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'Cosmic' baker attacks phone mast

Radiation fears for biodynamic bread

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The owner of a holistic Kent bakery is opposing Hutchison 3G's plan to erect a mobile phone mast just nine metres from her premises because she says the radiation will "destroy the vitality" of her biodynamic loaves.

According to the BBC, Artisan bread specialises in "cosmic bread" which is baked according to a timetable calculated on planetary movements. Owner Ingrid Greenfield reckons that radiation from the mast would disrupt the "subtle, cosmic forces" which have made her product a hit with top-drawer outlets such as Harvey Nichols.

Greenfield further fears that such disruption would cost Artisan its coveted Demeter licence, issued by the Biodynamic Agricultural Association - an outfit which "promotes farming based on a holistic and spiritual understanding of nature". The Association's guidelines give a 50m (164ft) minimum distance between biodynamic manufacturers and mobe masts.

Timothy Brink, development officer for the Demeter mark, explained: "It is because so little is known yet and there is so little research to prove that radiation from mobile phone masts is safe. Making the bread is a living process, similar to yoghurt, where the dough rises and develops with the yeast. Our concerns are about microwave radiation affecting the baking process. Research in Scandinavia has raised concern about the health effects and what we have heard is that with a 50m zone, you can be relatively confident there will be no serious health risks, but with a shorter distance you just don't know."

Kent County Council had previously turned down Hutchison's application to erect the mast. The company appealed and won. Greenfield say she will fight to prevent the dark forces of 3G souring her dough.

Although at first sight Greenfield's objection to the mast seems preposterous, we feel it only right and proper to point out that there is no evidence to suggest that microwave radiation from mobile masts does not affect the baking process. We feel it is incumbent upon Hutchison to bake a crusty organic poppy-seed cob atop one of its own masts and another on the summit of a snow-topped, microwave-free Andean peak (at an opportune astrological moment, naturally) and submit the resulting breads to Harvey Nichols' customers for appraisal. After all, the mobe operators have been telling us for years that masts next to schools are completely safe, and no one believes a word of that, either. ®

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