In a "hot off the presses" article, "Of Cows and Power Lines" in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers "Spectrum" magazine, the reporter states researchers have found a link between which direction cows face and the presence of power lines over or near the feeding grounds.  There is no obvious reason why this should be considered critical information for cattle ranchers and dairy farmers. I do not have research data, but I doubt whether facing North or South or East or West will affect the ability of the cattle and cows to eat the grass and other plants growing in the meadows. 

Why are precious resources of money, satellite images and researchers being wasted on such prattle?  If they were doing a direct analysis on whether the animal weight or milk production were directly affected by the proximity to power lines, maybe that could be considered useful.  Among some of us, participants in the IEEE International Committee on EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) Safety and other organizations, such research and published articles only serve the unneeded continuation of the debate over the unsubstantiated and scientifically unconfirmed belief that human exposure to fields from power lines causes negative health effects, and, therefore, must be regulated and avoided at all costs.  Those who have participated in the study of the literature on the subject believe that the current guidelines from IEEE ICES, the World Health Organization EMF Project and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, while somewhat different in magnitude, are sufficient for human protection. 

Research, both direct and epidemiologic, continues and the results will be analyzed as they become available.  Contact Ken Gettman, Director International Standards (e-mail ken_gettman@nema.org or 703-841-3254) at NEMA if you would like to participate in NEMA's EMF activities.


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