Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cancer Specialist Appeal Against the Cell Phone

19 scientists, brought together by an eminent specialist in the fight against cancer, David Servan-Schreiber, lunch an appeal to sensitize public opinion to the risk cell phone use could pose to the brain, notably for the youngest patients. The Jurnal du Dimanche echoes that appeal and analyses a disturbing phenomenon.

What This Appeal?

These 19 scientists, mostly oncologists, brought together by David Servant-Schreiber, author of “Anticancer” (Robert Laffont), believe that risk is too great to be incurred.

“We’re in the same situation today as we were 50 years ago with asbestos and tobacco,” notes Thierry Bouillet, oncologist at the Avicenne de Bobigny Hospital and a signatory to the appeal.

“Either we do nothing and accept the risk, or we admit that are a cluster or worrying scientific arguments”.

The signatories to the appeal among whom numbers Professor Hendi Pujul, President of the National League against Cancer, find it most important to emphasize the risks to youth – more sensitive to the penetration of radiation.

In their list of 10 precautions to take – “basic,” they call them, but radical all the same – they go so far as to ask that parents of children under 12 forbid their children all cell phone access, except for emergencies.

The hard core of oncologist brought together for this appeal have known psychiatrist David Servan-Schreiber since the publication of “Anticancer”. “He brought us together to present us his work,” Thierry Bouillet continues. “So that it wouldn’t be destroyed in the press without our knowing what is was. We all started out with a negative prejudice; he’s a very controversial character. But we were won over.

As of today, you can find a comparison of the level of electromagnetic radiation emitted by different call phone models on David Servan-Schreiber’s website.

What Are the Dangers?

The scientists agree on 2 things; there’s no formal proof of the cell phone’s harmfulness, but a risk exists that it promotes the appearance of cancer in cases of long-term exposure.

On the other hand, we observe deep difference between researches on the level of that risk, characterized as “low” by the Health Ministry.

A Swedish study shows that the risk of having a cancerous tumor on the side where the telephone is used double in 10 years.

The American Bio-Initiative report adds that there is also a significant risk of increase in infantile leukemia and neurological problems (including Alzheimer). These results are contented by the proponents of low risk who consider them in sufficiently rigorous.

The researchers are counting on Interphone, the first large scale epidemiological study conducted across 13 countries.

The French component of the study has already concluded “this is a general tendency towards increase risk of gliomas (cancerous tumor) among heavy users,” but specifies that these results are “not statistically significant”. The definitive result, expected this year, should allow better insight.
Do Lobbies Influence Researchers?

“Corporate influence is very strong, just as we already observed with asbestos,” deems Etienne Cendrier, spokesman for the “Robins des toits” associations.

In his bood Et si la telephonie mobile devenait un scandale sanitaire?, [“And if the Cell Phone Became a Health Scandal?”] Editions du Rocher, he cites the minutes of a 1994 meeting of the Federation of Electric, Electronic and Communication Industries, the objective of which was to organize a European lobby to combat “rumors harmful on a commercial level”.

In France, the work of Afsset, the public agency which produced the two last official reports on the subject, was disclaimed by its supervising ministries.

4 of the 2005 report’s 10 expert had direct of indirect connections with operators, while the 2003 report’s experts had pleaded the cell phone’s low risk in an advertising supplement in Impact Medicine, France Telecom financed. “The burden of our report has not been brought into question,” they demur at Afsset.
Community militants have discovered several cases of researchers who were moved aside or stripped of funding. The Gerard Ledoigt, a biology researcher at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, discovered in 2006 that tomato plant genes interpret cell phone radiations as aggression.

A year letter, he learned that his lab was dismantled before being disclaimed by his university for statement he never made. “I don’t know why, but I was de facto prevented form working on the subject,” he indicates. The university retorts that his research continues in other lab with financing from the Foundation for Health and Radiofrequencies to which Gerard Ledoigt belongs.

That structure, created in 2006, irrigates the substance of French research on the subject. It is in the sights of NGO’s since it’s financed 50-50 by the government and corporations.
“We are not represented in its scientific council which works entirely independently,” they indicate at the French Association of Mobile Phone Operators (Afom). “That’s true, but then I am one of the very few council members who think that mobile phones may have an impact on cells,” adds Gerard Ledoigt.

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