WASHINGTON-The U.S. wireless industry, responding to the global proliferation of media
coverage of mobile phone health concerns and to Internet-savvy activists, is leading an effort to create a worldwide
information-sharing network to counter negative publicity.

The Wireless Industry Global Information Network, or
WIN, held its first meeting Dec. 10 in London. The gathering attracted 34 attendees, including people from nine
industry trade associations, 12 network operators and three manufacturers.

In all, Australia, Austria, Canada,
Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, New Zealand and Norway were

Jo-Anne Basile, who manages health issues for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association,
led the discussion.

“I see our WIN project as a very positive effort to improve communications on a global
basis,” said Basile.

Basile said the formation of WIN comes in recognition of the global evolution of wireless
products and services and the fact “science is not constrained by geographic borders.”

She said CTIA is
supporting the World Health Organization’s RF health project, headed by Dr. Michael Repacholi.

In addition to
Basile, other U.S. speakers at the meeting included Norman Sandler and Dr. Mays Swicord of Motorola

“Might does not make right,” said Libby Kelley, executive director of the EMF Network, a well-
organized and outspoken group of citizens that believe the wireless industry and federal government are not doing
enough to ensure the safety of mobile phones.

EMF Network members, organized labor and others have challenged
the Federal Communications Commission’s radio-frequency radiation exposure guidelines in a lawsuit pending before a
federal appeals court in New York City. A date for oral argument has not been set.

“We don’t need to market
to citizens,” said Kelley. “They understand health and safety issues are being ignored and the value of life
is being inadequately evaluated as infrastructure is built out.”

The EMF Network’s reach extends far beyond
U.S. borders. The organization communicates with other RF health activists from around the world. Together, they
share information and develop strategy via the Internet with other RF health activists.

WIN is the global wireless
industry’s answer to the EMF network.

But it is even more than that.

WIN, at least for U.S. mobile phone service
providers, represents a fundamental shift in how they apparently intend to deal with nagging questions about whether
mobile phones cause brain cancer or other illnesses.

Until recently, the wireless industry has responded to the health
issue as a domestic matter. CTIA members poured $25 million into a research project conducted by Wireless
Technology Research that produced little in the way of fresh data after five years.

Motorola, for its part, has
conducted or sponsored various RF cancer studies in recent years.

The global approach to RF health issue
management taken by CTIA’s Basile appears to be at least partially at odds with the direction recommended by WTR
Chairman George Carlo.

Carlo said he strongly believes reviewing scientific literature and conducting biological
research is important, but not enough in a nation that boasts a universe of 65 million mobile phone subscribers and
growing daily.

Carlo said U.S. wireless carriers and manufacturers need to put a market surveillance structure in
place that would swiftly identify any health problems and trigger intervention.

The absence of such a post-WTR
structure and of a concrete industry show of commitment to the health issue could invite federal regulation, Carlo

Carlo was expected to make recommendations for market surveillance at WTR’s Second State of the
Science Colloquium early next month, but the conference has been rescheduled to precede the annul
Bioelectromagnetics Society meeting, June 21-42, in Long Beach, Calif.

The wireless industry, backed by scientists,
says the overwhelming body of research suggests mobile phones do not pose a health risk.

Yet some studies have
found DNA breaks and higher rates of cancer in laboratory rats exposed to mobile phone-like RF radiation. Activists
have latched onto those studies in the debate.

Health concerns about mobile phones, while loud and persistent at
local zoning board meetings, have not made their way into the mainstream U.S. press for the most part.

Such is not
the case in England, Australia and other countries where stories about mobile health concerns and prospective lawsuits
are splashed on the front pages of newspapers.

As such, Basile said WIN wants to be able to better respond to media
inquiries about mobile phone health and safety issues.


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