A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

CREAL: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

May 17, 2010

There's an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone.

The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

October 20, 2008

A spate of spurious stories that were in the news last week needs to be aired and corrected. They also provide yet another reason to get the Interphone study out as soon as possible.

Le Soir, one of Belgium's leading French-language newspapers, kicked it off on the 15th. "GSM Is Carcinogenic" ran the headline at the top of its front page. The paper based its scoop on what it called the first results of the Interphone study, adapted from the latest project update, which had been posted on IARC's Web site the previous week. In fact, they were really old news. The last update, issued in February, had already included those results that point to a tumor risk —they were far from conclusive, however. As Elisabeth Cardis, the coordinator of Interphone, later confirmed to Microwave News, "There is nothing new in terms of risk in that [October] update." In two follow-on stories in its inside pages, Le Soir took a more measured tone, noting that these new "disturbing" results need to be confirmed. Cardis, now at CREAL in Barcelona, told the paper: "We must remain cautious in the interpretation of the Interphone results." Her words stand in contrast to the less than cautious warning on page one.

January 30, 2008

It's time to end the deadlock. It's time to release the results of the Interphone study, the largest and most expensive cell phone epidemiological study ever attempted. Any further delay would be close to scandalous.

A draft of the final paper with the combined data from the 13 participating countries was completed close to two years ago. One member of the Interphone team —Canada's Dan Krewski— has said that the holdup is due to disagreements over editing the manuscript, that is, changing a comma here or a comma there. We doubt that what's going on. Krewski told us this close to six months ago and the paper has still not been submitted for publication.

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