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John Madigan blasts AMA over health report on wind farms

Senator John Madigan has attacked the country’s peak medical body for dismissing claims about health effects from wind farm turbines, questioning whether the position is politically motivated.

The Australian Medical Association last week released its first official comments on the controversial subject, declaring existing evidence did not show infrasound from the turbines’ action caused adverse health effects and that anxiety about wind farms could explain why some residents experienced health problems.

The parliament’s Democratic Labour Party senator said the AMA statement must have been politically motivated and had sparked condemnation from some doctors.

“The wind industry is panicking in Australia with the likely death of the Renewable Energy Target and this is another example of its peddling influence and money to manipulate the truth,” Senator Madigan said.

“I challenge the AMA to publicly state why it made this statement now and what were the reasons it did so, in face of mounting medical evidence here and overseas to the contrary?”

The AMA’s position statement says that available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms causes adverse health effects on nearby residents.

“The infrasound and low frequency sound generated by modern wind farms in Australia is well below the level where known health effects occur, and there is no accepted physiological mechanism where sub-audible infrasound could cause health effects,” it says.

The AMA’s comments come despite warnings from the peak national medical research body that existing research on the health effects of wind farms is insufficient and substandard.

The National Health and Medical Research Council last month said it would seek fresh scientific study proposals as it released a draft paper concluding there was “no consistent direct evidence’’ associating wind farms with health outcomes.

Some residents living near wind turbines have reported suffering headaches, inability to sleep, nausea and anxiety.

Senator Madigan said the medical profession was open to manipulation by business interests, citing the tobacco industry’s history of campaigning to influence doctors.