Eric van Rongen responded to my recent blog post on EHC consultation. Apparently, because only Eric’s name was mentioned in my correspondence with Emilie van Deventer. Only Eric was mentioned as a point.man and, I assumed, he was Chair of the group preparing draft of EHC. He says he is not…
All-in-all, I think that the WHO EMF Project has done a very sloppy job with informing scientists and the general public about the consultation. And this sloppiness continues… Many details are missing, details that WHO knows but others do not… and may misunderstand what is going on.
Here is an unedited response from Eric. I do not comment on Eric’s comments and leave you, readers, to make your own conclusions. I stick to mine…
MESSAGE from Eric van Rongen
I would like to clear some misunderstandings in your recent blog “Consultation on WHO’s EHC on RF is a sham – decision of “no health effects” was made already”.
First of all you mention that I am the chair of the preparatory group for the EHC. That is not correct. The Core Group consists of 7 people, including Emilie van Deventer as coordinator of the EMF Project, and has no designated chair. So it is also not correct that “all comments will be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the chair of the preparatory group”. What will be done with the comment that we receive will be a decision of the entire Core Group. It is indicated on the webpage of the WHO consultation that all comments will be considered, but that no individual feedback will be given to those providing comments. Of course in the final document it will be clear what has been done with the comments.
As I explained before, there are no conclusions included in the draft EHC at this stage, since it is not the task of the Core Group to draw conclusions from the science. This will be the task of the Task Group. That will also have to review the entire draft document, that will by then also include the studies published after 31 December 2012, as well as any studies that have come up in the current public consultation as missing. The Task Group (that yet has to be composed) will be the entity that is responsible for the final text of the EHC, the conclusions and the health risk assessment. All we have been doing with the Core Group is to lay the foundation for this health risk assessment by searching and describing the relevant studies. The procedures we have followed are described in Appendix X, that is also on the WHO webpage of the consultation. The current public consultation is seeking comments on the completeness of the collected material and on the correctness of the description of the studies. No more, no less.
The conclusion of Rodney Croft that the draft EHC shows no evidence of health effects is, in contrast to what you state, nothing else than his personal opinion. Neither WHO nor ICNIRP has drawn any conclusions yet on the scientific data presented in the draft EHC. And, also in contrast to what you state, both WHO and ICNIRP do care about the opinion of others. Why else would WHO conduct the public consultation? And ICNIRP will in due time also seek public comments on its draft updated RF guidelines, as has been the case with other draft guidelines for many years now.
Eric van Rongen
PS: I don’t think you should post this a a separate blog, but as a comment to the original one, which it is. Even better would be if you correct the incorrect factual information in the blog