The International Comission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection- an invite only club  with longstanding industry ties  that is accountable to no one. 

ICNIRP is short for the International Comission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection. ICNIRP is an invite only,  small group of just 14 members that has no oversight. It was  founded by scientist Michael Repacholi who was funneling industry money though a hospital to fund his EMF activities and is now an industry consultant. Repacholi remains  an ICNIRP Emeritus Member. 

ICNIRP  – with its impressive sounding name – is de-facto the standard setting so called “authority” when it comes to answering the question of “what is safe” regarding wireless and powerline frequency extremeley low frequency non-ionizing radiation. It does not represent “consensus” as it is made of just 14 people.

“ICNIRP can, and should, be considered as a “private club” where, members of the new Main Commission are selected by the members of the outgoing Main Commission. It is a self-perpetuating and self-promoting German NGO that is not accountable for its actions at all. Nobody controls it. Nobody supervises it. Nobody checks it for conflicts of interests. Nobody checks it for the scientific accuracy. In all what and how ICNIRP does we, the general public, must rely on the self-assurances, from the ICNIRP, that all is in order.”  –Dr. Dariuz Leszczynski on ICNIRP

ICNIRP Has No Oversight

ICNIRP has up to 14 Comissioners and they only allow in new Comissioners they nominate. It is genrally the same group of people for years, shifting positions. For example, Eric Van Rongan started consulting to ICNIRP in 2001, was brought in as Comissioner in 2010, was Chair in 2016, and Vice Chair in 2021. Rodney Croft Joined ICNIRP’s “Biology Standing Committee 2008″  and Main Commission in 2012. Rodney Croft has been ICNIRP Chair since May 2020. Conflicts of Interest (COI) statements do not exist  online for those on “Committees” and the COIs now posted for Comisioners only go back a few years which hides the reality that may ICNIRP members have years of industry connected funding, and regularly publish with industry supported authors. Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT has repeatedly written ICNIRP for clarification on many matters related to trasparancy and the scientific dicumentation for their limits   and never receded a full response to her questions. 

“The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a private non-governmental (NGO) organization registered in Munich, Germany. ICNIRP appoints its own members and is closed to transparency. It was started in 1992 with the biophysicist Michael Repacholi as the first chairman, now emeritus member. ICNIRP has published three articles with guidelines on RF-EMF exposure [86, 89, 90]. Only thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation are recognized, thereby excluding all studies showing harmful effects at lower non-thermal intensities. In contrast to ICNIRP, some other expert panels such as European Academy of Environmental Medicine [91], the Bioinitiative group [92], and the Russian Commission for Protection from Non-Ionizing Radiation [93], take into account non-thermal RF effects and suggest much lower guidelines for RF exposure. ICNIRP has managed to get collaborative status with WHO, as discussed previously [88]. The aim is to harmonize the RF-radiation guidelines all over the world. For that purpose ICNIRP has been successful. The guidelines are set to allow very high exposure levels so that the deployment of this technology is not hampered, in favor for industry but at disadvantage to human health and environment. In fact, the ICNIRP guidelines have never been challenged by industry in peer-reviewed articles, which must be taken as a greencard for acceptance by industry. ” – Lost opportunities for cancer prevention: historical evidence on early warnings with emphasis on radiofrequency radiation” 

Investigate Europe Refers to ICNIRP as a “Cartel”

“The ICNIRP Cartel: Who’s Who in the EMF Research World,” an interactive graphic developed by Investigate Europe details the revolving door betwen ICNIRP  the WHO EMF Project.

“ICNIRP scientists argue that the thousands of peer-reviewed studies that have found harmful biologic or health effects from chronic exposure to non-thermal levels of EMF are insufficient to warrant stronger safety guidelines. The journalists argue that the cartel promotes the ICNIRP guidelines by conducting biased reviews of the scientific literature that minimize health risks from EMF exposure. These reviews have been conducted for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government agencies. By preserving the ICNIRP EMF exposure guidelines favored by industry, the cartel ensures that the cellular industry will continue to fund health effects research.  – Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, February 11, 2019

The Cartel Activity Qualifies As Scientific Misconduct 

Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg published “Health risks from radiofrequency radiation, including 5G, should be assessed by experts with no conflicts of interest”  detailing how  the independant evaluations of RF radiation health risks are ignored by ICNIRP and other closely connected groups. ” Conflicts of interest and ties to the industry seem to have contributed to the biased reports. The lack of proper unbiased risk evaluation of the 5G technology places populations at risk. Furthermore, there seems to be a cartel of individuals monopolizing evaluation committees, thus reinforcing the no-risk paradigm. We believe that this activity should qualify as scientific misconduct.” 

Listen to Dr. Hardell describe the conflicts of  interest betwen ICNIRP, the WHO EMF Proect and other groups in the video below from his talk to in Tallinn in June 3, 2019 (kiirgusinfo.ee). 

European Parliament Member Report: ICNIRP Under the Influence of Industry

A 2021 report released by European Members of Parliments Michèle Rivasi (Europe Écologie) and Dr. Klaus Buchner (Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei) accuses ICNIRP of being under the influence of the telecommunications industry and ignoring the science showing their harmful effects- specifically with how “the scientific debate has been hijacked by corporate interests from the Telecom industry and conflicts of interest.”

“ICNIRP pretends to be scientifically neutral, and free from vested interests of the Telecom industry. We show with this study that this is ‘playing with the truth’ or simply a lie.”

The report written by Hans van Scharen and edited by Tomas Vanheste and Erik Lambert is entitled, “The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Capture and the Push for 5G.” (PDF)

The report makes several key points:

  • “Employed by industry” is not, in itself, sufficient to avoid conflicts of interest. It is also important to ascertain to what extent ICNIRP research activities may be funded by industry.
  • It is clear from ICES minutes that ICNIRP worked very closely with IEEE/ICES on the creation of the new RF safety guidelines that were published in March 2020. And this implies that large telecom-companies such as Motorola and others, as well as US military, had a direct influence on the ICNIRP guidelines, which are still the basis for EU-policies in this domain ….

  • From the minutes of a meeting by the IEEE/ICES TC95 working groups at a Motorola headquarters, a few interesting things got clear: ICES-chair Faraone Antonio from ‘Motorola Solutions’ proudly announced that “ICNIRP has delayed finalizing their conclusions to give full consideration of ICES’s recommendations”.

  • The majority of ICNIRP-scientists have done, or are doing, research partly funded by industry. 

Fact: If you go back in time to the ICNIRP website you will see there are no conflict of interest (COI) statements posted AND you will see numerous ICNIRP Comissioners now known to be industry tied. 

For example see the Link to ICNIRP Commission in 2006 

Anders Ahlbom : ICNIRP Chair was Anders Ahlbom later thrown out of the WHO IARC EMF Working Group in 2011 for conflicts of interest  because – as Microwave News reports – Ahlbom was found to be  a director of his brother’s consulting firm, Gunnar Ahlbom AB-established to help clients on telecom issues, with an emphasis on environmental and energy regulations. Ahlbom failed to mention this sideline in his “Declaration of Interests” that is required of all those who participate in IARC cancer assessments.

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By  2014, ICNIRP  started posting COI statements LINK to ICNIRP in 2014 but note that there are non posted for Repacholi and the Vice Chair is Maria Feychting, Anders Ahlbom’s protégé. As an Interphone study Principal Investigator (PI) she received money from the Mobile Manufacturers Forum and the GSM Association. As a COSMOS study PI she has received  funds from TaliaSonera, Ericsson AB, Telenor.  As a co-investigator on a childhood leukemia study she received funding from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She also participated in projects funded by the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication of Zurich. Among the five founders of this organization are Swisscom (a Swiss telecommunications company, telephony and mobile telephony, and Internet service provider), Orange, Sunrise (a Swiss telecommunications provider based in Zurich), and 3G Mobile (liquidated in 2011). As the way back machine did not save the COI statements we cannot review them. 

A brief look at the Scientific expert group See link to ICNIRP SEG in 2014 finds industry tied researchers like Leeka Kheifets who has been funded by Electric Power Research Institute and has participated in projects funded by the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication de Zurich. Among the five founders of this organization are Swisscom a Swiss telecommunications company, telephony and mobile telephony and Internet service provider; Orange; Sunrise, a Swiss telecommunications provider based in Zurich; and, 3G Mobile, which was liquidated in 2011).

Furthermore the 2014 ICNIRP features Mats-Olof Mattsson who declares on another Curriculum Vitae that was part of the TeliaSonera (Telecom company) Scientific Advisory Board  in 2009,  to Andrew Wood who stated in his 2017 ICNIRP COI that he has in kind support from Telstra in his research department and Marvin Ziskin known to be funded by industry for his current research. 

ICNIRP Was Founded by An Industry Funded Scientist

As detailed by Dr. Hardell in his International Journal of Oncology article,  the biophysicist Michael Repacholi from Australia was the first chairman of ICNIRP in 1992 and is still Member Emeritus. He also founded the EMF Project of the World Health Organization via industry funds. “Michael Repacholi immediately set up a close collaboration between WHO and ICNIRP (being head of both organizations) inviting the electric, telecom and military industries to meetings. He also arranged for large part of the WHO EMF project to be financed by the telecommunication industry’s lobbying organisations; GSM Association and Mobile Manufacturers Forum, now called Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) (51) in addition to WHO, see the International EMF Project, Progress Report June 2005–2006  IAC_Progress_Report_2005-2006. 

“Repacholi acted like a representative for the telecom industry while responsible for the EMF health effects department at the WHO (See http://microwavenews.com/news/time-stop-who-charade)   Since he left WHO in 2006 he has been involved in industry propaganda video interviews with GSM Association and Hydro Quebec where he clearly speaks in favor of the telecommunications and the power industries, respectively. “

Watch Michael Repacholi present on why the public should not be concerned about wireless in the video below.

Money Laundering by The Telecom Industry

“ICNIRP funding partly comes from government regulatory bodies, such as, for example, the Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). What is actually going on is best described as ‘money laundering’ by the Telecom industry through government (ARPANSA) and onto WHO’s International EMF Project and ICNIRP” – Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association as quoted in the European Parliament Member Report

The  European Parliament Member Report on ICNIRP details several of the ways that  industry money supports ICNIRP and other government athorities. For example, in Australia, not only does a tax on telecommunications companies get earmarked for the funding of the Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency but Public Information Requests reveal quite clearly that the Telecom group AMTA is the funder for the research on electromagnetic radiation administered by National Health and Medical Research Council. The PIAs also reveal that  ARPANSA considers itself “part of ICNIRP”. 

According to the Australian research group ORSAA “the money that the Australian NHMRC receives in order to provide grants for medical research has mostly gone to industry-friendly researchers who have direct links with the wireless industry. For example, the largest recipient of this NHMRC research funds is Prof. Rodney Croft. He has essentially been the head of RF-EMR health research in Australia, despite his questionable qualifications for this health research role.” ORSAA explains how Prof. Croft has received ample direct industry funding in addition to his lucrative NHMRC grants.

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The telecommunications company Telstra explains their funding of ACRBR /ACEBR/ NHMRC/Swineburne University on their website,  “In 2004, Telstra altered its approach to participate in a consortium of leading Australian research institutions to establish a Centre of Excellence in Radio Frequency (RF) EME Research, known as the Australian Centre for RF Bioeffects Research (ACRBR). This centre was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). In 2013 a new Centre of Excellence was established called the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR). This centre was refunded again in 2019 for a further five-year period. As part of the ACEBR, our ongoing commitment to EME research is also maintained through joint funding of a state-of-the-art RF laboratory at Swinburne University and provision of mobile telecommunications equipment, to support work on RF dosimetry (measurement).”

Fact: Members of ICNIRP such as Croft have a history of recieving financial support from telecommunications company Telstra for their research. Telstra donates their own staff to  some of ICNIRP Comissioner’s research labs (Telstra staff includes Ray McKenzie, Dr Steve Iskra, Dr Robert McIntosh). Several members of ICNIRP have also recieved funding from EPRI, the industry consulting arm.

Watch some excerpts from a 2009 investigation into the issue featuring Rodney Croft, now Chair  of ICNIRP.

Current Funding by the German Government

After years of less than transparant information, and years of telecom funding to scientist Michael Repacholi,  information about the current funding of ICNIRP has been somewhat provided. Microwae News covers this issue n his article “ICNIRP’s Principal Patron: Germany “ which details how the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), which is the bureaucratic parent of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection  provided 70-80% of  ICNIRP support in the last three years.  Details of Germany’s support for ICNIRP was provided to Microwave News by the BMU following an information request. ICNIRP also receives an “in-kind-contribution” from the BMU: “free” office space in the BfS. Mocrowave News also reports that among the other agencies that support ICNIRP are: European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014–2020), International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Pure Corruption

The bottom line is that a small group of industry tied individuals are making decisions on safety limits used across the world.

ORSAA calls this “pure corruption at a huge cost to public health everywhere. This system of funding and promoting an in-club of industry friendly researchers has kept a small number of people in powerful positions within the WHO, ICNIRP, ARPANSA etc., influencing decision making for most of the world.”

Sowing Doubt is ICNIRP’s Business

“Sowing doubt is ICNIRP’s business. ..It looks as if ICNIRP is once again used by this industry to enforce its interests, and this time with a method copied from the tobacco industry. By sowing doubt for decades, the tobacco industry succeeded in keeping people unsure about the already certain fact that smoking causes lung cancer. Now the mobile communication industry uses the same tactic, and this with even more dire consequences: the addiction might be comparable, but the number of addicts is by far much higher.”How the Mobile Communication Industry Deals with Science as Illustrated by ICNIRP versus NTP by  Dr. Franz Adlkofer, Pandora Foundation for independent research

https://ehtrust.org/icnirp-the-international-commission-on-non-ionizing-radiation-protection-deep-industry-ties-no-oversight-and-only-14-members/ Source: Environmental Health Trust