A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

conflict of interest: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

September 12, 2016

“This historical account of industry efforts demonstrates the importance of having reviews written by people without conflicts of interest and the need for financial disclosure.” From Stanton Glantz’s Center for Tobacco Research. Open access. More than 10 years ago the electric utility industry paid Leeka Kheifets $50,000 for a literature review.

March 15, 2016

“[F]inancial relationships are clearly associated with the direction of reported scientific findings.”

March 3, 2016

“Our study demonstrated that the cohort studies on occupational exposures and cancer published by authors belonging to the private sector (industry or consultant), or funded by the private sector, concluded significantly less often that an excess of risk of cancer was found than those published by authors affiliated to universities or public institutions. Furthermore, private authors more frequently downplayed the risk in the Conclusion section of the abstract, as compared to the Results section, than public authors did.”

June 25, 2015

Lancet Oncology, the journal which published the official announcement of IARC’s decision to designate RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen, has issued a correction to the conflict of interest (COI) statement it had included for...

May 21, 2014

Judith Richter of the University of Zurich’s Center for Ethics, asks: “Why do member states find it acceptable that an international public agency can be funded by corporate donors?” See also her related commentary in Social Medicine.

April 23, 2014

In 2011, Health Canada found itself in a tough spot. The public was becoming more and more uneasy over exposure to RF radiation from the proliferating number of cell phones, cell towers and Wi-Fi routers. After holding hearings in the spring and fall of 2010, Parliament asked the health agency to investigate whether its exposure limits —the Canadian national RF standard known as Safety Code 6 (SC6)— were too lenient and needed strengthening. Soon afterwards, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) added urgency to the assignment by classifying RF radiation as a possible human cancer agent, or, in the vernacular, a 2B carcinogen.

Health Canada’s dilemma was that it had no interest in tightening SC6. Yet IARC’s 2B designation could not be easily ignored, especially after France and Belgium, among other European countries, had responded by adopting precautionary policies. Last year, for instance, Belgium banned the sale of cell phones to children. How would Health Canada find a way to stick with the status quo?

The answer was to commission a review of SC6 by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC)

March 2, 2014

Riccardo Staglianò profiles Paolo Boffetta, “The Devil’s Advocate,” currently the director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology at Mount SInai Hospital in New York City.

February 25, 2014

Five years ago we reported on what we thought was an important clue in the search for understanding the well-documented association between childhood leukemia and EMF exposure. A team based in Shanghai presented evidence that children carrying a genetic variation linked to DNA repair were four times more likely to develop leukemia than those without that genetic marker. We called the finding a “major breakthrough” and predicted, “It simply cannot be ignored.”

We were wrong. So wrong.

What happened next —or rather, what did not happen— sheds light on why EMF research treads water and never moves forward.

October 25, 2011

Last year, sensing that the upcoming IARC assessment might undercut his legacy at both the WHO and ICNIRP, Mike Repacholi assembled a team to prepare its own assessment of the possible tumor risks from RF radiation: That review has just been released by the journal...

May 22, 2011

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has removed Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinska Institute from its panel of experts which is set to evaluate the cancer risks posed by mobile phones. The committee will meet in Lyon, France, for a week beginning this coming Tuesday, May 24. In an e-mail sent out earlier today, Ahlbom wrote, "IARC has excluded me from the RF Working Group because of 'possible perception of conflict of interest'."

September 23, 2006

When we wrote (September 21) that conflicts of interest among journal editors are not being addressed, we were neglecting the case of Charles Nemeroff, the editor-in-chief of Neuropsychopharmacology. Nemeroff is the chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University medical school in Atlanta.

As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this summer, a favorable review by Nemeroff of a device to treat depression, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, failed to disclose his ties to Cyberonics, the manufacturer of the device. The fact that his six academic coauthors had ties to Cyberonics, as the medical journal later revealed, was also left unmentioned; the eighth coauthor works at the company.

 

September 21, 2006

More and more scientific societies are considering adopting disclosure rules to shed light on potential conflicts of interest. Environmental Science & Technology reports that the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society are weighing such a policy, while the Society for Risk Analysis is now requiring authors to sign conflict-of-interest statements. These three groups publish Geophysical Letters, Journal of Climate and Risk Analysis, respectively.

September 18, 2006

There's an old English saying that goes "He who pays the piper calls the tune."

This also applies to cell-phone health studies according to a new analysis by a team from Switzerland's University of Basel. In a paper accepted for publication in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), Matthias Egger and Martin Röösli and coworkers found that: "Studies exclusively funded by industry reported the largest number of outcomes but were least likely to report a statistically significant result...compared to studies funded by public agencies or charities."

Their analysis is based on 59 experimental studies published between 1995 and 2005. They note that a majority (68%) of these studies reported biological effects. Egger and Röösli advise that "the interpretation of the results from existing and future studies of the health effects of [RF] radiation should take sponsorship into account."

August 7, 2006

The trend continues. The August issue of Radiation Research is out and it has two papers on the possible effects of RF/microwave radiation, one from Finland and one Sweden. In each case, no effects were found. (See our July 31 post.)   

July 31, 2006

Radiation Research is a scientific journal whose primary focus is on ionizing radiation, with only a minority of papers devoted to the non-ionizing side of the electromagnetic spectrum. Its June issue, however, features five papers, all of which claim to show that EMFs of one type or another have no biological effects.

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