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Deconstructing a New York Times Headline

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How does a New York Times reporter justify a grossly misleading headline on a story of major importance?

Usually we could only speculate, but in one recent case, thanks to a health advocate’s persistence, we have a peek at the rationalizations and distortions in play.

The headline sits at the top of a story by William Broad, a staff writer, reporting the release of the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) final report on its $30 million, ten-year animal study of the cancer risks associated with cell phone radiation.

Did New York Times Have an Inside Track?  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Much of the press coverage of the final NTP cell phone/cancer report was lousy. This time, the NTP seems to have wanted it that way.

Reporters were given very little notice to join the NTP teleconference on the release of the report. Nor was there much time to prepare a story for publication.

I received an email at 10:45 am on October 31 for a teleconference at 2 pm that same day. Many reporters missed the advisory and the call. Editors had little time to assign the story.

Attendance on the teleconference was spotty.

Rats Developed Rare Heart Tumor
Cancer Link Was Once Thought Impossible

Thursday, November 1, 2018

“We believe that the link between radiofrequency (RF) radiation and tumors in male rats is real,” says John Bucher, the former associate director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The announcement accompanies this morning’s release of the NTP final reports of studies on cancer in rats and mice exposed to cell phone radiation. Bucher’s project, the largest in NTP history, cost $30 million and took more than ten years to complete.

The NTP found what it calls “clear evidence” that two different types of cell phone signals, GSM and CDMA, increased the incidence of malignant tumors in the hearts of male rats over the course of the two-year study.

GBM Rise Only in Frontal and Temporal Lobes

Friday, October 26, 2018
Last updated October 29, 2018

A U.K. epidemiologist has confirmed that glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive type of brain tumor, is on the rise in England. In a new paper, Frank de Vocht of the University of Bristol reports that he sees a significant and consistent increase in GBM in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain over the last 20-30 years.

Alasdair Philips, an independent researcher based in Scotland, and three colleagues first documented the increase last March. It was not due to improved diagnosis, they said, but they could not pinpoint which “environmental or lifestyle factor” was responsible. There was one obvious possibility: cell phones.

Verifying NTP Cancer Findings

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Japanese and Korean officials are working on a partial replication of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) animal study on cancer risks from cell phone radiation. The project is expected to be approved and get underway late next year.

Though collaborating on a common experimental design, each country will carry out its own exposures with animals from the same breeder. If the designs are similar enough, the two sets of data will be combined in a joint analysis.

“We have been discussing this issue in Japan,” said Masao Taki of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University, who was a member of ICNIRP from 1996 to 2008.

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Short Takes

August 8, 2019
Last updated August 9, 2019

After six years of study, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided not to revise its current safety limits for RF radiation. The rules, which were first adopted in 1996 and are the only ones governing cell phone exposures in the U.S., will continue to be based only on thermal effects.

“After a thorough review of the record and consultation with [the...

June 11, 2019
Last updated June 21, 2019

Hans Skovgaard Poulsen sounded the alarm seven years ago. There’s a spike in glioblastoma —GBM— in Denmark, he warned. Poulsen, the head of neuro-oncology at Copenhagen University Hospital, called it “frightening.”

On November 2, 2012, the Danish Cancer Society dutifully sent out a press advisory under the title “...

May 6, 2019

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is circulating a report on the partial replication of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s RF–animal study, planned by Korean and Japanese officials. It includes the proposed candidates for the project’s International Steering Committee. 

They are:
Alexander Lerchl, Jacobs University, Germany
•...

April 22, 2019
Last updated April 24, 2019

An advisory committee has recommended that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reassess the cancer risks associated with RF radiation. This should be a “high priority,” according to the panel’s report, which was issued last week.

The group, with 29 members from 18 countries, suggests that the new evaluation take place between 2022 and 2024.

In May 2011, an IARC expert committee classified RF radiation...

February 20, 2019

A major review of cell phone cancer risks is at the center of an ongoing controversy over whether it is biased and should be withdrawn.

The new paper by some of the most prominent members of the RF–health community contends that epidemiological studies do not show an increased risk of brain tumors or acoustic neuroma associated with the use of mobile phones. That is, cell phones are cancer safe.

Titled “Brain and Salivary Gland Tumors and Mobile Phone Use: Evaluating the Evidence from Various Epidemiological Study Designs,” the...

January 16, 2019

In a victory for advocates of precaution, an Italian court has ordered the government to launch a campaign to advise the public of the health risks from mobile and cordless phones.

The information campaign must begin by July 16.

The court in Rome reached its decision last November, but the announcement was only made yesterday. The decision is here.

Today, the...

 


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