January 19, 2000

Subject: THE WORD IS OUT IN THE UK PRESS ABOUT THE RISKS THAT THE DEADLY NEUROTOXIN ASPARTAME REPRESENTS TO ALL OF US -- FWD London Sunday Express/food safety + Prove that diet drinks are safe + Express Opinion + Bitter war of words over the safety of $1 billion sweetener + European Consumers Upset Over the First European GMO Patent + SCIENTISTS PROVE SUPERIOR NUTRITIVE VALUE OF ORGANIC FOOD! + SCHOOLS GIVE LESSONS ON MOBILE PHONE DANGERS

Hello again everyone

Here is a copy of what I just sent to my 700+ media e-list. I'm sure you'll also be happy that some mainstream newsmedia has finally decided to break the news about this poison in so many of the products we eat and drink and give to our children

Network widely, print it out and send copies to your local media.

Let's all break the news log jam around the world on this critical food safety issue.

You'll also find excellent news about the reaction of the European Consumers who are very upset over the first European GMO Patent and you'll read also about what we knew all along: the nutritional superiority of organically grown food over industrial food - not to mention that they are free from carcinogenic chemicals and genetic manipulations... And they taste so much better!!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000

P.S. I've also added some news about the other threat to our health posed by the mobile phone industry which also deserves to be widely circulated so people using them on a daily basis and those exposed to the forest of powerful antennas needed for them to work all know the risk they take.

PLEASE READ AND HELP BREAK THE DEAFENING SILENCE ABOUT THIS INCREDIBLE STORY.

FOR MORE DETAILS GO AT http://www.dorway.com *THE* WEB REFERENCE TO FIND OUT EVERYTHING ABOUT ASPARTAME

Check also at the bottom of where I've just posted another anti-aspartame email entitled:

"Aspartame was only able to be approved because the FDA violated the law"

My introductory statement reads like this:

If you can spare a few minutes to read this through you'll understand why the FDA should be held responsible for the premature death and untold suffering of millions of people around the world...

Here is Betty Martini's conclusion at the end of this brilliant esposť of years of campaigning and research to find out and expose the truth about this humongous and deadly scam...

"I believe that the FDA should be indicted for malfeasance, and Monsanto for genocide."




From: "Carol Guilford" <carolg8@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: London Sunday Express/food safety
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000

Jean,

Some really good news re: food safety and the deadly neurotoxin, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) that is now in 6,000 products including all sugar-free gum, diet sodas, ice cream, mints, medicine and vitamins for children including Tylenol for Infants, Junior Tylenol and Pedialite products.

On January 9, the London Sunday Express with a circulation of 2 million ran a front page headline calling for proof that the diet sweetener was safe. They even have a Member of Parliament interested in this crime of the century.

No way the US would ever get Congressperson or Senator involved because Monsanto has very deep pockets and has paid off everyone. I believe it's called 'bribing.' Orrin Hatch has received thousands of dollars to keep this poison killing us and our children.

I'm going to e-mail you the articles that appeared.

Happy Millennium to you and all your readers.

Carol

FROM: http://www.lineone.net/express/00/01/16/news/n1320diet-d.html
AND http://www.lineone.net/express/index.html
WRITTEN BY lucy.johnson@express.co.uk

16 January, 2000 Lucy Johnson Sunday Express

IN AGONY: Lyn Hunter's pain was so bad it nearly drove her to suicide.
She cut out aspartame and it disappeared.

My two years of hell on low calorie drinks

DOZENS of people have contacted the Sunday Express claiming they have
suffered adverse reactions from Britain's best-selling low calorie
sweetener aspartame.

This follows our revelations last week that a growing number of
scientists, consumer groups and MPs are questioning its safety.

One reader, Lyn Hunter, says she regularly drank aspartame-flavoured
soft drinks and chewed aspartame-sweetened gum. Two years ago she
began to suffer pain in her feet. The pain spread to her hands,
wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders.

Her doctor carried out blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis. Although
the tests were negative, he treated her for the condition anyway. But
the pain grew worse. Lyn, 49, of Liverpool, said: "It got to the stage
where I was ready to commit suicide. Nothing could combat the ache. I
couldn't sleep, dress or wash myself. My body was just screaming in
agony."

She also suffered headaches, lack of concentration, confusion, excessive
tiredness and insomnia. She saw various doctors, including a
hypnotherapist and rheumatologist, but it seemed nothing could help.
"I was taking maximum strength, maximum dose painkillers daily along
with my medication but it had no effect," she said. Last September a
work colleague suggested Lyn may have an allergy.

Her own research led to the discovery that joint pain had been reported
as a side-effect of aspartame. So she removed it from her diet.

"I noticed a difference within days and after a week most of my symptoms
had almost disappeared," she said. Lyn is just one of a number of people
who have complained of a series of debilitating symptoms such as
headaches, joint pains, depression and poor vision which they believe
could be linked to aspartame. Two of the alleged victims have engaged
lawyers to investigate whether they may be able to sue the
manufacturers.

Aspartame is produced by a number of firms, including the US
multi-national Monsanto. Sold under the brand names NutraSweet or
Canderel, it is widely used in products such as diet drinks and
yoghurts. It has been linked with more than 90 adverse reactions,
including brain tumours and blindness.

Monsanto is confident that existing research has proved its safety. It
says: "This product has been approved by health and regulatory
authorities across the world. No credible, well-controlled independent
research shows any link between health risks and aspartame." But last
week the Sunday Express demanded that the Government fund fresh research
into the effects of long-term exposure. Since then we have been
inundated with phone calls and letters.

Barbara Simmons, 66, drank diet drinks for years in an effort to control
her weight. She began to suffer from very bad headaches.

"The pain used to come during the night from the back of the head to the
front. It would cause my eye to drop on the left hand side and my left
eye would narrow to a slit. It got so bad no painkillers could help."

About three years ago a friend told her that she believed her
daughter's headaches were caused by aspartame and that she should remove
it from her diet. "It took me a while to remove it completely-- I didn't
realise it was in so many products.

I was taking it in jellies, blancmanges, orange drinks and fizzy
drinks."

Within weeks of eliminating aspartame from her diet, Barbara's headaches
stopped. That was three years ago and she has not had another headache
since.

Liberal Democrat consumer affairs spokesman Norman Baker said last night
that he would be seeking a meeting with health ministers to discuss
concerns raised by Sunday Express readers.

"It is clear that aspartame requires a further and more detailed
investigation to establish whether it should be taken off the market,"
he said.

A spokesman for NutraSweet said: "Ever since NutraSweet has been on the
market, it has provided an inquiry line and when every one of these
allegations is investigated by researchers it has not been possible to
connect it with aspartame."

Aspartame has been used for 18 years but no study has properly analysed
the effects of long-term exposure. An analysis of studies in America
until 1996 found that 92 per cent of independent research papers
expressed concern that aspartame may be linked to illnesses such as
brain tumours, blindness and seizures. As well as fizzy drinks and
chewing gum, it is found in sweets, beer, spring water and vitamins.
It is 200 times sweeter than sugar but contains virtually no calories.
Sales are worth more than £625million a year.
© Express Newspapers, 2000

From: "Carol Guilford" <carolg8@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Fw: Prove that diet drinks are safe
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000

INVESTIGATION By Lucy Johnston

THE SUNDAY Express today demands a Government inquiry into the safety of
aspartame, Britain's best-selling low calorie sweetener after mounting
concern that it poses a health risk. The sweetener - sold as NutraSweet and
Canderel and found in products such as diet drinks and desserts - has been
linked with more than 90 adverse reactions including brain tumours and
blindness.

Aspartame has been used for 18 years but no study has properly analysed the
affects of long-term exposure. It is now being questioned by a growing
number of scientists, consumer groups and MPs.

The evidence is still inconclusive and its manufacturers Monsanto, are
confident existing research has declared it safe. A spokesperson said: "This
product has been approved by health and regulatory authorities across the
world. No credible, well-controlled independent research shows any link
between health risks and aspartame."

But most of the studies that declare it safe are funded by the food
industry. An analysis of studies in America until 1996 found that 92 per
cent of independent research papers expressed concerns.
© Express Newspapers, 1999

From: "Carol Guilford" <carolg8@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Fw: Express Opinion
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000

We must not sugar the pill over artificial sweetener worries

There is little more important to us than the food that we eat and drink.
If we cannot be sure that it is safe then we are in a dangerous mess. That
is why the Sunday Express launched its Faith In Our Foods campaign last
year. So far we have had nothing but success. Our first task, to ensure that
food labelling was accurate, was accomplished when the minister, Baroness
Hayman, pledged to take the necessary action. We take her at her word.

As we promised then, today we return to the campaign by calling for a
review of the safety of the country's best-selling low-calorie sweetener,
aspartame, which is sold under brand names such as NutraSweet and Canderel.
Aspartame has been linked with more than 90 health problems from brain
tumours and blindness to cancer.

Monsanto, which manufactures Nutrasweet, denies that there are any risks.
Certainly, research funded by the food industry rules out any dangers. Other
independent research, however, paints a more worrying picture.

We, the consumer, are left not knowing what to believe. Now the only
satisfactory way forward is for an exhaustive government study from the new
Food Standards Agency. This could clear up once and for all whether this
widely used additive is safe.

We hope such a study would provide good news. But we need to know for sure.

© Express Newspapers, 1999

From: "Carol Guilford" <carolg8@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Fw: Bitter war of words over the safety of $1 billion sweetener
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000

Bitter war of words over the safety of $1 billion sweetener
By Lucy Johnston

THE GIANT corpor-ation vigorously defends its billiondollar chemical. The
mere suggestion of "health risks" can prompt threatening letters from its
lawyers.

The company is Monsanto, the American multi-national. It is protecting the
reputation of aspartame - a confected chemical compound which has one
extraordinary property: it is very sweet.

Aspartame is the artificial sweetener which has revolutionised the
low-calorie food and drink industry in the Western world. Most people would
know it under brand names such as NutraSweet and Canderel. Unlike sugar, it
isn't fattening and doesn't have the unpleasant aftertaste of its
once-dominant competitor, saccharine.

The Monsanto lawyers take an unequivocal stance. Twice they have written
letters headed "Not for Publication" to the Sunday Express, stressing that
aspartame is the most thoroughly-tested ingredient in our food supply. Those
tests, their clients state, prove it is safe.

However, scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, campaigners and MPs believe
there are safety questions. They believe such a debate should not be
silenced by lawyers protecting lucrative commercial interests.

In Britain we consume 10 billion cans of fizzy drink a year and a little
under half of them are artificially sweetened. We take aspartame in jelly,
chewing gum, yogurts, desserts, sweets, beer, spring water and vitamins.
Monsanto points to 200 "objective" scientific studies which document the
safety of its product. All other studies, it says, have been discredited.
Many reports indicating aspartame is safe are financed by the food industry.

However, a scientific review of all the evidence available in 1996 found 92
per cent of the independent - non-industry-funded - medical data relating to
health risks of aspartame identified safety concerns. These include fears
that aspartame may be linked to illnesses such as brain tumours, blindness
and seizures.

Professor Ralph Walton, chairman of the psychiatry department at
Northwestern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, said: "I dispute
Monsanto's assertion that there are no health risks. I believe aspartame
increases risk of cancer. Virtually all the studies attesting to its safety
have been funded by the industry."

>America's influential Food and Drug Administration and Britain's food
safety watchdogs have always given the sweetener a clean bill of health -but
that may not be the end of the story.

The discovery of aspartame, in 1969, was accidental. While testing a new
chemical as a possible anti-ulcer drug, chemist James Schlatter
inadvertently smeared his hand with liquid from a flask. He licked his thumb
clean and was surprised by how sweet it tasted. The compound was 200 times
sweeter than sugar.

Aspartame seemed wonderful. It contained virtually no calories and tasted
more like sugar than other sweeteners: ideal for the growing diet market.
Sales under the brand name NutraSweet became worth more than £625million a
year.

It had taken 16 years from Schlatter's discovery for his company, US drug
giant Searle, to win FDA approval for the sweetener. Searle's safety
research was one of the main sticking points. Doubts over its reliability
prompted a special investigation by the FDA, which discovered some of the
tests were "seriously flawed". A senior FDA toxicologist told a
Congressional committee: "At least one test has established beyond any
reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of producing brain tumours in
animals."

IN 1981 an internal memo from three FDA scientists advised against approval
of NutraSweet. That year President Reagan fired the FDA commissioner and
gave the job to Dr Arthur Hull Hayes. Three months later aspartame was
passed for limited use and within two years was also approved for beverages.

The FDA's decision paved the way for 100 regulatory bodies in other
countries to follow suit, including Britain. By 1985 Searle had been
acquired by Monsanto - the company that invented Agent Orange - and
aspartame became the market leader. As consumption of aspartame grew, with
products such as Diet Coke and Wrigley's sugar-free gum, so did the
concerns. The FDA has received reports of 92 different symptoms, claimed to
have been triggered by aspartame. They include headaches, skin problems,
gastro-intestinal problems, poor vision, depression, carbohydrate cravings,
panic attacks, irregular heart rhythms, behavioural problems and seizures.
The FDA stresses that none has yet been proved.

Dr Hyman Roberts, of the Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research in
Florida, had welcomed aspartame. "When it was introduced, I recommended it
to diabetic patients because it contained no sugar, calories, cholesterol or
sodium. It was a godsend," he said. However, he then saw more patients with
problems such as chronic headaches, impaired vision and panic attacks. "We
narrowed down the culprit to aspartame," he added.

The most common reaction among his 1,200 aspartame-sensitive patients has
been headaches. "I also had numerous diabetic patients whose condition has
been exacerbated by aspartame, including eye and nerve problems," he said.
"When they were taken off aspartame, they improved dramatically."

During digestion aspartame breaks down into several constituents including
methanol, which can act as a brain toxin, according to Dr Madelon Price,
professor of neurobiology at Washington University Medical School. "Methanol
can lead to visual problems, headaches and muscle cramps," she said.

Monsanto and NutraSweet argue that all the constituents of aspartame are in
much greater quantities in natural drinks such as milk and tomato juice, not
considered a health risk.

Four years ago an article in the American Association of Neuropathologists'
journal claimed the sweetener was a "promising candidate" to explain a 10
per cent rise in brain tumour rates in America. The authors relied on an
early trial in which some rats fed on aspartame developed brain tumours.

NUTRASWEET said the report's authors had "manipulated" their data and
pointed to other studies which showed its product was safe.

A British Government committee on carcinogenicity agreed there were flaws
with the American study and rejected the allegation.

However, last month scientists at King's College in London began a
three-year study to see whether aspartame could cause brain tumours in
people with a certain genetic make-up.

Dr Peter Nunn, who is leading the team, said: "Some studies have shown a
link between aspartame and primary brain tumours, and some have shown no
link.

"This study does not set out to rubbish aspartame. It is a serious study
into whether people with certain genes are more susceptible to these
compounds than others."

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has urged the Government to investigate.
"We do not know whether aspartame is dangerous," he said. "But independent
researchers have expressed serious concerns. Aspartame should be withdrawn
immediately pending further investigation." * Additional reporting by
Jonathan Calvert and Sarah Stacey
© Express Newspapers, 1999




Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000
From: namaste publishing <namaste.publishing-uk@virgin.net>
Subject: Fwd: AEC: Press release on first GMO patent, consumers reaction

Seems to be Good positive News

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000
From: "Martin Frid" <mjfrid@hotmail.com> (by way of Debbie Ortman <debbie@organicconsumers.org>)
Subject: AEC: Press release on first GMO patent, consumers reaction

Press Release 12-01-2000
from Association of European Consumers, AEC

European Consumers Upset Over the First European GMO Patent

The patent confirmed on Dec. 20, 1999 by the European Patent Office, EPO, to Novartis on a gene sequence will get the effect that the market for GMO-food will collapse completely in Europe. A suicide for the GMO companies will be the effect instead of success as they aimed.

The controversial decision to allow patents on genetically modified crops is rejected as a moral mistake by 26 Consumer Organisations united in the Association of European Consumers. The enlarged board of appeal of the European Patent Office should not have overturned the previous judgement of the lower appeals board and must now explain to European consumers how the lobby of the gene technology industry have been able to influence EPO to change their opinion.

Mr Bengt Ingerstam, the AEC president, says patents on genes in food crops and animals are fundamentally wrong. It limits plant and animal breeding and amounts to a sell-off were commercialisation of the human body is the next logical step.

- There will be absolutely no acceptance of genetically manipulated foods in Europe as long as corporations can patent such products. No reasonable debate can be held with consumers as long as GMO patents exist. The situation is absurd in the U.S. were patent lawyers are the only ones making money from GMO, because of the legal mess. So called life-science corporations and seed companies are constantly suing each other over alleged infringements of obscure patents.

- For European consumers who wish to eat healthy and natural food, patents on genes are abhorrent. We support farmers who traditionally save and develop seed. This cultural tradition is challenged when corporations gain control over the agro-genetic resources. Also, farmers are already sued by the GMO seed giants for supposedly planting GMO seeds, when in fact novel genes may cause pollination by pollen spread by the wind. It is obvious that gene technology patents are a fraud since it is impossible to successfully license such products or avoid contamination, according to Mr Bengt Ingerstam.

AEC urges the European Parliament to investigate how its control over the European Patent Office can be strengthened. To increase the public's trust in the EPO it must be transformed into a proper institution of the European Community. Also, a recent proposal from the EPO president is extremely worrying as it would reduce the amount of time examiners have available to deal with each case. This would have a very serious impact on the quality of the work of the EPO staff.

AEC points out that the International Court of Justice at The Hague can issue an 'Advisory Opinion' about gene technology patents if a United Nation agency (such as UNESCO) asks for this. A further option is to get the World Trade Organisation to review and amend its intellectual property rules (TRIPs) so that countries may be allowed to not implement controversial gene patent legislation.

The Association of European Consumers, AEC, was founded in May, 1999. AEC strives to strengthen consumers' influence in society and to gain recognition for the important role consumers play in choosing the direction of social development. AEC also strives to ensure the diffusion of vital, objective information and practical knowledge that help consumers make informed, rational and responsible choices, thereby guiding society into an ethically principled, ecologically sound and harmonious course of development. AEC currently has 26 member organisation from 10 European countries.

Contact:
Mr Bengt Ingerstam, AEC President
cellular: +46 70 604 77 25

or
AEC office in Brussels
c/o L'Observatoire social européen
Email: attention Paola Furno at <ose.eur@skynet.be>
13 Rue PE Janson
B-1050 Bruxelles
Tel 32-2-537 19 71
Fax 32-2-539 28 08
-------------------------------

Association of European Consumers, AEC
c/o Swedish Consumer Coalition
Box 88, S-577 22 Hultsfred, Sweden
tel: +46 495 498 34, +46 495 413 15 mobil: +46 70 604 77 25
fax: +46 495 498 35
e-mail: bengt.ingerstam@konsumentsamverkan.se
Homepage:
http://www.konsumentsamverkan.se (click on EU flag+AEC)




From: "C'esca Lawrence" <Snowcat711@mediaone.net>
Subject: Fw: COMMERCIAL VS ORGANIC FOOD
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000

SCIENTISTS PROVE SUPERIOR NUTRITIVE VALUE OF ORGANIC FOOD!

Researchers at Rutgers University set-out to disprove the claim that "Organic Is Better". They purchased selections of produce at supermarkets and healthfood stores and analyzed for mineral content. Organic foods were those grown without the use of chemical pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Non-organic foods, referred to here as "commercial," were grown with a variety of chemicals that enhance growth or destroy pests, many of which are known or suspected carcinogens (cancer-causing) and which cause greater erosion to the environment and wildlife. The idea that organic crops are nutritionally superior has been accepted largely on faith. There has been very little hard evidence to support this supposition.
Rutgers researchers expected the organic produce to be maybe slightly higher in comparison, but the results were astounding! The amount of iron in the organic spinach was 97% more than the commercial spinach, and the manganese was 99% greater in the organic. Many essential trace elements were completely absent in the commercial produce whereas they were abundant, comparatively, in their organically grown counterparts.

MAJOR MINERALS Milliequivalents per 100 Grams Dry Weight: Trace Elements, Parts per Million Dry Matter

MINERAL: PHOSPHOROUS MAGNESIUM

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 10.45 0.36
COMMERCIAL 4.04 0.22

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 10.38 0.38
COMMERCIAL 6.12 0.18

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 24.48 0.43
COMMERCIAL 7.01 0.22

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 14.2 0.35
COMMERCIAL 6.07 0.16

SPINACH
ORGANIC 28.56 0.52
COMMERCIAL 12.38 0.27

MINERAL: SODIUM MANGANESE

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 40.5 60
COMMERCIAL 15.5 14.8

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 60.0 43.6
COMMERCIAL 17.5 13.6

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 71 49.3
COMMERCIAL 16 13.1

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 23 59.2
COMMERCIAL 4.5 4.5

SPINACH
ORGANIC 96 203.9
COMMERCIAL 47.5 46.9

MINERAL: COPPER ASH

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 99.7 8.6
COMMERCIAL 29.1 0.9

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 148.3 20.4
COMMERCIAL 33.7 0.8

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 176.5 12.2
COMMERCIAL 53.7 0

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 148.3 6.5
COMMERCIAL 58.8 0

SPINACH
ORGANIC 237 69.5
COMMERCIAL 84.6 0

MINERAL: CALCIUM POTASSIUM

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 73 60
COMMERCIAL 10 2

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 42 13
COMMERCIAL 7 2

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 37 169
COMMERCIAL 6 1

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 36 68
COMMERCIAL 3 1

SPINACH
ORGANIC 88 117
COMMERCIAL 12 1

MINERAL: BORON IRON

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 227 69
COMMERCIAL 10 3

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 94 48
COMMERCIAL 20 0.4

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 516 60
COMMERCIAL 9 3

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 1938 53
COMMERCIAL 1 0

SPINACH
ORGANIC 1584 32
COMMERCIAL 49 0.3

MINERAL: COBALT

SNAP BEANS
ORGANIC 0.26
COMMERCIAL 0

CABBAGE
ORGANIC 0.15
COMMERCIAL 0

LETTUCE
ORGANIC 0.19
COMMERCIAL 0

TOMATOES
ORGANIC 0.63
COMMERCIAL 0

SPINACH
ORGANIC 0.25
COMMERCIAL 0.2

Since organic foods are 3 to 100 times more nutritious, just think how much stronger our health would be if we eat organic!




Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000
From: EMF guru <rbeavers@llion.org>,
Subject: SCHOOLS GIVE LESSONS ON MOBILE PHONE DANGERS

Monday 17th Jan 2000


SCHOOLS GIVE LESSONS ON MOBILE PHONE DANGERS

SCHOOLCHILDREN are now getting lessons in the classroom on how to use their mobile phones safely.

One local education authority is teaching pupils about the possible health dangers posed by mobiles, following an explosion in the number of under-16s who carry them.

Two more authorities are set to follow suit and issue pupils with their own guidelines on how to cut the health risks. Brighton and Hove Council in East Sussex has been warning 55,000 children - some as young as five - in its 77 schools of the dangers since last year.

Education chiefs in Derbyshire are now writing to 400 schools with a similar warning.

And in Edinburgh councillors are drawing up guidelines to help teachers educate 60,000 pupils on the dangers.

Microwave radiation from mobiles is feared to cause cancer, affect blood pressure and cause memory problems. And scientists fear young children may be the most vulnerable.

Dr Henry Lai, of the University of Washington, Seattle, said: "It is very scary that so many children in Britain are using mobiles. We have no idea of the effect. I won't let my seven-year-old child use a mobile phone."

Professor Gerald Hyland of the University of Warwick added: "It's totally irresponsible for parents to let their children have mobiles. It is the equivalent of giving the child a cyanide pill."

The advice which teachers in East Sussex are giving to their pupils includes:

Use a land line rather than a mobile if possible.

Keep mobiles as far away from the head as possible while making calls.

Keep mobile calls short.

Buy a mobile from Vodaphone or Cellnet, which operate at lower frequencies.

Edinburgh City Council will offer similar advice. Local councillor Brian Fallon said: "We will advise school children to use a land line. If that's not possible, use an earpiece and carry your mobile in a plastic bag or handbag because, if there was a harmful effect from radiation levels, it
would be worse if the phone is next to the body."

About 350,000 children in Britain now use mobile phones. Over Christmas the mobile phone industry gained an extra four million subscribers - many of them children.

Perdita Patterson, editor of What Mobile, said mobile firms are increasingly targeting children, by making phones more brightly coloured and exciting, and by introducing the ability to send text messages.

And the sudden rise in mobile phone ownership has also landed schools with a financial headache.

Headmasters are spending way over their phone budget - because parents keep leaving mobile numbers to ring them back on.

Monday 17th Jan 2000

=======

'Walk-out' threat over phone mast

Social services staff have threatened to walk out if mobile phone masts are erected on their office building. Angry employees at the Oxfordshire County Council offices in Cowley Road, Oxford, fear risks to their health.

Staff voiced their concern at a public meeting on Thursday and warned they would demonstrate to stop workmen from mobile phone firm Orange from putting up the six masts.

One worker, who asked not to be named to protect her job, said: "We are not saying we will refuse to work. We are saying we will refuse to work there.

"We believe the council is contravening its duty of care to staff and is severely risking our health and safety. "Would anyone feel safe working in a building with these masts on top?"

The meeting, attended by more than 60 people, was organised by Cameo, the Campaign Against Masts in East Oxfordshire.

The group urged residents to stop workmen putting up the masts when the work begins next Thursday.

Nobody from Orange attended, despite being invited.

There are widespread concerns among the public about possible health risks caused by mobile phone masts although the phone companies insist there is no "substantiated evidence" to suggest any link. Oxford Cameo spokesman Dharesh Turnbull said: "Until we know exactly how these masts affect the
health of people nearby we will not allow them to go up."

County councillor Craig Simmons said he would back any peaceful direct action.

The nearby 250-pupil East Oxford First School is opposing the scheme along with several businesses in the area.

Cameo plans to take out an injunction to stop Orange putting up the masts, but has only a week before work begins.

Part of James Street is expected to be closed on Thursday evening while cranes are put in place to hoist the masts to the top of the building on Saturday.

Story date: Saturday 15 January
Copyright 1999 Newsquest Media Group







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