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CTIA Loses Cell Radiation Labeling Fight In Berkeley

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Sep 22, 2015, 1:33 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

A judge sided with the City of Berkeley in a law concerning cell phone radiation and labeling in stores. Berkeley won an initial ruling earlier this year that requires cell phone retailers to put up signs that spell out the possible risks of using cellular devices. The CTIA sued, arguing that every device sold in the U.S. has already been certified as safe by the federal government, and additional labeling may lead to consumer confusion. The CTIA attempted to use a First Amendment argument to overturn the law, in which they said they shouldn't have to post information with which they disagree. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen did not see it that way. "On the first preliminary injunction factor, the Court cannot say that CTIA has established a strong likelihood of success on the merits with respect to its First Amendment claim," said Chen. "Nor has it raised serious question on the merits. While the sentence in the Berkeley ordinance regarding the potential risk to children is likely preempted, the remainder of the City notice is factual and uncontroversial and is reasonably related to the City's interest in public health and safety. Moreover, the disclosure requirement does not impose an undue burden on CTIA or its members' First Amendment rights." The CTIA may appeal the ruling. The lobbying organization won a similar legal battle against San Francisco in 2012.

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