In collaboration with the International EMF Alliance (IEMFA), scientists from Europe, North America, Australia and Israel have sent an Open Letter to Dr. Christopher Wild, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), calling for a postponement of the forthcoming meeting May 24-31, 2011 in Lyon, France, “Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part II: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field [includes mobile telephones],” at which determination of the carcinogenicity of cell phones and wireless technologies will be made.
The “Open Letter to the International Agency for Research on Cancer” http://iemfa.org/images/pdf/OpenLetter_IARC.pdf signed by international scientists and public officials asserts:
- No decision should be made by IARC on the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation (RF/MW) until the Interphone Study’s remaining results are disclosed. To date, only the pooled 13-country data for glioma and meningioma elements have been published. Though the Interphone Study data was collected by 2004, the overall analysis of the risk of acoustic neuroma, parotid gland tumors and tumors in the regions of the brain most highly exposed to cellphone radiation has yet to be published. Also, single-country Interphone studies have not yet been fully published for Australian, Canada, Finland, Italy and New Zealand. However, other individual country studies published show very significant risks for acoustic neuroma, parotid gland tumor and glioma.
International scientists say scientific conclusions will only be possible when all of the country results, and all of the overall pooled results, are fully published.
- Telecom Industry Observers at the IARC Meeting Places a “Chilling Effect” on Grant Dependent Researchers, and Should Be Excluded. The presence of observers such as Joe Elder, representing the Mobile Manufactures Forum (previously a long-term Motorola Employee); Jack Rowley, representing the GSM Association (a previously long-term Telstra employee); and Mays Swicord representing the Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association (previously a long-term Motorola employee), create an environment of scientific intimidation and suppression through the presence of these influential corporate interests.
A paper on the unsuitability of Professor Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden to Chair the IARC expert group on epidemiology which will judge on the carcinogenicity of RF/MW has been separately been issued by France’s Priartem and can be found at www.Priartem.fr This report claims Professor Ahlbom has extreme conflicts of interest and intellectual bias favoring the telecommunications industry, and calls for Ahlbom’s to be replaced.
- IARC’s Required Conflict-of-Interest Statements Should Be Made Public. Scientists say IARC, which calls itself ‘transparent’, must release the conflict-of-interest statements, as do scientific journals, but IARC Officer, Dr. Robert Baan, who will head the upcoming IARC meeting, has refused to release the IARC expert’s conflict of interest statements, claiming they are confidential. It is inappropriate, and lacking in transparency, for a publically funded organization, in this case funded with approximately 38 million Euros, to hide its conflicts-of-interests statements from public view.
A recently published paper by International EMF Alliance Co-founder, Don Maisch, PhD, of Australia, greatly elaborates on the conflicts of interest at WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). See “Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—The Problem of Conflict of Interest & Commercial Influence in WHO Agencies and the Need for Public Interest Representation”, found at http://www.iemfa.org/index.php/publications/news
L. Lloyd Morgan, B.S., brain tumor analyst and lead author of the landmark paper “Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern—Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone” http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/cellphones-cause-brain-tumors-says-new-report-by-international-emf-collaborative , says, “Leading international scientists fear the telecom-influenced IARC, in the upcoming meeting in Lyon, can not be impartial because grant giving industry executives are Observers and much of IARC’s own 2004 data still remains inxplicably unpublished. If a decision is railroaded through in this scenario, indicating that RF/MW does not cause cancer, this would be a great disservice to public health globally and a sad day for science, as there is overhwhelming evidence to the contrary. There is evidence of risk of many cancers from long-term use of cell phones, including gliomas (brain cancer), acoustic neuromas (tumors of the acoustic nerve), meningiomas (tumors of the brain lining), salivary gland tumors, eye cancers, testicular cancers and leukemia.”
Alasdair Philips, of Powerwatch UK says, “Letters from many scientists have been sent to Dr. Christopher Wild, Director of IARC, protesting the meeting that will judge on the carcinogenicity of RF/MW, criticizing IARC for holding such a meeting 1) without full disclosure of the remaining 50% of the Interphone study results, six years after publication; 2) without disclosure of the expert group on epidemiology’s conflicts-of-interest statements, and 3) with the heavy presence of powerful telecom industry Observers at the meeting. Thus far, Dr. Wild has not responded to the many complaints received from global scientists demanding greater disclosure, accountability and transparency on this important matter. Without these essential ingredients, science looses all integrity.”
Conflicts of interest at IARC are not new. In 2005, the Editor of the Lancet Oncology, David Collingridge, submitted a paper on lack of transparency, “What does IARC have to loose?” http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2803%2901086-6/fulltext. A transparency issue also exists in the current IARC decision-making process, where the database of scientific studies being considered, and studies submitted by global scientists for consideration, have not been made public, rendering the greater scientific community unable to evaluate the science being considered.
After partial results of the 13-country Interphone study were finally published in May 2010, Dr. Elizabeth Cardis, lead author of the Interphone study, and Siegal Sadetzki, who led the Israeli part of the study, separately subsequently published commentary on brain tumor risks from cell phones in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, urging caution http://electromagnetichealth.org/category/electromagnetic-health-blog . They said, “While more studies are needed, indications of an increased risk (of gliomas - a particularly dangerous form of brain tumour) in high and long-term users from Interphone and other studies are of concern...Even a small risk at the individual level could eventually result in a considerable number of tumours and become an important public-health issue.”
Alex Swinkels, Co-founder of IEMFA, says, “It is clear from recent protests over the upcoming IARC meeting on RF/MW, and the earlier effort by Dr. Cardis and Sadetzki to clarify the risks in the Interphone study not previously emphasized by the Interphone Working Group’s official statement, that scientists are increasingly not tolerating deceptions in science and commercial interests influencing regulatory bodies.”
IEMFA suggests it would behoove public health and government officials, as well as media, to listen carefully to non-commercially connected LIFE scientists and analysts expressing concern about biological effects of radiofrequency and microwave radiation, and to support the global movement underway toward greater transparency and integrity in science with consequences for public health.”