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George Carlo's Response to the Danish Study
by Dr. George Carlo
Safe Wireless Initiative
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This letter is written by Dr.
Carlo in response to the Danish study published recently in the press that
purportedly shows no connection between cell phones and cancer. Dr.
George Carlo is a leading epidemiologist who formerly headed the $28
million Wireless Technology Research (WTR) program funded by the cell
phone industry. During that time, he discovered some alarming findings
later published in his book.
I have some very unique personal insight that I
would like to share on this new Danish study. I will have a formal
analysis and Safe Wireless Alert out on this by the end of the week.
But, here is important background.
Indeed, John Boice and his colleagues have been on
the cell phone industry payroll, and for big money, since the late
1990's. The money laundering vehicle is the International Epidemiology
Institute -- the name sounds like a non-profit by design, but make no
mistake, this is a big for-profit enterprise. When I ran the WTR, the
International Epidemiology Institute, with Boice and a fellow named Joe
McLaughlin, applied for funding to do this exact epidemiology study
that was released this week. After much discussion within the WTR, they
were refused funding because I felt they were blatantly biased and had
overtly given us the notion that they would always create findings that
were favorable to the industry. They thought that is what we wanted in
the WTR -- they thought they were playing to the audience. But, they
were wrong. When we refused to give them funding to do work, they went
directly to the industry with the same pitch, and were hired. They were
able to make good on their pitch of being able to put "put all of this
under the radar" by further laundering the industry support money
through the Danish Cancer Registry. This is the pitch that was given to
me personally and directly. I still have their proposal.
The study released this week is the second such
study with the same "spin on the findings" from this group of
investigators. In 2001, they also had "one of the largest studies to
date", and Boice went on a bit of a television tour -- paid directly by
the industry -- to blunt the effects of my Cell Phones: Invisible
Hazards in the Wireless Age book tour. I faced off with him a couple of
times on T.V. most notably on John Gibson's news show on Fox. It is
interesting that Fox is also asleep at the switch on this one.
Interestingly, the other person quoted in the
news reports on this study -- and I am certain his name was given in
the press package released by the industry for the study as that is
common practice to make sure there is "independent corroboration" -- is
Joshua Muscat. Muscat worked for me under the WTR. Muscat blatantly
changed his data after his studies were completed under pressure from
the industry. Specifically, Muscat's work -- peer reviewed and
completed according to a specific protocol under the WTR -- identified
a near tripling in the risk neuroepithelial tumors and a correlation
between the side of the head where the phones were used and the side of
the head where the tumor was located that were both statistically
significant. I speak of these findings in my "Cell Phones" book because
they were the findings in the final peer-reviewed report of the data.
The findings of a statistically significant increase in neuroepithelial
tumors and significant tumor laterality concordance were the official
findings of the WTR. However, the industry hired an epidemiologist
named Linda Erdreich to participate in the peer review. Under her
influence, Muscat's data "mysteriously" changed -- not once, but twice.
First, in the report Muscat gave at the Second State of the Science
Colloquium -- and published in the book that contains all of the papers
presented at the Long Beach Colloquium in June 1999 -- the
statistically significant correlation between side of the head where
tumors were and side of the head where phones were used disappeared.
Then, yet again, in the paper that he submitted to the Journal of the
American Medical Association, the data were further altered so that the
statistically significant increase in tumor risk disappeared as well.
Both of these alterations in the data were flagrant breaches of the
peer-reviewed scientific protocols t hat were intended to guide that
research. In a letter to the editor of JAMA before the study was
published, I pointed these inconcistencies out and indicated that I was
the funder of the study. The journal ignored the letter and went
forward with the publication. Clearly, the industry carefully
orchestrated the Muscat fraud so that the data that were "published" in
JAMA carried no statistical significance. The press release for that
study carried the "no statistical findings" heading. Of course, all of
these data manipulations are evident in published papers, but no one
has chosen to raise the issue in the media.
Interestingly, when the Muscat JAMA study was
released in January 2001, there was another "high credibility"
companion paper released in the industry package along with it to
support the "no cancer from cell phones" spin. That study, done by
Inskip et al., was realeased two weeks early at the request of the
industry, so that there would appear to be two leading journals
debunking the cell phone-cancer hypothesis at the same time. They were
all bundled into one package that was sprung on me one night when I was
being interviewed by Dan Rather of CBS News. In that paper, Inskip
himself pointed out that the study did not include any tumors that were
within the range of exposure to the cell phone near field plume.
However, even with the admitted shortcoming that the data were only
marginally relevant to actual cell phone induced radiation exposures,
it was lauded as another cell phone safety harbinger in the press
package. And, who was that Journal who agreed to release the study
early under pressure from the cell phone industry? You guessed it, the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. And, who had just left the
payroll of the National Cancer Institute who runs the journal at the
time? You guessed it -- John Boice.
Finally, also now circulating in the press package
as part of this latest study are comments from Michael Thun of the
American Cancer Society. He is using this as an entre to get in the
news to raise some money for ACS. His take -- the studies show no risk.
Of course, what people don't know is that in 2002, scientists from the
American Cancer Society testified in brain cancer litigation in Federal
Court in Baltimore, Maryland on behalf of the cell phone industry. They
would want you to believe that no one was paid for that testimony.
However, shortly after that, a report was released by the American
Cancer Society that included cells phones as one of the greatest cancer
myths. So blatant was this connection between the American Cancer
Society and the cell phone industry, that last year, when Sanjay Gupta
of CNN ran a story about the belief of Johnnie Cochran's surgeon that
his fatal brain tumor was due to his cell phone use, the industry did
not even reply in the story. Instead, they simply referred to and
quoted the American Cancer Society's report on cell phones being one of
the cancer myths. Thus, they used the American Cancer Society paper as
a public relations shield.
Everything I say here is fully documented by
publicly available information. But, it is so diffuse that it is
difficult for folks to connect the dots. Inexplicably, there remains a
peculiar absence of investigative journalists who are working on
uncovering the full breadth and depth of the industry's orchestrated
manipulation program. Where are Woodward and Bernstein when you need
Am I callling out some very prestigious groups and
openly showing their conspicuous unethical behavior, questionable
integrity and disregard for public health? You bet I am. The Danish
Cancer Registry, John Boice, Joshua Muscat, Michael Thun, Linda
Erdreich, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Journal of
the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have
ties to the telecommuncations industry that compromise their ability to
provide meaningful information on this important public health issue.
As sad as it is, this is a "follow the money" exercise that is yet
another example of public health being compromised by industry
Please feel free to pass this word.
Dr. George L. Carlo
Science and Public Policy Institute
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW -- 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
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