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'Sham' debate on masts and mobiles

Anger as no scientists take part in round table over the dangers of phone masts and mobile phones.

A DEBATE on the risks of phone masts and mobile phones taking place today has been labelled a “masquerade” by public health campaigners.

Associations campaigning over potential health risks have ridiculed the meeting which will include mobile phone operators, public organisations and associations – however notably no scientists.

Originally hailed as a grenelle (a kind of summit), it was planned for March 19, then put back until March 26 and finally postponed until today, during which time it was regulated to the simple status of “round table.”

Associations Agir pour l’environnement and Priartem(Pour une reglementation des implantations d’antennes-relais de téléphonie mobile) condemned this morning’s meeting as “a masquerade aiming to extinguish a fire lit by a decision of justice,” referring to a recent court ruling to take down a phone mast in the Rhône as a precaution.

President of Priartem Janine Le Calvez said: “Even though we are in the middle of scientific controversy, no scientists will be present. They need to be there.”

In an interview with Le Figaro today, Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said she supports “banning mobile phones for children under 12.”

However she added that “all the information we currently know regarding effects on health do not give cause for concern.”

Associations hope what they call “a real debate” will take place at further round tables planned for May.

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