Amendments for Bill S.186 (Investigation of Electromagnetic Impacts)

If not amended a whitewash is likely, but Massachusetts bill S.186 to investigate electromagnetic exposures from technology could be redesigned to promote transparency & better representation, as suggested below — it is still possible for a whitewash, but less likely

This issue must be swiftly addressed to curtail further harm — see these FAQs or resources.

The following are 6 proposed S.186 amendments, for which feedback is welcome (esp. #V, VI). These could be submitted as one amendment with a complete text or in parts as presented below:

I. Correct language and scope: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S. 186 by striking out lines 2 and 3 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-

“special commission to research the environmental and public health impact of non-ionizing radiation generated by technologies and, if any harm exists, propose potential solutions.”

Why? This is amended to remove electromagnetic radiation, which refers to all kinds of radiation including ionizing like X-rays; to remove RFR as this is to narrow; to use non-ionizing radiation since this includes new technologies like LiFi; eliminate ‘consumer protection’ in favor of solutions; and add environmental health.

II. Insure transparency as follows: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by inserting before line 35 the following new paragraph:-

“The commission’s meeting notes, meeting transcripts, other communications, meeting attendance, votes of each member that votes, and member conflicts of interest shall be recorded and made available to the public. Records shall be freely available and immediately accessible for public viewing online as well as included in any commission report(s), with the exception, if more than one report is submitted, that meeting notes, attendance, and communications may be split among reports according to relevant time period.”

III. Illuminate transparency of conflicts of interest to insure recusal from voting as follows: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by inserting between line 34 and 35 the following new paragraphs:-

“All commission members with conflicts of interest due to industry or employment shall be prohibited from participating as voting members, but shall be called non-voting members. Any commission member deemed a non-voting member shall recuse himself or herself from any commission votes to decide or influence the the outcome of commission reports and commission decisions, and shall instead serve only to assist the commission. Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote only of all members with voting status. Only members deemed voting members may author commission reports.

Certain members of the commission shall automatically be stipulated as non-voting members who attend to assist but may not vote. Non-voting members shall include any member appointed whose livelihood with conflicts of interest, but who nevertheless is a required appointment according to the list of defined members, such as any member appointed by virtue of government position but who has conflicts of interest.

In contrast, all other voting members of the commission must be free of conflicts of interest, and for this reason any nominee shall recuse himself or herself from nomination if conflicts of interest exist or provide evidence of elimination of conflicts of interest before appointment, such as placement of a relevant investment portfolio into a blind trust.

Conflicts of interest of a commission member shall be defined as a current investment portfolio in or a history or present livelihood depending upon the telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility industry, as well as to related industries such as to the medical device industry. Conflicts of interest of a member shall extend to the member’s family, including the member’s spouse and relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.

All commission members, both voting and non-voting members, must file a statement detailing any relevant conflicts of interest and continue to do so in the two years following the commission’s final report. These statements must be filed with the Secretary of State promptly during the commission period and in the two years following closure of the commission, and must be freely and immediately accessible to the public online.”

IV. Address the problem of environmental and public health simply and holistically, rather than carving out any special treatments: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill (Senate, No. 186) by striking out lines 20 through 34 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-

“Through public hearings, invited speakers, and literature review, the commission shall conduct an investigation including but not limited to the following topics:

(a) identify past and present factors which may obscure relevant scientific findings, including but not limited to study conditions and methodology (such as but not limited to frequency pulsing and polarization), sources of funding, economic interests, FCC regulations, historic events, and industry compliance;

(b) utilize the knowledge gleaned from subsection (a) to further critically evaluate scientific research, conclusions, and hearing testimony;

(c) based on research, identify:

    1. gaps in knowledge;
    2. common and potential exposures in the past as compared to the present and expected future;
    3. known, likely, and potential impacts of existing and future exposures, particularly in relation:
      • i. to the reproductive, neurological, and immune systems; and
      • ii. to agriculture, ecosystems, and the continued viability of the human race;

d. if legitimate concerns exist to justify limiting exposures, then:

    1.  identify potential guidelines or solutions for safer technology, including with respect to telecommunications, utilities, IT, and building wiring and technology use
    2. identify recommended action steps in the short- and long-term to limit harm from exposures in the arena of private and public buildings, transportation, utilities, workplaces, education, emergency services, medical care, medical devices, building wiring, manufacturing, and government services.
    3. identify solutions to limit negative economic impacts upon the general populace and small businesses, including with regard to retirement funds, funding safer technology, and reports of disability or disease caused by exposures.”

Here are the reasons for replacement:

    • (i) we know it will cost industry and investors – wastes time to examine costs;
    • (ii) better to outline how the state can freely and apolitically and through established government systems educate consumers than to rely on private sources for education;
    • (iii) this investigation requires industry research be examined but does so without caveat as if it’s equal to non-industry research;
    • (iv) this is basically the same as the previous clause;
    • (v) the point of this is not clear;
    • (vi) creating detailed guidelines for quality research may be beyond the scope and expertise of this commission and should not be a requirement;
    • (vii) – at this point it is probably best just to start over and the point is not clear – “examining the impacts of premarket safety testing procedures for wireless technology”;
    • (viii) – at this point it is probably best just to start over and it is not necessary to state – “reviewing national and international regulatory best practices that address the impact of EMR and RFR radiation on technology, consumer protection, and public health”

V. Remove excessive extraneous parties and telecommunication representation as follows: [NOTE ** THIS SECTION, ESPECIALLY IF PART VI IS REVISED, COULD BE FURTHER EDITED**]

[Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill (Senate, No. 186) by striking out lines 10 through 19 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-

“Society, ideally a neurology or cardiac specialist; a scientist nominated by the Environmental Health Trust; and a non-voting member with ten years of work experience in the field shall be appointed by the governor, who shall be an engineer with expertise in wireless network engineering, technology, and knowledge of non-ionizing radiation.”

Why? Deleting a telecommunications representative, telecommunications lawyer, and wireless medical device expert is possible because the telecommunications commissioner is on the committee and can invite these persons or provide information when useful. Non-industry is added. Neurologists and cardiac specialists work with frequencies (EKG, EEG) which should be helpful for understanding some of the research literature.

In addition, some changes are being removed to prevent the governor from having too much control of the commissions make up due to controlling not only executive branch nominations but substantial other commission nominations.

VI. Add these parties to the commission, nominated by the respective organizations and not the governor or the executive commissioners to distribute responsibility and influence:

THIS SECTION IS STILL IN DRAFT AS I’D LIKE TO HEAR BACK FROM THE ORGANIZATIONS BEFORE INSERTING – HELP IS APPRECIATED CONNECTING.

[Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by striking line 9 and inserting the following new text:-

“Regulation or his designee; one of whom shall be a telecommunications worker nominated by the Communications Workers of America; one of whom shall be a nominee of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police; . . . . . ; one of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts Medical”

Including big organizations is another way to shine a light and bring pressure to bear on the issue. At the bottom of this blog page on investigative commissions, some more ideas were listed for groups in a draft amendment previously created.

End Water Fluoridation

 

The following letter is testimony for a legislative hearing – please call in support!

Many residents have sought to remove fluoride from municipal water supplies after examining the research.

In Wilmington, the Director of Public Health in 2000 recommended ending fluoridation after researching the subject. In Natick, a study committee of individuals defined as “qualified” “unbiased” and “scientifically trained” recommended the same. Cities and towns such as Topsfield, Gloucester, Rockport, Newburyport, Cambridge, Concord, Amesbury, Methuen, Worcester, Greenfield and others have also attempted to end water fluoridation.

Natick: http://www.fluoridation.com/natick.htm

Wilmington: https://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/wilmington.erickson.2000.pdf

Despite public interest, Massachusetts state law fails to allow either municipalities or residents a path to opt out of fluoridation, instead allowing only a referendum 90 days after any Board of Health increase in fluoride.

Instead of an opt out, the Commonwealth subsidizes a coalition that promotes fluoride and that enjoys conferences, prestige, and marketing. Municipalities pay as well. Opting into fluoridation costs Holyoke, for example, about $30,000 a year. More than half of the state, including Boston, has fluoridated water.

State-funded Better Oral Health Massachusetts Commission: http://massoralhealth.org/community-water-fluoridation/

MA statistics: https://www.mass.gov/doc/massachusetts-communities-receiving-communities-water-fluoridation/download

Worse, in 2020 the US National Toxicology Program released a report finding that fluoride is a cognitive hazard. Children deserve protection, in particular infants and the unborn who are most vulnerable.

Other populations of special concern include individuals with kidney disease.

While the National Toxicology Program (NTP) focused on neurotoxicity, other reviews are under consideration, such as on cancer and endocrine disruption.

Linda S. Birnbaum, former director of the NTP: https://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/tsca.supplement.appendix-e.11-4-20.pdf

NTP Report: http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/about_ntp/bsc/2015/december/meetingmaterial/fluoride_508.pdf

The American Dental Association (ADA) continues to support and market fluoride to its members and the public, likely because the ADA receives numerous annual product certification fees for the ADA seal. Industry also has a strong financial incentive, as fluoride sold for water fluoridation would otherwise need to be disposed of as a toxic chemical. Fluoride added to water supplies is the same as that emitted by coal-fired plants, incinerators, aluminum production, and cigarette smoke as noted in an EPA fact sheet — it is not a natural product.

ADA seal products: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products.

EPA fact sheet: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-10/documents/hydrogen-fluoride.pdf

Several nonprofits, such as the Fluoride Action Network and Food and Water Watch, have gone to trial to get the EPA to acknowledge fluoride as a neurotoxin. As Dr. Michael Connett testified: “We have 4 high quality cohort studies. Each has found associations between early life exposures to fluoride and lowered IQ…by around 5 IQ points. The effect size rivals the neurotoxic effects of lead.”

During the trial, the judge appeared to support the plaintiffs, noting that the standard of evidence is of high quality and asking whether the EPA could conduct a proper review and, if not, noting the judge has the power to rule against the EPA.

The EPA did not call its own scientists to testify, instead calling Exponent consultants with limited expertise. EPA scientists have in the past complained that their findings on fluoride have been diminished and politicized, such as in senior vice-president of an EPA union described in 2000 testimony to the US Senate.

EPA testimony: https://fluoridealert.org/fan-tv/hirzy/

Trial review and documents: https://fluoridealert.org/issues/tsca-fluoride-trial/

The passage of fluoridated water into wild streams is even an issue for fish, such as a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports. An Ottawa review of several studies concludes fluoride may have various environmental effects such as altering soil microbial populations or reducing egg laying reproduction.

NOAA study: https://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/pesticides/fluoride.salmon.noaa.1993.htm

Ottawa review: https://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/canada.cadth-report.feb_.2019.pdf

Fluorosis, caused by years of fluoridated water or excess exposure, results in brittle bones.

According to state statistics, towns with a long history of water fluoridation have a much higher rate of hip fractures. For example, Amherst, fluoridated since 1987, has a rate of 671 while Colrain, which is not fluoridated, has a rate of 147 per 100,000 of elderly (over age 60).

State statistics similarly show worse rates for fluoridated communities with respect to asthma ER visits, mental or physical disability, and deaths from diabetes or heart conditions.

Questions remain regarding whether fluoride is useful at all. Data from the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) of 39,207 school children showed zero relationship between cavities and water fluoridation.

Review of data: http://www.icnr.com/articles/national-fluoride-tooth-decay-study.html

Initial studies, on which claims rely, were poorly done. 97% of Europe does not use water fluoridation, yet the Europeans are not complaining of losing teeth.

Europe: http://fluoridealert.org/content/europe-statements/

If any dental benefit exists, this is accomplished by topical application, not by ingestion. Insistence on water fluoridation is therefore not only harmful, but odd.

Aside: This remaining petition still needs signatures to show support.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

RESEARCH RELATED TO CHILDREN

7 studies indicate formula-fed infants and fetuses are most vulnerable to fluoride toxicity. The most recent 2019 Canadian study found formula-fed infants had an IQ drop. https://fluoridealert.org/issues/tsca-fluoride-trial/the-mother-offspring-studies/

With increased serum F in the mother, there is an inclination towards pre term delivery, low birth weight and poor APGAR count. http://fluoridealert.org/studytracker/15518/

Passing through placental barriers, the fluorine exposure of pregnant rats can have a certain effect on the learning and memory capabilities of baby rats, and it may be related to SOD activity and MDA content in the brain. http://fluoridealert.org/studytracker/16621/

This pilot study in a community with stable lifetime fluoride exposures supports the notion that fluoride in drinking water may produce developmental neurotoxicity, and that the dose-dependence underlying this relationship needs to be characterized in detail. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25446012 (The Mayo Clinic warns against fluoridated water for babies).

Thyroid significantly changed in children exposed to fluoride: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24455464

These results indicate that high iodine and high fluorine exert severe damage to human body. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7859263

Thus, fully formula-fed infants consuming mother milk substitutes prepared with optimally fluoridated water may be at increased risk of dental fluorosis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21554919

IQ drop: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038039

It was found that excessive use of the fluoride toothpaste doubled the fluorosis risk, whereas when fluoride supplements (tablets, drops) were given the risk was about 20 times higher than without a fluoride supplement. . . [And also fluoridated water is rejected and recommended to be ended ASAP because of “preventive, toxicological, psychological and didactic reasons.”] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11791200

Conclusions related to fluoride and heart trouble in children: Endemic fluorosis is a risk factor for decrease in calcium and FT4 levels, increase in sodium levels and QT prolongation. These findings might be related with some cardiovascular system dysfunctions such as arrhythmias or syncope. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21342861

(Mice pups neurologically damaged): Fluoride exposure significantly increased its accumulation, lipid peroxidation and decreased the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase and glutathione levels in discrete regions of the central nervous system (CNS) of pups indicating oxidative stress and inhibited antioxidant defense. The results implied the vulnerability of developing CNS to fluoride toxicity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21341542

This study discusses fluoride as a risk factor for anemia in pregnancy and low-birth weight babies: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/199829.php It mentions how B-12 is suppressed by fluoride.

A recent study found fluoride passes through amniotic fluid to the fetus: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-020-00581-2

Natural sources of fluoride are endemic in India, which has thus spent money to research reduction and upon toxic effects. Here is one study on children, fluoride, and thyroid showing impacts: http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/susheela-2005.pdf

IMMUNE/CHEMICAL CHANGES — inflammation, apoptosis, etc.:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24456662
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22422340
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20536340
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24907160 (changes in blood count)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22004959

Fluoride damages organs: “Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence that ER stress and inflammation would be novel and significant mechanisms responsible for fluoride-induced disturbance of spermatogenesis and germ cell loss in addition to oxidative stress.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23707774

BRITTLE BONES

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7560402

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1640574 (Utah)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8827156 (USA)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10675073 (England, 1 ppm)

Patients with skeletal fluorosis compared to fluoridated sheep, who had “a significant decrease in both cortical and trabecular bones.” Also, “reminiscent of those found in osteoporotic patients with treatment-induced fluorosis. Mechanical testing revealed a significant decrease in the bending strength, concurrent with the clinical observation of fragility fractures in sheep within an area of environmental fluoride exposure.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24777741

ARTHRITIS

Previous researchers have found fluoride causes fluorosis, which shows as white or brown spots on teeth. Skeletal fluorosis causes arthritic symptoms within 5 years of drinking fluoridated water, according to calculations presented in the journal Fluoride in 1997, issue 30, page 4 (discussion), and worsen with continued consumption.

CANCER

Here is a review on cancers and a drop-down menu for other illnesses including prenatal problems: http://fluoridealert.org/issues/health/cancer/

THYROID

This very recent, large-scale study utilizes English thyroid statistics and strongly confirms thyroid impacts, with hypothyroidism resulting (England mandates this reporting, and so the statistics have accuracy): https://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/peckham-2015.pdf

SKIN RASH

Vulvar Pagets disease: recovery without surgery following change to very low-fluoride spring and well water

QUESTIONING FLUORIDE

Failure of fluoride varnishes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24481085

Why I Changed my Mind About Water Fluoridation pp. 29-44 | DOI: 10.1353/pbm.1997.0017 — John Colquhoun (John C. was the principal dental officer for Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and later studies fluoridation world-wide.) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9394474/

After studying dental health world-wide, John Colquhoun, D.D.S., Ph.D., stated he’d erred in assuming fluoride improved teeth because, while world-wide dental health improved, it had comparatively worsened in fluoridated communities.

COMMONWEALTH STATISTICS

The following statistics seem to have vanished, but formerly were online through the MA government website:

MA TOWN HIP FRACTURE STATISTICS for ages 60+ per 100,000:

3 towns in W. MA fluoridate. About 140 towns in Mass. fluoridate in total, many big cities.

855 Holyoke (fluoridated since 1970–note poor nutrition increases fluoride/toxin absorption–likely poor nutrition common in Holyoke)

671 Amherst (F. since 1987)

646 Longmeadow (F. since 1989)

vs.

491 Easthampton (non-fluoridated)

442 Springfield (non-fluoridated)

147 Colrain (non-fluoridated rural town, away from industrial pollution, which includes fluoride)

DEATH RATES FROM DIABETES: Decades-long fluoridated Holyoke worse than non-fluoridated Springfield, Chicopee, and rest of state.

DEATH RATES FROM HEART DISEASE: Same comment as above.

ASTHMA ER VISITS: Fluoridated Holyoke three times as bad as most of western MA, excepting Springfield at just about same level. 1.7%–Springfield ER same, just about.

555 OF AGE 65-74 have PHYSICAL DISABILITY (Worse than rest of MA–21.6% vs. 17.5 for state)

168 OF AGE 65-74 have MENTAL DISABILITY (6.5% Holyokers vs. 4.9% state)

Divide & Co-Opt

 

 

Divide & Co-Opt: $hit

By Kirstin Beatty

 

On every issue, there are powerful forces united against change. The liability or potential financial collapse of  any business sector means that there are both personal (investments, job) and corporate interests in continuing the status quo, and so both individuals and corporations have an interest in undermining regulations and legal action, and in promoting half-baked solutions.

I believe it is worthwhile to examine strategies to divide and rule, which may include:

    • relying on deep pockets and media to drown out other voices
    • promoting legislation or actions that distract or accomplish nothing or, worse, cause harm
    • lobbying for ideas and bills which drown out better options
    • encouraging wasteful spending, leaving little for useful purchase
    • undermining funds, communications, and support for industry opponents
    • capturing all data and communications so as to identify opposition and potential problems
    • preventing alliances that could challenge the propaganda
    • generating propaganda, mixing truths with lies to confuse
    • paying for technology or actors to pretend popular support exists for the industry action
    • promoting half-measures which fail to address the systemic problem and thus protect financial interests
    • relying on industry-funded consultants and experts to undermine grassroots opposition by using the authority of their position and elitism
    • building loyalty to industry-preferred leaders through media, funding, professionalism, favors, etc.
      • In other words, the fully-funded industry-preferred leader is able to provide favors, gifts, salaries, and professional materials, etc., which impress the community even when the goals are misdirected and the favors far cheaper than sincere action
    • co-opting movements, promoting only those willing to cooperate with a misdirection or a false leader
    • using industry-planted leaders or tools to:
      • demand fealty and obedience to terrible ideas as a matter of ‘personal’ loyalty
      • demand an end to questions and criticism as a matter of ‘personal’ or ‘tribal’ loyalty
      • eliminate deep discussion & preventing contacts among various advocates
      • provide different directions to people who expect and know more versus to those who know little
      • capture communications and people to identify targets and grassroots plans
      • sow distrust, hate, and drama to undermine unity

The biggest threat is outsize influence through outsize wealth. There needn’t be any planning at all for a single wealthy person to co-opt or destroy a movement, since wealth easily drowns out other ideas.

A wealthy person can easily smear anyone, as Juan Cole suggests with his GoogleSmear article. Wealth can easily manipulate trending articles and social expression through fake accounts, identify theft, paid influencers, and online harassment as evidenced in 2018 by Mexican political parties. Corporations are also using deceptive practices – propaganda. Marketing campaigns, press, bots, and trolls are paid, not volunteers.

The influence of wealth may be hard to recognize. Bill Gates was the driving force for school computers and the major funding source behind the Common Core.  Whether or not you like school computers or the Core, this outsize influence is fundamentally undemocratic and bypasses parents and teachers except under the artifice of details, rather than the larger picture. Gates’ foundation has come under criticism as well for promoting corporate globalization in health and agriculture.

Stories making the news today show that corporations are willing to pay to undermine the voice of the People, not only with bots.  The following stories are factual and should be taken as a reminder to learn from history and the recent past.

Examples where industry was caught causing trouble include (1) faking emails from citizens to the government; (2) using actors to load town meetings; (3) spying on local groups, such as PG&E spying in California; (4) paying for fake science and testimony (5) paying for fake independent news, smear campaigns, and disinformation (wireless, climate, Covid19, pesticides, autism, benzene, etc.) – marketing campaigns undermine what is fair in democracy by favoring wealthy interests & astroturfing.

Soon well-funded, realistic telephone AI may fake being local voters speaking on behalf of business interests.

Troublesome nonprofits may also be fronts for wealthy contributor and have fake membership, like Massachusetts Parents United as identified by Maurice Cunningham. Cunningham critiques Boston papers for failing to vet claims and funders.

Media fails to call out industry sponsorship or public relations ‘news’ while allowing targeting and baseless, bizarre, one-sided attacks – such as a NY Times article insulting science on wireless dangers as a propaganda tool of the Russians, coincidentally when a major Times stockholder holds a major telecommunication company and is considered ruthless, a criminal. Billionaires rule.

Shaming of questions and criticism prevents building local community, shared goals, and political movements, and impairs advocacy and corporate regulation. Such insults foster lies and fake conspiracies, shielding corporations from deep investigations of real conspiracies.

In closing, please see the home page for some recommended actions.

 

To Investigate or Not to Investigate? Commission Bills 101.

The merit of a political investigation depends on the state — limits and alternatives are recommended

Since outcomes of past wireless health risk investigations have varied by state as follows, an amendment, here, has been drafted for bill S.186 in Massachusetts:

    • New Hampshire – successful acknowledgment of risks and suggestions for improvements by the committee, but yet little has been done to address the problem
    • Oregon – nothing to see, according to failed investigation, but advocates are using this event for public accusations of corruption

In New York, Doug Wood of Grassroots Communications states he has  a positive impression of the legislature and the intentions for two similar investigation bills in the NY Assembly (A6448) and Senate (S5926). This bill must be followed by interested New Yorkers to determine whether continued public support is warranted.

The success of such a bill depends on political integrity. In many states, political pressures would likely interfere. Popular support forced the Oregon bill forward, but backroom deals watered down the bill such as by omitting all animal studies from consideration.

Even if a bill states that appointees must be ‘experts’ on issues, the industry has consultants & nonprofits at the ready who can claim expertise in nearly any topic, whether or not sincere. Rather than trust, safeguards must exist to prevent industry influence.

The same risk is true for an existing Massachusetts bill, An Act for Disclosure of Radiofrequency Notifications (S. 186), sponsored by Senator Cyr, which could backfire since technology interests are powerful in Massachusetts and political leadership has been accused of making backroom deals in their favor.

In 2020 other advocates pushed the bill forward, but Last Tree Laws and I campaigned against the MA bill and direct & indirect appointments by our state governor, who has been widely accused of favoring utility and broadband interests. Neither could the state legislature, now facing a popular campaign charging lack of transparency and integrity, be an expected savior.

The current Massachusetts bill has been modified somewhat, but if the bill passes in 2022 Governor Charlie Baker would still determine most appointments, and he has a history of favoring industry.

In New Hampshire, the lack of action may be due to the lack of participation on the committee by powerful groups such as unions – such inclusion would increase awareness and political pressure.

In sum, due to political pressures, an investigation bill with substantial political appointments or few powerful members is likely to have a less than gratifying outcome in most states.

To investigate or not to investigate?

The claim is that an investigation provides impetus for change, through education and publicity. Certainly, if grounded in sincerity, that is true.

Yet, technically, Massachusetts legislators have learned about this issue from testimony in public hearings and directly from constituents, and constituents can even easily access and share expert online presentations.

In Massachusetts, when environmental health issues have been at odds with economics, popular demand has pushed issues to the forefront and not legislative investigative commissions. Examples such as halting the gas pipeline, halting biomass facilities, quitting dangerous pesticide use, shutting down nuclear energy facilities demonstrate legislative action results from popular demands rather than legislative commissions.

Setting a new precedent where action requires a “commission” where legislators can become experts as educated by other experts I think is rather disingenuous. This precedent is a delaying tactic.

Passage of a bill generally takes two years in Massachusetts. This means focusing on an investigation bill could mean waiting two years for a commission, and more years for action on other bills. That delay could be used by industry to protect assets and otherwise limit justice, such as further degrading constituent power. Therefore, I advocate for more direct, concrete bills for change, such as listed under the MA Legislation page.

Adapting a Wireless Investigation Bill for Good Purpose

If choosing to adapt a wireless investigation bill, then there are several options to limit political pressure.

One option is to balance political appointees with independent, outside groups. Selection is critical! Outside groups with good reputation, fairly independent of the issue, should make the majority of the appointments to reduce politics or charges of prejudice.

Board members of the group and donation dependence needs to be vetted. Big organizations may have big donors that are a conflict of interest, and hierarchy may prevent the members from much say. The Audubon Society allows each state branch independence — so it depends on how each independent version is run. Money is influential even for ‘nonprofits’ and board members can change.

Other ideas to increase independence include limiting the connections of appointees to industry.

Below is one draft I worked on in 2020 which may be useful for comparison and ideas, especially on limiting conflicts of interest. Most commissions have 12 or fewer appointees, but this draft has a great number of appointees for consideration.

I never finished, and instead broke down the bill to focus on a commission for security and emergency services, as listed alongside bills on the MA legislation page. One reason is a smaller commission is easier to define. Secondly, I felt that was an issue on which research has not been synthesized, where education is needed, and where there is a greater balance of power is needed to counteract politics. Thirdly, police and security forces are treated with respect if only due to fear, and the union remains powerful. For this reason, I felt a commission to examine the impact of technology on emergency and security services could be useful and lead to positive changes.

DRAFT: An Electromagnetic (Wireless, Electricity) Investigation

Prepared by Kirstin Beatty (Beatty.fyi, co-chair of Last Tree Laws)
Updated version from 2 December 2020

SECTION 1. Whereas, other countries and some states have chosen to limit or ban certain exposures to wireless or electrical frequencies.

Whereas, reputable, peer-reviewed evidence shows wireless frequencies may cause or promote cancer, heart disease, and learning problems – such as research on cancer by the U.S. National Toxicology Program.

Whereas, peer-reviewed science associates certain types of electric exposures with cancer, infertility, and miscarriage.

Whereas, Massachusetts residents would benefit from a review of the science and potential solutions free of influence from corporate and political interests.

Whereas, the following investigative commission reduces political pressure by diversifying who appoints, restricting appointments by politicians, and setting limits on conflicts of interest.

SECTION 2. Resolved, Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission, hereafter called the commission, to research the impact of electromagnetic (EMR) radiation ranging from zero to 300 Ghz, with respect to consumer protection, public health, and the environment to determine, if detrimental, how to equitably allay environmental and health impacts.

(a) Commission objectives. The commission shall convene no later than 60 days following enactment in order to research and review non-industry-funded and peer-reviewed science regarding EMR, inviting comment from medical and scientific experts independent of industry.

If concerns are deemed warranted, the commission shall with respect to safer housing, utilities, business, public health, environment, and telecommunications:

(i) identify and review the current state laws, regulations, and administrative directives; (ii) identify the key sectors and regions that would best benefit from improved legislation, regulations, and administrative directives;
(iii) secondarily, as time allows, identify same at the federal level;
(iv) identify funding sources for recommendations;
(v) require the department of housing and economic development to submit reports to the legislature it obtains from cellular and cellular technology companies;
(vi) set a schedule, dividing into smaller committees as warranted to meet objectives; (vii) invite testimony from other experts as useful; and
(viii) may accept public testimony.

The commission shall submit a report of its findings, or a series of reports, including any draft legislation and regulations, to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate within 16 months of the passage of this act.

(b) Transparency. The commission’s meetings and communications shall be recorded and subject to the Massachusetts open meeting laws so as to be transparent.

(c) Formation and resources.The Office of the Governor shall organize and support the commission arrangements. The chairperson or chairpersons shall with the commission members set a meeting schedule. Commission members shall elect a chair by majority vote, who may be replaced at any time upon majority vote. If the commission members break into smaller committees, the same process shall apply. Commission member attendance and expert testimony by videoteleconference or telephone shall be allowed.

The commission shall be assisted by and have access to all the resources available to the legislature and the executive branch in its investigations.

(d) The commission shall have the following composition:

(a) The Attorney General or designee;
(b) A nominee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association or Boston Teachers Union;
(c) A nominee of the Massachusetts School Nurse Association;
(c) One union member nominated by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO;
(d) One telecommunications worker representative nominated by the Communications Workers of America;
(e) One doctor nominated by the American Environmental Academy of Medicine;
(f) One scientist nominated by the Silent Spring Institute;
(g) One doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Medical Society, ideally with expertise in either cancer, neuroscience, or infertility;
(h) One scientist nominated by New England-based Community Action Works, formerly the Toxics Action Center;
(i) One pediatric doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics;
(j) One doctor nominated by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility;
(k) One doctor or scientists nominated by the Environmental Health Trust [or Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition];
(l) One representative or lawyer nominated by the Massachusetts Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action;
(m) 2 representatives nominated by the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union;
(n) 2 nominees from the Institute of Building Biology & Sustainable IBN
(o) A representative of the State House selected by the Speaker of the House;
(p) A senator of the State Senate selected by the President of the Senate;
(q) A representative of small business appointed by the governor;
(r) 3 non-voting members appointed by governor:
Telecommunications representative;
Medical system representative;
Engineer in wireless networks;
(s) 4 non-voting commissioners, directors, or their designees for the following departments:
Public Health;
Telecommunications and Cable;
Technical Assistance and Technology Office;
Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation.

(e) Conflicts of interest. No member, except a non-voting member, or spouse of voting member of the Commission shall have a history involving current telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility industry clients or job dependency; nor shall any voting member have a current investment portfolio with conflicts of interest in the areas of energy, telecommunications, IT, or utilities. No voting member or spouse of a voting member of the Commission shall receive funding or a job from telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility sectors in the two years following the commission’s final report. All commission members must file a statement detailing any relevant conflicts of interest as specified, including activities in relation to immediate family and extended family members. Copies must be freely available for viewing by the public. These statements must be filed with the Secretary of State during the commission period and in the two years following closure of the commission.

Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote only of all members with voting status.

Only members deemed voting members may author commission reports. Any commission member deemed a non-voting member shall recuse himself or herself from any commission votes to decide or influence the commission reports, and shall instead serve only to assist the commission. Any nominee with conflicts of interest intended as a voting member shall recuse himself or herself from nomination, except insofar as the nominee’s job represents a conflict of interest, is specified in subsection (d), and the individual is not described as non-voting.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE LEGISLATION IN DRAFT FOR 2021

 

 

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