Court orders FCC to revisit its safety guidelines for RF radiation

The court ordered the FCC to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for RF radiation. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must reexamine its health and safety guidelines for 5G and other wireless based technologies.

The case was filed in early 2020 by the Environmental Health Trust. Another petitioner, the Children's Health Defense, which is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., filed its own lawsuit but decided to file joint briefs with Environmental Health Trust as recommended by the court.*

Last Friday, the court ruled that the FCC’s decision in 2019 that its 1996 radio frequency emission guidelines adequately protect the public was capricious, arbitrary and not evidence based, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The court also found that the analysis provided by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, on which the FCC relied for its decision, was also not evidence based.

The court ordered the FCC to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines; address the impacts of RF radiation on children; address the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation; and address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.

“To be clear, we take no position in the scientific debate regarding the health and environmental effects of RF radiation — we merely conclude that the Commission’s cursory analysis of material record evidence was insufficient as a matter of law,” stated the order.

“The court’s decision exposes the FCC and FDA as captive agencies that have abandoned their duty to protect public health in favor of a single-minded crusade to increase telecom industry profits,'' said Kennedy, in a statement.

RELATED: FCC responds to 5G health concerns as politicians push for more information

Kennedy has repeatedly claimed that the FCC is a "captive agency," led and controlled by telecom industry insiders who are not objective about the health effects of RF radiation.
 
Children’s Health Defense lead attorney Scott McCollough said, “This is an historic win. The FCC will have to re-open the proceeding and for the first time meaningfully and responsibly confront the vast amount of scientific and medical evidence showing that current guidelines do not adequately protect health and the environment.”

*The story was updated on 8/16/21 to specify that there are two separate lawsuits.