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Gross Defects in NHMRC Review into Wind Farms and Human Health

Executive Summary.

The conduct of the NHMRC review into Wind Farms and Human Health has not complied with the terms of reference given to the Wind Farms and Human Health Reference Group. Beyond that, the review is riddled with critical flaws and inconsistencies in the selection of evidence upon which it draws and in the analysis conducted.

While no doubt unintentional, this has created a massive, systematic bias in the results reported from the review. The flaws that plague the review include:

If the review reported on what it was actually asked, ie the existence of evidence on possible health effects of wind farms, then even after the restrictions imposed on evidence considered and the review’s own special use of data and logic, it would have had to report:

“There is evidence of possible health effects of wind farms under some circumstances.”

which the review might legitimately have qualified with the observation that:

“The precise circumstances under which various adverse health effects occur and the underlying mechanisms are not well understood.”

Instead, having ignored the actual terms of reference, the review stated:

“There is no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms directly cause adverse health effects in humans.”

The reviewers could, with equal veracity, have stated:

“There is no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms DO NOT directly cause adverse health effects in humans.”

which would be important information for the authorities the review purports to advise.

Sadly, in its current form, the paper appears like a political document masquerading as a scientific one.

This inevitably calls into question either the attention to task, process management, or effective involvement of the Reference Group, given it is unthinkable that the multitude of review defects could be due to either incompetence or intentional bias.

The credibility problem it creates for NHMRC work on this topic can only be expunged by totally reconstituting the Reference Group and appointing review staff uncompromised by association with this debacle.

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