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Electromagnetic hypersensitivity – the Employers' Group supports counter opinion

On 21 January 2015 the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the counter opinion on electromagnetic hypersensitivity, drafted by Richard Adams, Member of the Various Interests Group and co-signed by 12 Members of the Employers' Group. The result of the vote was as following: 138 for, 110 votes against and 19 abstaining. The adoption of counter opinion is a rare occurrence in the EESC and proves that the topic discussed raised serious controversies among the Members.

Member of the Employers' Group Mr Jan Simons during the debate on hypersensitivityThe Employers' Group supported the counter opinion. According to the Members who signed the counter opinion, the document presents the issue in more balanced and scientific way than original text prepared by Mr Hernández Bataller. His document incorrectly presents a very large number of assertions as facts without offering adequate supporting evidence.

As underlined in the counter opinion, the overwhelming medical and scientific opinion is that there is no conclusive evidence to link the wide range of symptoms described as EHS to electromagnetic or radiofrequency exposure. Thus the World Health Organisation (WHO) states, “All reviews conducted so far have indicated that exposures below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP (1998) EMF guidelines, covering the full frequency range from 0-300 GHz, do not produce any known adverse health effect.” Nevertheless campaigns by activist bodies in several countries continue to demand greater recognition of the perceived problem and more preventive and remedial action on the intensity and prevalence of sources of EMF. Such bodies regard the lack of action by authorities as being at best complacent or worse as part of a wider conspiracy influenced by government, commercial or foreign interests, who are unwilling to face up to the extensive adjustments required were "wifi" (or other electrically powered devices) to be moderated or curtailed.

The signatories of the counter opinion recognise the existence of EHS but do not accept that there is causal link between it and electromagnetic or radiofrequency exposure.

Further research to understand the problem and its causes is ongoing. However taking existing knowledge and research into account, a direct link between EHS and electromagnetic or radiofrequency exposure cannot be proven.

The full text of the new EESC opinion can be downloaded under the following link: Counter opinion


TEN/559 Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (own initiative opinion) - AMENDMENT 1 COUNTER-OPINION