7
Jan
2011

BBC should apologise to MPs and to Parliament

We claim that the BBC acted in a most inappropriate and rude manner by posting on-screen comments during Mr Tom Watson's Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on 20th December 2010. These comments, some of which were factually incorrect, contradicted the valid concerns being expressed on behalf of the public by the two MPs. The adversarial comments were displayed to the nation while the MPs were actually speaking. We see this as blatant lobbying by a news organisation. The MPs would not have been aware of the comments.

Click here for the full news story

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Complaint sent to BBC misguided reporting on Tom Watson's Adjournment Debate

I?ve successfully posted a complaint to the BBC.

Copy of my complaint below.


Eileen O?Connor


I am lost for words after viewing evidence provided by Powerwatch UK demonstrating the BBC?s bias reporting and blatant disregard for Tom Watson?s Adjournment Debate on mobile phones and health in the House of Commons on 20th December, 2010. I am calling for the BBC to apologise to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Anne Milton, MPs Tom Watson, Bill Esterson and the public they represent. Download full report here: http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20110107-bbc-complaint-parliament-live.asp

MPs Tom Watson, Bill Esterson and The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anne Milton) would not have been aware of the misguided comments displayed on the monitor which did not reflect the debate.

I am a member of Labour MP Bill Esterson?s constituency. He kindly represented serious concerns with regards to compelling evidence in connection to the dangers of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone handsets and phone masts. He also raised valid and serious concerns about children after reviewing evidence provided by the EM Radiation Research Trust.

I question the BBC?s vested interests and misuse of licence/tax payer?s money to lobby Government while using underhanded reporting to undermine a very serious health debate on mobile phones and phone masts.

The BBC did not reflect on the debate or promote official advice from the Department of Health leaflet which clearly states that children and young people under 16 should be discouraged for non-essential calls. In the light of this recommendation the UK Chief Medical Officers strongly advise that where children and young people do use mobile phones, they should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only keep all calls short - talking for long periods prolongs exposure and should be discouraged. The UK CMOs recommend that if parents want to avoid their children being subject to any possible risk that might be identified in the future, the way to do so is to exercise their choice not to let their children use mobile phones.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_4123981.pdf

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Anne Milton responded to concerns raised by Tom Watson and Bill Esterson , she said ?I am aware of the ability of large and powerful vested interests to lobby, often very successfully. There are, without doubt, eye-wateringly large amounts of money at stake in the mobile communications industry. I assure the hon. Gentleman that I am old enough and cynical enough to apply at all times an appropriate level of scrutiny and cynicism to all information that comes my way-always seeking to find out whence it came and who paid for it?. I will be drawing the BBC?s reporting of this debate to Ann Minton?s attention and encourage her to review the BBC?s privileged position with regards to reporting on Parliamentary proceedings while trying to influence the democratic process with misguided information.

I call on the BBC to alert MPs and the general public and especially our children to the precautionary advice from the Department of Health in order to help protect future generations from what could turn out to be another public health disaster. I highly recommend the BBC review the evidence from independent scientists and public health officials/advocates. Please read the report ?Cell phones and Brain Tumours: 15 Reasons for Concern?.

http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/15reasons.asp

I am the Director for the UK EM Radiation Research Trust charity. I will be drawing this serious disregard and misuse of broadcasting to the attention of fellow Radiation Research Trust trustees Joe Benton, Labour MP and Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP. Trustee members of the European Parliament are Liz Lynne, Lib Democrat MEP, and Jill Evans, Plaid Cymru Member for the European Parliament for Wales. Other members are Devon based Scots Lawyer and environmentalist, Michael Bell, Graham Philips, Powerwatch UK, Dr Ian Gibson, doctorate in biochemistry and previous member of Parliament and Chairman Brian Stein, Chief Executive Samworth Brothers Ltd.


Yours faithfully,

Eileen O?Connor
Director
EM Radiation Research Trust
http://www.radiationresearch.org



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