This Pic is Neither Recent, Nor Does it Show Birds Dying Due to 5G
The image is at least five years old and doesn’t show birds dying due to 5G testing.
A photo which shows dead birds fallen on the ground is being shared on Facebook to push the oft-repeated false narrative that the birds died due to 5G testing. However, we found that the picture is at least five years old, when 5G testing had not even begun.
Several Facebook users shared this photograph to claim that 5G network “testing is very dangerous and birds and humans are dying” because of it.
Another user on Facebook shared the same photograph and wrote, “when we can get our work done on 4G, why do we need 5G? Because of 5G testing, birds are dying”.
WHAT WE FOUND
We conducted a reverse image search on the picture which led us to a blogpost on Protidin Khobor.
The same image was used in the post published by an unknown user on 7 March 2016. The text in the blog post, translated from Bangla, reads, “Hailstorm kills thousands of birds in Kushtia (Bangladesh).”
We also found the image in an article published on The New Minute published on 21 April 2016.
The article quoted Shravan Krishnan of Chennai Wildlife Rescuers, who claimed that the picture was taken seven years ago [which would be nearly 12 years ago from now] in Bihar and showed the birds who died after consuming seeds with a high pesticide content.
We have not been able to independently verify the location of the picture, but we can ascertain that the picture is at least five years old and it can not show birds dying due to 5G testing.
ARE BIRDS REALLY DYING DUE TO 5G TESTING?
The Quint’s WebQoof team has debunked this narrative in the past and you can read our detailed report on the same here.
In January 2021, another similar claim was made in the context of the bird flu outbreak in India. However experts and research don’t provide any conclusive evidence to prove this claim.
Radha Krishan Verma, additional director, radiology department, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, speaking on the ramifications of 5G radiation on birds, said that there is no proof to support the claim.
Moreover, in 2018, Snopes, a fact-checking website, had spoken to Eric van Rongen, a member of the Health Council of the Netherlands and Chairman of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, about the same issue.
“The only way one could imagine death of birds as a result of exposure to electromagnetic fields is with very high level exposure that results in considerable heating. But the levels that are used by mobile telecom antennas are not strong enough for this to happen. There are maybe millions of such antennas around the world and this has never been reported,” Dr Rongen had said.
It must be noted that 5G trials are still underway in India and are awaiting a nod from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT). The Economic Times on 12 March reported that only Bharti Airtel had started the development of 5G network technology with limited testing capacity, while other networks, including Reliance Jio, are still awaiting DoT’s clearance.
INDIA FOLLOWS GUIDELINES BY ICNIRP
Additionally, it must be noted that India adheres to all the guidelines laid down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The ICNIRP is an independent, non-profit body that provides scientific advice and guidance on the health and environmental effects of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) to protect people and the environment from detrimental NIR exposure.
It is important to note that while there is no data to prove that the radiation kills birds, there have been reports that show an impact on their navigation and orientation.
Clearly, there is no truth to the claim that the picture shows birds dying due to 5G testing in the country.
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