Court Rules for Brain Tumor Group and Cell Phone Warning Label, CTIA Appeals

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UPDATE  As Inside Towers previously reported, CTIA is battling the city of Berkeley, CA, over the cell phone labeling law. The city of Berkeley requires cell phone retailers to warn consumers they may exceed FCC guidelines if they keep an activated cell phone too close to their bodies, otherwise known as the “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. The ordinance requires retailers that sell or lease cell phones to place sticker warnings on in-store displays, hang 11-by-17-inch posters and distribute fact sheets to purchasers and would-be purchasers.  The notice reads in part: “This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”

However, CTIA has said that the claim is scientifically baseless and unconstitutional, and issued a suit against Berkeley last June on First Amendment grounds. The Northern California Record reports that CTIA has filed its appeal of the Cell Phone Right-To-Know Ordinance, after a judge ruled in favor of the California Brain Association and the city of Berkeley. The judge, the Record reported, said “that the ordinance is allowable and information about the harmful effects of cell phone use should be posted at the point of sale at all cell phone retailers in the city.”  

Ellen Marks, founder and director of the California Brain Tumor Association, told the Northern California Record, “We think the science is pretty overwhelming at this point. It’s important and we’re trying to accomplish that people are given the right to know that this information is in their phone or in the manual and is required by the Federal Communications Commission.”

But, the Record reported that one of the California Brain Tumor Association’s panel members is Michelle Friedland, who is married to Daniel Kelly, a DSP senior engineer with Tarana Wireless Inc. AT&T is a major investor in Tarana; Kelly also is a stockholder in Tarana.

The California Brain Tumor Association and the city of Berkeley have plans to appeal if CTIA wins its appeal, according to the Record.

October 25, 2016

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