The scientific basis for statements made in the Ministry of Health's 5G Factsheet

Michael Vaughan made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

Currently waiting for a response from Ministry of Health, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Michael Vaughan

Dear Ministry of Health,

I am concerned about the inaccurate and misleading nature of statements made in the Ministry of Health's 'Factsheet' on 5G.

The information I am requesting is as follows:

1) Who was/were the person/people responsible for researching the material included in the Factsheet and for writing the Factsheet?
2) Regarding the statement '5G is simply a new application of radio technology'.....while this is an accurate statement in that 5G is indeed a new application of radio technology, I am concerned that there is a strong IMPLICATION that it's very similar to 3G and 4G. In reality, the higher 'millimetre wave' frequencies are very different from the 3G and 4G frequencies in their technical characteristics - so different, in fact, that tens of thousands of transmitters would have to be brought into people's neighbourhoods to roll out a functional 5G network. I would like to know why this is not acknowledged in the MOH Factsheet rather than a deliberate implication that it's just a slightly different version of 3G and 4G.
3) Regarding the statement "Existing research on the possible health effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields applies as much to 5G as to any other radio system in use"...........I would like to know on what basis scientifically is this statement made?
The behaviour and characteristics of the higher frequencies proposed for 5G differ markedly from 3G and 4G as mentioned above. The large body of existing research (tens of thousands of studies) relates to the lower frequencies used for 3G, 4G and wi-fi. The research on health effects of these frequencies (which is very mixed and open to differing opinions - hence the vast discrepancy in Safety Standards adopted in countries around the globe) CANNOT be ASSUMED to apply to the health effects of higher frequencies with markedly different characteristics. There is nothing scientific about this assumption. Therefore, I request an explanation of the logic and science used to make the above statement in the Ministry of Health's 'Factsheet'. Please note that a response along the lines of 'the higher frequencies proposed for 5G are non-ionising radiation just like 3G and 4G, so they can be viewed in the same way' would be TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. That would be like saying that a Suzuki Swift and a Ferrari can be treated as the same because they are both cars. Just as a Suzuki Swift and a Ferrari are very different in their behaviour and performance even though they are both cars, the behaviour, performance and health effects of 5G cannot be assumed to be the same as 3G and 4G just because they fall under the broad heading of 'non-ionising radiation'.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Vaughan

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Kia ora

Thank you for your email dated 30 November 2019 requesting the following
information under the Official Information Act 1982:

The Ministry's reference number for your request is: H201910257.

As required under the Act we will endeavour to respond to your request no
later than 20 January 2019, being 20 working days after the day your
request was received.  

If we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we
will notify you of an extension of that time frame.

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.
 
Nga mihi

OIA Services
Government Services
Office of the Director-General
Ministry of Health
E: [email address]

[1]http://www.health.govt.nz

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