On February 2nd, 2020, the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed an historic case against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), challenging its decision not to review its 25-year-old radio-frequency emissions (“RF”) guidelines which regulate the radiation emitted by wireless technology devices (such as cell phones and iPads) and infrastructure (cell towers, Wi-Fi and smart-meters), and to promulgate biologically and evidence-based guidelines that adequately protect public health.
In 1996, the FCC adopted guidelines which only protect consumers from adverse effects occurring at levels of radiation that cause thermal effects (temperature change in tissue), while ignoring substantial evidence of profound harms from pulsed and modulated RF radiation at non-thermal levels. The FCC hasn’t reviewed its guidelines or the evidence since, despiteclear scientific evidence of harm and growing rates of RF-related sickness.
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office of Congress published a reportrecommending that the FCC re-assess its guidelines. As a result, in 2013 the FCC published an inquiry to decide whether the guidelines should be reviewed. It opened docket 13-84 for the public to file comments. Thousands of comments and scientific evidence by scientists, medical organizations and doctors, as well as hundreds of comments by people who have become sick from this radiation were filed in support of new rules. Nevertheless, on December 4, 2019, the FCC closed the docket and published its decision, affirming the adequacy of its guidelines without proper assessment of the comments or the evidence.
The FCC decision provided the first opportunity in 25 years to challenge the agency in court, expose its fecklessness, and give a voice to those who have been injured by the FCC’s disregard for human health. The lawsuit, called a Petition for Review, contends that the agency’s decision is arbitrary, capricious, not evidence-based, an abuse of discretion and in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
CHD’s lawsuit was joined by nine individual Petitioners. (Plaintiffs are referred to as petitioners in such lawsuits.) They include Professor David Carpenter MD, a world-renowned scientist and public health expert who is also the co-editor of the BioInitiative Report, the most comprehensive review of the science on RF effects; physicians who see the sickness caused by wireless radiation in their clinics; and a mother whose son died of a cell-phone related brain tumor.
CHD’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. However it was transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit where it was joined with a similar lawsuit filed by the Environmental Health Trust (EHT) and Consumers for Safe Cell Phones. The main brief and the reply brief were filed jointly by all Petitioners. CHD’s case was initiated and led by Dafna Tachover Esq. The attorneys representing CHD are Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD’s Chairman, and Scott McCollough, who is the lead attorney for the Case. Scott is a seasoned telecommunications and administrative law attorney