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Pilger, Burchett, and Assange: Three Extraordinary Australian Journalists That Poke Truth To Power

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Wilfred Burchett, John Pilger and Julian Assange are all Australian journalists who have gone against the grain, and provided information and a perspective to the world that many would not have seen otherwise.

  • Reflect On:

    Are journalists censored and threatened today because they are actually a threat to 'national security,' or rather a threat to power elitist and corporate agendas?

Australia has produced extraordinary journalists across three generations:  Wilfred Burchett (deceased in 1983), John Pilger (80 years old but still active) and Julian Assange (48 years old, currently in London’s Belmarsh prison).

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Each of these journalists made unique contributions to our understanding of the world. Although Australia is part of the western world, each of these journalists exposed and criticized Western foreign policy.

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Wilfred Burchett

Wilfred Burchett lived from 1911 to 1983. He was a farm boy and his experience in the depression shaped his dislike of oligarchs and preference for the poor.  He went to Europe trying to volunteer for Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but that did not work out.  Instead, he assisted Jews escaping Nazi Germany.

Burchett became a journalist by accident. Having seen the reality in Germany, he started writing many letters to newspaper editors. One of the editors took note of his fluid writing style and intensity. They contacted him to ask if he would like to report for them. Thus began a forty year writing career.

He covered WW2, first stationed with British troops in India then Burma. Then he covered the Pacific campaign stationed with U.S. troops.  He was the first international journalist to report on Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. He evaded US military restrictions to go to Hiroshima and see reality for himself. In his story “The Atomic Plague”, published in the London Daily Express, Burchett said,  “I write this as a warning to the world” and “Doctors fall as they work”.   Immediately the US launched a campaign to smear his reputation and deny the validity of his story. The US military was intent on preventing people from knowing the long term effects of nuclear radiation.

Burchett’s report from Hiroshima was broadcast worldwide and called the “scoop of the century”. It exemplified his career based on first-hand observation and experience.

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Over his 40 year career, he reported the other side of the story from the Soviet Union, China, Korea and Vietnam. He wrote thousands of articles and over 35 books.  On China, he wrote “China’s Feet Unbound” in 1952. Two decades later he wrote (with Rewi Alley) “China: The Quality of Life”.

Burchett wrote “Vietnam: The Inside Story of a Guerrilla War” (1965) “My War with the CIA: The Memoirs of Prince Norodom Sihanouk”(1974), “Grasshoppers and Elephants: Why Vietnam Fell” (1977) and then “Catapult to Freedom: The Survival of the Vietnamese People” (1978).

Burchett’s life, experiences and observations are brilliantly recorded in his autobiography “At the Barricades: Forty Years on the Cutting Edge of History” (1980). They reveal the hardscrabble youth and early years, the leftist sympathies, the decades of journalistic work based on first-hand observations.

Burchett was vilified by the establishment political leaders in Australia. His Australian passport was taken, the government refused to issue him a new one and he was barred from entering Australia. Even his children were denied their Australian citizenship. Finally, after 17 years, Wilfred Burchett’s citizenship and passport were restored when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister in 1972.

With his unassuming and affable manner, Wilfred Burchett became friends with leaders such as Ho Chi Minh, Norodom Sihanouk,  and Chou en Lai.   Bertrand Russell said, “One man, Wilfred Burchett, alerted Western public opinion to the nature of this war and the struggle of the Vietnamese people.”

This interview gives a glimpse into the character and personality of Wilfred Burchett.

John Pilger

John Pilger is another extraordinary Australian journalist.  After starting journalism in the early ’60s,  he became a war correspondent covering Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Biafra. He worked 25 years at London’s Daily Mirror and then had a regular fortnightly column for 23 years at the New Statesman.

His first documentary, “The Quiet Mutiny”, depicted US soldiers in Vietnam resisting their officers and the war. In 1974, when Palestine was often unmentionable, he produced “Palestine is Still the Issue”. Nineteen years later, he wrote the second part and described how  Palestine is still the issue.

John Pilger has written/edited over ten books and made over 50 films. He told the story of atrocities in Pol Pot’s Cambodia with “Year Zero“.  He exposed Indonesia’s stranglehold on East Timor in “Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy”.  In a four year investigation, he showed how working-class victims of the drug thalidomide had been excluded from a settlement with the drug company.

John Pilger exposed uncomfortable truths about his home country and its treatment of aboriginal people. He did this through films including “The Secret Country: First Australians Fight Back” (1985),  “Welcome to Australia” (1999), and “Utopia: An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance” (2013).  He gives more history and detail in the book “A Secret Country” (1992).

In 2002 Pilger produced and movie and book titled “The New Rulers of the World”  revealing the grotesque inequality in this “globalized” world where a few individuals and corporations have more power and wealth than entire countries.

In 2016 Pilger came out with the urgent and prescient video “The Coming War with China”.

More recently he produced “The Dirty War on the NHS” which documents the stealth campaign to privatize the UK’s National Health System. Many of John Pilger’s films can be seen at his website johnpilger.com .

In the 1960s and ’70s, Pilger’s brave and bold journalism received many awards and he was twice recognized as Journalist of the Year.  But in recent years, there has been less acceptance as media has become more homogenized and controlled.  In 2018 Pilger said“My written journalism is no longer welcome – probably it’s last home was The Guardian, which three years ago got rid of people like me and others in pretty much a purge …”  

Harold Pinter, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, says “John Pilger unearths, with steely attention, the facts, the filthy truth. and tells it like it is.

Julian Assange

The third extraordinary Australian journalist is Julian Assange. He was born on 3 July 1971.  He became a skilled computer programmer and hacker as a teenager. Later he later studied mathematics and physics at Melbourne University. According to one of his math teachers he was an exceptional student but he clearly had other tasks and priorities.

Assange has edited or co-authored at least four books. For three years he worked with Australian journalist and co-author Suelette Dreyfus to write “Underground : Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession in the Electronic Frontier”.  First published in 1997, the Sydney Morning Herald called it “astonishing”. Rolling Stone described it as “An entirely original focus on the bizarre lives and crimes of an extraordinary group of teenage hackers.” 

In 2012, Assange produced the TV series “The World Tomorrow”. Over 12 segments, he interviews Ecuador President Rafael Correa, the current President of Pakistan Imran Khan, the leader of Hezbollah Hasan Nasrallah, leaders in the Occupy movement, Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and many more.

In 2013, Assange and WikiLeaks produced the movie Mediastan. It shows WikiLeaks’ global travels to meet publishers of the secret documents.  In 2014 OR Books published “When WikiLeaks met Google”. It consists of a discussion between Julian Assange and Google founder Eric Schmidt plus two companions. Assange writes a 51-page introduction which puts the discussion in context: how Google and other internet giants have become part of  US foreign policy establishment.

In 2015 Assange edited “The WikiLeaks files: the world according to the US Empire” and in 2016 the book “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet” was published. Assange and three other computer experts discuss the future of the internet and whether computers will emancipate or enslave us. One reviewer says, “These guys are really getting at the heart of some very big issues that practically no one (outside of Cypherpunk circles) is thinking about.”

But what makes Assange extraordinary is his work as editor in chief and publisher of WikiLeaks.  Following are a few examples of information they have conveyed to the public:

* Corruption by family and associates of  Kenyan leader Daniel Arap Moi.

* Corruption at Kaupthing Bank in the Iceland financial crisis

* Dumping of toxic chemicals in Ivory Coast.

* Killing of  Reuters journalists and over 10 Iraqi civilians by US Apache attack helicopter in “Collateral Murder” video.

* 92,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan (and civilian casualties previously hidden)

* 400,000 documents on the war in Iraq (including reports showing the US military ignoring torture by their Iraqi allies)

* corruption in Tunisia (helping spark the Arab Spring)

* NSA spying on German leader Merkel, Brazilian leader Roussef, French presidents (Sarkozy, Hollande, Chirac) and more.

* secret agreements in the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership

* emails and files from the US Democratic National Committee

* CIA spying and other tools  (“Vault 7”).

Julian Assange has received much recognition: Sam Adams Award, Time’s Person of the Year, Le Monde Person of the Year,  Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal, Serena Shim Award and others.

But Assange has incurred the wrath and enmity of the US government. The “Collateral Damage” video and war logs exposed the brutal reality of US aggression and occupation.  Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the US invasion of Iraq violated international law. But there has been no accountability.

In response to WikiLeaks’ revelations, the United States has ignored the crimes and gone after the messenger who revealed the crimes. Thus Julian Assange was confined to the Ecuador Embassy for 7 years and is now in Belmarsh maximum-security prison.  The US wants him extradited to the US where he has been charged with 18 counts of  “Illegally Obtaining, Receiving and Disclosing Classified Information”.  The extradition hearing is scheduled to begin on 24 February 2020.

Across Three Generations

Australia should be proud of these exceptional native sons. Each one has made huge contributions to educating the public about crucial events.

Wilfred Burchett reported from the “other side” when the West was waging war on Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and China. He was demonized and even called “Public Enemy Number One” during the Cold War.  But those who read his reports and many books found an accurate and objective writer. His many books stand the test of time.

From the 60s to today, John Pilger has told stories that were never or rarely told.  He has exposed facts and drawn conclusions which shame or should shame powerful forces, whether in the U.K., U.S.A. or Australia. He has documented the real heroes who are otherwise ignored.

Julian Assange is from the new generation. He has reported and published secret information about military-political power on “this side”. He has revealed truths that powerful forces do not want the public to know, even when it is being done in their name.

Now Assange is in prison and in danger of being extradited to the United States. If this is allowed to happen, it will mark a crushing setback and perhaps the death of independent investigative journalism.

John Pilger is a major supporter of Julian Assange. So is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer. In a blockbuster interview, he says “I have never seen a comparable case….The Swedish authorities … intentionally left him in limbo. Just imagine being accused of rape for nine-and-a-half years by an entire state apparatus and the media without ever being given the chance to defend yourself because no charges have ever been filed.” He goes to describe reading the original Swedish documents, saying “I could hardly believe my eyes…. a rape had never taken place at all…. the woman’s testimony was later changed by the Stockholm police… I have all the documents in my possession, the emails, the text messages.”  

Melzer describes the refusal of governments to comply with his requests. He sums up what is happening and the significance. “A show trial is to be used to make an example of Julian Assange….. Four democratic countries joined forces – the U.S., Ecuador, Sweden, and the U.K. – to leverage their power to portray one man as a monster so that he could be later burned at the stake without any outcry. The case is a huge scandal and represents the failure of Western rule of law. If Julian Assange is convicted, it will be a death sentence for freedom of the press.”

The three extraordinary Australian journalists were all rebels and all international. They all depended on freedom of the press which is now at stake.

Feature photo | Pictured from left to right: John Pilger, Wilfred Burchett and Julian Assange

Article originally written by Rick Sterling, for MintPressNews where it was originally published. Rick is an independent investigative journalist. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be contacted at rsterling1@protonmail.com

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1 Million + People Download Study Showing Heavy Aluminum Deposits In Autistic Brains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A landmark paper published in 2018 showing high amounts of aluminum in autistic brains has not been dowloaded more than 1 million times.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are federal health regulatory agencies ignoring the emerging science showing concerns with regards to injected aluminum? Why don't they address the concerns and conduct safety studies?

What Happened: In 2018, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in aluminum toxicology, published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine & Biology showing very high amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of people with autism. Exley has examined more than 100 brains, and the aluminum content in these people is some of the highest he has ever seen and raises new questions about the role of aluminum in the etiology of autism. Five people were used in the study, comprising of four males and one female, all between the ages of 14-50. Each of their brains contained what the authors considered unsafe and high amounts of aluminum compared to brain tissues of patients with other diseases where high brain aluminum content is common, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

It’s now been downloaded by more than 1 million people. The photo below was posted recently via his Instagram account.

Here is a summary of the study’s main findings:

-All five individuals had at least one brain tissue with a “pathologically significant” level of aluminum, defined as greater than or equal to 3.00 micrograms per gram of dry brain weight (μg/g dry wt). (Dr. Exley and colleagues developed categories to classify aluminum-related pathology after conducting other brain studies, wherein older adults who died healthy had less than 1 μg/g dry wt of brain aluminum.)

-Roughly two-thirds (67%) of all the tissue samples displayed a pathologically significant aluminum content.

-Aluminum levels were particularly high in the male brains, including in a 15-year-old boy with ASD who had the study’s single highest brain aluminum measurement (22.11 μg/g dry wt)—many times higher than the pathologically significant threshold and far greater than levels that might be considered as acceptable even for an aged adult.

-Some of the elevated aluminum levels rivaled the very high levels historically reported in victims of dialysis encephalopathy syndrome (a serious iatrogenic disorder resulting from aluminum-containing dialysis solutions).

-In males, most aluminum deposits were inside cells (80/129), whereas aluminum deposits in females were primarily extracellular (15/21). The majority of intracellular aluminum was inside non-neuronal cells (microglia and astrocytes).

-Aluminum was present in both grey matter (88 deposits) and white matter (62 deposits). (The brain’s grey matter serves to process information, while the white matter provides connectivity.)

-The researchers also identified aluminum-loaded lymphocytes in the meninges (the layers of protective tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord) and in similar inflammatory cells in the vasculature, furnishing evidence of aluminum’s entry into the brain “via immune cells circulating in the blood and lymph” and perhaps explaining how youth with ASD came to acquire such shockingly high levels of brain aluminum.

Following up this paper, Exely recently published recently published a paper titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”

In the interview below, Exley answers a lot of questions, but the part that caught my attention was:

We have looked at what happens to the aluminum adjuvant when it’s injected and we have shown that certain types of cells come to the injection site and take up the aluminum inside them. You know, these same cells we also see in the brain tissue in autism. So, for the first time we have a link that honestly I had never expected to find between aluminum as an adjuvant in vaccines and that same aluminum potentially could be carried by those same cells across the blood brain barrier into the brain tissue where it could deposit the aluminum and produce a disease, Encephalopathy (brain damage), it could produce the more severe and disabling form of autism. This is a really shocking finding for us.

The interview is quite informative with regards to aluminum toxicology in general, but if you’re interested in the quote above, you can fast forward to the twelve minutes and thirty seconds mark.

Why This Is Important: There are many concerns being raised about aluminum in vaccines, and where that aluminum goes when it’s injected into the body. Multiple animal studies have now shown that when you inject aluminum, it doesn’t exit the body but travels to distant organs and eventually ends up in the brain where it’s detectable 1-10 years after injection. When we take in aluminum from our food or whatever however, the body does a great job of getting rid of it.

When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr Christopher Shaw, University of British Columbia. (source)

Furthermore, federal health regulatory agencies have not appropriately studied the aluminum adjuvants mechanisms of action after injection, it’s simply been presumed safe after more than 90 years of use in various vaccines.

It’s also important to note that A group of scientists and physicians known as The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) have discovered a crucial math error in a FDA paper regarding the safety of aluminum in vaccines.

If you want to access the science and studies about injected aluminum not exiting the body, and more information about aluminum in vaccines in general, you can refer to THIS article, and THIS article I recently published on the subject that goes into more detail and provides more sources, science and exampels. 

The Takeaway: When it comes to vaccine safety, why does mainstream media constantly point fingers and call those who have concerns “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?” Why don’t they ever address the science and concerns being raised that paint vaccines in a light that they’ve never been painted in? What’s going on here? Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

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CDC Virologist: OP Vaccine Has Created More Polio Outbreaks Than It Has Stopped

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to Mark Pallansch, a CDC virologist, the oral polio vaccine has created more disease outbreaks than they've stopped. The oral polio vaccine is now responsible for many outbreaks across multiple countries.

  • Reflect On:

    Can these outbreaks caused by the oral polio vaccine really be brought under control by another vaccine used to combat the oral polio vaccine outbreaks? Is that such a good idea or is more caution warranted here?

What Happened: In 2019 Mark Pallansch, a virologists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, told sciencemag.org that by using mOPV2 (oral polio vaccine), “we have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” This is known as “vaccine-derived poliovirus.” Yes, you read that correctly, and it’s one of multiple examples of vaccines causing disease outbreaks. For example, A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that “During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences…” This means 37 percent of the cases analyzed were a result of the vaccine. You can read more about the measles and the MMR vaccine specifically, here.

Why This Is Important: The spread of the virus due to the oral vaccine is plaguing Africa,

The global initiative to eradicate polio is badly stuck, battling the virus on two fronts. New figures show the wild polio virus remains entrenched in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, its other holdout, where cases are surging. In Africa, meanwhile, the vaccine itself is spawning virulent strains. The leaders of the world’s biggest public health program are now admitting that success is not just around the corner—and intensively debating how to break the impasse. (source)

Children’s Health Defense explains,

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is in use around the world and constitutes the “workhorse” of global polio eradication efforts due to its low cost and ease of administration. The OPV contains live but weakened polioviruses that match up to wild polioviruses. Vaccine researchers have long known that these OPV-derived viruses can themselves cause polio, particularly when they get “loose in the environment.” In settings with poor sanitation and iffy hygiene, the vaccine viruses can easily “find their way into water sources, and onto contaminated hands or foods,” where they can then launch a self-perpetuating chain of transmission. Researchers concede that an OPV virus “can very rapidly regain its strength if it starts spreading on its own,” acquiring “mutations that make it basically indistinguishable from the wild-type virus.” In other words, there is no meaningful difference between a wild and OPV-derived poliovirus “in terms of virulence and in terms of how the virus spreads.”

The oral vaccine has been causing outbreaks in multiple countries for a long time, in fact,  it has been responsible for close to 90% of the vaccine-derived polioviruses circulating since the year 2000, but it was only recently when the World Health Organization (WHO) brought more attention to the issue via their website in September of this year.

In fact, between August 2019 and August 2020, there were 400 recorded cases of vaccine-derived polio in more than 20 countries worldwide

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), headed by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation had scientists actually predict predict that some vaccine-virus-derived outbreaks would indeed occur, but they thought they could handle these outbreaks with another vaccine.

Now,

The frequency with which type 2 vaccine-derived outbreaks are occurring has far exceeded projections—and the rush to administer the new monovalent type 2 vaccine appears to be exacerbating rather than stemming the problem. In an astonishing admission, a CDC virologist has stated that due to the stop-gap use of the new type-2-only vaccine, “We have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” Another vaccine expert has remarked, “if you just keep trickling in with a little bit of [monovalent] vaccine every time you think you have a problem all you’re doing is reseeding [more transmission chains].”

There had been no cases of wild poliovirus on the African continent since September 2016, but by July 2019, the WHO was cautioning that there was a high risk of ongoing type 2 vaccine virus spreading across Africa. Outbreak investigators have been documenting an uptick in circulating vaccine-derived  poliovirus type 2 in both human and environmental samples since mid-2017 (two years after the “switch”), generally obtaining human samples either from children presenting with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) or from “healthy community contacts.” Although the WHO describes polio as just one of AFP’s possible causes, African labs have been isolating type 2 vaccine virus in case after case of AFP.

To date, surveillance reports have noted the presence of the vaccine-derived type 2 poliovirus in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia. In Nigeria, type 2 has spread from the north of the country to Lagos—Nigeria’s largest and most densely populated city. In Ghana, soon after investigators found type 2 vaccine viruses in sewage in the capital of Accra, a toddler 400 miles away was diagnosed with vaccine virus paralysis—representing Ghana’s “first ever” reported outbreak of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus.

And to think in Pakistan they were jailing parents who were refusing to give their children the oral polio vaccine, perhaps they still are?

The Takeaway: Why is so much credible information about the safety concerns regarding vaccines never addressed by the mainstream media? Why do they never address and counter the concerns, and why instead do they constantly use ridicule and terms like “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?”  Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

Related CE Article: Scientists Call For Safety Testing of Aluminum Based Vaccine Adjuvants

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Multiple Studies Strongly Suggest Wireless Radiation Is Harming Our Bees

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Unnatural sources of electromagnetic seem to be harming not only us, but our bees, trees and other insects.

  • Reflect On:

    How is so much of this technology able to rollout without appropriate safety testing? Why do many countries already have bans and restrictions in places like schools and nursing homes?

Multiple studies have shown that unnatural sources of electromagnetic radiation “biological effects. period. This is no longer a subject for debate when you look at PubMed and the peer-reviewed literature. These effects are seen in all life forms; plants, animals, insects, microbes. In humans, we have clear evidence of cancer now, there is no question. We have evidence of DNA damage, cardiomyopathy, which is the precursor of congestive heart failure, neuropsychiatric effects…” – Dr. Sharon Goldberg, an internal medicine physician.

Here’s one out of thousands of studies that properly outline the health and environmental concerns of wireless radiation, including the novel 5G technology that’s been rolling out all over the world. Not long ago, The Environmental Health Trust  filed a case against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission regarding 5G and wireless radiation, citing health and environmental concerns.

Hundreds of scientists have been petitioning the United Nations about this issue but to no avail. Despite the concerns raising by more than 2000 studies, the topic is still ridiculed and sometimes even deemed a “conspiracy within the mainstream media.

If you want to find/read some more science on this subject, you can refer to this article for a few more examples, and be sure to visit the Environmental Health Trust for more.

What Happened: The Environmental Health TrustThe information below comes from and was put together by .

Electromagnetic fields from powerlines, cell phones, cell towers and wireless has been shown to negatively impact birds, bees, wildlife and our environment in numerous peer reviewed research studies. Specifically,  electromagnetic radiation has been found to alter bee behavior, produce biochemical changes and impact bee reproduction.

 publication by Daniel Favre describes the methodology for a study in which direct adverse were seen in the bees’ behavior following exposure to electromagnetic fields. Favre states, “The present data strongly suggest that honeybee colonies are affected and disturbed by electromagnetic waves (RF-EMF).” In his comprehensive review article, Ulrich Warnke  cites multiple studies which examine the effects of radiofrequency radiation exposure on bees and notes the vital importance of bees as pollinators. Research has found behavioral effects after electromagnetic radiation exposure including inducing artificial worker piping (Favre, 2011), disrupting navigation abilities (Goldsworthy, 2009Sainudeen, 2011Kimmel et al., 2007) decreasing rate egg laying rate (Sharma and Kumar, 2010) and reducing colony strength (Sharma and Kumar, 2010Harst et al., 2006). Furthermore, Neelima Kumar and colleagues found cell phone radiation  influences honey bees’ behavior and physiology.  (2011).

As Clarke et al. (2013) has reported, bees have a particular sensory modality which allows them to detect electric fields, and thus they are particularly susceptible to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation.

5G Millimeter Waves, Bees and Insects 

Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz” published in Scientific Reports is the first study to investigate how insects (including the Western honeybee) absorb the higher frequencies (2 GHz to 120 GHz) to be used in the 4G/5G rollout. The scientific simulations showed increases in absorbed power between 3% to 370% when the insects were exposed to the frequencies. Researchers concluded, “This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time….” (Thielens 2018)

Clearly, more research is necessary to understand the full impact of RFR on bees and other insects. However, enough research has been performed to indicate an urgent need to reduce electromagnetic radiation exposures to protect the bee population and in turn, protect the environment.  As 5G will increase radiation exposures and use new higher frequencies shown to be highly absorbed into insects , scientists are calling for a moratorium on 5G.

Colony Collapse Disorder is thought to be caused by a combination of several factors including pesticides, chemicals and parasitic infection. Importantly, researchers have proposed that  the stress of ever increasing electromagnetic radiation exposure has weakened bee populations and added stress that then results in decreased ability to maintain their health when also exposed to increased pesticides, chemicals and infections. The bees resistance to environmental stressors is weakened by EMF exposure.

ARTICLES:

Herriman, Sasha. “Study links bee decline to cell phones.” CNN (30 June 2010).

Chokshi, Niraj. “If Cell Phones Are Behind the Bee Decline, What Are They Doing to Humans?” The Atalantic (30 June 2010).

  • “In a study at Panjab University in Chandigarh, northern India, researchers fitted cell phones to a hive and powered them up for two fifteen-minute periods each day. After three months, they found the bees stopped producing honey, egg production by the queen bee halved, and the size of the hive dramatically reduced.”
  • “Andrew Goldsworthy, a biologist from Imperial College, London, told CNN that the reason may have to do with radiation from cell phones and cell towers disturbing the molecules of the chemical cryptochrome, which bees and other animals use for navigation. The “other animals” part there is key: it includes humans.”

Derbyshire, David. “Why a mobile phone ring may make bees buzz off: Insects infuriated by handset signals.” Daily Mail (13 May 2011).

  • Dr Favre, a teacher who previously worked as a biologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, said: ‘This study shows that the presence of an active mobile phone disturbs bees – and has a dramatic effect.’
  • He placed two mobile phones under a beehive and recorded the high pitched calls made by the bees when the handsets were switched off, placed on stand-by and activated.
  • Around 20 to 40 minutes after the phones were activated, the bees began to emit “piping” calls – a series of high pitched squeaks that announce the start of swarming.

“Cell Phones Caused Mysterious Worldwide Bee Deaths, Study Finds.” Fox News (13 May 2011).

RESEARCH STUDIES AND REPORTS

Shepherd et al., Increased aggression and reduced aversive learning in honey bees exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 10

  • Exposure to ELF EMF reduced aversive learning performance and also increased aggression scores
  • “These results indicate that short-term exposure to ELF EMFs, at levels that could be encountered in bee hives placed under power lines, reduced aversive learning and increased aggression levels. These behavioural changes could have wider ecological implications in terms of the ability of bees to interact with, and respond appropriately to, threats and negative environmental stimuli.”

Shepherd et al., Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields impair the Cognitive and Motor Abilities of Honey Bees, Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 7932 (2018)

  • Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF) pollution from overhead powerlines is known to cause biological effects across many phyla, but these effects are poorly understood. Honey bees are important pollinators across the globe and due to their foraging flights are exposed to relatively high levels of ELF EMF in proximity to powerlines. Here we ask how acute exposure to 50 Hz ELF EMFs at levels ranging from 20–100 µT, found at ground level below powerline conductors, to 1000–7000 µT, found within 1 m of the conductors, affects honey bee olfactory learning, flight, foraging activity and feeding. ELF EMF exposure was found to reduce learning, alter flight dynamics, reduce the success of foraging flights towards food sources, and feeding.
  • The results suggest that 50 Hz ELF EMFs emitted from powerlines may represent a prominent environmental stressor for honey bees, with the potential to impact on their cognitive and motor abilities, which could in turn reduce their ability to pollinate crops.

Cammaerts, Marie-Claire. “Is electromagnetism one of the causes of the CCD? A work plan for testing this hypothesis.” Journal of Behavior 2.1 (2017): 1006.

  • The decline of domestic bees all over the world is an important problem still not well understood by scientists and beekeepers, and far from being solved. Its reasons are numerous: among others, the use of pesticides and insecticides, the decrease of plant diversity, and bee’s parasites. Besides these threats, there is a potential adverse factor little considered: manmade electromagnetism.
  • The present paper suggests two simple experimental protocols for bringing to the fore the potential adverse effect of electromagnetism on bees and to act consequently. The first one is the observation of bees’ avoidance of a wireless apparatus; the second one is the assessment of colonies’ strength and of the intensity of the electromagnetism field (EMF) surrounding them. If bees avoid a wireless apparatus, if hives in bad health are located in EMF of a rather high intensity, it can be presumed that bees are affected by manmade electromagnetism. This should enable searching for palliative measures.

Favre, Daniel. “Disturbing Honeybees’ Behavior with Electromagnetic Waves: a Methodology.” Journal of Behavior 2.2 (2017): 1010.

  • “Mobile phone companies and policy makers point to studies with contradictory results and usually claim that there is a lack of scientific proof of adverse effects of electromagnetic fields on animals. The present perspective article describes an experiment on bees, which clearly shows the adverse effects of electromagnetic fields on these insects’ behavior. The experiment should be reproduced by other researchers so that the danger of manmade electromagnetism (for bees, nature and thus humans) ultimately appears evident to anyone.”

Balmori, Alfonso. “Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as an emerging threat to wildlife orientation.” Science of The Total Environment 518–519 (2015): 58–60.

  • Current evidence indicates that exposure at levels that are found in the environment (in urban areas and near base stations) may particularly alter the receptor organs to orient in the magnetic field of the earth.
  • These results could have important implications for migratory birds and insects, especially in urban areas, but could also apply to birds and insects in natural and protected areas where there are powerful base station emitters of radiofrequencies.

Redlarski, Grzegorz, et al. “The influence of electromagnetic pollution on living organisms: historical trends and forecasting changes.” BioMed Research International 2015.234098 (2015).

  • “Current technologies have become a source of omnipresent electromagnetic pollution from generated electromagnetic fields and resulting electromagnetic radiation. In many cases this pollution is much stronger than any natural sources of electromagnetic fields or radiation. The harm caused by this pollution is still open to question since there is no clear and definitive evidence of its negative influence on humans. This is despite the fact that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields were classified as potentially carcinogenic.
  • For these reasons, in recent decades a significant growth can be observed in scientific research in order to understand the influence of electromagnetic radiation on living organisms. However, for this type of research the appropriate selection of relevant model organisms is of great importance. It should be noted here that the great majority of scientific research papers published in this field concerned various tests performed on mammals, practically neglecting lower organisms.
  • In that context the objective of this paper is to systematise our knowledge in this area, in which the influence of electromagnetic radiation on lower organisms was investigated, including bacteria, E. coli and B. subtilis, nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, land snail, Helix pomatia, common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.”

Richard Odemer, Franziska Odemer, Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMF) on honey bee queen development and mating success

  • We have therefore exposed honey bee queen larvae to the radiation of a common mobile phone device (GSM) during all stages of their pre-adult development including pupation. After 14 days of exposure, hatching of adult queens was assessed and mating success after further 11 days, respectively. Moreover, full colonies were established of five of the untreated and four of the treated queens to contrast population dynamics. We found that mobile phone radiation had significantly reduced the hatching ratio but not the mating success.

Clarke, Dominic, et al. “Detection and Learning of Floral Electric Fields by Bumblebees.” Science 340.6128 (2013): 66-9.

  • “We report a formerly unappreciated sensory modality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), detection of floral electric fields. Because floral electric fields can change within seconds, this sensory modality may facilitate rapid and dynamic communication between flowers and their pollinators.”

Cucurachi, C., et al. “A review of the ecological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF).” Environment International 51 (2013): 116–40.

  • RF-EMF had a significant effect on birds, insects, other vertebrates, other organisms and plants in 70% of the studies.
  • Development and reproduction of birds and insects are the most strongly affected endpoints.

Favre, Daniel. “Mobile phone induced honeybee worker piping.” Apidologie 42 (2011): 270-9.

  • Electromagnetic waves originating from mobile phones had a dramatic impact on the behavior of the bees, namely by inducing the worker piping signal. In natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony.

Goldsworthy, Andrew. “The Birds, the Bees and Electromagnetic Pollution: How electromagnetic fields can disrupt both solar and magnetic bee navigation and reduce immunity to disease all in one go.” (2009).

  • Many of our birds are disappearing mysteriously from the urban environment and our bees are now under serious threat. There is increasing evidence that at least some of this is due to electromagnetic pollution such as that from cell towers, cell phones, DECT cordless phones and Wifi. It appears capable of interfering with their navigation systems and also their circadian rhythms, which in turn reduces their resistance to disease. The most probable reason is that these animals use a group of magnetically-sensitive substances called cryptochromes for magnetic and solar navigation and also to control the activity of their immune systems.

Goldsworthy, Andrew. “The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields: Problems and Solutions.” (2012)

  • “Many of the reported biological effects of non-ionising electromagnetic fields occur at levels too low to cause significant heating; i.e. they are non thermal. Most of them can be accounted for by electrical effects on living cells and their membranes. The alternating fields generate alternating electric currents that flow through cells and tissues and remove structurally-important calcium ions from cell membranes, which then makes them leak.”

Thielens et al., “Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz” Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 3924 (2018)

  • “Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz.   All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%.”
  • “This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time due to an increase in body temperatures, from dielectric heating. The studied insects that are smaller than 1 cm show a peak in absorption at frequencies (above 6 GHz), which are currently not often used for telecommunication, but are planned to be used in the next generation of wireless telecommunication systems.”

Greggers, Uwe, et al. “Reception and learning of electric fields in bees.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280.1759 (2013).

  • Honeybees, like other insects, accumulate electric charge in flight, and when their body parts are moved or rubbed together. We report that bees emit constant and modulated electric fields when flying, landing, walking and during the waggle dance.
  • The electric fields emitted by dancing bees consist of low- and high-frequency components. Both components induce passive antennal movements in stationary bees according to Coulomb’s law. Bees learn both the constant and the modulated electric field components in the context of appetitive proboscis extension response conditioning.
  • Using this paradigm, we identify mechanoreceptors in both joints of the antennae as sensors. Other mechanoreceptors on the bee body are potentially involved but are less sensitive. Using laser vibrometry, we show that the electrically charged flagellum is moved by constant and modulated electric fields and more strongly so if sound and electric fields interact.
  • Recordings from axons of the Johnston organ document its sensitivity to electric field stimuli. Our analyses identify electric fields emanating from the surface charge of bees as stimuli for mechanoreceptors, and as biologically relevant stimuli, which may play a role in social communication.

Harst, Wolfgang, Jochen Kuhn and Hermann Stever. “Can Electromagnetic Exposure Cause a Change in Behaviour? Studying Possible Non-thermal Influences on Honey Bees – An Approach Within the Framework of Educational Informatics.” Acta Systemica-IIAS International Journal 6.1 (2006): 1-6.

  • A pilot study on honeybees testing the effects of non-thermal, high frequency electromagnetic radiation on beehive weight and flight return behavior.  In exposed hives, bees constructed 21% fewer cells in the hive frames after 9 days than those unexposed.

Odemer, Richard & Odemer, Franziska. (2019). Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMF) on honey bee queen development and mating success. Science of The Total Environment. 661. 553-562. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.154.

  • Chronic RF-EMF exposure significantly reduced hatching of honey bee queens. Mortalities occurred during pupation, not at the larval stages. Mating success was not adversely affected by the irradiation.mAfter the exposure, surviving queens were able to establish intact colonies.

Kimmel, Stefan, et al. “Electromagnetic radiation: influences on honeybees (Apis mellifera).” IIAS-InterSymp Conference (2007).

  • 39.7% of the non-irradiated bees had returned to their hives while only 7.3% of the irradiated bees had.

Kumar, Neelima R., Sonika Sangwan, and Pooja Badotra. “Exposure to cell phone radiations produces biochemical changes in worker honey bees.” Toxicology International 18.1 (2011): 70–2.

  • The present study was carried out to find the effect of cell phone radiations on various biomolecules in the adult workers of Apis mellifera L. The results of the treated adults were analyzed and compared with the control. Radiation from the cell phone influences honey bees’ behavior and physiology. There was reduced motor activity of the worker bees on the comb initially, followed by en masse migration and movement toward “talk mode” cell phone. The initial quiet period was characterized by rise in concentration of biomolecules including proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, perhaps due to stimulation of body mechanism to fight the stressful condition created by the radiations. At later stages of exposure, there was a slight decline in the concentration of biomolecules probably because the body had adapted to the stimulus.

Lambinet, Veronika, et al. “Honey bees possess a polarity-sensitive magnetoreceptor.” Journal of Comparative Physiology A(2017): 1-8

  • “Honey bees, Apis mellifera, exploit the geomagnetic field for orientation during foraging and for alignment of their combs within hives. We tested the hypothesis that honey bees sense the polarity of magnetic fields.”
  • We created an engineered magnetic anomaly in which the magnetic field generally either converged toward a sugar reward in a watch glass, or away from it. After bees in behavioral field studies had learned to associate this anomaly with a sugar water reward, we subjected them to two experiments performed in random order. In both experiments, we presented bees with two identical sugar water rewards, one of which was randomly marked by a magnetic field anomaly. During the control experiment, the polarity of the magnetic field anomaly was maintained the same as it was during the training session. During the treatment experiment, it was reversed.
  • We predicted that bees would not respond to the altered anomaly if they were sensitive to the polarity of the magnetic field. Our findings that bees continued to respond to the magnetic anomaly when its polarity was in its unaltered state, but did not respond to it when its polarity was reversed, support the hypothesis that honey bees possess a polarity-sensitive magnetoreceptor.

Oschman, James and Nora Oschman. “Electromagnetic communication and olfaction in insects.” Frontier Perspectives (2004).

Philips, Alasdair and Jean Philips. “Animals, Birds, Insects and Plants.” Radiofrequency EMFS and Health Risks (2017).

  • The current problem is thought to be a combination of different factors. Pesticides are weakening the bees without killing them, making them more susceptible to other environmental pollutants. The bees seem to leave the hive looking for nectar and fail to return.

EMFs from telecommunications infrastructures could interfere with bees’ biological clocks that enable them to compensate properly for the sun’s movements and may fly in the wrong direction when attempting to return to the hive. They could disappear mysteriously. This phenomenon has been widely reported in the past months.

“Report on Possible Impacts of Communication Towers on Wildlife Including Birds and Bees.”  Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, 2010.

  • This report details the on impacts of communication towers on wildlife including birds and bees submitted to MoEF. It  warns of harmful radiation and recommends special laws to protect urban flora & fauna from threats radiation emerging from mobile towers.

Sainudeen, Sahib.S. “Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Clashes with Honey Bees.” International Journal of Environmental Sciences 1.5 (2011).

  • Recently a sharp decline in population of honey bees has been observed in Kerala. Although the bees are susceptible to diseases and attacked by natural enemies like wasps, ants and wax moth, constant vigilance on the part of the bee keepers can over come these adverse conditions. The present plunge in population (< 0.01) was not due to these reasons. It was caused by man due to unscientific proliferation of towers and mobile phones.”
  • Six colonies of honeybees ( Apis mellifera ) were selected. Three colonies were selected as test colonies (T1,T2&T3) and the rest were as control (C1,C2&C3). The test colonies were provided with mobile phones in working conditions with frequency of 900 MHz for 10 minutes for a short period of ten days. After ten days the worker bees never returned hives in the test colonies. The massive amount of radiation produced by mobile phones and towers is actually frying the navigational skills of the honey bees and preventing them from returning back to their hives.
  • The study concludes, “More must also be done to compensate individuals and communities put at risk. Insurance covering diseases related to towers, such as cancer, should be provided for free to people living in 1 km radius around the tower. Independent monitoring of radiation levels and overall health of the community and nature surrounding towers is necessary to identify hazards early. Communities need to be given the opportunity to reject cell towers and national governments need to consider ways of growing their cellular networks without constantly exposing people to radiation.”

Sharma, V.P. and N.K. Kumar. “Changes in honeybee behaviour and biology under the influence of cellphone radiations.” Current Science 98.10 (2010): 1376-8.

  • We have compared the performance of honeybees in cell phone radiation exposed and unexposed colonies. A significant (p < 0.05) decline in colony strength and in the egg laying rate of the queen was observed. The behaviour of exposed foragers was negatively influenced by the exposure, there was neither honey nor pollen in the colony at the end of the experiment.”

Sivani, S., and D. Sudarsanam. “Impacts of radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) from cell phone towers and wireless devices on biosystem and ecosystem – A Review.” Biology and Medicine, vol. 4, no. 4, 2012, pp. 202–16.

  • There is an urgent need for further research  and “of the 919 research papers collected on birds, bees, plants, other animals, and humans, 593 showed impacts, 180 showed no impacts, and 196 were inconclusive studies”.
  • “One can take the precautionary principle approach and reduce RF-EMF radiation effects of cell phone towers by relocating towers away from densely populated areas, increasing height of towers or changing the direction of the antenna.”

Warnke, Ulrich. “Birds, Bees and Mankind: Destroying Nature by ‘Electrosmog’.” Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, Environment and Democracy 1 (2009).

  • Bees pollinate approximately 1/3 of all crops  and they are disappearing by the millions. Warnke raises the concern that the dense, energetic mesh of electromagnetic fields from wireless technologies may be the cause.

“Briefing Paper on the Need for Research into the Cumulative Impacts of Communication Towers on Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife in the United States.” Division of Migratory Bird Management (DMBM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2009.

  • “Potential Radiation Effects on Other Pollinators Radiation has also been implicated in effects on domestic honeybees, pollinators whose numbers have recently been declining due to “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) by 60% at U.S. West Coast apiaries and 70% along the East Coast (Cane and Tepedino 2001).
  • CCD is being documented in Greece, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. One theory regarding bee declines proposes that radiation from mobile phone antennas is interfering with bee navigational systems. Studies performed in Europe have documented navigational disorientation, lower honey production, and decreased bee survivorship (Harst et al. 2006, Kimmel et al. 2006, Bowling 2007).
  • This research needs further replication and scientific review, including in North America. Because pollinators, including birds, bees, and bats, play a fundamental role in food security (33% of our fruits and vegetables would not exist without pollinators visiting flowers [Kevan and Phillips 2001]), as pollinator numbers decline, the price of groceries goes up.
  • Harst et al. (2006) performed a pilot study on honeybees testing the effects of non-thermal, high frequency electromagnetic radiation on beehive weight and flight return behavior. They found that of 28 unexposed bees released 800 m (2,616 ft) from each of 2 hives, 16 and 17 bees returned in 28 and 32 minutes, respectively, to hives. At the 1900 MHz continuously-exposed hives, 6 bees returned to 1 hive in 38 minutes while no bees returned to the other hive. In exposed hives, bees constructed 21% fewer cells in the hive frames after 9 days than those unexposed. Harst et al. selected honeybees for study since they are good bio-indicators of environmental health and possibly of “electrosmog.” Because of some concerns raised regarding the methods used to conduct the Harst et al.(2006) study, specifically the placement of the antenna where bees could contact it (i.e., potentially a bias), the experimental methods need to be redesigned and the studies retested to better elucidate and fine tune the impacts of radiation. The results, while preliminary however, are troubling. Kimmel et al. (2006) performed field experiments on honeybees under conditions nearly identical to the Harst et al. (2006) protocol except that bees were stunned with CO2 and released simultaneously 500 m (1,635 ft) from the hives. However, in one of their experimental groups, they shielded the radiation source and antenna in a reed and clay box to address potential biases raised in the Harst et al. study. Sixteen total hives were tested, 8 of which were irradiated. After 45 minutes when the observations were terminated, 39.7% of the non-irradiated bees had returned to their hives while only 7.3% of the irradiated bees had.”

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