5G, olive oil and lead-lined underpants – an interesting mix!

Image by chezbeate from Pixabay

You may be wondering what 5G, olive oil and lead-lined underpants have in common. Strangely enough, this report comes from the cradle of civilisation, Greece and the region of Kalamata in the South Peloponnese, well known for its olives and oil and now as the first city in Greece to implement 5G.

We regularly hear stories, often fake news, about the dangers of being exposed to the electromagnetic radiation generated by mobile telephony. However, in the case of 5G, such reports have been slow to emerge. That is, until now!

Kalamata may now be even more famous, not just for its olives and oils, but for spreading unscientific and unfounded claims that 5G networks will make you – get ready for it – infertile.

The City Council of Kalamata decided to suspend the pilot program of 5G network fearing possible negative effects on people’s health after being coerced by a group of its citizens protested the advanced wireless technology calling it “the experiment 5G” in their city and that they would be the “guinea pigs” in some master plan to sterilize them.

But that’s not all! 16 out of 29 members of the City Council added the xenophobic and conspiracy-theoretical claims that the “constant influx of migrants will change the demographic composition of the city” – after the Kalamatians become infertile!

Quoting from local media eleftheriaonline the citizen’s case was supported by a letter written by a local engineer who claimed:

“Our country has been in a state of infertility for some years now, and at the same time there is a huge influx of immigrants. In this dramatic context, and based on international literature, the application of high levels of radiation will be able to ‘sterilize’ the Kalamata citizen, apart from the other adverse effects on health, will give a shocking blow effect to our city, thus contributing to the overall demographic problem of Greece.”

The letter concluded with a call to city councillors: “Today you have a historic opportunity to preserve public health in your area, the quality of life of the Kalamata citizen, and even more importantly the viability of the next generation, but perhaps a generation that may be never be born due to the 5G.”

Kalamatians are definitely not alone in their fears. An article in the scientific magazine Scientific American emphasized that complete scientific research regarding its effects have not been conducted and that there could be health risks. Wired characterized fears that the technology could cause cancer, infertility, autism, Alzheimer’s, and mysterious bird deaths as “conspiracy theories”. Even Disruptive.Asia covered the dangers of 5G radiation with a tongue-in-cheek overview and a more technically detailed piece here.

Yet, strangely for Kalamata’s citizens, these potential dangers to their health are nowhere near as sacred as their fertility. As one observer noted, Kalamata is not only famous for its olive oil but also its marijuana crops “which they obviously smoke above admissible levels”.  Sounds like an interesting combination and perhaps an opening in the market for lead-lined underpants.

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