Motorola: Microwave often leaks: isn't it a great
"leak" from the presentation, to hear this from a
A presentation titled, INTERPHONE STUDIES TO DATE, AN EXAMINATION OF POOR STUDY DESIGN RESULTING IN AN UNDER ESTIMATION OF THE RISK OF BRAIN TUMORS, was given at this year's Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) meeting (San Diego, CA June 8-12).
The essence of the presentation was there are multiple design flaws in the Interphone Protocol, each resulting in an underestimation of tumor risk. As a result of these flaws, the examination of 10 Interphone studies on the risk of brain tumors from cellphone use, found 60 statistically significant protective results showing use of a cellphone protects the user from brain tumors.
Such results are prima facie evidence of the studies' incapacity to determine if there is a risk. Nevertheless, as shown in the presentation, when the highest exposures are examined (10 years of use or use of the cellphone on the same side of the head as the tumor), the "protective" effect is substantially reduced, suggesting that an increased risk counteracts the design flaw. When these 2 highest exposures are combined, then the Interphone studies do find a risk!
The presentation succeeded beyond my wildest imagination.
When finished there was applause. I believe the applause was because I was giving voice to the feeling of many scientists that bio-electrical research has been "hi-jacked" by industry.
I was expecting angry accusations when question-time came. _There were no questions_ even though the usual suspects (e.g., CK Chou, Joe Elder, Joe Morrissey from Motorola and many other industry shils) were there! My assumption why no questions were asked: the presentation was unassailable.
Joachim Schülz and Maria Feychting, Interphone researchers, were sitting right behind me. When I returned to my seat, I said, "I thought you guys would have asked some questions." They just shrugged.
After the last presentation (there was only one after mine) CK Chou came up to me in his usual ornery manner, asking if I used a cellphone. I said, "No." He asked me if I use a microwave. I said, 'Yes but they are shielded." He replied they often leak. What he was trying to do was to cast me as a hypocrite.
He said Motorola would never do anything to harm its customers. He then added some sort of allusion to the chicken and egg paradox (it made no sense to me) adding Motorola would never harm their chickens. As I walked away I said you will soon see a lot of dead chickens.
As I was leaving the conference facility I saw Joachim walking along. I asked him why he had not asked any questions. He said once I had accused them of conflict-of-interest, there was no point. He then went
on to say defensively that industry had only funded 20% of his German Interphone study's cost. I told him my presentation suggested that any conflict-of-interest could be unconscious. But my assertion that the saying, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you" was relevant, stands. The relevancy, I told him, was that not one of the researchers
discussed the significant findings of a protective effect. He said, he had. As we discussed this further he admitted that the only discussion in his paper was the source of possible errors (selection bias, recall bias, etc.) with no reference to the significant protective effects.
On a previous day Elizabeth Cardis, the head of the entire 13-country Interphone study, presented the Interphone study as part of a Plenary Session. Her presentation consisted of the results published to date. When she was asked when would the full study be released, she said, "Soon ... I hope." She told Louis Slesin, publisher of Microwave News
http://www.microwavenews.com./index.html) that a new draft was being circulated. It would be great if we could see the previous drafts. Clearly there is an internal debate whether or not to publish the results or how to spin away findings of concern.
I asked Cardis what was the total cost of the Interphone Study and what was industry's contribution. She responded ~10M Euros overall; ~3.2M from Industry.
Because she was leaving prior to my presentation I discussed it with her using a printed copy. She agreed that every flaw I listed exists and each flaw results in an underestimation of risk.
She had said during her presentation, the definition of "regular user was not meant to be a risk factor." As I was walking her through my presentation I asked her why had virtually every Interphone study published the risk of tumors from "regular" use as the primary finding in the studies' abstracts. She rolled her eyes and said something like, "It was not my doing."
Berkeley, CA USA
PS: In the Cancun BEMS meeting (2006), I got the feeling that the dam was showing signs of stress. In San Diego, I felt that the dam had major cracks and was beginning to leak