By Warren Woodward, Sedona Resident
(July 12, 2013)
APS recently submitted a bunch of studies to the Arizona Corporation Commission’s “smart” meter docket. The study by the official and impressive sounding “Maine Center for Disease Control” is a standout in terms of shear hogwash. As I wrote in my response below, it’s “… so poorly done that one can only wonder at APS’s grasp on reality….” Researching the Maine report, I was able to find some of the internal emails of the players involved. It is both shocking and sad to think such people have been put in charge of making any decisions that would have an effect on the health of others.
July 11, 2013
Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328
APS’s recent submission to the “smart” meter docket contains more of the same deception, lies and misinformation that have characterized APS on this subject for the last several years.
The studies APS has submitted are either funded by industry or by government “smart” meter promoting agencies or both. Some of these reports, such as the CCST, Tell Associates and Texas PUC reports have already been debunked by me. (here: http://images.edocket.azcc.gov/docketpdf/0000146288.pdf )
Interestingly, some of the reports APS submitted are the very same ones submitted recently by ACC staff. Maybe we should just turn the ACC keys over to APS and be done with it.
This letter will focus on the preposterous and pitifully inadequate Maine CDC report, which is so poorly done that one can only wonder at APS’s grasp on reality for having included it in their submission.
Basically the report was put together and rushed through by people who had not even a superficial knowledge of “smart” meters – and that’s putting it kindly.
Internal emails of the “Maine CDC Smart Meters Team”, obtained via Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, are quite revealing and very damaging. I have enclosed all the emails which were posted at the Maine Public Utilities Commission docket by the law firm of Taylor, McCormack & Frame. I have also selected some of the more salient email quotes for inclusion in this letter. There are such tid-bits as confused and conflicted Maine CDC director Dora Mills saying after the report went out that, “I never said “smart meters are safe” ….”
First however, I want to address something APS’s lawyer wrote in the introduction to his submitted reports. He wrote:
“APS would remind the Commission that the Company has already provided expert testimony to the Commission in the form of a presentation made by Dr. Leeka Kheifets, a world-renowned epidemiologist from UCLA, at the Commission’s Workshop of September 8, 2011. The opponents of AMI [“smart” meters] have yet to provide any live witness on the subject, let alone an expert with credentials comparable to those of Dr. Kheifets.”
Oh right, and I would remind the Commission that, at the meeting he mentions, APS employees were treated as honored guests, pitched softball questions, given their own table and chairs at the front, their own individual microphones and as much time as they wanted to spew their propaganda and trot out their hired “scientist”, Kheifets, whose “presentation” was nothing more than a power-point rehash of the discredited CCST report, while the rest of us, “the opponents of AMI”, had to sit in the peanut gallery and use a communal mike at which we got a mere three minutes apiece. We were not given the opportunity to do a “presentation”.
I do agree with the APS lawyer that Leeka Kheifits is “world-renowned” – world-renowned as a fraud. Read “The Real Junk Science of EMFs: Stop Electric Field Cancer Research, Say Industry Scientists” ). Her work is described as “worse than junk science, it’s fraud.”
The APS lawyer’s crack about how “The opponents of AMI have yet to provide any live witness on the subject …” is typical arrogance of the corporate rich who can afford to buy whomever they want. Give me a fraction of the money available to monopoly APS – and more than three minutes to present them – and I’ll fly in several day’s worth of “live witnesses”. But actually, the “opponents of AMI” had plenty of live and exceedingly expert witnesses at that meeting – the “smart” meter victims made sick from “smart” meter pulsed microwave bombardment.
On now to the Maine CDC report which starts by admitting:
“…the Maine CDC staff involved with this review have not spent their entire careers nor work fulltime in the topic area of health effects of RF radiation.”
When you read the Maine CDC staff’s internal emails, that quote will be seen as an understatement at best. In short, Maine CDC staff were completely at sea on the “smart” meter issue. Their ineptitude is reflected throughout their report, and especially in their emails.
Another admission made in the Maine CDC report:
“ First, our review focused primarily on assessments and studies conducted by agencies we typically rely on for such work, such as government (U.S. and international governments) or government affiliated institutions.”
Governments that subsidize the “smart” grid (U.S. = $3.4 Billion) are not impartial sources. Such governments quite obviously have an agenda they are promoting and cannot be relied upon for truth or objectivity.
Because they were clueless about “smart” meters, the “Maine CDC Smart Meters Team” mostly chose cell phone studies on which to base their findings. While it should be obvious to anyone that using cell phone studies to base an opinion on the health effects of “smart” meters is an apples and oranges comparison, it was not obvious to the Maine CDC.
To clarify, cell phone use is voluntary. “Smart” meters are forced on people. Cell phone use is not 24/7/365. “Smart” meters broadcast almost constantly. Indeed, one of the cell phone studies cited by Maine CDC says “… exposure is also reduced by limiting the number and length of calls.” How do we limit the number and length of “smart” meter broadcasts? We do not have that option with “smart” meters. And cell phones broadcast radiation to the head. With “smart” meter radiation the whole body is exposed.
Making matters worse, the cell phone studies used by Maine CDC are woefully inadequate anyway.
Maine CDC relied heavily on the seriously flawed Interphone cell phone study and other studies which cite the Interphone study. By the way, the Interphone study was partially funded by the cell phone industry itself and various governments that the cell phone industry influences.
To get the happy results they wanted, Interphone “scientists” simply excluded many types of brain tumors. They also excluded people who had passed away, or were too sick to be interviewed as a result of their brain tumor. And they excluded children, who are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation. For a thorough debunking of the Interphone study read Dr, Joseph Mercola’s “Red Alert: Insider Study on Cell Phone Safety Seriously Flawed…” (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/10/how-the-telecom-industry-deceives-you-about-brain-cancer-risk-and-cell-phones.aspx)
Another bogus study in the Maine CDC report is the one done by the impressive sounding International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. From that report:
“Results of epidemiological studies to date give no consistent or convincing evidence of a causal relation between RF exposure and any adverse health effect. On the other hand, these studies have too many deficiencies to rule out an association.”
You’ve got to love that as a perfect example of equivocation. There is “no consistent or convincing evidence” but at the same time we can’t rule it out. Thank goodness people have only two sides of their mouths otherwise they might have thrown in a third diametrically opposed conclusion.
In another example of equivocation, the Health Protection Agency of the United Kingdom definitively states that “ … there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.” Yet in the next paragraph they say, “Some of the published research has produced contradictory results, particularly biology experiments using cell cultures.”
This is science? APS should be embarrassed for wasting everyone’s time with this garbage. Put another way, APS must think the ACC is stupid.
Maine CDC also used a WiFi study from the Health Protection Agency of the United Kingdom. One of its “Key Points” is that, “There is no consistent evidence to date that exposure to RF signals from Wi-Fi and WLANs adversely affect the health of the general population.” Translation: There is in fact evidence.
Trying to appear reasonable, cautious and having the public interest at heart, the Health Protection Agency then expresses the need “to keep the situation under ongoing review” as a “sensible precautionary approach”, and of course they call for more studies. Translation: Let’s just see what happens. We are conducting a live experiment on you.
Maine CDC callously attempts to dismiss persons injured by RF with the following statement:
“The assessments further state that the majority of studies indicated that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals, and that well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure.”
That is total nonsense when you understand how those “majority of studies” are conducted. People were expected to react to an RF source like someone would to a light being turned on and off. “Can you feel it now?” “How about now?” While some people can react instantaneously to RF, many get sick and stay sick in a way comparable to hay fever. Just because the irritating pollen is removed does not mean they recover immediately.
Additionally, phrases such as “majority of studies” are a red flag, a warning that you are about to be misled. Industry has the money to pump out study after study. They have the influence to taint and corrupt government studies as well. Therefore, people doing real, independent research will of course be in the minority. The intent behind phrases such as “majority of studies” is to create doubt surrounding studies that are in the minority and to marginalize them. “Weighing the evidence” is a similar phrase designed to manipulate perception. Like “majority of studies”, it usually means adding up how many studies are on one side and how many are on the other.
You, as Commissioners entrusted with regulating the safety of public utilities, have to ask yourselves if you are prepared to dismiss Arizonans injured by RF as easily and callously as Maine CDC did, and if you are going to put others at risk of becoming injured.
As I have said in the past, these injured people are not psychosomatic hypochondriacs who heard about “smart” meter health issues and then decided that’s what they had. The vast majority of them had no idea what a “smart” meter was or that they had one. It was often only after a long process of suffering and discovery, usually involving many costly visits to ignorant doctors, that some were fortunate enough to figure out what was causing their ailments and to take remedial action – like getting rid of their “smart” meter.
One of the most remarkable disconnects of the Maine CDC report is their inclusion of a FCC report allegedly entitled “Smart Meter FCC Letter” which is supposed to explain how:
“… multiple meters in the same geographical area can only communicate to a controller one at a time, therefore “eliminating the potential for exposure to multiple signals at the same time.””
There are several problems here. First of all the letter is called “Radio Frequency Safety” not “Smart Meter FCC Letter”. The real, actual name of the letter is not surprising since in its 21 pages “smart” meters are never mentioned!
One can only speculate as to why this FCC document was included by Maine CDC. Since the document says nothing at all about “smart” meters or how “smart” meters operate in a mesh network, Maine CDC has completely misrepresented the contents of this letter in their summary.
Perhaps Maine CDC’s manifest dissonance can be understood by a review of their internal emails. In short, these people had no idea what they were doing.
Below is the email of Andy Smith, “Maine’s Toxicologist and the Director of Environmental and Occupational Health Programs”. Upon learning he will be tasked with a “smart” meter report, he basically admits ignorance, and his reluctance to get involved is obvious. Incidentally, in one of the emails Maine CDC director Dora Mills says that Andy is “… terrific, but honestly, this is not his issue.” If that’s the case then why is he on the “Maine CDC Smart Meters Team”? Is it because having the “Toxicologist and Director of Environmental and Occupational Health Programs” lends authority to the report?
“Just a question. Why is it, whether wind power or smart meters or woodsmoke, regardless of whether we have the expertise, we get dragged into the middle. Are we sure we want to get dragged into these. To do so, appropriately remains staffing up with expertise in these areas and we already have a lot on our plates without chasing these type of issues. When is it better to say, “we don’t know”, but would assume the lead agencies involved in the decisions to allow these would know (e.g., DEP, PUC, etc). If people want to give us resources to take these issues on, that’s another matter.”
Likewise, Maine CDC director Dora Mills prefers that the issue just go away. This is not the kind of averse attitude I want in anyone entrusted with public health.
“I wish these issues wouldn’t keep popping up – wind turbines, EMF, etc. Remember the good old days when it was just the tobacco companies?!?!”
In another email Dora Mills mentions that “smart” meters “… only emit radiation frequency about 10% of the time” and that “… smart meters are used at the most, 10% of the time.”
That is an incredible admission. It shows poor Dora has no understanding of the almost constant duty cycle of “smart” meters. Depending on its location in the network, a “smart” meter can broadcast from 10,000 to 190,000 times per day.
“Maine CDC Smart Meters Team” member Jay Hyland, director of the Maine Radiation Control Program, echoes this ridiculous “10% use factor” in some weak calculations he makes about people living next to a bank of meters. He has somewhat of a realization that this could be a problem for such people, but then couches his thoughts as just “playing devil’s advocate”. He then brushes such people aside by concluding that, “Obviously people aren’t home all day, and people aren’t in bed all day….”
Hyland is amazingly shortsighted. Obviously some people are in fact home all day and, indeed, some people are bedridden. Also, the ones that are not will still be subject to smart meter radiation wherever they go in the “smart” meter network, including workplaces that may very well be next to not just one “smart” meter but large banks of meters. Hyland, a supposedly “educated” person in a position of authority, can’t figure this out, even when “playing devil’s advocate”? What a travesty!
It is also worth noting that director Dora Mills makes several complaints in different emails about Hyland being unavailable for most of the time the report was being compiled.
• Mills: “ And, Jay’s reviews of the documents come in late and are extremely brief, leaving me to wonder if he really read through them. I’m not a career radiation expert, so for me to be writing extensively about this topic and to have it under such scrutiny from national and international experts is frightening.”
• Mills: “This is not an isolated issue – I’ve had several important requests for information and advice from Jay go unanswered the past 6 weeks….”
• Mills: “I still have not heard from him – are you sure he’s working on this? It shouldn’t have taken him too long. I wish I had known Jay was going to be too busy to deal with this very critical issue the last 6 weeks.”
The Maine CDC report’s summary misleadingly states that:
“Dr. Mills has also been in contact with her colleagues from other states, including New Mexico (since it is cited in the complaint filed with PUC), and has asked the Complainant for the names of any government health official who is concerned about health effects related to smart meter technologies.”
This creates the impression of thoroughness on the part of Mills and the report. Yet in the internal emails we find Mill’s true assessment of the “colleague” in New Mexico:
“… he does NOT represent the NM Health Department. He works for the injury prevention program there (ie nothing to do with radiation), and works on this issue as a private person in his spare time. He seems to have more interest than expertise in this issue, at least from my communications with him.”
In one email, Andy Smith, the “Toxicologist” on the “Team”, sees the opposition to “smart” meters as “an orchestrated effort” – as if the combined government and utility efforts to “smart” meter the world are not “orchestrated”?! Poor Andy needs to refocus his paranoia.
The emails after the Maine CDC report was released show even more confusion, and a defensive agency in disarray.
• Mills: “Unfortunately, the headlines yesterday were a misquote. I never said “smart meters are safe” ….”
• Mills: “We did not issue a statement saying “smart meters are safe”.”
Hapless Hyland, the “radiation expert”, never did understand how “smart” meters worked, even after supposedly spending about six weeks on the case. Below is what he wrote after the Maine CDC report was released. Revealing his naivety, his email question is addressed to Central Maine Power – as if he would get a straight answer from them!
All he had to do was spend $500 of his agency’s money, buy an HF35C microwave analyzer, get up from his desk, go outside and do a little independent research by actually measuring the broadcasts of a few “smart” meters. He would have found that “smart” meters broadcast almost constantly, not just at night, and that the “regular time table like once per hour” is an industry promoted myth.
“We are still getting a number of calls per day on the smart meters, AMI, project. There is a fair amount of confusion regarding when the meters broadcast, and what the different pieces of the system are expected to do. My understanding is the meters broadcast on some regular time table like once per hour, unless the meters are acting as a repeater for other meters, in which case the first meter would broadcast 6 times per hour, or something of that nature. Could you please let us know what protocol the meters broadcast under? Answering the when, where, why of the broadcast parameters. Is the maximum broadcast amount something like a tenth of a second every second? The statements we have been hearing and reading say things like “they will be operating for 41 minutes a day” and “they will do most of their communicating at night”. While we don’t know specifically where this comes from it would be good to know what the protocol or specifications are, because they operate 10% of the time, could easily fall into either of the above statements.”
Can everyone agree that “protocol or specifications” would have been “good to know” before Maine CDC wrote and submitted their report? Wouldn’t that have been a basic first step?
By the way, Maine Central Power replied by sending him their propaganda from Exponent. Exponent is a scientists-for-hire product liability defense firm.
In his book, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, author David Michaels exposes Exponent, and similar outfits like Gradient. Michaels explains:
“They combine science with public relations to help clients avoid regulation and litigation. I have yet to see a study published by a product-defense firm that conflicts with the needs of the study’s sponsors. The intent is to cast doubt on real science. The industry has deep roots in the fight over tobacco.”
Indeed, APS is currently using video clips of Gradient mercenary scientist Peter Valberg on their website and in their “smart” meter presentations. Valberg is literally a “tobacco scientist” having worked for Phillip Morris in the “light cigarettes” lawsuit.
his is the kind of pseudo-science APS is resorting to – poorly researched reports put together by incompetent bureaucrats such as the Maine CDC, and mercenaries like Kheifets and Valberg.
“Smart” meters are not safe and have not been proven safe. You have heard testimony from plenty of “smart” meter victims. Let’s not have this “smart” meter issue play out worse than it already has. The time for a total safety recall is now.
Cc: Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne