A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Repacholi Challenges Gro Brundtland, EHS

April 12, 2012
Last updated 
May 29, 2012

Mike Repacholi, the former head of the World Health Organization's EMF project, is blaming his former boss, Gro Harlem Brundtland, for contributing "massively" to people's fears of RF radiation from mobile phones.

While Brundtland was director-general of the WHO (1998 – 2003), she revealed that she was EHS or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) (see MWN, M/A02, p.6 and M/J02, p.8). In an interview with reporter Thomas Ergo, published today in Aftenbladet, a daily newspaper, Repacholi calls Brundtland's disclosure "unfortunate." Repacholi does not believe that EHS is a real condition: He complains that he was barred from issuing fact sheets that said so by Brundtland's office. "If the science disagrees with the Director-General, then that was it. We could not do anything about it," he told Ergo.

Brundtland, a medical doctor who served as the prime minister of Norway for more than ten years in the 1980s and 1990s, declined to comment. (Maybe she will address EHS when she delivers a lecture on "The Importance of Public Health to Global Wellbeing" in Canada next week at the opening of the University of Waterloo's new school of public health. Maybe not.)

Henrik Eriksson of the U.K. group Mast Victims has posted a translation of the Aftenbladet article under the headline "Repacholi Attacks Gro Harlem Brundtland on EHS Claims." Also today, Aftenbladet, released a video of Ergo's interview with Repacholi (both are speaking in English). The headline runs: "I Offered To Examine Gro. But She Would Not Hear of It." (Google translation).

Ergo has also just published a 26-page article in the Norwegian magazine, Plot, titled "The Ridiculous and the Pursuit of Gro" (Google again).

April 13, 2012

In a follow-up article published today, Aftenbladet's Thomas Ergo quotes two senior Norwegian legislators who defend Gro Harlem Brundtland against Michael Repacholi's claims that her EHS  is a psychosocial response rather than a true medical condition. "I believe people who say they are allergic to mobile phone radiation," said one member of the Parliament's health committee. (Here's Henrik Eiriksson's translation of today's Aftenbladet story.

April 25, 2012

As it turned out, Gro Harlem Brundtland did discuss her EHS in Waterloo, Canada, on April 19 after being asked about it by Magda Havas of Trent University. This is part of what of what Brundtland said: "I have been heavily criticized as scaring people from using cell phones because I told the truth about my illness." (See Havas's full report.)

May 3, 2011

Thomas Ergo today ran a story in Norway's Aftenbladet based on Magda Havas's report from Waterloo.

May 29, 2011

Henrik Eiriksson has just released a full translation of Thomas Ergo's story in Plot, under the title "The Laughing Stock — and the Pursuit of Gro." It runs 23 pages and is available from the Mast Victims Web site as a pdf file or in other formats from Google Documents.