NCI's Martha Linet Agrees with IARC: "2B" Designation Was the Right Call
If Martha Linet had represented NCI at the IARC RF meeting instead of Peter Inskip, she probably would not have walked out before the final vote. Linet would have likely been part of the near unanimous bloc designating cell phone radiation as a possible cause of cancer —based on an interview with Linet in the NCI Cancer Bulletin posted yesterday evening. "If one keeps in mind that possible means 'maybe,' that fits with the positive reports but overall inconsistent data," she said.
One is left to wonder whether Linet, as Inskip's boss, will ask him to temper the minority opinion he is preparing for the final IARC monograph due out next year. It may be only Inskip's viewpoint but inevitably it'll be seen as NCI's. (On July 6, Linet responded that she agrees with the IARC decision —see below.)
Linet also pointed out that NCI is funding four epidemiological studies on potential risk factors for meningioma, a type of brain tumor. The projects will collect information on cell phone use. That surprised Olga Naidenko of the Environmental Working Group because past studies have linked cell phones to glioma, acoustic neuroma and parotid gland tumors but not meningioma. "I am afraid that NCI does not want to find a risk," she told us.
Martha Linet confirmed to Microwave News that she "agrees with the IARC Working Group's decision to classify RF radiation, including cell phone radiation, as 2B, 'possibly carcinogenic.' Linet, the chief of NCI's Radiation Epidemiology Branch, added that her opinion "does not imply that NCI endorses the IARC report as [NCI is] a research institute and not a policy-making agency."