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Vodafone calls for phone health study

Wants to quash consumer fears

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Vodafone has called for an independent body to research the health effects of mobile phones. The phone operator, which has 5.7 million customers in the UK, told the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee yesterday that the public would not accept the industry’s world that its products were safe. Tim Harrabin, Vodafone strategy director, told MPs: "It is very difficult for us to be seen to be totally unbiased and balanced, and therefore if there is an independent organisation seen to be putting out a balanced view, then that could improve consumer confidence." Vodafone wants an independent body to be established. This would co-ordinate research into the controversial matter and report findings to the Government and public, according to today's Times newspaper. Motorola chairman David Brown, who heads the Federation of the Electronics Industry, slammed reports of health effects. He said warnings on handsets were unnecessary. "Mobile phones are safe and that's it." The move follows several studies claiming mobile phones can cause headaches, memory loss and cancer. ®

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