"We, the undersigned, hereby petition and demand that the FDA investigate the agency's public comments regarding the NTP's study of wireless radiation and the documented adverse health effects associated with chronic exposure. We believe the agency acquiesced to industry demands in downplaying the results of the study, and failed to complete the required risk assessment due to a conflict of interest on the part of Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, Director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The American people have a right to know that scientists found "clear evidence" of cancer from such exposure, and therefore caution should be exercised with regard to wireless radiation."
We are petitioning the FDA's Ombudsman for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Abiy Desta, to investigate the FDA's public announcements regarding the results of the NTP study and the safety of wireless radiation because of a clear conflict of interest by the Center's Director, Jeffrey Shuren. Here's why:
In 1999 the U.S. National Toxicology Program ("NTP"), a division of the National Institutes of Health, initiated a study on the biological impacts of wireless radiation. According to the NTP, the purpose of the study was to "help clarify any potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to cell phone radiation, and to pave the way to better protection for public health....The studies are designed
to simulate the exposures of cell phone users in the United States."
The NTP spent $30 million taxpayer dollars on the study. When it was finished, the results were dramatic: researchers found "clear evidence" that chronic exposure to wireless radiation is linked to an increased risk of cancer and DNA damage.
Jeffrey Shuren, the Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health ("CDRH"), whose wife is a partner at a law firm that works for the wireless companies, issued a statement downplaying the results of the study. Despite its intended design, Dr. Shuren insisted that the results did not apply to humans, only to the animals used in the study.
Shuren stated that the study didn't simulate normal human exposure to cell phone radiation (even though this was the stated purpose of the study), and that the animals in the study experienced "whole body" exposures, whereas humans do not.
But an expert peer-review panel disagreed. And Dr. Ronald Melnick, the lead designer of the study, stated, “The selection of the highest exposure levels in the NTP studies was based on the same criterion used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish exposure guidelines for radio-frequency radiation."
And of course, "whole body" exposures are exactly the kinds of exposures millions of Americans will be subjected to from the proliferation of small cell antennas being installed in close proximity to homes and apartments across the country.
Nevertheless, Dr. Shuren's comments were cited as the basis of the FCC's recent decision not to change its decades-old wireless exposure guidelines, despite the growing body of independent, peer-reviewed science proving biological harm.
In conclusion, Jeffrey Shuren should have recused himself from commenting on the NTP study because he and his wife profit handsomely from the wireless industry. This clear conflict of interest was not disclosed to the public, and must be investigated by the FDA's CDRH Ombudsman. Furthermore, the FDA must immediately conduct the required quantitative risk assessment so that the FCC can develop health-protective standards for human exposure to wireless radiation.