A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

U.K. MP Asks: "Where Is Interphone?"

September 18, 2008

"Where is Interphone?" asked Ian Gibson, a member of the U.K. Parliament, at last week's Radiation Research Trust (RRT) conference in London. "Whose desk is it on?" No one offered an answer, not even Anders Ahlbom, a member of the Swedish Interphone group, who earlier that morning had given a talk on EMF epidemiology.

During the lunch break, we ran into Mike Repacholi, who with RRT's Eileen O'Connor, had helped organize the meeting at the Royal Society. We asked what he had heard: Was the Interphone team making progress towards resolving the deadlock now well into its third year? Early last month, Elisabeth Cardis, the study director, told the French press that the final paper on possible cell phone links to brain tumors would likely be submitted for publication by now (see our August 1 post). Repacholi's message was don't hold your breath. "It seems that they've still got a lot to resolve," he said. "The study team is not close to consensus." In fact, he went on, "The positions seemed to have hardened."

When we got back to New York, we checked in with Cardis. "It's true the paper has not yet been submitted," she said, explaining that that it's hard to make progress over the summer with so many people on vacation. When might we expect a consensus draft? "Very soon," Cardis told us.

Ian Gibson, a Labor MP who was a cancer researcher before he got into politics (he did a postdoc at Indiana University), is one of the few elected officials watching out for Interphone. Another is Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman and former presidential candidate. Kucinich may well bring it up next Thursday, September 25th, when his Domestic Policy Oversight Subcommittee hosts the first Congressional hearing on cell phones in 15 years. Among those slated to appear are David Carpenter, a coeditor of the BioInitiative Report, Ronald Herberman of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (see July 23, 25 & 28 below) and the FCC's Julius Knapp, as well as Ellen Marks of California, whose husband is a brain tumor survivor. A Congressional aide said that the CTIA, the wireless lobby group, was invited but declined to testify.