COI Statement for IARC’s RF Review Updated
Kuster’s Work for Industry Detailed
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 Niels Kuster, the Swiss researcher and entrepreneur based in Zurich. Kuster attended IARC’s evaluation of RF radiation in May 2011 as an “invited specialist.”
Kuster is the founder and director of IT’IS, a non-profit group that was created with the financial support of the mobile phone industry, notably Motorola, as well as of Speag and its parent company, Near Field Technology, that markets measurement instrumentation and simulation software.
In a “correction” posted today, Lancet Oncology added the following to Kuster’s COI:
“IT’IS has received funding for specific projects from most mobile phone manufacturers and many service providers, including the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, GSM Association, ARIB Japan, Swisscom, Deutsche Telekom, and TDC Sunrise.”
This statement appeared in the COI statement that Kuster filed with IARC on May 24, 2011, the first day of the RF meeting.
An individual, who uses the pseudonym “Don Smith,” brought this omission, as well as a number of others, to the attention of both IARC and Lancet Oncology. Kuster’s COI is the only one that has been corrected.
News of the correction comes from Retraction Watch. Soon afterwards, Alex Lerchl added a comment to its site, which stated, in part: “To find a researcher with such a long list of collaborators from industry, on one hand, and a profound interest in exposure research, on the other, as member of the group of experts is irritating, to say the least.” Lerchl, a professor at Jacobs University in Germany, had wanted to be a member of the IARC RF review panel, but his request was rebuffed.