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Parliamentary questions
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18 March 2009
by Christel Schaldemose (PSE)
to the Commission

 Subject: Independence of experts on the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)
 Answer in writing 

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which is responsible for establishing the international limit values for electromagnetic radiation, which apply throughout much of the EU, has been criticised both by researchers and organisations for setting those limits too high to the advantage of the telecommunications industry and the military sector.

Nevertheless, the majority of the newly established EU group of experts, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), consists of individuals with a background in the ICNIRP who were therefore involved in establishing the limit values which they have subsequently been asked to evaluate.

Does the Commission consider that these experts, who were involved in establishing the limit values for radiation, can be regarded as impartial and independent?

Does the Commission acknowledge that a lowering of the limit values for electromagnetic radiation would entail a major financial burden for European telecommunications companies?

Does the Commission agree that there is an acute conflict of interests involved in being or having been a member of the ICNIRP and participation in the work of the SCENIHR?

What measures will the Commission take to find a better balance between critical and uncritical researchers on the ICNIRP?

Original language of question: DAOJ C 189, 13/07/2010
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