Handling an Inquiry – The WHO-style

… post was updated at 18:38 on Feb. 15, 2015 …

On December 27, 2014, I sent an e-mail message to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO. In this message I expressed my concern about the process of preparation of the Environmental Health Criteria by the WHO EMF Project.

Today, on February 15, 2015, I received response to my message. However, my surprise was great when it appeared that the response was sent to me by the Head of the WHO EMF Project, Dr. Emilie van Deventer.

It seems “strange” that, at the WHO, when expressing concern about the actions of a person, the person in question handles the response to the inquiry/complaint… This means that, of course, the response will “clearly demonstrate” that there is absolutely no reason for any concern.

Matter closed – the WHO-style.

Of course, an obvious question comes to mind: does WHO think the conflict of interest (CoI) is an useless commodity? Because, in this particular case, the CoI was not given any consideration.

Below is the e-mail exchange. First, my message to Dr. Chan and then, the response from Dr. van Deventer.

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From: Dariusz Leszczynski [dariusz.leszczynski@helsinki.fi] Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2014 2:49 PM To: CHAN FUNG, Margaret F.C. Subject: Fwd: URGENT and VERY IMPORTANT for Your attention

Dear Director Chan, EMF Project that is part of the World Health Organization, is currently preparing the so-called Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) for radiation emitted by the cell phones and other wireless communication devices. The process of preparing the EHC is dominated by the representatives of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) that is an NGO registered in Germany. In my opinion, the WHO EMF Project together with the ICNIRP limit scientific debate on the possible health effects of the radiation emitted by wireless communication devices. I have recently written about the flawed process ongoing under the auspices of your organization – the World Health Organization.

Link to my text is here: https://betweenrockandhardplace.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/challenge-for-dr-van-deventer-of-the-who-emf-project/

I would sincerely hope that You, Director Chan, or some of your advisers, could look into the flaws of preparation of the Environmental Health Criteria by the WHO EMF Project.

Respectfully, Dariusz Leszczynski, PhD, DSc Fmr. Member of the IARC Working Group of experts that in 2011 classified cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen

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Quoting “VAN DEVENTER, Tahera Emilie” <vandeventere@who.int>:

Dear Dr Leszczynski

Your email was passed on to me for reply.

We appreciate your interest in the development of WHO’s Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) monograph on radiofrequency fields. Please be assured that we are committed to publishing documents based on methods, processes and procedures that meet WHO standards. The Task Group will be made up of relevant external technical experts, will be multidisciplinary  and balanced in terms of gender and geography. Possible conflict of interest is also an important consideration that will be handled using WHO’s Declaration of Interest policy.

As with the two recent monographs on electromagnetic fields (static fields – 2006; extremely low frequency fields – 2007), the upcoming WHO EHC monograph on radio frequency fields is expected to be co-published with the International Labour Organization and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a NGO in official relations with WHO.

Regards,

Emilie van Deventer

Dr. T E van Deventer|Team Leader|Radiation Programme|Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health|World Health Organization|Geneva, Switzerland|Tel: + 41 22 791 3950|Email:

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