Have you heard about the petition in Quebec that gained nearly 120,000 signatures, asking the government to “approve and reimburse”vitamin C injections for people with cancer?
And about how it almost succeeded through political lobbying?
I spent several months working on this case, trying at first to help people understand the issues and pitfalls with this petition, and then addressing politicians directly, and trying to rally scientific associations. I did this becausethe petition was moving forward rapidly and very few people were raising doubts about it.
As a result, a group of vitamin C supporters tried to make me lose my job. I was doxed. A smear campaign was organized against me. My family was harassed and threatened.
Eventually, after months of cyberbullying, I came forward publicly with what was going on behind the scenes. The result was a massive outcry from the scientific community, which could not be ignored by the government this time.
Ultimately, the petition did not go forward into parliamentary proceedings.
But more importantly, these events had positive consequences for the future: a government task force was created in order to protect scientists who speak publicly about sensitive topics (I am fortunate enough to be involved in it). Also, an inter-professional advisory committee was created to help healthcare professionals, such as myself, speak publicly without fear of disciplinary action.
This case received little attention in the English-Canadian press, so here are translations of a few articles on what happened.
(Please note that these were translated automatically by the Google Translate URL tool with no revision, so some of the text is weird and possibly funny-sounding)
A summary of the events in March 2019 by Radio-Canada (CBC) :
Another one, focusing on the challenges and personal risks of doing science communication:
Have you installed am anti-brain cancer thingy on your cell phone?
Welcome to the world of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and their alleged harmful effects.
For the last ten years or so, people have been worrying about EMFs, along with the increase in the use of electronics. And even though scientific data obtained so far is reassuring about the effects of EMFs on human health, a lot of people are still scared.
It took almost a year to create this comic. After all, the topic is mind-blowingly complex and, as a pharmacist, I am not at all qualified to speculate about it. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to work with two awesome collaborators from the very beginning:
Jérôme Poulin (Ph.D) is a physicist and researcher in optical physics. His Ph.D thesis was about cold atom guidance in a hollow-core photonic cristal fibre using a blue detuned hollow laser beam (Olivier’s note: I have no idea what that means… I think it’s about building the next Death Star or something). He was also part of the Electro-Urban Brigade, a team of scientists who measured the daily exposure to electromagnetic fields of citizens in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Michel Trottier-McDonald (Ph.D) is a physicist and data scientist. He namely worked on the ATLAS experiment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN in order to find the Higgs Boson (Olivier’s note: yeah, that big thing).
None of us are experts on the effects of EMFs on health and we don’t pretend otherwise. Fortunately, scientific knowledge on the matter is advanced enough for us to relay conclusive evidence to you.
The 5 key messages of the comic go as follows:
Certain types of electromagnetic radiation can break the molecules of the body, others cannot;
Until proven otherwise, mobile/radio/Wi-Fi fields do not pose a threat to human health;
Every day, we are exposed electromagnetic radiation that is hundreds, if not thousands of times below the international standards deemed safe;
Symptoms experienced by people who identify as “electrosensitive” do not appear to be caused by electromagnetic fields;
So-called experts and companies that pretend otherwise may not be trustworthy, or even qualified to discuss EMFs.
But hey, you should to read the comic before disagreeing…
So cover your head with aluminium foil, make holes for your eyes, turn off your router & 4G and read this right away!
P.S. As always, scientific references for this comic are listed in the first comment.