How to think about the risks of mobile phones and Wi-Fi

Aug 19, 2016

By Jack Stilgoe

The US Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein has come under fire for supposedly ‘anti-science’ statements relating to the risks of vaccines, genetically modified crops and electromagnetic fields from Wi-Fi. She said that there were ‘real questions’ about the dangers of vaccines, that GM foods have ‘not been proven safe’ and that ‘more more research is needed’ on the risks of electromagnetic fields.

For many American liberals, who have often feel that science is on their side in an increasingly polarised political war, her statements seem like a betrayal. While she is hardly endorsing a conspiracy, Stein is a Harvard-trained doctor and she is expected to know that these things are pretty safe.

As with climate change, it is tempting to claim that the science is certain, the evidence is clear and the debate should move on. Things are rarely so black-and-white. In politics, the facts don’t speak for themselves, so it falls to experts to make sense of the shades of grey.


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3 comments on “How to think about the risks of mobile phones and Wi-Fi

  • The Hillary-hating Stein is pandering to a marginal constituency – people who are absolutely convinced that vaccines and radio waves fry their children’s brains – in the hope of turning 2% into 2.5%. It’s a lesson about the nature of people who become professional politicians: they’re egomaniacal freaks who desperately need to win, and every vote is food for their insatiable narcissism and Messiah complex.

    What kind of true-believing ideologue would vote for Dr. Klein, and take votes away from Ms. Clinton? Stein, whose hatred of Hillary is really quite intense, lights up like a Christmas tree whenever someone criticizes her imaginary rival; and she likes to talk about the rigged system and the revolution, while she praises Brexit and equivocates about homeopathy.

    We need gradualism and pragmatism, not phony promises. Jill Stein is an under qualified Hillary-bashing psychopath playing on people’s emotions. (No, she ain’t as bad as Trump.)



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  • “She said that there were ‘real questions’ about the dangers of vaccines, that GM foods have ‘not been proven safe’ and that ‘more more research is needed’ on the risks of electromagnetic fields.”
    That reads like a quote from a “Yes Minister” script. The one where Sir Humphrey is coaching Jim Hacker on how to discredit a report on the safety of an industrial process. The only real problem Jim has with the process is that it uses “Metadioxin” a perfectly safe chemical. Jim’s worry is that any mention of dioxin is a certain vote loser!



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