One of my first assignments when I was a reporter for this magazine was a story on the flap over the Environmental Protection Agency's 1990 draft report on electromagnetic fields (EMF). I later covered passage of the Energy Policy Act and its EMF research and communications program, and was invited to the White House to see George Bush sign the bill into law.
I sat amid a sea of EMF researchers in San Diego as Maria Feychting and Anders Ahlbom officially presented the results of their Swedish childhood cancer study, and I have traveled to Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Savannah, Palm Springs, and even Copenhagen for EMF meetings and conferences.
I called Roberta Baskin of Street Stories the day after her EMF piece aired in 1993 and spent almost an hour with her going through it clip by clip. Even my family connections tie in to EMF: my father-in-law was a key advisor to former Rep. James Scheuer, one of the architects of the federal EMF RAPID Program.
You might call me the Forrest Gump of EMF. And Forrest is asking, What happened to the EMF debate?
To be sure, EMF is rarely front page news. The issue reached its media and public interest zenith in November 1992 with the Feychting-Ahlbom childhood cancer study. Since then, EMF has made a noticeable descent into relative obscurity, with virtually no major television stories since spring 1993.
Why Has the Issue Disappeared?