5G: Safety

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 31st July 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications of his policies of the report entitled Allaying health concerns regarding 5G and exposure to radio waves (2nd edition), published by the Institute on Engineering and Technology on 13 July 2020; and what steps the Government is taking to reduce misinformation on 5G safety.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Government is guided by Public Health England’s (PHE) independent advice on radio waves, which is clear that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is not new and there is no credible evidence of an impact of 5G on public health. PHE is committed, along with Ofcom, to continually monitor and assess the evidence applicable to this and other radio technologies. The report published by the Institute on Engineering and Technology on 13 July 2020 supports the view that 5G will have no negative impact on public health.

Claims that the introduction of 5G could affect people’s health are unfounded and should not be used as a basis to block or delay its rollout. Companies have been rolling out 5G in the UK since 2019, bringing greater speed, capacity and functionality to mobile services, opening up new opportunities for people, businesses and public services.

Recently, conspiracy theories have been shared online that claim 5G mobile is connected to the spread of the coronavirus. This is wrong. There is no scientific basis or credible evidence for these claims. The Government takes the issue of misinformation and disinformation very seriously. The Government’s Counter Disinformation Unit was PCT Checked PS Checked Spad Checked Ministerial Approval established in March 2020 and continues to work with Whitehall departments, social media platforms, the National Crime Agency and mobile network operators to tackle misinformation and disinformation.

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