A viral message on social media has claimed that over 297 birds died in The Hague, Netherlands, during an attempt to test 5G connectivity.
The message has been doing the rounds in India, particularly in light of the recent Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0, which shows the effects of cellphone radiation on birds and bees.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The viral message is false, and the two incidents – 5G radiation and the birds’ deaths – are likely unrelated.
The Quint reached out to Dutch News, a Netherlands-based news organisation, which confirmed that the claim was a hoax.
The Dutch News Editor Robin Pascoe, said:
“This is a hoax. The birds were probably poisoned but the tests are still being carried out.”
SO WHERE DID THE VIRAL POST COME FROM?
According to Snopes, a website that de-bunks fake news, the viral post stemmed from a 5 November report titled 'Hundreds of birds dead during 5G experiment in The Hague, The Netherlands’ on Health Nut News, a “conspiracy blog.”
Snopes noted that the original report is just a compilation of information from a series of Facebook posts put up by a user, John Khules, an anti-5G crusader.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT THE HAGUE?
It is, however, true that an alarming number of birds died at the Huijgenspark in October this year. After the birds’ deaths, the local government put in place a temporary dog ban, Snopes said, quoting a local report. Pascoe also clarified that tests were being carried out to check for traces of poisoning.
HOW HARMFUL IS CELLPHONE RADIATION?
Although it is unlikely that 5G network radiation caused the birds’ deaths, the incident doesn’t discount the harmful effects of cellphone radiation on the environment and on human health.
A study published in November said there is evidence that radiation can cause cancer. Believed to be the most expensive experiment, the study involved more than 3,000 rodents, reported The New York Times.
Further, the US Health Department’s National Toxicology Program found, in an experiment, "clear evidence" that radiation from some cellphones can lead to tumors in the heart and other health problems such as brain cancer in male rats.
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