In 2013 CSIRO scientist Dr. David McDonald won a COMCARE compensation case for crippling headaches, nausea and dizziness caused by using Wi-Fi and computers at work. Dr McDonald, was a mathematician who worked as a principal research scientist at the CSIRO for 15 years. He moved to the Victorian countryside to avoid electromagnetic radiation but later died from cancer.
In 2011, as part of the case, McDonald was asked to undergo a provocation study being designed for use in Australia by ACEBR (called ACRBR at the time) McDonald asked to see the testing protocol and it was provided under a request for confidentially. McDonald’s analysis makes for interesting reading indeed but his conclusions are telling and illustrate the dismal state of EHS research in Australia. To quote:
The discussion above points out a number of serious scientific and statistical shortcomings in the proposal to determine whether a subject is truly sensitive to an EMF. As it stands the proposed experimental design and statistical analysis cannot be used to achieve the stated aim. The scientific and statistical shortcomings of the proposed are each serious flaws in themselves and their cumulative impact and interaction render the proposal scientifically indefensible. All of them need to be corrected in a major revision of the proposal. In addition there is a need to consider the ethical issues raised above and to include an explicit statement to this effect in any revised proposal.
Interesting that if this were a high school project it would fail miserably but perhaps the writer took Dr. McDonald’s criticisms to heart and corrected subsequent versions of his ACEBR provocation testing. Unfortunately, according to Dariusz Leszczynski who has studied McDonald’s full critique and later versions of the ACEBR test protocol, he sees no changes. and considers it as an exact repetition of the earlier design.
What are we to make of this? Is it because Rodney Croft and Co. at ACEBR want a pre-determined outcome to fit in with their claim that EHS is just a nocebo effect and this sort of testing fits the bill? Dare we call that scientific misconduct or just another example of that old Procrustran Approach?
The Telecommunication companies contribute annually $700K to the NHMRC and the government a further $300K , so a total of about a million goes into the NH&MRC annually to support EMF research. Most of this money goes to the ACEBR, much of which is earmarked for psychological research into EHS. Where is the due diligence on part of the NH&MRC to ensure that their money isn’t wasted on very questionable research, to say the least?
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