Maine Gov. Baldacci opposes legislation that would require health warnings on cell phones

By Glenn Adams, AP
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Maine gov cool to cell phone health warnings bill

AUGUSTA, Maine — As a proposal to require health warnings on cellular phones got a fresh legislative review Tuesday, Gov. John Baldacci made clear his opposition but stopped short of threatening a veto.

“As it stands the governor doesn’t support the bill, and he’s based that decision largely on the research by Dr. Dora Anne Mills,” said Baldacci spokesman David Farmer. Mills, who is director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, testified against the bill last week.

“At this time, he is reluctant to put new regulations or new requirements on businesses because (of) the recession and national economy, and particularly when the science at best is still unclear” and health risks are undocumented, Farmer said. While Baldacci opposes the bill, he is not threatening a veto, Farmer said.

A week after holding a hearing on the bill, the Health and Human Services Committee took up Sanford Democratic Rep. Andrea Boland’s proposal in a less-formal review session Tuesday.

Researchers last week told the committee that studies in Europe show electromagnetic radiation from cell phones poses risks of brain cancer, especially in children. They want consumer warnings on cell phones and their packaging.

An industry group, TechAmerica, says scientific evidence so far does not indicate a public health risk and that warning labels would be misleading and confusing.

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