Friday, April 12, 2013

Conflict of Interest Influences EMF Science


Dr. Daniel Krewski and McLaughlin Centre (a.k.a. or Wireless Information Resource Centre)

Dr Krewski -Spokesperson on the “safety" of WiFi in this Health Canada video. His voice echoes the stance of the wireless industry.

Dan Krewski is the Head of McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, previously known as Wireless Information Resource Centre (WIRC).

McLaughlin Centre (WIRC) was founded & funded by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). See Press Release:

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association's former President Poirier still manages McLaughlin Centre's projects. CBC Marketplace exposed that the wireless industry, CWTA, funds both the research and salary of Dr. Krewski who promotes that WiFi is “safe”.

Dr. Krewski represented Canada in the Interphone Study. Out of 13 countries, Dr. Krewski's Canadian team is the only research group which accepted direct funding ($1 million) from the wireless industry.

Industry Doesn't Give You a Free Lunch

Paul Kleihues, Head of the World Health Organization's International Agency on the Research of Cancer (IARC) said, "Industry doesn't give you a free lunch...".

There are lies after lies behind cellphone and wireless radiation which the mainstream media rarely reports. As in the tobacco industry, one major reason for a lack of definitive scientific opinion is that industry-funded studies have mostly reported no health effects, but non-industry-funded studies have mostly (up to 9 times as often) reported adverse biological effects from EMF exposure. Even a prominent agency such as UK's HPA ignored the conflict of interest and let somebody like Prof. Swerdlow chair their review panel. Even though Prof. Swerdlow and his wife are shareholders of multi telecom companies, he was given the chance to "defend" the "safety" of this technology and then label the report "independent".  This is simply unacceptable.

Harvard lecture at the Centre for Ethics:
Cell Phone Radiation and Institutional Corruption 

November 18, 2011

On Nov. 3, Dr. Franz Adlkofer, former executive director of the VERUM Foundation for Behavior and Environment, spoke to a Harvard Law School audience as part of the lectures and events series hosted by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. 

In his lecture, “Protection Against Radiation is in Conflict with Science,” Adlkofer discussed the difficulties he and other scientists face when presenting research on the carcinogenic effects of electromagnetic fields emanating from cell phones. He also discussed the institutional corruption which he says obstructs their research.

Adlkofer described his experience with the EU-funded study REFLEX, which aimed to explore the effects of cell-phone radiation on the brain. The study’s conclusions demonstrated that low frequency as well as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below the allowed exposure limits displayed gene-damaging potential.

In 2004, shortly after releasing those findings, Adlkofer was the target of allegations questioning the validity of the findings and even accusing him of fraud. While an ethics panel eventually dismissed the accusations, his struggle against slander continues, he said.

In May 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified high frequency electromagnetic fields including cell phone radiation as merely “possibly carcinogenic” for humans, Adlkofer said, but he pointed out that studies such as REFLEX were not taken into account in reaching that determination. Had they been, he said, the classification likely would have changed from “possibly” carcinogenic to “probably.”

The practices of institutional corruption in the area of wireless communication are of enormous concern,” said Adlkofer, “if one considers the still uncertain outcome of the ongoing field study with five billion participants. Based on the unjustified trivializing reports distributed by the mass media by order and on account of the wireless communication industry, the general public cannot understand that its future wellbeing and health may be at stake. The people even distrust those scientists who warn. In democracies, it is a basic principle that above power and their owners are laws, rules, and regulations. Since in the area of wireless communication this principle has been severely violated it is in the interest of a democratic society to insist on its compliance.”
Sophy Bishop

 Orignal text:

UK HPA's AGNIR Report is NOT Independent

The Health Protection Agency's independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR) is an "important" institute to watch for signs of rising cancer cases, including monitoring national brain tumour trends. Recently, this group published a report "Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields". 

"There are still limitations to the published research that preclude a definitive judgement, but the evidence overall has not demonstrated any adverse effects on human health from exposure to radiofrequency fields below internationally accepted guideline levels," said Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of the AGNIR and an epidemiologist at the Institute of Cancer Research."

This same paper attempted  to downplay the IARC RF classification.

Investigative journalist, Mona Nilsson, discovered that Professor Swerdlow is a shareholder of telecom companies Cable and Wireless Worldwide and Cable and Wireless Communications. His wife is a shareholder of BT group, a global telecommunications services company.

This conflict of interest was not disclosed in the report. Unbelievable that Mr. Swerdlow, with himself and his spouse being shareholders of telecom companies, are still permitted to chair this panel to defend the "safety" of wireless technology, then label the panel and the report  "independent"!

Scientists Who Discovered that EMF Damaged DNA Were Oppressed by the Industry

Scientist Who Did Cell Phone Research For Motorola Speaks Of Interference and Control

Insurance Companies not Covering for Cell Phones and Wireless Carriers

Philip Morris CEO Tells Pregnant Moms Smoking is Safe

Harvard Health Policy Review

Profit and the Production of the Knowledge: The Impact of Industry on Representations of Research Results
Harvard Health Policy Review Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2007
"In Canada , for example, most of the national funding agencies explicitly encourage collaborations with industry. Even the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the primary public funding agency for biomedical work, has embraced this trend. In fact, the federal  legislation that created the CIHR has declared “commercialization of health research” and “economic development through health research” to be central goals of the agency... As a result, many of the relevant players are acting as expected and as market forces would dictate."

Impact of the Commercialization of Biotechnology Research on the Communication of Research Results: North American Perspective
Harvard Health Policy Review Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2007
"Evidence demonstrates that academic biotechnology research has become increasingly commercial in the last twenty years in Canada and in the US . This obvious realization does not only carry negative implications. Private funds have helped American universities remain on the cutting edge of scientific research and provide the best learning environment for their students. However, it would seem that this increasing emphasis on research commercialization has also created situations where university teachers and researchers could now find themselves in conflict between their traditional academic duties and the new commercial imperatives. This situation is especially worrisome in that it could lead researchers to delay the communication of  important findings over substantial periods of time in order to protect commercial interests. In our article, we first demonstrated the existence of a significant correlation between commercialization and withholding of information in the biotechnology research field in Canada and in the US . We then set out to find where and how, in the commercialization chain, the free dissemination of information was put in jeopardy. We conclude that policy changes may be required to improve the free flow of information."

Two prominent European scientists (Prof. Anders Ahlbom, Dr. Alexander Lerchl ) who have been instrumental in setting the "safety" standards on EMFs (with influence lasting till today), including chairing numerous EMF expert panels such as ICNIRP in the past decade, were recently rejected by WHO's IARC because of conflicts of interests with the Telecom industries. It was revealed that Ahlbom co-owned a telecom industry lobby group with his brother. Ahlbom also resigned from Chairmanship of the Swedish Radiation Safety Scientific Council while under investigation. Dr. Lerchl hosted the German Jurlich Research Centre Panel for EMF-Children Studies Review in 2007-2008, as head of the Committee of Non-ionizing Radiation in the German Radiation Protection Commission (the highest of such position in Germany) also works as consultant for the German Informationszentrum Mobilfunk (IZMF)!

Funding for EMF Studies and its Influence on
Research Outcomes

Public or Charity-funded studies have  over 9 times the probability of reporting at least one statistically significant biological effect, compared to industry-funded studies.

Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies
Anke Huss1, Matthias Egger1,2, Kerstin Hug3, Karin Huwiler-Müntener1, Martin Röösli1
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Basle, Basle, Switzerland
Most non-industry funded studies found biological effects. Most industry-funded studies found no effect.

The Effects of Mobile Phones Electromagnetic Fields on Brain Electrical Activity: A Critical Analysis of the Literature.

Overall, the doubt regarding the existence of reproducible mobile‐phone EMFs on brain activity.. it [the mobile phone industry] funded, partly or wholly, at least 87% of the reports. From an analysis of their cognitive framework, the common use of disclaimers, the absence of information concerning conflicts‐of‐interest, and the industry’s donations to the principal EMF journal, we inferred that the doubt was manufactured by the industry... Of the 48 studies supported by the MPI (mobile phone industry) 30 were positive and 18 were negative (38% negative)... all 7 studies not funded by the MPI were positive. Although the industry‐funded studies were significantly more likely to be negative... no two positive studies reported the same effect... Thus the apparent message of the studies dovetailed well with the MPI position that there are no reproducible biological effects, and did so without denying the existence of EMF‐induced bioeffects, which was the tactical error made by the electric power industry thirty years ago. If the investigators funded by the MPI had published only negative studies, the industry research program would not have passed the laugh test... Sixty‐two percent positive served to both protect the interests of the industry and still sustain the appearance that its position was based on scientific experiments... The legitimization process had the hallmark of a well‐designed legal strategy. Any peer‐reviewed report claiming to have shown that mobile‐phone EMFs affected brain electrical activity, particularly a report funded by the MPI, is potential evidence in a court case on behalf of a party adverse to the industry. Inclusion of a disclamatory statement in the original publication is a strategy that tends to blunt such uses by a plaintiff. Of the 30 MPI‐funded studies that were self‐designated as positive, 22 contained a disclamatory statement... From a scientific perspective the disclamatory statements were puerile, and it would be naive to suppose that so many investigators spontaneously decided to include them. More likely, the disclaimers were explicit or implicit requirements of the funder, with or without the agreement of the authors.”

M.I.T. Scientists Union Expose How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public's Expense

Federal decision makers need access to the best available science in order to craft policies that protect our health, safety, and environment.

Unfortunately, censorship of scientists and the manipulation, distortion, and suppression of scientific information have threatened federal science in recent years...

Methods of Abuse
How Do They Game the System?

Suppressing Research:

Hog Farm Emissions
After pork producers contacted his supervisors, a USDA microbiologist was prevented from publishing research showing that emissions from industrial hog farms contained antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Corrupting Advisory Panels:
Childhood Lead Poisoning
A few weeks before a CDC advisory panel met to discuss revising federal lead standards, two scientists with ties to the lead industry were added to the panel. The committee voted against tightening the standards.

Ghostwriting Articles:
The Pharmaceutical Industry
A 2011 analysis found evidence of corporate authorship in research articles on a variety of drugs, including Avandia, Paxil, Tylenol, and Vioxx.

Methods of Abuse

Corrupting the Science. Corporations suppress research, intimidate scientists, manipulate study designs, ghostwrite scientific articles, and selectively publish results that suit their interests.

Shaping Public Perception. Private interests downplay evidence, exaggerate uncertainty, vilify scientists, hide behind front groups, and feed the media slanted news stories.

Restricting Agency Effectiveness. Companies attack the science behind agency policy, hinder the regulatory process, corrupt advisory panels, exploit the "revolving door" between corporate and government employment, censor scientists, and withhold information from the public.

Influencing Congress. By spending billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions, corporate interests gain undue access to members of Congress, encouraging them to challenge scientific consensus, delay action on critical problems, and shape the use of science in policy making.

Exploiting Judicial Pathways. Corporate interests have expanded their influence on the judicial system, used the courts to undermine science, and exploited judicial processes to bully and silence scientists.

Excess Risk of Brain Cancer with 5 Years or More and/or Cellphone Use on Same Side of Head as Tumor Location or, Combinations of Wireless Phone Use: Interphone Results Versus Swedish Team Results

Independently-Funded Research (BLUE diamond) overwhelmingly found increasing risk of Brain Cancer, while Cellphone Industry-Funded Research found decreasing risk mostly.

On the original webpage, you can click on points on the graph to get the reference information.

Genetic Differences Ignored

Apart from industry funding, some scientists have pointed out that the reason for "inconclusive" results could be the difference in genetics of the test subjects, from study to study. Just like in the general population, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer. As a result, one study on chicken might yield slightly different results compared to another study of the same substance, but on another batch of chicken. However, the difference in outcome should not NEGATE the fact that the substance has caused harm on the first batch, especially where it concerns a substance that is mandated for all. 

Here is a U.S. Congressional Briefing by Dr. Theodore Litovitz, Professor Emertus, Physicist, research scientist Dr. Litovitz talked about Thalidomide which underwent pre-marketing testings in the lab. Some tests showed harm and some didn't. The health agencies approved it anyway, and authorized for it it to be sold the market. The result - more than 10,000 babies in 46 countries were born with severe birth defects because of this drug. "Canada was the last country to stop the sales of the drug, in early 1962.[23] It is not known exactly how many worldwide victims of the drug there have been, although estimates range from 10,000 to 20,000.[24] In 1962, the United States Congress enacted laws requiring tests for safety during pregnancy before a drug can receive approval for sale in the U.S.[25] Other countries enacted similar legislation, and thalidomide was not prescribed or sold for decades.  "

Electrogate in Canada: Eliminating independent academic inquiry with $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

* This article contains information related to Lorne Trottier. Mr. Trottier has contacted us to clarify an error published on the McGill website which has caused some portion of the content of the article to be incorrect. We have inserted Mr. Trottier's comments below for readers' information. Mr. Don Maisch has removed this article (by anonymous author) posted on his website.

A recent 2012 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists examined the effect on scientific inquiry when powerful corporate interests are involved in academic research in the US. The report found that corporations “exert influence at every step of the scientific and policy-making processes, often to shape decisions in their favour or avoid regulation and monitoring of their products and by-products at the public’s expense”. To quote:
Federal decision makers need access to the best available science in order to craft policies that protect our health, safety, and environment. Unfortunately, censorship of scientists and the manipulation, distortion, and suppression of scientific information have threatened federal science in recent years. This problem has sparked much debate, but few have identified the key driver of political interference in federal science: the inappropriate influence of companies with a financial stake in the outcome. A new UCS report, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose, shows how corporations influence the use of science in federal decision making to serve their own interests.
Reference: Union of Concerned Scientists, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense, Feb. 2012,
Don Maisch PhD

Lorne Trottier’s Financial Ties to the Wireless/Mobile Industries
By Anonymous
5 July 2012

Following the World Health Organization’s classification of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMF) as 2B Possible Carcinogen to Humans in 2011, this year the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the Swiss Physicians’ MfE, the Austrian Medical Association and the French Health Research Group led by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist have all issued public statements calling for precaution against wireless radiation and proper treatment of electrohypersensitive (EHS) patients.

In Quebec, however, things go backwards. Electronics tycoon Lorne Trottier has financed an “urban-electro Brigade” operation to publicly deny the hazards of EMF and the validity of Electrohypersensitivity. Lorne (owner of Matrox) enlisted 60 academics, mostly from McGill University and École Polytechnique de Montréal to which he has donated tens of millions of dollars.

Lorne Trottier is a zealous critic of all the science that point to negative health effects of electromagnetic radiation. He has written numerous articles attacking scientists and scientific studies that do not support the “safety” of EMF/EMR which he promotes. His pro-EMF opinion is disseminated through his own website, a host of “skeptic” websites which he is connected to. Even!

McGill University states that its “OSS [Office for Science and Society] “does not accept funding from any vested interest and is supported solely by McGill University and the Lorne Trotter Family Foundation.”

Below are Mr. Lorne Trottier's comments:

"First I would like to point out that Matrox, the company of which I am a co-founder, makes only a handful of products that incorporate are make use of wireless technology. These products represent less that 1% of our sales. The vast majority of our products are specialized video and graphics boards that are used in commercial and industrial computers. You can easily verify this by consulting our web site:

The article on your web site also claims that I have made substantial investments in the wireless industry through my alleged association with iNova Capital. For your information I have never been a shareholder or administrator with this company. In fact I have no association whatsoever with iNova Capital. The only potential link, which is not really a link, is that I am a representative of McGill University on the Board of MSBiV, of which iNovia Capital is a shareholder. The role of MSBiV is to help professors at McGill to commercialize their research, the majority of which is in the medical area. I serve on the board of MSBiV on a pro bono basis and I have no financial interest in either iNovia Capital or MSBiV, nor any of the companies or startups they are associated with. The web site, had contained erroneous information that I was an administrator at iNovia Capital. This error has been corrected. In short, the claim that I have invested millions of dollars in wireless technology is simply false.

The article on your web site also contains false allegations concerning my association with the Centre for Inquiry Canada. In the article I am accused of making a financial donation to this organization in exchange for the employment of my nephew Justin Trottier. I have been a donor to CFI for several years and I plan to continue doing so, whether my nephew continues to work there or not. "

More on ICNIRP, the WHO's EMF Project and Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest & Bias in Health Advisory Committees: A case study of the WHO’s Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Task Group
By Dr. Don Maisch
Published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine - April 2006

Analysis of the WHO RW/MW exposure standards
Prepared for the New Zealand Ministries of Health and Environment
By Prof. Neil Cherry, Lincoln University, New Zealand

The Procrustean Approach Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications
Thesis by Dr. Don Maisch