Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology



My response to Dr. Kabat

Dr. Kabat wrote in the thedaily.com article: 'The main findings [Interphone] were that overall, regular users of mobile phones had significantly reduced risks for glioma and meningioma, the two most common types of brain tumor.'

Regular user definition in the Interphone is: a person who made one call a week for six months. You failed to disclose it clearly and honestly to Forbes readers. They have the right to know. As one scientist said: 'This is an occasional user at most' and - 'This definition would dilute any effect."


As a cancer epidemiologist you must have noticed this giant bias.

2. Regarding Ahlbom: I did not see Geoffrey Kabat s criticism on the conflict of interest of Ahlbom and how it might interfere with Ahlbom's scientific objectivity regarding health of millions (not $$, but people, sorry if it was not clear).

In 2001, Ahlbom plus 4 other professors, were not ashamed to write in a newspaper that there are no causes for concern arising from PCB, phenoxyacetic acids and dioxins [known human carcinogen] (Agent Orange) - that they probably pose no risk factor of cancer. They wanted to negate Lennart Hardell s reseach. Moreover, they claimed on the same pages of a Swedish newspaper, that the thought that cell phones might be able to cause brain tumors is 'biologically bizarre'. The tumors that Lennart Hardell found in users of mobile phones were 'with greatest probability, a random find'. (Gunni Nordstrom, the Invisible Disease, 2004). Later Ahlbom s own findings showed an increased risk of brain tumors on the same side of the head that is exposed to mobile phones.

3. That a cancer epidemiologist sends one of the longest list of conflicts of interests statements (if not the longest) attached to a paper, in order to 'validate' his argument - is 'problematic' (as the language of the same paper on Hardell's results).

4. Why does Dr. Kabat ignore studies on DNA breaks from mobile radiation?

5. Did Dr. Kabat read the Bioinitiative report? I did not see professional remarks that criticize the report but what I saw is more of a forces game targeted against people who 'dare' to present already published scientific evidence.

6. For all of the above, Forbes readers have the right to know whether Dr. Kabat is financially supported by the mobile industry. And since he was supported by the tobacco industry, it s even more logic and legitimate to ask.

Iris Atzmon


First I answer your question. You asked me: 'Why do you think I spoke with Vijayalaxmi, who is a specialist in genetic effects of EMF and RF?' My answer - because Vijayalaxmi is the lead author on seven of the negative microwave-genotox papers. All were funded by the U.S. Air Force, Motorola or a combination of the two. (MWN).

I think this is the reason for your choice. Why didn t you not talk to an independent scientist? that s the interesting question. You didn t respond to my question. You make serious charges against people about bias without taking full responsibility, and you reported findings in a misleading way to the public without taking full responsibility for your actions.

Frankly, if you note, this is gold tip for you: as a cancer epidemiologist, you make a fool of yourself by ignoring one of the most basic concepts of latency period. It makes me ask whether you know what cancer is. That is why you are not in the position to even run a scientific discussion. You ignore latency period of cancer, so as a cancer epidemiologist you put youself in an unscientific approach in the first place. You chose to quote the regular users dilluted result without showing what happened after 10 years - the study you quoted showed an increased risk for cancer at the same side of the brain that is exposed to mobiles and you did not report it. That s an example for your dishonesty, lying. And you call me 'biased' ... the pot calls the kettle black. At what right do you mislead the public?

Next - about the firewall you insist on - the Interphone had also 'firewall'. According to the contract, the industry could see the results a week before they were published, talk about 'firewall'. In practise it changes nothing. It is still financial industry support, it just may look better, in your opinion. But don t take my word: according to the findings of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: 'The potentinal for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affect his or her scientific judgement. Financial relationships ... are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself'. (February 2006, page 8).

This is why even though you say your tobacco relationship did not affect your judgement - it is not true. This answers to you also about why the Bioinitiative, Hardell, and other indepedent scientists- are far more credible than your gurus - regardless of what their findings show (negative or positive effect).

When asked about the basis of your claim for conflict of interests of Hardell and Bioinitiative, you had nothing to show. In contrast, I proved to you with the text you sent: 'Anthorny J Swerdlow holds shares in the telecoms companies Cable and Wireless Worldwide and Cable and Wireless Communications. Anthony J Swerdlow s wife holds shares in the BT group, a global telecommunications services company.'

Regarding negative results, of course I am fully aware of them (really, don t tell me what I read and what I didn t) - but mind you, when we talk on several billions of users - the responsible approach is to take the risk findings seriously and not suppress them like you do. Because even a minor risk can translate into millions. Not $$. People.


Dear Editor:

Regarding Dr. Geoffrey Kabat's article that was published in Forbes:

I distributed the article to dozens of people. I bring to your attention complaints on slander and distorted facts in the article, that I received in response. Part of the complaints were written as an article that is now available on the internet, below my message. In a previous article that Dr. Kabat wrote, at the link http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/06/07/060711-opinions-oped-cellphones-cancer-kabat-1-2/ he failed to honestly disclose the results of a study on which he reported. The study found an increased risk of brain tumors in long term mobile users (for more than 10 years) and he reported that the study found no risk.

With Best Regards


Health Risk Assessment of Electromagnetic Fields: A Conflict between the Precautionary Principle and Environmental Medicine Methodology



I do not know if Dr (Tabak-)Kabat or you all noticed, by my own comment appeared at the Forbes piece right after publication, and still appears there all alone, (and below).




There is, of course, an established and useful definition of safety. It is the WHO IARC s own invention.

If a toxicant or toxic exposure is studied by IARC for potential carcinogenicity, and classified as a 4 - Not A Carcinogen - this is the closest definition to 'studied and safe' that we have. Studied. Safe. Decided.

If the IARC listing is anything between 2A or 2B listing, it is by definition, to some degree, 'not-safe' (i.e., a listed probable or possible carcinogen), and if it is a 1A listing, it is a known carcinogen.

This seems so obvious an answer to 'proof of safety' arguments. And, provides a legitimate answer for those who dismiss the scientific evidence because 'you can't prove the null or negative'. Of course you can - IARC does it.

Cindy Sage


Dear Olle, In your journal ?Health Risk Assessment of Electromagnetic Fields: A Conflict Between the Precautionary Principle and Environmental Medicine Methodology? ( http://tinyurl.com/3omamt5 ) you discuss ?risk assessment? as a job that scientists do during the process of scientific investigation and evaluation and ?risk management? as something that policy makers do in applying the precautionary principle in the best interests of society with regard to these scientific discoveries. As part of the application of the risk management strategy, ?public concern? is an additional factor that must be considered, as well.

Across the spectrum of our global society there seems to be a high level of acceptance of risk with regard to RF radiation as reflected in the sheer numbers of people who own cell phones and the pervasiveness of wifi in our homes, schools and communities. This is not because the public is generally well informed of that risk, if at all, but because some scientists (with conflicts of interest) are not reporting accurately to policy makers who have in turn allowed the proliferation of cell technology into every aspect of our society. You state: 'The appointed scientists have misinterpreted their mandate and seem to believe that it is up to them to determine what level of risk is acceptable to society.'

Scientists who would report realistic risk assessment, on the other hand are bullied out of their labs and their funding dries up. Where then does that leave society when governments defer to the ?weight of evidence approach? (such as Health Canada does) to make the rules that govern us all? It leaves the policy makers with a scientific risk assessment that appears to be not 'fully established?serving as [their]? excuse for not applying the precautionary principle.'

EU Court of Justice states: '?it must be accepted that a Member State may in accordance with the precautionary principle, take protective measures without having to wait until the existence and gravity of those risks are fully demonstrated.' The purpose of being able to invoke the precautionary principle is for society to provide safety to its citizens in the face of a perceived and as yet not fully understood danger, such as radio frequency radiation.

For the public who have wished to mitigate their level of RF risk they have previously been able to use their own sense of precaution by making personal choices such as not owning/using a cell phone and using cabled connections to the internet in their homes. However, in the face of faulty and misleading (industry funded) scientific risk assessment, society s living, working and learning environments have become toxic as RF radiation invades every available space. Public concern continues to mount as more and more people realize for themselves the discoveries that independent scientists are trying to report alongside the ?evidence? of scientists with conflicts of interest due to vested interests/ownership of shares in the telecommunication industry or research that is biased by industry funding.

As Cindy Sage has simply and beautifully pointed out (so that anyone and everyone can now understand), the IARC definition is 'anything between 2A or 2B listing, [and] is by definition, to some degree, 'not-safe' (i.e., a listed probable or possible carcinogen)'. This definition therefore now provides the appropriate risk assessment for policy makers to invoke the precautionary principle in the removal of Wifi (a 2B probably/possible carcinogen) from public places especially in schools and hospitals where our citizens are the most vulnerable. Scientists already know that RF is not a hypothetical risk and as yet, they do not fully understand the degree of danger ... unless of course, scientists such as yourself are allowed to independently continue your research for the good of all humanity!

Best Regards


The Brain Tumor Epidemic: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics


Did INTERPHONE commit?#3?



Motorola: downplaying inconvenient science?


Motorola faces bribery probe


The hidden hand of Motorola in Australian cellphone research (Part I)


The hidden hand of Motorola in Australian cellphone research (Part II)



California Health Insurers Hire Tobacco Lobbyists, Pay Top Lawmaker Tens of Thousands in Direct Payments

Lee Fang, ThinkProgress: 'Health insurance companies have concealed their lobbying efforts by funding many of the so-called 'pro-business' trade groups in California, which have in turn lobbied or released letters opposed to AB 52. But a closer look at the health insurance lobby s disclosure reports paints an even broader picture of their influence.'


More about the theme:


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