The Truth About Kenneth R. Foster's Ties With Wireless Industry, and Pro-Industry Conflict of Interest
(Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania)
"Kenneth Foster is a scientists quoted in headlines news as discounting the harm caused by wireless radiation. Yet these news articles do not mention his strong industry ties going back years. In fact, he is a longtime industry consultant who's received significant amount of money from the industry over the years.
A significant amount of Fosters research in funded by industry, he is paid by industry to present the industry funded research at conference internationally and he regularly testifies as the industry health and safety expert in cell tower cases.
Skeptics might believe he's a tool or puppet but regardless, unfortunately for him and the evil industry he supports, experts who are not funded by the industry joined forces to topple the propaganda of the industry spoken via jerks like Kenneth Foster (e.g., see www.emfscientist.org).
His papers are supported by industry. He has long been an industry consultant.
“RADIOFREQUENCY EXPOSURE FROM WIRELESS LANS UTILIZING WI-FI TECHNOLOGY” which states on p. 286, “Acknowledgments— This work was supported by the Wi-Fi Alliance.” Full-text of study is here https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ffa4/af1900d204477c4640b390162456346faf10.pdf
The paper entitled Radiofrequency energy exposure from the Trilliant smart meter
The authors declared no conflict of interest. Yet at the end of the paper it states:
“Acknowledgments- This work was supported by the Electric Power Research Institute EPRI with technical support from Hydro one and Hydro one Brampton.”
The paper “Are Children More Exposed to Radio Frequency Energy From Mobile Phones Than Adults?”concludes that their “review” of published literature shows no consistent difference between adults and children with respect to the peak absorbed dose of microwave (cell phone) radiation. The wording minimizes the fact that children absorb radiation deeper into their brain than adults. Read it here.
“In summary, simple generalizations found on the Internet about ‘‘kids absorbing more RF energy than adults from cell phones’’ aren’t supported by available dosimetry studies. To the extent that children have different usage patterns than adults, there may well be differences in exposure, but such differences are likely to be at exposure levels far below current exposure limits.”
This paper was funded by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF).
“Publication costs of this paper were supported by Mobile Manufacturers Forum,
who did not review the contents of this paper before publication.”
The paper entitled Wi-Fi and Health: Review of Current Status of Research claims to “examine the current state of research on possible biological effects/health effects of RF energy emitted by Wi-Fi.”
“Acknowledgments: This work was funded by the Wi-Fi Alliance, Washington, DC, and Mobile Manufacturers Forum, Brussels, Belgium.”
Foster has work as an industry consultant for the Telecom, and Energy Industry in smartmeter, cell tower and high voltage powerline issues and he lists Motorola, Bell Atlantic Mobile, Comcast Metrophone, Sprint Spectrum, Omnipoint Cellular Communications, and Electric Power Research Institute on his CV. An online search finds several examples of Foster presenting as the industry “safety expert” for T Mobile, Towers of PA, AT and T , American Transmission Company, Cingular in support of cell tower construction. As another example, he chairs conferences in sessions sponsored by the Industry (See this BIOEM 2016 Conference funded by the Mobile Manufacture Forum. He also has been an expert witness for schools when children sued for accommodations related to Wi-Fi effects. See Fosters CV.
Foster Testifies on Behalf of Cell Tower Applications.
2006: Expert paid by Cingular in Cell tower case
Kenneth R. Foster is the applicant’s Health and Safety expert.
Read City of Northfield New Jersey minutes describe that:
2008 T Mobile Cell Tower
2010:Township of Lumberton Land Development Board Regular Meeting
2013 Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County, Virginia (Foster input was solicited by school staff- not industry)
2010 Letter to the California Council on Science & Technology about the lack of proven health risks for Smartmeters where he states: “I am now finishing a term as member of the EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) scientific advisory committee for EMF research...
2014: Foster is a “Health and Safety “ expert by a cell tower company Towers of PA in a presentation to a Pennsylvania township.
2014: Foster Testifies on Behalf of East Kentucky Power Cooperative on High Voltage Power Lines Near Homes. Read Foster’s testimony at page 220 here.
2014 BBC Whatcom county
SITE OWNER DISCLAIMER
I received the above from a person who's diligently researched Ken Foster's background and ties with the industry. I have not verified these. If you see any errors please let me know (through the contact page) and I'll be happy to correct it.
Just in, from EHT. For the full article see: https://ehtrust.org/the-cdc-hired-an-industry-consultant-to-develop-website-information-for-the-public
The CDC Hired An Industry Consultant to Develop Website Information For the Public
The CDC hired An Industry Consultant to Review and Develop Materials on Wireless Wearables and Non-ionizing Radiation
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is releasing information from the almost 1000 pages of internal documents EHT obtained though the Freedom of Information Act revealing that in 2014 the US Centers For Disease Control (CDC) hired Kenneth Foster, Professor of Bioengineering at University of Pennsylvania to be the subject matter expert to develop the CDC’s new website pages on wireless wearables, powerlines, smart meters, Wi-Fi and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
EHT’s executive director Theodora Scarato led a years long investigation into the CDC’s drafting of website content on wireless radiation after the CDC removed advice to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation in 2014. Scarato found that the CDC brought Foster in via a contract for hourly consultation. It is unknown if there was a vetting for conflicts of interest before his hire as the CDC has a policy that “our planners, content experts, and their spouses/partners wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters.”
Longstanding Financial Ties to Industry
Kenneth Foster PhD, has published numerous research studies on 5G and wireless radiation directly funded by wireless and electric company organizations such as the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, the Electric Power Research Institute and the GSMA who “represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.” (Click here to see examples of his studies and industry group sponsors.)
Foster has a long history of being hired by companies to serve as the safety consultant in smartmeter, cell tower and high voltage powerline cases. He lists Motorola, Bell Atlantic Mobile, Comcast Metrophone, Sprint Spectrum, Omnipoint Cellular Communications, and Electric Power Research Institute. (Search Foster to see his CV). An online search finds several examples of Foster presenting as the industry “safety expert” for T Mobile, Towers of PA, AT and T regarding cell tower safety.
Furthermore EHT’s investigation of Foster’s industry connections shows that as soon as some of Foster industry financed papers were published, these very same papers were then used as the cornerstone of “health and safety brochures” put out by the wireless industry’s foremost public relations associations. In other words, the industry uses industry funded science in their scientific pamphlets as proof of safety.
Most recently Foster has co-authored Transient Thermal Responses of Skin to Pulsed Millimeter Waves (2020) which states, “The work of Kenneth Foster, Martin Ziskin and Quirino Balzano was supported in part by the Mobile and Wireless Forum.”
Foster is listed as co-author to several papers that the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) listed in a 2018 report entitled “Twenty Years of Research” explaining how the MMF “support of scientific research has resulted in the following peer-reviewed publications.”
- Thermal Response of Human Skin to Microwave Energy: A Critical Review (2016)
- Thermal Response to Tissue RF Exposure from Canonical Dipoles at Frequencies for Future Mobile Communication Systems (2016).
- Thermal Modeling for the Next Generation of Radiofrequency Exposure Limits: Commentary (2017)
- Tissue Models for RF Exposure Evaluation at Frequencies above 6 GHz (2018)
- Are Children More Exposed to Radiofrequency Energy from Mobile Phones than Adults? (2014)
The above is just a small sampling of the industry financed papers published by Kenneth Foster. Foster has expertise in measureing radiofrequency radiation levels and exposures. However, his papers use the FCC or ICNIRP limits as the benchmark for safety and compare his measured levels to these limits. Thus most people reading his papers will think they assure safety. However FCC and ICNIRP limits do not protect people, nor birds, bees and trees from biological non thermal effects or effects from long term exposure.
Only Two CDC Webpages Finalized
Documents show Foster helped draft several webpages but only two were ever posted. These pages underwent extensive editing by several members of the CDC in addition to consultation with Foster.
The CDC webpages now online are:
Documents show Foster also helped draft CDC webpages that were never finalized. Both put forward the industry message that harm is not proven and that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is also not proven to be caused by electromagnetic radiation. These read like content from the wireless industry found here.
- Wireless Networks (Click here to see a draft included in FOIA)
- Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (Click here to see drafts never published)
Internal Documents Show the CDC Wireless Wearables Webpage Content Dramatically Changed After Foster’s Involvement.
The CDC asked Foster to help with content on wireless wearables. Prior to Fosters consultation, the CDC had developed initial content for the wearable technology webpage and sent it to Foster.
11/20/2014 CDC staff email to Kenneth Foster
In response, on 1/21/2015 Kenneth Foster sent an email to the CDC with suggested wording. Here is an example of one of his emails regarding the wireless wearables page.
The Bottom Line: The Final CDC Webpage on Wearable Technology Whitewashes The Issue of Health Effects
EHT has analysed hundreds of emails back and forth between CDC staff and Foster. The content was edited numerous times by various CDC staff. EHT was not able to obtain documents that fully explain the decisions that were made and who made them. Not all of Foster’s recommended text was used and the editing process took months with numerous back and forth communications. However the final product fully minimizes health effects.
Rather than an explanation of possible health effects as the CDC initially asked for, the CDC page does not share any “health effects” to the general public. Information on minimizing exposure is not provided at all. The CDC’s initial statement that wearables would “increase” a person’s radiofrequency exposure (from their first draft) is removed. “Increase” is replaced with new descriptions such as “low”, “small,” “short,” and “reduced.”
The word “low” is now found 5 times on the current CDC webpage.
Examples of current text on the CDC website:
“RF transmitters in wearable devices operate at extremely low power levels and normally send signals in streams or brief bursts (pulses) for a short period of time. As a result, wearable devices expose the user to very small levels of RF radiation over time.”
The final CDC webpage “wordsmiths” any concern away.
Remember, at the start the CDC staff stated in the email their goals were to inform citizens about “sources of exposure, possible health effects and how people can minimize this exposure”. The final CDC webpage that went live in 2015 does not discuss possible health effects, does not discuss how to minimize exposure and does not inform the public that their RF exposes increase with wearable use. The final website text effectively misinforms the public.
No “health effects” are explained AT ALL on the final CDC wearable page.
The only “safety concern” that this page now explains about wearable technology is that it “can distract you.” The page does state “For more information on non-ionizing radiation and possible health effects, click here” which leads you to a page explaining the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation but even if you click through to it, the webpage still states absolutely nothing about “possible health effects”.
CDC Staff Were Sent Foster’s Industry Funded Paper on Children
On February 14, 2015: Foster sends the CDC staff links to his 2 latest papers. The CDC may not have been aware that his paper on children was industry funded and co-authored with C.K. Chou (Chou was at that time -Chief EME Scientist of Motorola Solutions). The paper was funded by the Mobile Manufacturing Manufacturers forum.
The paper Foster sent to CDC staff states
Independent scientists reviewed this very paper that Foster sent to the CDC and published a peer-reviewed analysis in the IEEE/Access–a respected journal of the IEEE–that found there to be so many “glaring internal inconsistencies and systematic errors in the presentation of data” that they called for Foster and Chou paper to be retracted.
Foster stated to the IEEE it is “ludicrous to worry about possible health risks” from wearables and research into the health risk “really aren’t necessary.”
In the January February 2016 issue of IEEE Pulse published around the same time the wearables webpage was published, Kenneth Foster is interviewed about wearables and the writer of the article asks “Are Wearables Safe?” Foster is quoted as stating the following:
“Compared to the medical accuracy issues and the driver safety issues, why worry about a hypothetical risk from some tiny exposures?” Foster asks.
“Health agencies say that there are scientific issues regarding RF energy that need to be clarified, in particular the weak connection that has been reported between heavy use of cell phones and brain cancer. However, it is ludicrous to worry about possible health risks from the tiny RF exposures from wearables when you read your e-mail on your smart watch while driving.”
Additional work to make technology more efficient will likely always be a goal, but, at this point, studies into health risks of low EM wearable devices simply aren’t necessary, in comparison to studies addressing health concerns about the use of mobile phones and other higher-powered equipment, counters Foster.”
Why didn’t Foster share with the IEEE author that he was Subject Matter Expert for the CDC on this issue?
Almost three decades ago, Foster argued to “halt” research on microwave radiation and health.
In a 1987 commentary for the journal Nature Foster and co-author William Pickard argued that microwave-health research should cease as it is a dead end. Foster argued “Guidelines need to be established for halting risk research”.
Foster seems to have a very strong opinion and bias, unchanged for almost 30 years.
EHT will be releaseing numerous additional reports on the findings from the CDC FOIA. This is just a small sampling of what was discovered. Stay tuned for more. Press may contact Theodora Scarato for more details at email@example.com.
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