FCC Should Not Remain Silent on Berkeley’s Junk-Science Wireless Warnings

harold_frRothGuest Commentary

By Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Arielle Roth, The Hudson Institute*

In a victory for pseudo-science and a loss for the First Amendment, federal judge Edward Chen recently upheld a regulation by the City of Berkeley compelling retailers to warn customers about the supposed risks of wireless radiation. CTIA-The Wireless Ass’n v. The City of Berkeley.

The ordinance requires that cell phone retailers inform customers of the following:

To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines.

The statement misleadingly suggests that the federal government has singled out cell phones for safety concerns. This is not the case. The FCC’s guidelines on RF exposure (including these in 2013 and these in 2003) apply to a wide range of devices, not just cell phones. Nor has it been shown that in the absence of FCC regulations, cell phones would be unsafe. The FCC, which takes safety very seriously, has never concluded anything of the sort. Continue reading