US Supreme Court Ruling on Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know Ordinance Makes Headline News

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July 11, 2018: Lynne Peeples published an article on the Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know Ordinance (informing people about manufactures instructions regarding cell phone radiation) in FairWarning.org “Wireless Industry Using First Amendment as a Cudgel in Its Battle Against Safety Warnings.” A shorter version was picked up in McClatchy Washington DC’s Bureau as “Should cell phone providers warn customers of health risks? Berkeley says yes.” This article features Dr. Devra Davis, Dr. Moskowitz, Microwave News and Lawrence Lessig. See it below. 

Wireless Industry Using First Amendment as a Cudgel in Its Battle Against Safety Warnings

By  on July 11, 2018

Few people know that there are federal safety limits for exposure to the weak radiation emitted by cellphones and other wireless devices. There often is language about this embedded right in our phones, but finding it requires knowing where to look, wading through sometimes five or more steps and then making sense of the technical jargon.

Concerned about the lack of public awareness, Berkeley, California passed a law in 2015 calling for cellphone stores to post warning signs. The signs caution that if you carry a phone in a pocket or tucked into a bra when the device is on, “you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure’’ to radiofrequency radiation.

That advisory is intended to sum up the information the Federal Communications Commission requires cellphone manufacturers to disclose in phones, owner manuals or packaging material, and it’s milder than warnings given by such organizations as the American Academy of Pediatrics. But eager to squelch unfavorable information, the wireless industry–led by the big trade group CTIA–has waged a high-powered legal battle to take down the signs. In court filings, CTIA has called the advisory “inflammatory” and has argued that the Berkeley law violates cellphone store owners’ First Amendment rights by compelling them to disclose misleading information.

Berkeley won the first round in federal district court, and then again in the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. But it was dealt a setback on June 28 when the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the appeals court ruling, and sent the case back to the 9th Circuit for further consideration.

“How much proof do you need before you start to protect people? Are we going to go down road of tobacco and asbestos and say, ‘You’ve got to prove human harm before we take steps to protect people?’ I sure hope not,” said Devra Davis, founder of the non-profit Environmental Health Trust, which focuses its advocacy efforts on cellphone radiation.Devra Davis MPH, PhD, President of Environmental Health Trust (a local Jackson Hole nonprofit).

Read the full article at https://www.fairwarning.org/2018/07/cellphone-free-speech-radiation-berkeley/

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