Saturday, 19 October 2019

Telstra Chairman misleads shareholders on 5G risk

I attended the Telstra AGM on Tuesday 15 October 2019 and asked the Chairman John Mullen about the risk of 5G. You can hear my question and his response here:

Even ZDNet reported the exchange.

In my question, I pointed out that Swiss Re, one of the largest re-insurance companies in the world, have identified 5G as one of their Top 5 risks of 2019. Insurance companies do not insure telcos for electromagnetic radiation risk. Lloyds of London provided explicit exclusions in 2015.

Chairman Mullen mentioned the anti-vaccination movement. Issues of liability in the vaccine industry are big deal in that industry since it is well established that in rare cases vaccinations do indeed lead to injury. 7 countries including the USA indemnify vaccine manufacturers from liability, providing alternative mechanisms for compensation.

Chairman Mullen said there was "...absolutely not one shred of evidence..." that mobile phone radiation causes health risks. In March 2019, in an open letter to ARPANSA, Prof Martin Pall called out 158 bodies of evidence that non-ionising radiation (like mobile phone radiation and 5G) are causes important health-related effects.

In November 2015, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that "the substance [glyphosate, the active component in Roundup] is unlikely to be genotoxic (i.e. damaging to DNA) or to pose a carcinogenic threat to humans", yet Bayer-Monsanto is in the process of settling a massive class-action lawsuit that Roundup causes cancer, with costs estimated between US$2.5bn and US$20bn.

Not only did Chairman Mullin fail to address the 5G risk to Telstra, in his reply to me he said "100% we will accept the liability" posed from all the generations of mobile technology. This is an extraordinary statement to make at a shareholder meeting. The risk to Telstra and it's shareholders is high and in my opinion the Chairman and CEO failed to appraise shareholders of the risk to the company, misleading shareholders.

I do not consent.

Update 20-Dec-2019
It's interesting to see in the Telstra 2019 Annual Report

"7.3.2 Contingent liabilities and guarantees
(a) Common law claims
Certain common law claims by employees and third parties are yet to be resolved. As at 30 June 2019, management believes that the resolution of these contingencies will not have a significant effect on the Telstra Entity’s financial results. The maximum amount of these contingent liabilities cannot be reliably estimated."

Lloyds were right - “EMF cases could be more complex than asbestos claims.” Yikes!


Richard Cullen: Thank you Mr Chairman. My question is about the risk with 5G. Given that Swiss Rd lists 5G in it's Top 5 risks for 2019, can you confirm that Telstra has no public liability insurance for any injury caused by 5G and therefore assumes full direct liability for all claims. Why does the board deem it appropriate to expose shareholders to such extreme liability by deploying 5G technology before the safety of the technology has been positively established through comprehensive, independent testing instead of through extrapolation, assumption and experimentation on the public? Further, infringement of the Nuremberg Code prohibits experimentation on human subjects without consent. It says "Consent is absolutely essential". I want to make it clear - I do not consent.

Chairman John Mullen: OK, thank you. The whole industry including Telstra has spent an inordinate amount of time and money on researching any potential health impacts of all the "G's" not just 5G. So have governments, so have a wide number of international studies. I can assure you we are acutely aware of our responsibilities in those areas but there is absolutely not one shred of evidence that 5G or for that matter 4G has any harmful effect on humans. And I do realise that for those that believe like anti-vaccination or even The Flat Earth Society it is very hard to change people's opinion.

Cullen: May I just…

Mullen: May I just finish. If ever there is any indication whatsoever that we and the industry are wrong you can be 100% sure that we not only will accept the liability but that we will be all over it. But as of today there is absolutely no evidence.

Cullen: May I just refer you to Professor Martin Pall from the University of Washington, emeritus professor there, who in an open letter to ARPANSA stated 187 [correction: 158] bodies of evidence about human exposure and health risk.

Mullen: Well, the same thing about vaccination and flat-earth. I’m sorry, I just… We can only go with the science that is proven by the majority collective view and there is no such science today.

Cullen: I will just say for the record that I am electrically sensitive, so I really couldn’t care what your studies may or may not prove because I feel it.

Mullen: I can see you’re a very sensitive person and so am I to this issue. We will do the right thing, I can assure you.

Cullen: Thank you.

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