Myth: The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the science on 5G and cell towers and determined the radiation is safe. – Environmental Health Trust


False: The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the science on 5G and cell towers and determined the radiation is safe and FCC limits protect public health. 

A Total Myth: The FDA’s website clearly shows that the FDA has reviewed the totality of scientific evidence and found cell phones, 5G and cell towers are safe. After all, the FDA concluded in February of 2020 that “there is no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones. 

Myth in CTIA  (Wireless Industry) Testimony to New Hampshire Lawmakers: “And the FCC sister agency, the FDA stands in full support of the adequacy of the FCC standards. The director of the FDA center for Devices and Radiological Health wrote, “based on our ongoing evaluation of this issue and taking into account all available scientific evidence we have received, we have not found sufficient evidence that there are adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits.”  

Fact: The FDA has never evaluated the totality of the science to conclude any opinion on the safety of human exposure to 5G technology or cell tower radiation.  All the FDA has done is to release a now outdated literature review (ending in 2018) focused solely only on cell phones and cancer. This literature review omits studies on damage to DNA, the brain and reproduction. The FDA literature review is not a systematic review nor is it a risk analysis nor is it an evaluation of FCC cell tower radiation limits, despite being presented in this way. 

Fact: The FDA has no authority in regards to cell tower radiation and 5G infrastructure. This was confirmed in a January 11, 2022 letter by Ellen Flannery of the Director of the FDA Office of Policy Center for Devices and Radiological Health who wrote that the FDA doesn’t regulate cell towers. When asked about the safety of a cell tower outside a California mother’s window, she responded,  “The FDA does not regulate cell towers or cell tower radiation.  Therefore, the FDA has no studies or information on cell towers to provide in response to your questions.” Link to FDA Letter. 

While the public might assume the FDA is always monitoring the science and monitoring exposures, this is inaccurate. For example, the 2021 FDA’s  Annual report was released on January 31, 2022 and there is no mention of the issue of cell phones or cell towers or wireless electromagnetic radiation. The FDA has not shown any evidence of monitoring research with new agency reports, meetings or budget on the issue. 

As the Pittsburgh Law Review article concludes, “The FCC and FDA have failed in their obligation to prescribe safe RFR guidelines produced from wireless communication devices to protect the public health and safety.” 

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Additional Documentation on the myth of FDA science review for cell towers and 5G

  • The Government Accountability Report on 5G (GAO 2020) clarified that the FDA and other organizations “only reviewed a subset of the relevant research”  and stated in regards to the FDA Literature Review that “The assessment focused on cancer-related animal and human studies of frequencies below 6 GHz.” 
  • Not only did the FDA do a limited literature review looking only at cancer, but it omitted impacts to the brain, oxidative stress, and reproduction. It omitted evaluation of children’s unique vulnerability. Most importantly it discounted the results of the National Toxicology Program which is why numerous scientists – including several now retired US government scientists –  are calling for the FDA to retract the review as it offers unsubstantiated assurance of safety (EHT 2020).  
  • EHT’s 150 page report “FDA’s Misleading Information on Cell Phone Radiation on the FDA documents the lack of adequate research review and misleading information put forward by the FDA. 
  • In 2020, the FDA refused to testify to the New Hampshire State Commission on 5G and refused to answer specific questions regarding it’s purported review of health effects of 5G and wireless networks.  Although the FDA responded with a few general sentences about how “FDA’s doctors, scientists and engineers continually monitor the scientific studies and public health data for evidence that radio frequency energy from cell phones could cause adverse health effects, “the FDA refused to answer specifics such as providing reports or answering questions about the safety margin, and the FDA’s research activities. Read FDA Communications with the New Hampshire 5G Commission