December 1, 2023

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What science does not say

What science does not say

A bit like information, today there is a kind of Suspect permanent in The lack of independence of scientists. Now it’s hard to believe what they’re telling you, partly because there are so many explanations even starting with the data, and partly because when you touch it with your hand, reality is telling you another truth. On the other hand, we are not naive, and the interests at stake are great, enormous, and rarely matter. Citizens health or environment. Flags that are thick when flying Green wash.

if instead of Independent research We can still trust Because there are no lobbyists to fund it and no big media to act as a megaphone. If anyone may say so, it is Science is on the side of people. She asks questions and struggles and struggles to find answers and keeps her back straight and like Cassandra, no one listens to her but time, for better or for worse, tends to validate her. We have an example in Italy: itRamazzini Institute, a global beacon in the field of independent research. With more than 30,000 members, it is one of the largest and most important Italian social cooperatives, organized in 28 departments, and active in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Lombardy.

The Institute operates two multidisciplinary clinical structures, and its Cancer Research Center in Bologna stands out among the most reliable and prestigious on the planet. she is entitled Cesar Maltoniits founder, who identified the origin illness Where man has (badly) changed his relationship to the environment. He was not wrong: When research by the institute brought to light a health risk, sooner or later (often decades) it was confirmed by evidence in humans, counting the sick and the dead.

Book cover by Fiorella Belpoggi

I learned about the work of Maltoni and the Institute thanks to a very valuable book that will not gain pages in the most important newspapers or television reports, but has the rare quality of saying things as they are and what is at stake in no uncertain terms. titled Fiorella Belbugi: The Story of a Free Scientistedited by new land And specifically to the title scientist, the current director of the Institute, we have directed our questions to clarify some of the burning issues often taken up on the pages of Dolce Vita and which finally find answers in this volume written by the journalist Licia Granillo.

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As always, when it comes to the interests of large industry groups, data that is interpreted backwards is the order of the day. This generates a kind of distrust of science, don’t you think?
The main reason behind all these pressures regarding environmental pollutants is the lack of in-depth studies. And not because of the lack of scientists capable of carrying them forward or without a straight back that is indispensable for independent research. But simply because there is a shortage of lenders. Or rather, there is a shortage of lenders willing to fund studies that are not subject to industry lobbies. Because without data there is no problem. And if the problem does not exist, why are actions being taken against it?

Billions of dollars in lawsuits are being filed regarding glyphosate, the pesticide code for conventional and intensive farming, but Europe keeps delaying its ban. Where is the truth?
one on glyphosate It is an ongoing battle. It has been nearly ten years since I started dealing with it and its unhindered persistence among the most widely used pesticides in agriculture still worries me greatly. In recent years, the Ramazzini Institute has been among the few in Europe and the world to carry out scientific studies to assess the effects on experimental animals, studies that we have begun to publish on the portal Which certifies that glyphosate – albeit in low doses and considered safe for humans – is genotoxic and has toxic effects on reproduction and alters the composition of the gut microbiome.

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Another divisive, burning, and very topical issue is 5G, how do you view it?
Until they show us that millimeter waves can be introduced without exceeding safe exposure levels, I think it’s very culpable to continue.5G implementation globally. In the face of a risk, let’s say even a low risk, which nevertheless includes seven billion people, the responsibility of governments, relevant institutions and industry is enormous: it is necessary, it is mandatory, to find a way to make innovation safe, limiting exposure is also about mobile phones, not just antennas .

A reference to common sense I imagine – as it has already happened to many others – attracts accusations of denial of progress, doesn’t it?
I am aware that 5G can be useful in the future in Industry 4.0, in robotics, to regulate traffic, connect and improve the efficiency of transportation, self-driving cars or in precision agriculture. If one has a “sustainable” vision of human progress, that is, implementing innovations that meet specific technological developments, and on the other hand maintaining exposure levels around 6V/m for the general population, if that is the case, then it would certainly be a matter of hope for the implementation of 5G.

In practice: Science is progress, but that does not mean ignoring the risks involved.
Where it is necessary – in schools, hospitals, banks and offices where the user is stationed – the same services are already provided with the same performance through the new generation of fixed Wi-Fi + fiber optic networks, a technology that is certainly more healthy and safe than mobile radio networks. To grow with technology, it will be sufficient to do the opposite of what the telecommunications lobbyists like to do, and that is to locate several antennas with limited power in sparsely populated areas. In fact, doubling the number of low-power antennas to maintain a low exposure limit has huge costs, because systems cost money.

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On the topic of links between the environment and disease, the book talks about unleaded gasoline, and is a textbook case for greenwashing. How did they deceive us?
Gasoline becomes “green” because it no longer contains lead. But when I burn alcohols and ethers, aldehydes are formed, which are now classified as possible carcinogens. Theoretically, aldehydes, acetaldehydes, and formaldehydes should be retained by catalytic converters. However, it is unfortunate that these devices become fully functional after only half an hour of being turned on. Details that industries forget to convey. Basically, in cities – where traffic occurs in short, even rhythms, very far away in contrast to the long distances of motorways – the problems remain, practically unchanged, and the catalytic converters do not work properly, thus releasing combustion products into the air, including aldehydes, acetaldehydes and formaldehydes. . But the auto and oil industry is happy, because people feel reassured, change their car and fill it up with new gasoline that is so safe, that it is called green!

Finally, how does independent research work?
Unfortunately, the concept of independent research finds tepid support, if not genuine distaste, from politicians and industry. It occurs when the logic, which often coincides in the two categories, is the logic of profit for the sake of profit, without any concern for issues of health and ecological compatibility. However, the more comprehensive, documented, and independent the research, it benefits not only human society and the environment, but also the industry in the long run, which can thus avoid billionaire compensation.

Edited by Mina Toscano