Electromagnetic Fields: Health Effects

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 4:52 pm on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:52 pm, 25th June 2019

I am delighted to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. My hon. Friend Tonia Antoniazzi has done an admirable job in at least raising the issue that the precautionary principle should be paramount before we take on any new technology. As someone who represents a semi-rural area, let me say at the outset: please give me 3G. I am not worried about 4G or 5G; I just want 3G, with all the consequences it brings. My constituency still has at least one market town that cannot even get that. That was just a little plug for getting the existing technology in place.

What my hon. Friend says is worthy of debate. It should be taken seriously by the Government and should help the public to understand that their representatives are listening. Stroud being Stroud, an active campaign is already under way on 5G. People are saying, “We don’t want it and we’ll do anything to stop it, so please listen to those who have already raised concerns.”

Like my hon. Friend, I have met people who are incredibly affected by electromagnetic sensitivity—to the extent that, when they moved into their house, they had to have the smart meter taken out, and even asked their neighbour to take out theirs. Once that happened, their health dramatically improved. People say that electromagnetic sensitivity is all psychosomatic, but I have seen the evidence of people’s sensitivity to electromagnetic waves. If we ignore it, there will certainly be health and biological consequences, and there may be many more problems. Since my hon. Friend has done a valuable job of explaining the possible health and biological impacts, I will say more about planning.

It is only fair to ask the Government to at least respond to the growing evidence from the International Electromagnetic Field Scientist Appeal, PHIRE— the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment—and other reputed scientists in the field, as well as from communities. Brussels has now stopped the roll-out, and so have a number of cities in California. There is growing concern, and it needs to be recognised and answered. It is a shame that we seem to be in complete ignorance of some of the effects of 5G. I have not seen proper medical studies that deal with people’s susceptibility to it. It would be right and proper for us to see those studies.