Letter: So much for freedom of choice

My concern... is the long-term effect—the consequences for our health and well-being, writes Rosemary Phillips.

It seems like only yesterday (40-50 years ago) parents were warned that sitting too close to a television set was harmful for children; and only yesterday (60 years ago) U.S. forces, when testing atom bombs in the Bikini Atoll, told locals it was for the betterment of humanity (see the film Atomic Café).

In U.S. tests, troops were told to run towards the explosion for radiation was the least of their concerns. Meanwhile North Americans were advised to “duck and cover.”

Three days ago I received a kindly message from FortisBC to get in touch with them—a courtesy call. You see, EMF-emitting smart meters are being installed in the Boundary this summer.

Again, it seems like only yesterday (20 years ago) we were being warned of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and their affects upon our health.

After many scientific papers and non-industry-funded studies that provide enough research to indicate smart meters are a hazard to health, suppliers of electricity seemingly do not wish to listen. See the “International EMF Scientist Appeal to the United Nations,” May 22, 2015 (emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal ); and “Smart Meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation” (maisonsaine.ca/sante-et-securite/electrosmog/smart-meters-correcting-gross-misinformation.html).

Of course, FortisBC will refute the information and did when I wrote them or returned their call. I was sent the FortisBC information package, stating: electricity rates will be less (not true according to some), that the analogue meters require replacement due to new Measurement Canada guidelines (also not true—according to others the analogues are fine), will provide customers with more detailed electricity use information, that the emissions (24/7) are minimal (research shows otherwise) and most importantly, will reduce the cost of operating the utility (fewer meter readers etc.).

Health effects of EMFs include sleep disorders, malfunction of the parathyroid gland, electro-hypersensitivity, biochemical changes, dementia, decreased memory, male infertility, immune dysfunction, childhood learning and behavioral impairments—and cancer (the World Health Organization has classified EMF-producing wireless devices as possibly cancer-causing).

Like the natives of Bikini Atoll we are being held hostage. Even with protest, the corporation of FortisBC is continuing installations. Customers wishing to opt out of the “turned on” EMF bombardment are required to pay extra charges. Don’t get me wrong, I am really grateful for electricity. I just don’t like the idea of being bullied into a situation I personally feel is not good for my health and my privacy.

My concern, as mentioned in the above research, is the long-term effect—the consequences for our health and well-being.

Post Script: The contractor for FortisBC was just here, to change the meter. I have refused. According to the contractor I have no choice, but I gather I’m allowed to refuse three times, then Fortis will come and, without notice, cut off the service. So much for freedom of choice. It doesn’t seem to exist.

– Rosemary Phillips, Rock Creek