential requirements.
- The Commission shall adopt implementing acts laying down the operational rules for registration and the operational rules for affixing the registration number on radio equipment for the categories specified by the delegated acts adopted pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(3).
- The Commission shall make available a central system allowing manufacturers to register the required information. That system shall ensure appropriate control of access to information of confidential nature.
- Following the date of application of a delegated act adopted pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article, the reports prepared in accordance with Article 47(1) and (2) shall evaluate its impacts.
Last but not least, we are awaiting a rapid reaction from the public authorities to provide information and a warning about the risks to users, particularly the youngest (who keep their phones in their pockets more than ten consecutive hours a day), by writing them: “This extremely serious situation cannot and should not continue because if it does, the responsibility of the State will be called into question for failing to take urgent measures to report the dangers and explain simple preventive measures, such as placing the mobile phone at some distance from the body (which is by the way, recommended in all user guides of the manufacturers).”
* the origin of this term comes from Pierre Le Hir (Le Monde, 23 December 2016) « Soupçons sur les ondes des téléphones portables »
** Article 3 refers to the essential requirement to ensure the protection of the health and safety of people.