* Meeting Luxemburg on Februar 24, 25 and 26, organized by the European Commission (EC) and WHO - Introduction to Electrical Pollution - Allergenic GM Papaya Scandal - Corporate takeover of US voting system - Study of Toxins Says U.S. Children Are at High Risk (4/2/03)

Dear Friends,

I presume you are aware of the meeting to be held in Luxemburg on February 24, 25 and 26, organized by the European Commission (EC) and WHO, to define the Precautionary Principle application for EMF.

I forgot to put you in copy of the mail I have sent to some people in France, Austria and Luxembourg, as answer to a mail from Raoul Treigner. May be you received it with additional comments (in Spanish) by Miguel Muntané on January 27.

In our mail (in French), we made comments about the aims of the European Commission concerning the radiation protection limits wich have to be standardized at the level of the ICNIRP recommendation!!

The information about that meeting can be found at the following address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph/programmes/health/phevents.htm

So, I hope some well known independent scientists will participate in that meeting. Now, it's time for the citizens to argue in favour of a real application of the Precautionary Principle.

Thanks very much for your attention and for your help!

Best regards,
For TESLABEL Coordination,asbl
Jean Delcoigne

The following is taken from the introduction to the web site "Electrical Pollution Solutions" and is one of the most informative ones on the topic of "dirty power", a problem that also effects Australia to a great degree.

Go to http://www.electricalpollution.com/intro.html and have thorough read as well as the links to other useful sites.

Don Maisch

Introduction to Electrical Pollution

"Dirty" power: The world's largest health experiment. What you don't know can kill you.

Electricity today is not a simple 60 Hz electrical signal. The increased use of modern electronics and other non-linear, time-varying loads has over-loaded the distribution system with high-frequency electrical pollution that causes "dirty" power. "Dirty" power is widely recognized to be a problem for industry. The July 5, 1999 issue of Fortune states that "Dirty power costs U.S.0 industry anywhere from $4 billion to $6 billion a year, according to Karl Stahlkopf, a vice president at the utility financed Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)." Alliant Energy even sent out an informational leaflet in electrical bills entitled "Energy Basics: Power Surges" which states "Low-level power surges won't melt parts or blow fuses, but they can cause "electronic rust," gradually degrading internal circuitry until it ultimately fails." and "Small surges won't leave any outward evidence, so you may not even be aware they're happening - even though they may occur dozens or even hundreds of times each day. "

During day to day living countless finely tuned electrically mediated reactions occur constantly in order to keep our bodies running. It is unreasonable to believe that "dirty" power can cause substantial damage to home electronics and industrial equipment and not affect the finely tuned electrical interactions in our bodies. In fact, the findings in the paper Dirty Electrical Power Affects Cows (condensed from "Relationship of Electric Power Quality to Milk Production of Dairy Herds," in press, by Donald Hillman, Dave Stetzer, Martin Graham, Charles L. Goeke, Kurt Mathson, Harold H. VanHorn, and Charles J. Wilcox) show that the number of high frequency events correlates closely with milk production e.g. greater numbers of high frequency events correlated with lower milk production and lower numbers of high frequency events correlated with higher milk production. In addition to causing health problems directly, this high-frequency pollution also leads to another source of problems: ground currents.

History of Electrical Pollution

In the 1950's, the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) required a neutral wire to return current to the utilities. This was not required in rural areas until 1960. It is forbidden by the NESC 92D for the earth to be used as the neutral return. In fact, on page 152 of the NESC Handbook Fourth Edition it says, "When earth returns were used in some rural areas prior to the 1960's they became notorious offenders in dairy areas because circulating currents often caused both step and touch potentials." It concludes "these have adversely affected milking operations by shocking the cattle when they were connected to the milking machines, and have affected feeding." These are exactly the issues that farmers face today.

How can there be dairy or human health problems due to electricity returning through the earth, since we do have a neutral wire now?

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has allowed the utilities to install grounding rods on the neutral return wire, instead of increasing the size of the neutral wires. (Overloading of the wires is a fire hazard and installing grounding rods is less costly on a short-term basis than upgrading the neutral.) Current then flows down the grounding rods and through the earth back to the substation when the wire is over loaded. A Minnesota study found that over 70% of the current returns to the substation via the earth in some areas. Dr. Duane Dahlberg's paper entitled "Why Ground Currents" briefly discusses the origin and health ramifications of electrical ground currents citing many industry , university, and independant studies. In 1957, 10 billion Kilowatt-hours of electricity were sold statewide. In 2000, 65 billion Kilowatt-hours of electricity were sold statewide. Assuming problems occurred prior to 1960 with a total earth neutral return, all current returning via the earth, 10 billion Kilowatt-hours of electricity flowing through the earth caused health problems for cattle. Now, assuming that 70% of the electricity returns via the earth in 2000, there are 45 billion Kilowatt-hours returning through the earth in 2000. This means that there is nearly five times as much electricity returning through the earth now than there was in 1957. In effect, we are being exposed to more electrical pollution now than we were in the 1950's when the neutral wire became a requirement.

These numbers show conclusively why loopholes need to be closed and better enforcement of the regulations is needed. According to the NESC no objectionable current flow is allowed down the grounding rod, however the NESC left objectionable undefined. This has left it up to individuals to prove that current flow that occurs is objectionable. Legislation like Wisconsin Rep. Barbara Gronemus's 2001 AB 754 would take the onus off of individuals by providing a concrete definition of objectionable i.e. "a steady state of current for five seconds or more." Defining objectionable in this manner means there would be no current flow allowed on the neutral grounding wire except under fault conditions e.g. lightening strikes.

Why do we need larger neutral wires compared to phase or "hot" wires?

We use power differently today than in the 1950's. An increasing percentage of electricity is used for non-linear, time-varying loads (e.g. electronics like TVs or computers, dimmer switches, and variable speed motors). Non-linear, time-varying loads distort the sine wave causing high frequencies. The distorted sine wave or "dirty" power sees a higher resistance on the wire, so a larger return wire is necessary. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) addressed this in the IEEE Standard 519-1992 which states that modern loads require a neutral wire 225% of the size of the phase wires. At this time in the United States, it is unusual for the neutral wire to even be the same size as the phase wires. Most of the neutrals are half the size of the phase wires. The electricity that cannot flow on the neutral, because the neutral is too small, travels back to the substation through the earth.

Can anything be done besides increasing the size of the neutral?

Yes, in addition to outlining the sizing of the neutral necessary for modern electronic loads, the IEEE 519-1992 discusses other techniques for improving power quality. It addresses the use of filters to decrease distortion. It also grants the utilities the right to deny service to major power-quality polluters if they do not clean up the power to certain specifications before they return it to the line. This can be done relatively inexpensively at the source and would substantially relieve the overloading of the neutral wire. At this time few of the utilities in the United States have exercised that right.

How can there be zero current on the neutral grounding wires?

There are isolation devices that allow current down the down-grounds in fault or lightening situations, but would act like an open circuit (an example of an open circuit is a light switch in the off position) under normal circumstances. Installation of these devices on all the down grounds would be one way to ensure no current returns to the substation via the earth while maintaining the safety benefits of a grounded system.

How does "dirty" power affect you?

Unlike the electrical earth currents of the 1950's, electrical earth currents today are not a clean 60 Hz sine wave. They are as "dirty" with high frequencies as the power that returns to the substation. They are the return current that does not flow on the wire. As the prevalence of non-linear, time-varying loads increases, the return power and the earth currents get dirtier. High frequencies cause health problems at very low voltages in part because the energy is higher with higher frequencies. Because of the high frequencies, modern electrical ground currents are actually worse for you at the same voltage than the "clean" electrical earth currents that caused problems in the 1950's. Ground Currents: An important factor in electromagnetic exposure by Dr. Duane Dahlberg deals in detail with the importance of exposure to electrical ground currents. We are all in contact with electrical ground currents when we do such everyday activities as wash the dishes, shower, or sit on the lawn. Did the utilities ask your permission to make you part of an electrical circuit?

In addition to being part of an electrical circuit because of the electrical earth currents, each person is capacitively coupled to the wires running around them through the walls, floor, and ceiling of the building where they live or work. Electrical engineers know about capacitive coupling, but they have also been taught that the result is insignificant. They have not read or choose to ignore publications like Cross Currents by Robert O. Becker, MD in which he discusses the extreme sensitivity of the human body to electromagnetic fields/radiation and Electromagnetic Fields and the Life Environment by Karel Marha, Jan Musil, and Hana Tuha in which they describe the symptoms humans experience with chronic exposure to high frequencies. The description of the symptoms of exposure to high frequencies in Electromagnetic Fields and the Life Environment touches on all of the most minor and puzzling symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), as well as, all of the widely accepted ones.

The symptoms of CFS, Fibromyalgia, and Gulf War Syndrome are all virtually identical to those of Radio Wave Sickness. In addition to causing Radio Wave Sickness, exposure to high frequencies seems to be linked to a myriad of health problems including depression, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), cancer, infertility, miscarriages, birth defects, allergies, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Lou Gehrig's Disease. In fact, the California Department of Health study "Final Report of the California EMF Program: An Evaluation of the Possible Risks from Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFS) from Power Lines, Internal Wiring, Electrical Occupations, and Appliances" concludes that exposure to powerline emf is a risk factor for these illnesses. The news has been full of speculation over why the rates of these ailments have increased over the last several years. The experts seem unable to find a cause. There is, however, a logical reason. If you look at the statistics, the proportion of electricity used for non-linear, time-varying (electronic) loads has been on the rise and continues to rise. The growth in non-linear, time-varying loads seems to relate proportionally to the increase of modern ailments listed above. There is evidence linking exposure to high frequencies to each of these modern ailments. Until recently only a few people realized the source of the exposure. People are becoming sick who should not be at risk. Unbeknownst to them, they are being exposed to high frequencies through exposure to "dirty" power. Without an oscilloscope or a meter, it is impossible for the average person to detect. (See the simple, easy to use Ubiquitous Pollutant Meter outlined in "A Ubiquitous Pollutant"). Electricity is the most widely accepted and most poorly understood of the modern conveniences.

Symptoms of Radio Wave Sickness (excerpted from No Place To Hide April 2001): Neurological: headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, altered reflexes, muscle and joint paint, leg/foot pain, "Flu-like" symptoms, fever. More severe reactions can include seizures, paralysis, psychosis and stroke. Cardiac: palpitations, arrhythmias, pain or pressure in the chest, low or high blood pressure, slow or fast heart rate, shortness of breath. Respiratory: sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma. Dermatological: skin rash, itching, burning, facial flushing. Ophthalmologic: pain or burning in the eyes, pressure in/behind the eyes, deteriorating vision, floaters, cataracts. Others: digestive problems; abdominal pain; enlarged thyroid, testicular/ovarian pain; dryness of lips, tongue, mouth, eyes; great thirst; dehydration; nosebleeds; internal bleeding; altered sugar metabolism; immune abnormalities; redistribution of metals within the body; hair loss; pain in the teeth; deteriorating fillings; impaired sense of smell; ringing in the ears.

Can "dirty" power cause over-billing?

Yes, "dirty" power can cause the utilities to over-bill you for the power you use. The standard disk-type electrical rate meters were designed for "clean" 60 Hz power. They are standardized for measuring "clean" 60 Hz power. With the dramatic increase in non-linear, time-varying loads the power that is delivered to your house or business is no longer "clean" power. The "dirty' power can cause the rate meters not designed for use with "dirty" power to read inaccurately.

Stop Electrical Pollution

The only known cure for Radio Wave Sickness is to stop being exposed to high frequencies.

The Solution: Both the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have identified remedies for electrical ground currents. Formulate and enact legislation in each state requiring utilities to use identified remedies to eliminate electrical ground currents and clean up "dirty" power.

In Wisconsin, Rep. Barbara Gronemus has introduced legislation that defines the desired endpoint - no current on the grounding rods except during fault situations - and allows the utilities to pick the best solution for each situation. Wisconsinites call your representative and senator and ask them to be strong supporters of Rep. Gronemus's Electrical Pollution Bill (2001 Assembly Bill 754).

If you are not sure who your senator and representative are or how to reach them, call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472. This truly is a bill that was introduced on behalf of all citizens of Wisconsin.

SNIP check out the web site for more!

Allergenic GM Papaya Scandal

How Prof. Joe Cummins uncovered the great scandal of how US regulatory agencies approved a GM papaya even though it carries a viral gene known to be a potential allergen.

Recently the United States regulatory bodies - Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA, APHIS), the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - united in approving the commercial production of 'Sunset' transgenic papaya that's resistant to papaya ringspot virus. It is modified with a gene for papaya ring spot virus coat protein, the expression of which prevents the virus from replication by silencing the virus' own gene [1].

The possibility that genetically modified (GM) crops may introduce novel allergens has been raised by many critics, and as part of the approval process, potential allergens have to be identified before the crops are released commercially. But the GM papaya was approved despite a recent report [2] showing that the papaya ringspot virus coat protein is a potential allergen because it contained a string of amino acids identical to a known allergen.

The US General Accounting Office (GAO) Report to Congress on Genetically Modified Foods [3] assured Congress and the public that the regimen of safety tests submitted to the FDA are adequate. "Companies that may wish to submit new GM foods for FDA evaluation perform a regimen of tests to obtain safety data on these foods, the degree of similarity between the amino acid sequences in the newly introduced proteins of the GM food and the amino acid sequences in known allergens, toxins, and anti-nutrients." GAO believed that when the sequence of a transgenic protein is found to be similar to that of allergens, further studies would be carried out, at the very least, before the GM crop or product is commercially released.

I contacted James Maryanski of the FDA by e-mail on 22 January, to alert him of the allergenic potential of the papaya virus coat protein and the relevant publication. In his reply (27 January), he wrote, "FDA and EPA are aware of this recently published paper, though we have not had an opportunity to fully assess the findings of the paper. FDA is conducting a review of available scientific literature and intends to use this information to prepare draft guidelines for industry. Please note that the traits used to confer resistance to viral disease in papaya are pesticidal traits (plant incorporated protectants) regulated by EPA, not by FDA."

So, I was sent off to EPA, and guess what I found. The EPA's public information stated that coat protein of papaya ringspot virus and the genetic material necessary for its production had been granted "an exemption from the requirement of tolerance" [4] in 1997, which essentially means it is exempt from safety assessment, based on the belief that the material was safe for consumption by humans and animals. No mention was made of recent study on the amino acid sequence of the virus protein. For its part, the USDA APHIS also awarded Sunset Papaya a non-regulated status [5] in 1996, because the reviewers believed that the GM crop was not harmful.

These bureaucrats remind me of the old jive doggerel by J. Cramer and J. Whitney, Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens, "One night Farmer Brown was takin' the air Locked up the barnyard with the greatest of care. Down in the henhouse somethin' stirred When he shouted, "Who's There?", this is what he heard. There ain't nobody here but us chickens, there ain't nobody here at all. So calm yourself, stop that fuss, ain't nobody here but us There ain't nobody here but us chickens, there ain't nobody here at all"

GAO seems to be woefully misinformed about the safety assessment of GM crops, and may have modeled itself after giant accounting corporations such as RD Anderson.

This is a wakeup call for Congress and the public everywhere, who may have been misled into believing that GM food is the most strictly regulated of all foods, and that the US regulatory system is the best in the world.

1.Tennant P, Fermin G, Fitch M, Manshardt R, Slighton J and Gonsalves D. Papaya ringspot resistance of transgenic Rainbow and SunUp is affected by gene dosage, plant development, and coat protein homology. European Journal of Plant Pathology 2001, 107, 645-53.

2.Kleter G and Peijnenburg A. Screening of transgenic proteins expressed in transgenic food crops for the presence of short amino acid sequences identical to potential, IgE-binding linear epitopes of allergens. BMC Structural Biology 2002, 2, 8-19.

3.United States General Accounting Office Report to Congressional Requesters "Genetically Modified Foods" GAO-02-566 May 2002.

4.Rules and Regulations. Coat protein of Papaya Ringspot Virus and the Genetic Material Necessary for its Production; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance. Federal Register August 22,1997 62, 44572-75.

5.USDA-APHIS Petition 96-051-01P for the determination of nonregulated status for transgenic sunset papaya Lines 55-1 and 63-1 Finding of No Significant Impact September 1996.


see also


Corporate takeover of US voting system

Study of Toxins Says U.S. Children Are at High Risk

Informant: Don Maisch

Citizens' Initiative Omega

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