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    Spin in the Antipodes: A history of industry involvement in telecommunications health research in Australia (Updated)

    I have asked Lennart Hardell and Martin Walker about Skyhorse Publishing holding copyright for my chapter in “Corporate Ties That Bind”.  I am informed that I hold copyright for my chapter and I have added it to my website. It is available at https://www.emfacts.com/download/Chap_16_updated_to_Aug_2018.pdf

    Don Maisch

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    Spin in the Antipodes: A history of industry involvement in telecommunications health research in Australia (Updated)

    CHAPTER 16 in CORPORATE TIES THAT BIND:

    An Examination of Corporate Manipulation and Vested Interest in Public Health

    Published 2017

    Excerpts:

    The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) 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 ……….. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, 2007

    As universities turn their scientific laboratories into commercial enterprise zones, and select facility to realize these goals, fewer opportunities will exist in academia for public-interest science – an inestimable loss to society…The roles of those who produce knowledge in academia and those stakeholders who have a financial interest in that knowledge should be kept separate and distinct” …………………Sheldon Krimsky, 2003

    Introduction

    In March 2009 three Australian neurosurgeons, Drs. Vini Khurana, Charles Teo and Richard Bittar, wrote a ‘Letter to the Editor’ to the medical journal Surgical Neurology. Titled “Health risks of cell phone technology”, the letter expressed the neurosurgeons’ concerns over what they considered was a serious emerging public health risk from the ubiquitous use of the cell phone and the increasing evidence for harm, including brain and salivary gland tumours, male infertility, behavioral disturbances and electrosensitivity. The authors concluded by strongly recommending that children’s cell phone use should be restricted.

    Khurana and Teo, with co-authors Michael Kundi, Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg, have also written a peer-reviewed paper published in Surgical Neurology titled “Cell phones and brain tumors: a review including the long-term epidemiologic data”. This paper concluded that “there is adequate epidemiologic evidence to suggest a link between prolonged cell phone usage and the development of an ipsilateral brain tumor” and “it is likely that neurosurgeons will see increasing numbers of primary brain tumors, both benign and malignant”. SNIP

    In 2003 the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) published a paper by this author that detailed reasons why extra precautions needed to be taken for children and cell phone use. The paper included a number of statements of concern specific to this issue from scientific and medical organizations internationally. These included the U.K.’s Independent Expert group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), the International Institute of Biophysics, Germany, the German Interdisiplinary Association for Environmental Medicine and the World Health Organisation’s Director General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland to name a few. The ACNEM paper concluded with the question: “Is it worth the risk” to continue to allow unrestricted cell phone use by children?

    In stark contrast to the above concerns, however, Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research (ACRBR), until it closed in June 2011, was apparently of the opinion that it was worth the risk. On the ABC Lateline program (April 4, 2009) Dr. Rodney Croft, then Director of ACRBR, stated: “There really has been a lot of research done to date and the research has very clearly shown that there aren’t any effects. With children, I really don’t think there is any evidence suggesting that this might be a problem. There isn’t anything to suggest that we may have to be a little bit more cautious” . To visually back up ACRBR’s dismissive viewpoint on children and cell phone use on the ACRBR web site was an animated GIF image that included images of children happily using cell phone.  SNIP

    Download the full chapter article here

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