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EWG Seeks FCC-Cell Phone Industry Communications

(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Monday, September 13, 2010

Download full FOIA Letter

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, -- Environmental Working Group (EWG) filed a FOIA with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today to shed light on whether the trade association for the wireless industry is working with the FCC to challenge San Francisco’s Cell Phone Right-To-Know Ordinance, the first law passed by a U.S. jurisdiction to require retailers to display radiation values for individual wireless devices at the point of sale.

Shortly after San Francisco enacted the ordinance in July 2010, officials with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) said that they would no longer hold their convention in the city.

CTIA then filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to prevent the ordinance from taking effect.

In its complaint, CTIA argues that San Francisco’s disclosure law is unlawful because it conflicts with FCC regulation of cell phone emissions and would disrupt nationwide uniformity in the cell phone market.

As a consumer watchdog group, EWG suspects that CTIA wants the FCC to intervene in its lawsuit with San Francisco. And, in fact, the FCC has a history of siding with industry in legal disputes concerning cell phones.

To uncover whether the FCC and CTIA are working together on this issue, EWG has filed a FOIA request with the FCC, asking for all FCC communications with CTIA regarding the San Francisco ordinance.

EWG urges the FCC to follow the Obama administration’s commitment to greater transparency in government and to the public’s right to know about the products on store shelves across the U.S.

The letter follows.

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

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