|Towers or Handsets?|
|While most of the more vocal activists were concerned about the siting of cellphone antenna near their schools or homes, it has always been the potential long-term effects of the handsets, held close to the head, which the research scientists see as having the potential for serious health problems.
While this often seems counter-intuitive with battery-powered devices, the power-density impact from radio waves experienced by brain and ear tissue only centimetres from the handset-antenna can be millions of time higher than that from high-power-output base-station transmitter hundreds of yards away [Inverse-square-law].
Ridiculous claims are often made that the handset can be designed or shielded from transmitting microwaves in the direction of the head. However, since the user usually has no way of knowing the base-station's location, devices which concentrate the beam of microwaves away from the head would counter-intuitively lead to increased exposures.
Handset antenna must be omin-directional ("in all directions equally") to work without constantly dropping out when the user moves, and since 'beamed' antenna work often with far-distant base-stations, the power of the handset will necessarily turn up greatly to cover the increased distance.
So towers probably aren't a problem unless you live in high-rise directly in the path of a beam (underneath is probably OK), and handset protective devices don't work — and they would probably make conditions worse if they did.
1995: This was how the Carlo promoted his new organisation in a 1995 speech:
"Although SAG scientists had always been promised — and always received — complete independence from the industry, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) suggested that an escrow arrangement would further enhance the independence — and therefore the credibility — of the research program.
"The program itself is based on a public health paradigm — as opposed to more traditional regulatory models — and combines a complete program of surveillance to detect possible public health impact with a comprehensive and integrated program of research, safety evaluation and risk management.
"Four operating questions define the scope of the program:
The program is unique in that the combination of surveillance and focused research affords a rapid trigger for intervention, while the integral inclusion of risk management assures that any necessary interventions will be both appropriate and timely.
- Is there a public health problem posed by wireless communication technology?
- If yes, what are the characteristics of that public health problem?
- What are the appropriate corrective interventions to mitigate any identified public health risk from wireless technology?
- What is the appropriate implementation strategy for those interventions?
"Each of these factors are essential to satisfy the requirements of public health protection, and together facilitate actions where prevention replaces intervention. In addition, the program represents a fresh approach to public-private partnerships, conserving taxpayer dollars and employing available research funds efficiently. "
1995 Jan: /E Philip Cole resigned from the Peer Review Board, and Joe Elder joined the group.
1995 Jan 20: The New York Times — Mobile Office Magazine Edition reports on the close relationship that has developed between the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis and the original SAG saying that the CTIA had assembled a peer-review group through the Harvard University School of Public Health, and that it was to be chaired by George Carlo.
[It is difficult to know whether this is just a media confusion, or whether Carlo was originally slated to Chair the Peer Review Board, as well as run the WTR.]
1995 Jan 25: Carlo's announcement of the "SAG on Wireless Technology" explained that it would now conduct a wider program of research into all aspects of radio-frequency exposures....
... because the scope of the SAG's scientific research effort has expanded dramatically in the past year, and now involves an evolution to all wireless communications.He later attributes these changes to:
1995 Feb: The SAG-WT program begins. Selection and funding of the research was to be run entirely by Carlo out of the HESG offices in Washington DC.
The agenda, and the work was then supposedly 'peer-reviewed' by John D Graham's group working through the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis which also supervised the auditing of the escrow account.
Graham's contract was clearly with the CTIA rather than with Carlo and the HES. He served on Ketchum's Advisory Board of consultants in legal media relations, and Susan Putnam of the HCRA staff was given the role of PRB project manager.
The HCRA involvement led to this PRB sometimes also called the "Harvard Peer Review Board". This was a 11-12 person panel which would supposedly check the quality of the research to be included in the final report.
The PRB would have been more credible if any of them had had any knowledge of this specialised area of bio-electromagnetic (ELF and EMF) research which hinges to a large degree on understanding radio waves, electro-magnetic fields, complex EMF technologies, test-animal exposure systems, and the way in which the body absorbs microwave radiation (dosimetrics — measured as SARs or Specific Absorption Rates).
The PRB members included,
1995 Feb 8: Susan Putnam of John D Graham's Harvard Center for Risk Assessment, who was project director for Carlo's Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), advised him by letter that:
"The majority of the peer reviwers stated that the repetition of the [Lai-Singh study] should be defered until an appropriate in vivo exposure system is developed.[They are using this as a lame excuse to delay replication.]
|Replication means replication|
|If genuine 'replication' was being considered, the SAG would not have allowed the researchers to make radical changes to any of the Lai-Singh research techniques — especially not the exposure system. You'd certainly not modify exposure techniques used by first class experienced scientists like Lee and Singh.
If a better exposure system had been devised, it would need to be run in parallel with the Lai-Singh system to get some guage on the differences, and prove its effectiveness.
Lai and his partner Narendrah P Singh were also world leaders in using a highly sensitive 'alkaline comet assay' test [also called 'single-cell electrophloresis'] for detecting DNA breaks in the chromasomes. Their research had found evidence of genetic damage following realatively short (2 hour) exposures to EMF in live rats — which suggests that the exposure system wasn't the primary consideration, while the use of the highly sensitive comet-assay techniques was.
Most DNA damage will be repaired by the cell itself, but cancers are caused by occasional mis-repaired minor DNA damage. Serious double-strand breaks usually kill the cells, which means that cancer's don't form. This creates some of the anomolous results. Delays between exposure and comet-assay testing also creates others, since repair mechanisms within the cells have had time to act.
In other words this claim was entirely fallacious. They were deciding not to replicate research which had produced evidence disproving cellphone industry assurances that it was impossible for EMFs to harm cells other than by heating.
1995 Feb 18: The SAG-WT advertises for grant proposals (in vitro) to be presented before June 15, 1995. Later Carlo reported in a speech that :
"At the beginning of 1995, the SAG evolved into a legally constituted entity, the Wireless Technology Research, LLC., at the recommendation of the US General Accounting Office."[He has conflated two events. The WTR LLC came later.]
The 1995 Wireless Technology Research budget nears $10 million.
All studies conducted pursuant to the research agenda will be subjected to rigorous, scientific peer review, both by the SAG and through the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. In addition, investigators funded through the program will be required to submit their work for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
|EMF problems with Mains Power|
| The cellphone health question was further complicated in 1995 by fairly robust research evidence showing that individuals living under high-tension power lines, and some working within strong magnetic fields (near electric generators, etc.) appeared to have raised levels of leukemia and breast cancer. A RAPID [Research And Public Information Dissemination] study was created under the NIH to look at this problem.
There was also a problem with the proliferation of computer VDT screens, And since powerlines, electric blankets, hair-dryers, and TV set all generated strong, but extremely low-frequency (ELF = 50 or 60 Hz) radio waves, this potential for harm to human health was quickly taken up by activists and conflated with the cellphone problem. For a time, it became seen by activists as a secondary problem that also needed to be addressed.
In America the EMF Research and Public Information Dissemination (RAPID) program announced grants for engineering studies whch would be supervised by a NIH peer-review panel. [With the value of hindsight, there are at least four dubious names on the NIH peer review list.]
1995 Mar 2: The scientists strike: Carlo, Health & Environmental Sciences Group, WTR, Morotola and the CTIA all figure in a civil claim filed with a Chicago court (Cook County). The plaintiff, Debbra Wright, had worked in the cellular industry since 1988 (a manager with Bell Atlantic Mobile), and was suffering from recurrent brain tumours which she alleged that been caused by cellular phones.
She had attended a San Diego workshop and training program run by Carlo, the main purpose of which had been to teach cellphone industry employees how to avoid answering direct media questions about cellphone health research, and how to discount any questions about cellphone safety.
She was furious at the line Carlo and his associates were using in their training program and charged them with systematic orchestration of a cover-up of health risks. Her complaint said that the defendants had "conspired" to conceal from the public information about alleged harm from cellular telephones. Those listed as conspirators in the charge were:
1995 Mar 23: Microwave News announces that the SAG had defered the Lai-Singh Replication.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association's (CTIA) Scientific Advisory Group on Wireless Technology (SAG-WT) announced that it had decided to defer a repeat of the Lai-Singh experiment which showed that 2.45 GHz radiation can cause single-strand DNA breaks in the brains of rats until a SAG-approved exposure system is available.
The decision was based at least in part on a review by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis' cellular telephone advisory committee [the 11-man PRB].
However Motorola had already initiated its own a version of the Lai-Singh in vivo study (live-animal exposures) — while the SAG was to concentrate on in vitro (petri-dish) research.
- RFR has insufficient energy to cause direct damage to DNA, although possible indirect effects cannot be ruled out
- Based on the available studies no conclusion as to the potential for RFR to induce DNA strand breaks can be drawn;
- The SCG assay was considered, due to its sensitivity, to be an appropriate assay for the assessment of potential effects of RFR on DNA structure;
- The available information warrants the conduct of SCG studies using exposure parameters relevant to wireless communication technologies.
- Using a weight-of-evidence approach, the existing data suggest that there is no clear evidence for a genetic hazard associated with RFR;
- Few studies have been conducted in the frequency range of current wireless communication instruments, and they were largely negative;
[This implied dismissing the Lai-Singh findings because they used microwaves at a slightly higher frequency.]
- The in vitro battery should include microbial and mammalian mutations assays, and a chromosome aberrations assay using human lymphocytes;
- Selection of an in vivo battery should await completion of in vitro studies and consideration of the availability of standardized tests using brain tissue;
[Live animal tests should await the completion of petri-dish research.]
- All in vitro studies, including those involving the SCG assay, should be conducted at a central exposure facility.
[In blind tests, this means that the WTR would hold and control the identification of the exposed cells. not the scientist doing the research.]
1995 June 1 - 31: May 1996 WTR budget. A document circulated in July of this year claims that, in this year
... the focus of the WTR program will shift from laying the foundation for rigorous research to building the solid scien- tific database necessary for informed public health decisionmaking. Experiments and studies specifically addressing public health risk hypotheses will be funded beginning in June 1995.[At this time he also presented a paper to the Society for Risk Analysis's 1995 Annual Meeting, which outlined how the WTR was conducting Risk Management. Thus proving, once again, that fiction is stranger than fact.
The 1995 Wireless Technology Research budget nears $10 million.
"All studies conducted pursuant to the research agenda will be subjected to rigorous, scientific peer review, both by the SAG and through the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. In addition, investigators funded through the program will be required to submit their work for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Details of the 1994-5 expenditures (Total $3 million) reveals that about 70% was spent on "Risk Evaluation Research", which is a catch-all term for reading the literature. The entries listed for on-going Surveillance and Scientific Outreach programs appear to have been euphemisms for media monitoring and public relations.
- Published an extensive review of relevant scientific data
- Established a scientific literature monitoring program
- Initiated an international survey of ongoing scientific research pertaining to wireless technology
- Participated in scientific symposia where new data were released.
[Translation: "We read the papers, hired a monitoring service, wrote to cellphone companies in other countries, and attended a few conferences."]
1995 June 13: PBS Frontline aired its program "Currents of Fear" dismissing all research into power lines. Microwave News reported.
The irony is astonishing. On the very day that a committee of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) completed its 800-page draft report asking [power-line] regulatory agencies to pay " serious attention " to EMFs, public television station WGBH aired a one-hour show across the country comparing EMFs to cold fusion.[The harvard Center for Risk Analysis also ran the Peer Review Panel for the electrical energy industry research.]
While the NCRP committee called for " a national commitment to further research," the June 13 Frontline, "Currents of Fear," asked whether it was time to close down the research effort.
1995 July: Microwave News reported that
After 26 years at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr Mays Swicord is leaving to become the director of Motorola's electromagnetic radiation (EMR) biological effects research program. Swicord will join Motorola on October 1 and will report to Dr Quirino Balzano, a corporate vice president.[Until this time Swicord had been the most fierce critic of the SAG-WT]
1995 July: The WTR publishes "An Overview of Phase One"
During the Scientific Advisory Group's (SAG) first two years, we made a concentrated effort to achieve a program with a strong scientific basis, building Good Laboratory Practices, Good Clinical Practices, and Good Epidemiology Practices into our research methodology.
During Phase One of the program - Laying the Foundation - we successfully developed the SAG's research agenda, giving form and structure to the research we hope to complete by 1998. We expanded our research mandate from addressing cellular telephone technology health risks to potential risks of all wireless technology, including the technology's infrastructure.
Today, 25 months into what was projected as a 60-month program, we have achieved significant understanding of the key scientific issues. We have moved forward with Phase Two: Extramural Research, where specific hypotheses will be tested in independent universities and laboratories around the world.
|Good Epidemiological Practices (GEP)|
|Note the emphasis on Good Epidemiology Practices. Carlo knew that GEP was a hybrid standard developed by the Chemical Manufacturer's Association and now taken up by the tobacco industry as a way to shackle the regulators.
And, as author of the Philip Morris "Bias Study", he was involved with his friends and partners Jim Tozzi and Thorne Auchter in organising the London Principles conference on GEP in October of this year (along with John Graham) for the tobacco industry. This closed conference sought to put a scientific gloss onto what was nothing more than a scientific disinformation and political lobbying exercise.
1995 July: The SAG's Phase 2 Request for Proposals, included suggestions for specific research proposals — Case-control Studies of Glioma, Meningioma, Neuromas, Salivary Gland Tumors, and Adult Onset Leukemia.
This list was a consequence of recommendations made by a working group in January, and the proposals were to be submitted by October 1995.
The scientists were required to demonstrate the application of...
"Good Epidemiology Practice (GEP) familiarity and previous compliance."Appendix A "Good Laboratory, Clinical and Epidemiology Practice Guidelines" gives details of the quality standards expected from researchers and how they will be monitored:
All research will be conducted in accordance with GEPs in collaboration with the WTR's Quality Assurance Unit.
Under the WTR research program, all studies will be monitored by an independent Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) consisting of a person or persons not participating in the studies, to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines.The lists of QAUs all had Donald MacRee in the Chair, and a couple of staffers from HESG or Cantox designated to each. Formal qualifications of staff panel members didn't appear to be a consideration.
Usually this QAU is a part of the performing organization and monitors the studies for the management of the organization. However, due to the specialized nature of this research program, laboratories with the required scientific expertise may not have an independent QAU and establishing a QAU on site may be impractical. In these situations, the WTR, under the leadership of its quality assurance representative, will establish a QAU with the appropriate representation from the WTR intramural program staff and ad hoc members from the scientific community with the required expertise to evaluate compliance with good research practices.
1995 July: The FDA was provided with WTR's "Potential public health risks from wireless technology
Risk evaluation research: Progress, priorities, and request for proposals. " is a long document outlining the panels that had been convened, and the decisions that had been made about priorities.
1995 Sep 29: The International Committee on Wireless Communications Health Research (ICWCMR) was formed in Italy. Carlo was listed as chairman of this new organisation (most researchers had never heard of it), and the WTR funded their conference program and provided keynote speakers.
[Don't confuse this with the IRCNIP.]
[The site has disappeared, but note the Italian directory label of "wtr" in the URL ]
1995 Nov: Nocebo: Ernest Wynder, the CEO and research director of the American Health Foundation (originally anti-tobacco, but later part-funded by tobacco, food, alcohol and drug companies) held a symposium on "The Negative Placebo (Nocebo): Its Scientific, Medical, and Public Health Implications"
This conference promotes the idea that people often become genuinely ill simply because they imagine they are ill. Another long-term tobacco-funded scientist, the behavioural psychologist Hans Eysenck had gone even further by maintaining that people could die prematurely from Nocebo effects if they kept being told that cigarettes would kill them.
This naturally attracts a lot of attention and funding from companies with potential product liability problems.
If the idea of Nocebo could be established with any pretense of scientific rigidity, it would have become an excellent legal defence against claims of environmental illnesses due to tobacco smoke, cellphone radiation, etc. [Carlo later joined Wynder in promoting the Nocebo concept.]
1995 Nov 13-15: Only two weeks after it was formed in Italy, the ICWCMR held a conference at "La Sapiencia" in Rome. Carlo as the chairman and conference spokesman.
In fact, this organisation was nothing more than a front for the WTR. Some of the documents admit openly that "WTR has been instrumental in forming the ICW," and, with the singular exception of this conference, there is no evidence that such an organisation ever existed..
However Gert Friedrich of the FGF is listed as member. His organisation was the German version of the WTR; it was also funded and controlled by the cellphone industry and it promised many research projects which appear to have disappeared without trace.
The CTIA's press office promoted this event as being of international importance.
In October 1995, an international symposium on the health effects associated with wireless phones was held in Rome, Italy. Researchers from throughout the world met to review existing research on this subject.[The web-site has since gone missing — as has this fly-by-night organisation.]
The researchers reported that they were unable to identify any health risks associated with wireless phone use.
the WTR, along with the International Coordinating Committee on Wireless Health Research [The ICWCMR in Italian] sponsored the first comprehensive colloquium on the state of science regarding public health risk from wireless technology in Rome, Italy, with participation of more than 100 top scientists from around the world.[This organization disappeared without trace shortly after.]
1995 Dec: Carlo himself, and both the WTR and the CTIA, were being sued by Jerald Busse who charged that their epidemiology studies amounted to unauthorised human testing. [Source Microwave News Jan 1976]
[This case was dismissed]
1995 Dec 6: George Carlo was in Waikiki, presenting a paper at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Symposium on "Private Funding of Research Intiatives".
The HCRA ran this as an adjunct to the Society of Risk Analysis' Annual Meeting (John D Graham was SRA President).
The program is based on a public health paradigm, combining surveillance with research, safety evaluation, and risk management. The surveillance and focused research afford a rapid trigger for intervention, while the includion of risk management assures that any necessary intervention will be appropriate and timely.
The program represents a fresh approach to public-private partnerships, conserving taxpayer dollars and employing available research funds effectively.
1995 Dec 18: The scientists strike: The Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois dismissed Dr George Carlo and the Health and Environmental Sciences Group (HESG) as defendants in Debbra Wright v Motorola, et al case. However, the case still proceeded against the Wireless Technology Research LLC, the CTIA and Ron Nessen (the CTIA's vice president for communications and public affairs.).
Carlo's lawyer, associate and friend, James Baller, sent out a PRNewswire report (Dec 21) saying:
Dr Carlo is directing a five-year, international, scientific research effort through the independent entity known as Wireless Technology Research (WTR) LLC, to determine whether wireless technology such as portable cellular telephones pose a risk to public health and to prescribe solutions to any problems that may be identified.[Note the WTR was not dismissed at this time. The judge believed that a case could be made against them — later this changed.]
The independence of the WTR's open scientific program is ensured by a number of factors:
Debbra Wright, the plaintiff, had alleged in March 1995 that her cellular telephones had given her brain cancer and that the defendants had "conspired" to conceal from the public information about alleged harm from cellular telephones.
- The expertise and integrity of the scientists involved;
- multiple levels of scientific peer review, including...
- review by the distinguished outside board of experts coordinated independently through the Harvard University Center For Risk Analysis;
- regular ongoing scrutiny by the federal government;
- use of exacting scientific processes and procedures; and,
- the arms-length, deposit-only escrow fund supported by wireless technology industries through WTR's trustee, the Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C.
But, in her recent key finding, Illinois Judge Paddy McNamara ruled that even though Ms. Wright had obtained a vast amount of information in the last year about Dr Carlo, HES Group and the scientific program that Dr Carlo is leading, she (Wright) had not come forward with any evidence that Dr Carlo and HES Group were involved in the alleged conspiracy. Judge McNamara will issue her written opinion in January 1996.
|The Harvard Center for Risk Assessment|
| Dec 1995 The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis lists the following companies as providing grants. |
[ Note that Carlo's Health & Environmental Sciences Group (HESG) is no longer listed:]
3M, Aetna Life & Casualty Company, Alcoa Foundation, American Automobile Manufacturers Association, American Crop Protection Association, American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Corporation, ARCO Chemical Company, ASARCO Inc., Ashland Inc., Astra AB, Atlantic Richfield Corporation, BASF, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, BP America Inc., Chemical Manufacturers Association, Chevron Research & Technology Company, CIBA-GEIGY Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, Cytec Industries, Dow Chemical Company, DowElanco, Eastman Chemical Company, Eastman Kodak Company, Edison Electric Institute, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, Electric Power Research Institute, Exxon Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Frito-Lay, General Electric Fund, General Motors Corporation, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Hoechst Marion Roussel, ICI Americas Inc., Inland Steel Industries, International Paper, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Kraft General Foods, Mead, Merck & Company, Mobil Oil Corporation, Monsanto Company, New England Power Service, Olin Corporation, Oxygenated Fuels Association, PepsiCo Inc., Pfizer, Procter & Gamble Company, Rhone-Poulenc, Inc., Rohm and Haas Company, Shell Oil Company Foundation, Texaco Inc., Union Carbide Corporation, Unocal, USX Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and WMX Technologies, Inc.
[The HCRA has clearly managed to attract funding from almost every large poisoning and polluting company in America.]
|Pax Dispute Resolution LLC|
An article published in the Winter 1995/96 edition of Environmental Claims Journal "Scientific Disputes Resolution: A New Model Employing Public Health Principles." It credits Carlo, Kelly Sund, Peter Sebeny and his PR staffer Susan O'Donnell.
It appears to be the first glimpse of his disputes-resolution/mediation operation known later as Pax Disputes Resolution LLC.
Over the last three decades, the legal and regulatory backdrop for the resolution of a number of various public health and environmental policy issues has caused a shift away from standard public health approaches and toward the generation of data geared to setting or refuting triggers for regulatory action and establishing or refuting legal Cause and effect (rather than geared to protecting public health and the environment).[Peter Sebeny appears to be a medico. The others are the old HES/WTR crew.]
In 2008, the Pax Dispute Resolution law firm still occupied the same 7th floor address as SPPI, Safe Wireless Initiative, and Carlo's other business operations (1101 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington DC) and it shared the same phone number (202/756-7744).
He advertised it both in the "Labor and Employment Lawyer" categories, and ironically in view of his own marital problems, under "Divorce Lawyers." It was still advertising in 2009.
1996: During this period, biological researcher, Jerry Phillips, was doing radiation exposure work for Motorola at the Pettis Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital in Loma Linda, Calif. Phillips worked with famed EMF researcher Ross Adey who was also funded by Motorola until he fell out with them over his insistance on publishing adverse findings.
Phillips says that, at Motorola's request, he had confirmed the Lai -Singh results of DNA breakage in 1996 on human cells. However, they asked him not to publish the results. He alleges that when he refused their request, Motorola cut off further dealings with him.
[He couldn't get research funding and left the bio-electromagnetics field soon after.
One consequence of the CTIA's $25 million in funding through the WTR was that most other funding [from government health agencies] dried up since it was assumed that the industry was responsible for solving its own problems.
Therefore scientists who fell out with the WTR also found themselves cut off from NIH and other health-agency funding sources.]
Motorola subsequently claimed that it didn't discourage Phillips from publishing his results but simply told him that his findings needed clarification. The company continues to stand by its statement that no one has validated the Lai-Singh results to date.
1996: The CTIA created a website for the WTR on the Internet. It had a 'time-line' which claimed that:
As a first step in the long-term research program, the WTR awarded grants to the Schools of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Alabama at Birmingham to help perform an integrated assessment of existing data.
|The revolving door and other circular connections|
1996 Jan 1: The scientists strike: The beginning of the Debbra Wright court case in Chicago. She had charged Carlo and the HESG group along with the WTR and CTIA with concealing and distorting evidence about cellphones causing brain tumors. The Judge said that her case had merit, however Newsnet report....
The 96 Circuit Court, Chicago, dismissed Health & Environmental Sciences Group (HES) and Dr George Carlo as defendants in lawsuit brought by Debbra Wright, who charged cellular telephone caused brain cancer and who accused industry of conspiracy to conceal evidence.Another report was headlined Court excuses WTR's Carlo and research firm as defendants in cancer lawsuit
Judge Paddy McNamara said the Wright case, originally filed against Motorola, included substantial evidence, but nothing linking HES to conspiracy. He's expected to issue written opinion this month and rule in March on similar charges Wright filed against Wireless Technology Research (WTR), which also is headed by Carlo and set up by industry to study health effects of cellular phones.
WTR said all allegations should be dismissed because "they are based on the same key factual issues the judge has now resolved...
WTR believes that lawsuits such as the Wright case are wasteful attacks on the scientific community, that they slow completion of the research necessary to answer the public's questions about the health effects of all wireless technology and that these tactics could themselves pose threats to public health if they delay implementation of any interventions that may prove necessary.
Debbra Wright vs. Motorola
As a real estate manager for Bell Atlantic Mobile [BEL], Wright said she used cellular phones from one to six hours per day between February 1988 and March 1994.
"[On Dec. 18] Illinois Judge Paddy McNamara ruled that even though Wright had obtained a vast amount of information in the last year about Dr Carlo, HES Group and the scientific program that Dr Carlo is leading, she had not come forward with any evidence that Dr Carlo and HES Group were involved in the alleged conspiracy," said James Baller, chief litigation counsel to Carlo, the HES Group and WTR in the case.[Note James Baller, once again]
"Judge McNamara also is expected to rule in March 1996 on similar charges [filed] by Wright in September directed specifically against the independent scientific organization WTR," Baller said in a statement. "WTR believes that these allegations should also be dismissed by Judge McNamara as they are based on the same key factual issues the judge has now resolved.
"WTR believes that lawsuits such as the Wright case are wasteful attacks on the scientific community, that they slow completion of the research necessary to answer the public's questions... and that these tactics could themselves pose threats to public health if they delay implementation of any interventions that may prove necessary," Baller said.
"CTIA and the others have also filed a motion to dismiss and that should be heard sometime early in the new year," said Nessen. "Just as the [motions of Carlo and HES Group] one by one have been dismissed for lack of scientific evidence, we expect the court will also dismiss this case."
1996 Feb: The US Congress in the year of the second-term Clinton-Gore elections, was being heavily lobbied at this time by the cellphone industry. They poured $50 million into political contributions and lobbying largesse and Congress responded by passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Section 704 of this Act provided "federal preemption of state and local regulations of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of RF environmental effects."
This blocked state or local communities from adopting more stringent protections if they considered that federal regulators had failed to protect the public. In effect, the industry bought protection from local governments favoring activists and rejecting the placement of their cellphone towers.
1996 Apr: /E Microwave News reported dissatisfaction by cellphone manufacturers in the operations of the WTR.
. "It seems that CTIA spent a lot of money on things like PR," John Madrid of Toshiba told Microwave News in the spring of 1996. By the end of the following year, Madrid was even more exasperated. "The bottom line is, a lot of money was collected and not very much research got done.... I would not give CTIA or WTR a plugged nickel," he said.
1996 May: According to Microwave News
As early as May 1996, it had become clear to most observers that the WTR was not doing any research, even within the cell phone industry. As Jeff Silva [writer for RCR] reported:
"Interestingly, the loudest protests about Carlo's work and CTIA's role in health issues are not coming from environmentalists.... Rather, the sharpest criticism comes from [cell phone] manufacturers."Silva went on to list eight different companies that were raising concerns, including Lucent Technologies and Qualcomm.
"The (cancer) research program is really nonexistent," Lucent's Ron Petersen, an influential — and far from radical — member of the bioelectromagnetics community, told Silva. "There's nothing there. The emperor has no clothes."At that time, the WTR had been given about $12 million by CTIA, or approximately half of the promised budget, and yet no one could tell what Carlo, Guy and Munro had done with the money.
1996 May: A SAG-funded paper appeard in Ken Rothman's Epidemiology journal: Assessment of cellular telephone and other radio frequency exposure for epidemiologic research
Rothman KJ, Chou CK, Morgan R, Balzano Q, Guy AW, Funch DP, Preston-Martin S, Mandel J, Steffens R, Carlo G. The research was credited to Kenneth Rothman's company, Epidemiology Resources Inc., Newton Lower Falls, MA.
Epidemiologists are now embarking on the evaluation of the hypothesis that exposure to radio frequency energy from low-power wireless communication devices, such as portable cellular telephones, causes brain cancer and other adverse health outcomes.[In other words they had been discussing the difficulties of conducting such research — not actually conducting it. This was 'meta research'... research on ways to conduct research.]
Even in the laboratory, exposures from radio frequency sources are difficult to quantify; their measurement in large populations for epidemiologic study is challenging.
In this paper, we outline the nature and magnitude of these exposures and discuss the prospects for obtaining useful measures of exposure for epidemiologic research.
| 1996 May: In response to growing public health concerns in many member states over possible health effects from exposure to an ever-increasing number and diversity of EMF sources, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international project to assess health and environmental effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields.
This became known as the International EMF Project. [Source WHO "Electro-magnetic Fields And Public Health." Fact Sheet N181. May 1998. EPI1787]
1996 May 27: A report by Jeff Silva (RCR) "Research Fund may fall $4 million short of goal" records that the money has mainly been spent on public relations:
CTIA budgeted to have deposited about $10.4 million into WTR's blind escrow account for research on cancer and pacemaker interference by digital pocket phones by the end of fiscal year 1996 [May 31 1996], which leaves an additional $14.6 million to be paid the final two years by wireless carriers and manufacturers.
"It's going to be $25 million at the end of the program," said CTIA President Thomas Wheeler.
The $4 million WTR funding deficit in the first year will force CTIA to come up with about $9 million in fiscal 1998. CTIA said it does not plan to require manufacturers to fund health programs other than the WTR in the future.
"We all recognize there's a cash flow problem and that has slowed the program," said Arthur W ['Bill'] Guy, a highly-regarded bioelectromagnetic scientist at the University of Washington who with Carlo and Ian Munro, of CanTox Inc. of Ontario, Canada, comprise WTR's top management. Guy said he hopes the problems are fixed soon.
When asked whether the program will complete its work by 1998, Guy said, "Not the way the starts and stops are going."
[He was referring to the scientist's strike.]
CTIA's Wheeler told RCR health and safety assessment monies are spent on information dissemination connected with the WTR research "because people like you and others ask for it" and "we have a responsibility to get information out." Asked what that information is, Wheeler said it includes telling the public that wireless phones are safe.
"Every effort should be made to prioritize the funding of brain cancer research instead of spending so much on public relations and public opinion," added [John] Madrid [Toshiba representative on CTIA's Joint Review Committee]. "I believe that if the WTR had received its full $15 million by now, we wouldn't have the current dilemma."
However, Norman Sandler, a spokesman for Motorola Inc., said it is perfectly appropriate for CTIA to spend health and safety funds for public relations in concert with cancer and pacemaker interference research.
As part of CTIA's public relations focus, the association issued a manual for dealing with the news media and the public on wireless health issues, a document for which Carlo wrote the forward and which contains CTIA and WTR printed materials.
1996 June: Dissatisfaction with the WTR surfaces among the specialist researchers in the BioElectroMagnetics Society (BEMS).
The Present [Drs. Richard Luben], Immediate Past [Kjell Hansson Mild], and Future Presidents [Martin Blank] of BEMS write an open letter to key members of the Senate and House Authorisation and Appropriations Committees, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy urging independent funding of cellphone research.
In part they say:
As leaders of the largest international scientific society studying biological effects of electric and magnetic fields, we are concerned about a potential decline in research in this area, due in part to public statements by those who we believe are lacking in the requisite multi-disciplinary expertise.
We believe it is essential that research in this area be continued. Without US. government funding, the remaining available sources of funds are too limited, too focused by discipline, and may in some cases carry questions of bias.
In this still emerging area of scientific research, controversy about reported results is a natural and healthy part of the scientific process. Such controversy should not be the basis for discarding programs of research before the important questions are answered conclusively.
We are also concerned that international standards may be imposed before adequate scientific knowledge is available. Failure to continue this research could ultimately result in extensive costs to the energy and communications industries, both in litigation and product development.
Public concern can be reduced only when the issues and questions are resolved by careful research. We ask that you take these views into account when making decisions regarding the future of research into the effects of electric and magnetic fields.
The undersigned will be happy to confer with you in detail or provide any further information you may need in order to make an informed decision.
1996 Jun 4: The World Health Organisation (WHO) announces that it has launched a new International EMF Project "To Assess Health Effects of Electric and Magnetic Fields" — to be funded by the electrical and cellphone industries.
This Geneva-based project was established under the control of Australian radiation consultant Michael Repacholi. It's main announced purpose was to harmonise the exposure and emission standards being used by different countries.
In 1996 WHO established the International EMF Project and defined its activities and workplans. WHO acts as the Secretariat to coordinate, facilitate and implement the Project. EMF Project Working Groups are comprised of internationally-recognized experts representing a wide range of diverse opinions on the subject under deliberation. WHO staff cannot be members of any EMF Project Working Group but are present at meetings to facilitate reaching consensus agreement on conclusions or recommendationsRepacholi also took charge of the International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee (INIRC) which later became ICNIRP. The relationship between the two con-joined organisations is rather confusingly spelled out in a 2003 report:
The International EMF Project scientific reviews meetings are generally conducted in conjunction with ICNIRP [WHO's formally recognized NGO for Non-ionising radiation (NIR) protection]. These review meetings are open to any scientist, but working group membership is restricted to independent (non-industry) scientists.
WHO can receive funds from industry (preferably from industry associations) only after review and approval by WHO's Legal Office. A special WHO committee provides further review of funding from industry. All contributions and accounting are strictly audited by WHO and RAH. The EMF Project has adhered to all the requirements placed on it by WHO and will continue to do so until the Project concludes.[Repacholi continued to dominate the international radio standards setting scene until his retirement in June 2006.
In view of the new importance in radiation within WHO, a new Unit was created called Radiation and Environmental Health, effective January 2002. This Unit has the responsibility for all WHO activities related to ionizing and non-ionizing radiations (including the International EMF Project) and is directed by Dr Michael Repacholi.
Dr Leeka Kheifets joined WHO in June 2001 [from the US electrical lobby, EPRI] to head the radiation studies program. After fulfilment of her commitment of two years Leeka has resigned and will be moving back to the US. We have greatly benefited from Leeka's scientific and management expertise and will continue working with her on the project.
1996 Jun 5: The CTIA announced that it had approved a further $6.7 million budget for WTR (for current financial year beginning June 1) which would keep it on schedule with its five-year, $25 million commitment. The money was to be provided on a quarterly schedule."
However the WTR spokesman, Michael Volpe, said that the WTR received only $2.4 million, which "did not go much beyond enabling us to pay off our back debts."
Volpe said that they had spent $1.7 million on pacemaker research and another $600,000 on litigation ($2.3 m overall) "which the CTIA had stated will not have to come out of our research budget." But apparently the CTIA hadn't been billed for the legal and pacemaker work.
1996 Sep: The WTR hosts a symposium on cellphone-pacemaker interference.
Carlo's book says
"In September 1996, WTR issued its comprehensive recommendations for solving the problem of digital phone interference with implanted cardiac pacemakers."[Why funding and finding a solution to a serious radio interference problem was the responsibility of the WTR, rather than that of the cellphone makers, has never been explained.]
Keep the phone six inches from the pacemaker and dial the phone at a further distance from the pacemaker.However the pacemaker research was unveiled with due pomp and ceremony — since it was the only substantial research done by the WTR in these years. Their recommendations were endorsed by the FDA and the CTIA.
1996 Oct: "Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology" journal published a study by Dr Vincenzo Barbaro of the Istituto Superiore di Sanitą in Rome, which showed that 10 out of 25 analog cellphones caused interference to pacemakers and defibrillators.
[It had been assumed that only digital cellphones did this.]
1996 Oct: A CTIA report "CTIA Board takes action on Wiretapping, Pacemakers, Scientific Research."
In October, comprehensive research regarding the interaction of wireless phones on pacemakers was completed and presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[At least this research had the beneficial effect of making pacemaker manufacturers pay more attention to the possibilities of radio interference.
The research was funded through the CTIA's research program, but carried out at a variety of independent universities, hospitals, and other facilities under the auspices of Wireless Technology Research (WTR) LLC. and the University of Oklahoma's Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility.
Although the research showed that the chance of interference is very slight and that pacemaker manufacturers are now taking steps to insulate their products, the CTIA Board voted to require that product information about such interaction must accompany all phones before they can receive CTIA Certification. The certification program is the industry's assurance of high quality.
1996 Oct 31: The US National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council (NAS/NRC) issued a review of the EMF literature: Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields. The conclusions of this report are that 'there is no conclusive and consistent evidence showing that exposure to residential electric and magnetic fields produces cancer, adverse neurobehavioral effects, or reproductive and developmental defects'.
1996 Nov: /E (End) Carlo establishes The Carlo Institute — "A New Paradigm for Public Health Issues Management" which he promotes as a "non-profit - academic centre for scientific understanding" which will be involved in training people in "sound public decision making".
Carlo is the chairman, and his site biog, reveals:
Dr Carlo has been listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and Who's Who in the World.
1996 Nov: [Source Carlo's book] WTR issued its comprehensive recommendation for solving the problem of digital phone interferece with implanted cardiac pacemakers. [Many EMF scientists complained at the time that this was the only genuine research being done by the WTR. Of course it was also being done by the major cellphone manufacturers themselves, quite independently of the WTR work. They had formed a joint research group which had been working on the pacemaker problem since 1990.]
1996 Nov 20: -21 The WHO's International Seminar on Biological Effects of RF Electromagnetic Fields and Related Health Risks. Munich, Germany. [The first by the WHO's EMF Project]
1996 Nov 29: The Houston Chronicle carries an article by John Graham (HCRA and WTR's Peer Review Board) "Theres's a Deadly Confusion About Health Risk" He attacks the attention being paid to cellphone EMFs when there are other dangers... firearm violence, peeling paint in schools, accidental injuries, etc.etc. These all need more attention.
[The Risk Manager's creed: Never do anything unless you can do everything else!]
1996 Dec: The scientists strike: The CTIA totally cut off WTR's funding because of the continuing dispute over whether the CTIA should fund researchers' legal costs. Carlo said that WTR wanted a commitment for reimbursement of those expenses because of pending lawsuits — claiming that these efforts are industry-biased.
1996 Dec 2 - 4: A three-day "Nocebo" workshop. Carlo's HES is a sponsor, and he is the keynote speaker. He was active in promoting the Nocebo concept along with Dr Ernest Wynder [tobacco researcher and CEO of the American Health Foundation]
The term is an inversion of "Placebo" interpreted as "imagined drug"; "Nocebo' in this context is a fancy name for "imagined illness" (negative placebo) — which is an idea older than time. They advertise their conference as:
Over the past two years, a small group of leading scientists, academicians, and professionals has initiated scientific inquiry into the nocebo phenomenon. Are nocebo effects having an impact on symptoms among Gulf War veterans, women with breast implants, users of cellular telephones, and consumers of fat substitutes and artificial sweeteners that some refer to as junk science?[Reference web-sites have disappeared]
[Note they manage to get almost every one of the popular public problems into this definition — except for the biggest killer — passive smoking.]
Experts from a variety of disciplines have been brought together for a series of scientific meetings to discuss what is known and what we need to know about nocebo effects and expectation mediated symptoms (EMS).
The first meeting, The Negative Placebo (Nocebo): Its Scientific, Medical, and Public Health Implications, was sponsored by American Health Foundation in November 1995. [The AHF is Wynder's much largerand richer version of HES, but with more substance and some genuine public-health research.]
As a follow-up to the issues raised at this meeting, the National Institutes of Health, American Health Foundation, and The Institute for Science and Public Policy (ISPP) sponsored Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Developing a Research Agenda in December 1996.
[Carlo runs the ISPP. They onviously managed to gull the NIH into being involved.]
1996 Dec 3: The scientists strike: A CTIA report says:
"It is an unfortunate reality of modern life that even scientists cannot carry out their work without the threat of lawsuits," observed Wheeler [CTIA President].[This appears to mark the end of the eight month WTR strike over payment of insurance against researcher's legal costs if they were embroiled in a law-suit.] http://www.ctia.org/media/press/body.cfm/prid/82
CTIA is funding a five-year, $25 million research program to study any bio-effects that may be associated with wireless telecommunications. This research is being carried out under the direction of WTR.
The CTIA Board agreed to the outline of a contract with WTR for reimbursing WTR's legal expenses through insurance and other means. CTIA hopes to finalize the contract in an expedited manner.
1997: The first nationwide certified Class Action began in Illinois as "Busse v Motorola, inc. et al" In 1999 it was certified as a nation-wide Class Action and public notices appeared in the Wall Street Journal and other national newspapers. [It was dismissed by mutual consent of opposing counsel in 2003]
1997: The WTR funds Ernst Wynder's American Health Foundation to do a case-controlled study of 500 brain tumour victims and 500 controls to see if there is any statistical difference in cellphone use.
This resulted in the famous "Muscat study" which Carlo later characterised as establishing a statistically significant link between cellphone use and a special type of brain cancer. The author of the study, Joseph Muscat, denies that this link exists at any strong significance.
1997 Jan: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment carries an article "PostMarketing Surveillance: WTR (Scientific Outreach)" with the subtitle "Epidemiology Risk Evaluation Research" by Rebecca A Steffens and George Carlo.
It is an exercise in pure pseudo-scientific waffle. At best, it appears to be a study justifying why no studies have been done in the cellphone area.
1997 Feb: Dr Ewa Czerska of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found similar proliferationchanges in brain tumour cells to those found by Steven Cleary in his 1990 paper on culture human glioma cells. She reported these findings during a workshop in Washington, DC in February 1997.
Czerska used 827 MHz radiation signals designed to mimic the emissions from a digital cellular phone (Cleary used a higher frequency) and she announced that she had at least partial confirmed Cleary's results — and it appeared to be dose-related — observing greater proliferation at specific absorption rates of 1.6 W/Kg and 4.8 W/Kg. " "The increase also appeared to be dose-dependent"" , she said.
Czerska noted that this could not have been due solely to a thermal response, since conventional heating did not stimulate a similar level of proliferation. But this work was never published. It is widely reported in scientific circles that she was warned off the subject by both the FDA and Motorola, and given a desk job.
[The truth of these claims is difficult to ascertain since conspiracy theories are a natural ballancing consequence of corporate scientific manipulation and suppression.]
1997 Feb 18: Carlo ran a policy-setting conference (under the auspices of his ISPP) on the subject of the Nocebo: both Carlo and Wynder have discovered that they are onto a good thing with Nocebo seminars. They advertise the February 18th seminar as:
an entire day will be dedicated to evaluating the wide ranging implications specific to the nocebo phenomenon and EMS at A Breakthrough Workshop on Nocebo (Negative Placebo) Effects and Expectation Mediated Symptoms.. [ From the viewpoint of psychology/psychiatry, 'Nocebo' is nothing more than a media-promotable term for EMS ("Expectation Mediation Symptoms"), which, in junk-science jargon, just means 'fear-generated illness'.
1997 Mar: Microwave News reports:
In a March letter to WTR chair Dr George Carlo, the FDA's Dr Elizabeth Jacobson urged that lifetime animal studies "should be given highest priority" with WTR's remaining funds. But WTR now says that Carlo believes animal studies are of limited value.
"We're not in a position to tell WTR what to do," Dr Mary Beth Jacobs of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) told Microwave News from her office in Rock- ville, MD. In fact, WTR is following very little of the FDA's advice.
The FDA's March letter also called on WTR to study the interaction of cellular phone radiation with chemical carcinogens, and to look at other possible health problems besides brain cancer, such as eye damage.. Neither of these issues is addressed in WTR's plans for its last two years of work.
1997 Mar 3: "Motorola Memo Raises Questions About WTR" by Jeff Silva, RCR magazine
Jeff Silva of this trade industry journal has been leaked a full copy of the Motorola/Burson Marsteller 'War Game' memos (previously published in Microwave News). Silver publishes a scathing commentary on all involved, remarking that;
[T]he December 1994 memo's description [is] of a cooperative, less-than-arms-length distance relationship between the wireless industry and WTR.[The SAG at this time was the three-man executive group (Carlo, Munro, Guy) which was in the process of becoming the Wireless Technology Research (WTR).]
The memo has Motorola wanting WTR and CTIA out front to direct media strategy that would put a damper on speculation arising from Lai-Singh's work. Indeed, Motorola wanted WTR in particular, to take the lead in that regard.
Dr Ian Munro, a Canadian toxicologist, and Dr William Guy, a Seattle-based bioelectromagnetic scientist, report to Carlo and comprise WTR top management. The memo states [that] "SAG will be prepared to release Munro-Carlo memos, which touch on key points made in this material,"
In the memo, Sandler tells of "an animated telephone conversation" between Albert "Rusty" Brashear, Motorola corporate vice president and director of corporate communications, and Robert Weisshappel, president and general manger of Motorola's Cellular Subscriber Sector, having Weisshappel "adamant that we have a forceful one- or two-sentence portion of our standby statement that puts a damper on speculation arising from this research, as best we can."
Weisshappel, according to Sandler's account of the Weisshappel-Brashear conversation, "was insistent as ever about the prominent inclusion" of language pointing out that Lai-Singh research was conducted at frequencies higher than where 800 MHz cellular communications operate.
WTR's Carlo wrote the introduction to CTIA's December 1994 health and safety media manual that boasted that "a concerted industry response succeeded in blunting unsubstantiated allegations about a link to brain cancer in early 1993."
Lai and Singh were denied funding from WTR to replicate their rat RF dosing work, though WTR expressed interest in Lai-Singh conducting RF cell culture work. However, Dr Lai said last week that WTR has not provided money for cell culture study.
Approaching its final year, the five-year, $25 million WTR program has not completed any studies on rat and cell culture radiofrequency exposure. A WTR-led epidemiology study found little difference between the death rate of consumers with pocket phones and the death rate of users of mobile telephones with the handset separate from the antenna.
1997 Mar 3: Jeffrey Silva article in RCR "Motorola Memo Raises Questions About WTR Research."
WASHINGTON-Motorola Inc. planned two years ago to collaborate with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and Wireless Technology Research L.L.C. to downplay potentially damaging scientific findings on possible health risks from portable telephones, according to a December 1994 internal Motorola memo.
The memo, first reported by New York City-based Microwave News in its January/February issue, could raise more questions about the independence and credibility of industry-funded research on the cancer question.
The memo paints a picture of Motorola officials discussing how to respond to expected press inquiries on radiofrequency radiation research by Dr Henry Lai and Dr Narendra Singh, of the University of Washington in Seattle. The scientists reported single- and double-strand DNA breaks in rats exposed to RF energy at 2.45 GHz for two hours at low-power.
The research was published in 1995 and 1996.
"I think we have sufficiently war-gamed the Lai-Singh issue, assuming SAG (Scientific Advisory Group) and CTIA have done their homework," said Norman Sandler, Motorola director of strategic issues, in a Dec. 13, 1994, memo to Michael Kehs, of the Burson-Marsteller public relations firm. SAG was the forerunner to Wireless Technology Research L.L.C.
Lai and Singh were denied funding from WTR to replicate their rat RF dosing work, though WTR expressed interest in Lai-Singh conducting RF cell culture work. However, Dr Lai said last week that WTR has not provided money for cell culture study.http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/19970303/sub/mo (etc.)
Approaching its final year, the five-year, $25 million WTR program has not completed any studies on rat and cell culture radiofrequency exposure. A WTR-led epidemiology study found little difference between the death rate of consumers with pocket phones and the death rate of users of mobile telephones with the handset separate from the antenna.
1997 Mar 10: /E The Conclusion of the Scientist Strike: The CTIA and Carlo (acting for the WTR) signed a contract giving the researchers freedom from any liability arising out of court cases over their research — or the concealment of results.
The CTIA had finally caved in to Carlo's demand and signed an agreement with the WTR covering legal fees and any possible future damage awards.The WTR was paid $938,000 to fund indeminity insurance coverage.
The agreement also specifies a timetable for the CTIA's payments to the WTR for its research program.
The pact should clear the way for progress in the CTIA-WTR research program, which has been stalled for over a year.
"It's been quite a difficult process," WTR chair Dr George Carlo told Microwave News in early May. "I'm glad this is behind us." The CTIA's Tim Ayers agreed, saying, "We're looking forward to the research going ahead." Settlement of the long-running dispute had been predicted many times but was slow in coming; the accord followed a Washington Post article on cracks in the CTIA-WTR relationship and the lack of progress in research.
Carlo indicated that the CTIA has now agreed to pay over $3.1 million in costs incurred through the end of 1996 that were outside of WTR's original $25 million research plan, including $2.2 million for pacemaker research and approximately $750,000 for litigation expenses. This brings the total CTIA commitment to more than $28 million, of which $9.8 million has yet to be paid.
Neither side would release a copy of the agreement. Carlo explained that to do so "would compromise our position in litigation — it's a privileged document." He said that the agreement combines cash reimbursement of legal fees with insurance against other costs, and will protect researchers from any liability that results from being sponsored by WTR.
|The use of transgenic mice.|
|The value of using special genetic-sensitive mice is not readily apparent to everyone.
Cancer is a condition of cell-aging and DNA division. Mice DNA is very similar to human DNA, however, since mice only live for two years, while humans live for 80, the potential for using normal mice in such research could only be significant if thousands of mice were exposed for many generations.
The life-time susceptability of mice to that of man can only be roughly matched when the mice are genetically bred to have higher-than-normal cancer rates — in effect, they become more sensiive detectors of potential problems.
And it is not the absolute numbers of mice with cancers which is the important measure; it is the comparison between the cancer rates in non-exposed control mice and the exposed group — the only difference in handling, selection and age being the amount of GSM radiation they have been exposed to.
So, while it is true that "mice aren't men"... it is also true that "DNA is DNA" whether in mice or men.
1997 Apr: Under pressure from Rep Edward Markey D-Mass, the FDA was asked at a hearing whetherit was "fully confident" in the research, being done under the aegis of Wireless Technology Research LLC. It was clear that they were not.
WTR had spent $15 million of its allotment, at this time — and still has not begun any of the key research — experiments with live animals. Dr Carlo explained to Congress that the live animal tests will "begin soon" at City of Hope Medical Center in California, but that they wouldn't end (nor produce any result) before the industry's five-year commitment to fund the WTR expired (in a year).
Carlo explained to Congress that WTR was "about a year behind in paying for bioeffects" research because it shifted focus to look into radio-frequency interference with cardiac pacemakers. He explained that the
"WTR had no choice but to shift focus, because it was a life-and-death matter where cellular phones were clearly implicated."The pacemakeer research cost them $2 million of the $27 million spent.
"Carlo said WTR researchers beat Lai to the DNA-damage finding, however [at the Congress hearings] the FDA pointed to Lai's research as something it wants WTR to try to replicate."[A few years before Carlo has been "war gamed" with Motorola and Burston-Marsteller to mount a vicious disinformation campaign against the Lai-Singh findings of DNA breaks.]
1997 Apr: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) ran an editorial on the WTR's pacemaker-interference research. Unfortunately, one of their more enthusiastic medical readers then appeared on national television where he suggested that pacemaker-users should go along to their personal doctor and have him test them with a cellphone.
This caused panic in CTIA and WTR circles: "We strongly recommend not doing that," Carlo said in an interview.
1997 Apr 6: The Washington Post article: "Still Waiting for the Call; Do Cellular Phones Cause Brain Tumors? Researchers' Inability To Provide an Answer So Far Is Only Raising More Questions"
On Jan. 21, 1993, a shock wave hit the cellular telephone industry. Appearing live on "The Larry King Show," a Florida man named David Reynard told a nationwide audience that he was suing two cellular companies because, he said, his wife's pocket phone had caused the brain tumor that killed her.Carlo is quoted in the article responding to FDA complaints:
The enormous media attention given to the suit caused cellular stocks to tumble on Wall Street, even though it was later dismissed because of insufficient evidence. The threat of litigation also sent the $23 billion cellular industry scrambling to reassure the public that pocket phones weren't slowly baking the brains of millions of users around the world.
To ease public concerns, cellular equipment makers and carriers created the Scientific Advisory Group, which described itself as an "independent" research organization. The industry gave it $25 million [Actually this money went to Carlo's WTR, with only $2 million to the earlier SAG] and five years to attempt to answer the crucial question: Do cellular phones cause brain cancer, brain tumors or any other harmful health effects?
But can such an industry-supported research effort truly be independent? And can it provide the kind of scientific evidence that will inform the public whether an increasingly widespread technology is indeed safe?
Four years after the research effort began, those questions are being voiced by a growing number of scientists and industry analysts. The industry-supported research group — since renamed Wireless Technology Research LLC — has spent $17 million since 1993, but it is still far from finding any answers.
The WTR says it hasn't completed any biomedical studies; instead, it has focused on collecting existing studies and researching how best to approach future research. "They have not produced a lot of research for us to really evaluate," said Elizabeth Jacobson, deputy director for devices and radiological health for the Food and Drug Administration, which has federal responsibility to monitor the group but has no real authority over it. "We would like to have seen results sooner."
Industry leaders said they also are frustrated by the slow pace of research. "Clearly the industry is awaiting …
"This is enormously important research. We are talking about the lives of millions of people and the livelihood of a major industry. This is not child's play."
1997 Apr 24: Carlo was dismissed as a defendant in the Jerald Busse law suit, which had charged that the WTR epidemiology studies (which used cellphone company records) amounted to unauthroised human testing. Both the WTR and the CTIA remained as defendants in the case.
1997 Apr 28: The cellphone half of the Royal Adelaide Hospital EMF Study was released after a two-year delay. [The original release date was Mar-Apr 1995] This study had been funded by Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, and Optus its much smaller cellphone rival.
The team leader for this division of the two-part study was Michael Repacholi. who by this time, was heading the WHO/cellphone industry EMF project in Geneva, while the second part, with a focus on possible health effects of mains power, had been led by Professor Tony Basten of Sydney University's Centenary Centre.
This second part was not released for another year despite being finished a year before the cellphone study. On its release, it was held to prove that mains power was safe which was an outright distortion of the facts. It had been funded by the Electricity Supply Assn of Australia (ESAA) to the tune of about $1.1 million, but mismanaged in some unexplained way which made the findings virtually useless.
These were both life-time live-animal exposure studies using the same Pims lymphoma-prone transgenic mice which were specially bred to be sensitive indicators of cancer-causing chemicals or radiation impacts. This is essential, since the life span of a mouse (about 18 months past puberty) is radically shorter than that of a human who might absorb the cancer-causing damage over decades.
With the cellphone (GSM) study, the researcher's found 3 to 4 times the lymphoma rate in the exposed mice (later modified down to the published figure of 2.4-times after some 'suspect' diagnoses were removed). Even more disturbing, was the fact that these were mainly B-cell lymphomas, whereas T-cell cancers had been expected.
See the complexities of this story and the attempts to avoid publicity:
1997 Apr 29: Microwave News and The Australian newspaper reported that after two years of stalling, Michael Repacholi and his associates had finally released the transgenic mouse/GSM cellphone exposure study conducted through the animal research facility at Australia's Royal Adelaide Hospital. Every attempt had been made to control the release of the results in ways that would ensure the least possible media attention.
By using transgenic mice bred to be highly susceptible to lymphoma, they had discovered a substantially higher rate of cancers in the exposed than the unexposed (control) mice.The absolute numbers of cancers were not important — but the difference between the exposed and unexposed groups were of high-significance. In fact the statistical significance was much higher than those nomally found in similar studies.
One hundred transgenic mice [female Pim1] — which were bred to be especially susceptible to lymphomas — were exposed to 900 MHz pulsed radiation [GSM 217Hz time-division] for two 30-minute periods per day, 7 days a week, for up to 18 months. At the end of the experiment, 43% of the exposed mice had lymphoma, as compared to 22% of the unexposed controls. The exposed mice also developed cancer more quickly.[Despite these admissions, every effort was made by Repacholi and the cellphone industry (which funded his position at WHO) to downplay the significance of the research. They refused to recognise that this was strongly suggestive of non-thermal DNA-break effects despite Repacholi saying that it was.]
In a paper published in the May issue of Radiation Research, Dr Michael Repacholi and his coauthors call the increased incidence of lymphoma among the exposed mice "highly significant." They add that it is very unlikely that the faster onset of cancer was due to chance.
"I believe this is the first animal study showing a true nonthermal effect," Repacholi told Microwave News. "I am pushing for its replication and extension."
Repacholi, the director of the International EMF Project at the World Health Organization (WHO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is on leave from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia.
The official press release issued by the chairman of the scientific committee, Professor Tony Basten of Sydney University, also leads with gentle fire-extinguisher statement thatOther reports revealed that Carlo and the Wireless Technology Research group were not hostile to the Adelaide Hospital findings and, as with the Lai-Singh, they sought to claim some priority:
"In our opinion the findings are valid for this genetically-engineered mouse model, but they must be put in context. Mice and humans absorb energy from these fields differently so we cannot conclude from this single study that humans have an increased risk of cancer from the use of digital mobile phones. More focussed research needs to be done to resolve that issue"I couldn't agree more on the last point, but nothing done in the last few years with the exception of the Drs. Lai-Singh work in Seattle has more obviously established that cell-phone safety has not yet been proved.
There has been evidence accumulating over many years that the long-term effects of radio-frequency exposures may have serious consequences for a small percent of the population, but this has been ignored by the industry and by governments.
The fact that Prof. Tony Basten concluded his release with the statement "For the time being, at least, I see no scientific reason to stop using my own mobile phone," is largely irrelevant. At his age and in his occupation, the potential dangers from increased phone use are probably minimal.
The question is, would he buy his teenage child one?
"This well-designed study of cancer promotion makes an important contribution to our understanding of RF"Microwave News also noted that, to his credit...
"WTR has been exploring the concept of cancer promotion since the beginning of our research program in April 1993. As part of our step by step approach to evaluating the risk of human cancer among wireless phone users, our Expert Panel on Tumor Promotion has completed a comprehensive review of the available scientific information regarding RF and promotion. These leaders in the field of promotion have advised us that the weight of existing science does not support the hypothesis that RF is a tumor promoter.
The new Australian findings run counter to the existing scientific database, underscoring the need for a careful replication of this work and appropriate consideration of its implications.
The WTR is following that advice and though other types of animal studies are being conducted, we will not consider promotion studies at least until we complete our standard battery of in vitro genotoxicity studies near the end of this calendar year.
Dr George Carlo, the head of Wireless Technology Research (WTR), told Microwave News that, "This transgenic mouse study plus the two Lai-Singh studies are clearly suggesting that there's some biological activity going on.[The WTR was on strike and in a legal dispute with the CTIA at the time, so Carlo may have just been giving Wheeler a jab in the ribs to remind him that WTR needed further financial support. However, for whatever reason, there is now little doubt that Carlo was no longer an automatic supporter of the CTIA's "No-possible-effects" claims, as they had been led to expect.]
I don't agree with the idea that it's impossible."
1997 Apr 30: The following day the WTR came under pressure from Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whether it was "fully confident" in the research, being done under the aegis of Wireless Technology Research LLC."
It was clear that they were not. By this time, the WTR had spent $15 million of its $25 million allotment, plus the original $2 million spent by the earlier SAG-CT on its literature research. Carlo explained that:
"WTR has been exploring the concept of cancer promotion since the beginning of our research program in April 1993. As part of our step by step approach to evaluating the risk of human cancer among wireless phone users, our Expert Panel on Tumor Promotion has completed a comprehensive review of the available scientific information regarding RF and promotion.[So they had still only done a literature review.]
These leaders in the field of promotion have advised us that the weight of existing science does not support the hypothesis that RF is a tumor promoter."
"WTR had no choice but to shift focus, because it was a life-and-death matter where cellular phones were clearly implicated."[The pacemaker research had not been given high priority before the scientists strike.
"Carlo said WTR researchers beat Lai to the DNA-damage finding, however [at the Congress hearings] the FDA pointed to Lai's research as something it wants WTR to try to replicate."RCR reminded its readers that this was the same organisation that "War Gamed" with Motorola and Burston-Marsteller to mount a vigorous misinformation campaign against the Lai-Singh findings of DNA breaks a few years before.
"Both the NCRP and ANSI/IEEE standards [the FCC standard is based on both] are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, nonthermal exposure situations. [So] The statement referring to 'adequate protection' pertains to thermally related effects."The cellphone industry blew its stack.
Only a few studies have been published, and these are sufficiently indicative of an effect on carcinogenesis to merit further investigation. It seems likely that any possible effect on health is subtle.
Taken overall, the evidence fails to support an effect of RF exposure on mutagenesis or cancer initiation.
1997 May: Radiation Research magazine, edited by John Moulder — a fierce supporter of the no-possible-effects-without-heating school — published the Royal Adelaide Hospital Study.
It was now many years since this group had discovered that the EMF from standard GSM cellphones more than doubled the rate of lymphoma in transgenic mice, and that the type of lymphoma was different to that normally expected. The cancers were in the B-cells (Bursa/basal Cells) not the T-cells (Thymic Cells) — and this was considered to be far more significant and serious.
Moulder clung fast to his position that it was not possible for non-ionising radiation (EMFs) without heating, to create cell damage. However he admitted reluctantly that:
"It's certainly the first animal evidence that suggests that radio frequencies might cause cancer under some conditions,''[It wasn't the first by a long way. However it also wasn't as definitive as many activists made out,
1997 May 7: The scientists strike: In the Chicago Debbra Wright v Motorola case, the WTR, CTIA and their Vice President for Public Affairs, Ron Nessen were finally dismissed as defendants. The case was closed — but the strike continues for a time..
1997 May 8: Bill Guy, one of the three members of the WTR's SAG, resigned saying it was, in part because "I was not in a position to make decisions."
It made no difference: Carlo and Munro ran the show anyway.
1997 May 22: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published the WTR-funded Mayo Clinic study which showed that TDMA cellphones could interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators — a fact known to the UK industry since 1990.
Pacemakers fitted with filters and shielding didn't give problems. [The change in cellphone technologies from TDMA to CDMA seems to have removed the compatibility problems.]
A later long article giving a Carlo-centric view of the events says:
The pacemaker studies were a harbinger of bad things to come. Results showed that cell phones do indeed interfere with pacemakers, but moving the phone away from the pacemaker would correct the problem. Amazingly, the industry was extremely upset with the report, complaining that the researchers went off target. When Dr Carlo and his colleagues published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997, the industry promptly cut off funding for the overall program. It took nine months for the FDA and the industry to agree on a scaled-down version of the program to continue going forward. Dr Carlo had volunteered to step down, since he was clearly not seeing eye-to-eye with the industry, but his contract was extended instead, as no one wanted to look bad from a public relations standpoint.[In face, the funding of pacemaker research was the only funding that continued through this 'scientists strike' period.]
1997 Jun: 4-5 The WHO's Second International Seminar on Biological Effects of Static and ELF Electric and Magnetic Fields and related Health Risks was held in Bologna, Italy.
More than 40 researchers and faculty members at Harvard's School of Public Health have signed a petition urging state officials to block Sprint from turning on a new enhanced cellular phone network that opponents say poses a health threat.
"There have been literally thousands of studies to evaluate the whole range of radio frequency, and there are no health effects that can be substantiated to argue that radio frequency [emissions] should be controlled to any greater degree than they are today," said William Irwin, an MIT health physicist and consultant to Sprint.
Dr Joel Schwartz, [of the Harvard School of Public Health] said, "There's a lot of studies that suggest there's an increased cancer risk" from exposure to microwaves.
|Tobacco and the CTIA|
| 1997 June 20: Several US state Attorneys General struck an agreement with the tobacco industry; it was to restrict the sale and promotion of tobacco products, place the FDA in authority over nicotine and ingredient levels, and require the companies to pay $368.5 billion in Medicaid compensation. It also provided the companies with legal protection from threatened litigation.
Several leading members of Congress then appointed an Advisory Committee on Tobacco Policy and Public Health, under ex-Surgeon-General C Everett Koop and FDA commissioner David Kessler. It had five different task forces.
David Kessler's ex-aide, an anti-smoking activist bureaucrat named Jeffrey Nesbit was recruited by Kessler to run the Advisory Committee and prepare a report.
In what must be one of the most ironic of situations, Jeff Nesbit was, at this time, working as the key aide to George Carlo, as the "President" of the Science and Public Policy Institute. Kessler was therefore required to hire SPPI to get his trusted lieutenant Jeff Nesbit in charge.
And so SPPI, the creature of a tobacco lobbyist, became the provider of personnel running the Koop-Kessler advisory committee to prepare a report on the tobacco industry and the settlement agreement.
Nesbit was later to join forces with the PR company Porter Novelli headed by William Novelli the only public relations executive in Washington to ever take a strong anti-smoking stance. (He was president of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids) And, as a consultant to Porter Novelli, Nesbit became an advisor to the CTIA on its war with Carlo. He turned out to be a fierce Carlo opponent, but he is not recorded as opposing cellphones for children.
Such is the convoluted complexities and interconnections of the science-for-sale business in Washington DC.
Staff to the Committee were:
1997 July 15: The Peer Review Board of the WTR asked Carlo (via the HCRA) to release details of the organisation's finances. Carlo refused the request on the grounds that the annual audit went only to the WTR and the CTIA's CEO Counsel.
[There appears to have been some split here between John Graham of the HCRA and George Carlo of the WTR/HES.]
However, when the HCRA was asked to reveal how much it had been paid for its services., the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (which ran the Peer Review Board), also refused.
1997 Jul 31: The FCC was holding hearings on "Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation"
The documents in this FCC bundle are heavy-going, but they include many pages from the WTR trying to justify their operations. (eg The focus on pacemakers) Essentially they are mainly requests for research proposals.
[One specified requirement for contracting researchers was that they must follow Good Laboratory Practices, and Good Epidemiological Practice (GEP).
The published versions were not those GEP standards designed by Carlo, Tozzi and Auchter for Philip Morris, but the earlier ones created by the Chemical Manufacturer's Association using staff from Chevron, Exxon, Monsanto, Dow, etc.]
1997 Aug 14: Carlo and three of his WTR staff meet with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). They want to get access to the cellular phone companies' billing records in order to do "record-linkage" epidemiology studies.
1997 Sept 23 - 26: The Harvard Center for Risk Assessment in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health was running a short course: "Analyzing Risk: Science, Assessment and Management" for a fee of $1,045. The course directors would be John D Graham and George M Gray (both HCRA)
Graham says that they have had many successes in 1996, including amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act; a new Food Quality Protection Act (dumping the old Delaney Clause): and in persuaded 25 states to enforce risk analysis.
Susan Putnam is listed as working on Cellular Telephones, and on EMFs and Health research projects (the two Peer Review Boards).
[Of interest here is the lack of differentiation between the Harvard School of Public Health and John Graham's Harvard Center for Risk Assessment.]
1997 Oct 2: Following their earlier (May 22) publication of the article on the interference of [TDMA] cellphones with electronic hospital equiment and pacemakers, the NEJM published a number of letters to the editor under the heading "Cardiac Pacemakers and Cellular Telephones"
- [FDA spokesman] The FDA recommends that doctors don't rely on simple office testing of pacemakers and cellphones, and recommends contacting the manufacturer of the phones.
- [Carlo] "Danzi correctly calls attention to the potential for interference by cellular telephones with biomedical devices in hospitals. Our research on cellular telephones and pacemakers has yielded findings that apply to other types of interference: the interference depends on the type of cellular telephone, the distance between the transmitter and the medical device, and the type, age, and condition of the device.
Medical devices also interfere with one another. These interactions are complex. Our view is that hospitals should test their own environments for interactions and take precautions based on their situations. The uniqueness and complexity of particular hospital settings preclude general recommendations at this time.
We believe that the rigor of our study allows our recommendations to be extrapolated generally and that the risks associated with ad hoc testing outweigh the benefits.
1997 Oct 23: WHO's EMF Project experts meet in in Vienna to "assess public perceptions of risk" from electromagnetic fields.
A successful meeting on EMF risk perception and communication was held in Vienna (October 1997). Working groups held during a meeting in Ottawa 31 August to 4 September 1998, produced two draft reports on EMF risk perception, communication and management that will be published by WHO in 1999.[Note that these do not deal with the actual science... but with the public perception of risk. The WHO's EMF Project Research priorities were set at a later seminar in December 1997.]
It has become apparent that the initial 5-year schedule to complete assessments of any possible health risks of exposure to EMF was unrealistic, mainly because the time to complete needed research will take longer than anticipated. In addition, the scope of activities requested by the International Advisory Committee (IAC) has expanded because of the complexity of the issues surrounding EMF. The EMF Project is now scheduled to be complete in 2004.[Carlo is not listed as attending any of these WHO conferences, and the WTR is not listed among the "Independent scientific agencies collaborating with WHO on the International EMF project."]
1997 Oct 27: Jeff Silva's article in RJR Journal: "Harvard Peer Board Frustrated with WTR: Carlo to study implant risks." attacks
Carlo for taking on a new project while the WTR is stalled.
Dr George Carlo is quietly ramping up a new industry-backed health program on possible silicone breast implant health risks that is based on the troubled WTR model.[They met on Nov 24, but for various reasons the Lai-Singh study was never fully replicated despite the enormous significance of their findings.
The "Breast Implant Public Health Project LLC." is one of several endeavors Carlo and his 30-person crew oversee at Health & Environmental Sciences Group Ltd. here.
[Jeff Silva is highly reliable, however it is hard to know how a staff of 30 could have been supported at HES on just the WTR work and the preliminary work for Dow Corning. The other projects are unknown.]
Just as Carlo teamed with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association in early 1993 when fear of pocket phone-related brain cancer was at fever pitch and in the early 1980s, with the Chlorine Institute on the dioxin debate, the embattled WTR chief now has joined forces with Dow Corning Corp. the leading breast implant maker-to delve into one of the hottest women's health issues today. Dow Corning has given Carlo $1.3 million to date.
Whether science ultimately declares cell phones, silicone implants and dioxin to be major health problems is another question. But where there is health controversy, Carlo seems to be near.
How can one man, Carlo, and his 30-person crew at Health & Environmental Services juggle so many complex and seemingly scientific time-consuming public health issues at one time and deliver solid science on them all?
Time is running out on Carlo at WTR and it appears he has lost the confidence of federal regulators, the scientific community, the wireless industry, and now-in perhaps the most devastating blow of all-the revered Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and Peer Review Board (PRB) on Cellular Telephones that has served as WTR's advisor and guardian angel.
In a July 15 letter to Carlo from Harvard Center [for Risk Analysis] Director John Graham and Project Director Susan Putnam, which incorporated views of the cellular Peer Review Board, WTR was all but disowned by the Harvard group.
Graham, declining to comment on WTR, made the letter available to RCR.
While noting early accomplishments and acknowledging disruptions caused by legal and funding problems, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis slammed Carlo for appearing to cave to political and industry pressure; for creating
"expectations in the scientific, business and regulatory communities that have not been matched by meaningful funding of original research; for taking important steps without consulting the peer review board and for not making public disclosure of WTR's work and its financial records.While the board wants Carlo to drop animal exposure studies and emphasize epidemiology more, the Food and Drug Administration has made animal exposure work the top priority for WTR.
"Given the likely expectation that health-related questions related to the use of wireless technology will persist when the current WTR research program ends in two years, the PRB is concerned that industry has not come forward with a plan to support a continued program of health research," stated the Harvard peer review board in the 6-page letter. [Note that the Peer Review Board is essentially controlled by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis which lobbies for industry and had direct links to the CTIA via Graham. So it is pretty safe to assume that this is a backdoor CTIA attack on Carlo — and Carlo would have known it.]
"The PRB is not comfortable with pursuit of new research endeavors until these questions about continuity of funding and management are addressed," the board added.
Industry, meanwhile, wants a clean bill of health from research.
Carlo, following a meeting last month with federal health and safety regulators, revealed he will not conduct either short-term, sub-chronic or lifetime rat RF exposure studies but will pursue acute (two hour) rat RF exposure experiments, as well as cell culture and epidemiology studies.
WTR plans to replicate Dr Henry Lai's research at the University of Washington that found single- and double-strand DNA breaks after radiating rats with low-level RF for two hours at 2 GHz.
But at this late date, some four years after Lai submitted his proposal to WTR, there is no contract. Lai and WTR principals are supposed to meet in January to complete the research itinerary.
1997 Nov: Attacks directed at Carlo and the CTIA by the cellular phone manufacturers and the network operators continues to mount. Microwave News reported the July statement by John Madrid, Toshiba's respresentative on the CTIA, who had publicly commented about the WTR:
"The CTIA told us that the last set of payments we would provide was going to be used for these lifetime rat studies, The bottom line is, a lot of money was collected and not very much research got done."
[In the future] "I wouldn't give the CTIA or the WTR a plugged nickel. I don't think either of those organizations has properly managed the money given to them for health research. I don't know what they've done with more than $20 million."
Madrid went further and said what many were thinking… "I think you'll find that several million dollars were spent on research… But what happened to the rest of it?"
1997 Nov: Microwave News article:
The wireless industry's research group has announced that it will not carry out any long-term animal studies. "The funding level currently committed by the industry...will not allow for extensive subchronic nor whole-life animal studies," Wireless Technology Research (WTR) declared on November 3.
The announcement represents a major retreat from WTR's previously announced goals. Its 1994 research agenda called for a series of chronic studies with rodents, in which the animals would be exposed over their entire life span of about two years. A WTR report in 1995 predicted that these long-term studies would be completed by the end of 1997 (see MWN, S/O95). WTR later committed itself to additional, subchronic experiments, which would expose the animals over a 90-day period.
"Given the lack of funds available to WTR to finish this work," the statement continued, "it is up to the government and the industry to work out how they wish to resolve this issue."
Dr Russell Owen, chief of the CDRH's Radiation Biology Branch, told Microwave News: "WTR projects that the results of more than 30 WTR-sponsored in vitro, in vivo and epidemiology studies will be released between February 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999," [the November 3 statement declared]. When asked for a list of the 30 studies, WTR refused to provide one, but revised the number downward to about 25.
1997 Nov: The CTIA now changed its position regarding the completion of all WTR research. In 1994, CTIA VP Ron Nessen had said "It's probably going to take more than $25 million. The industry has said that it will spend whatever it takes."
But by November 1997 the spokesman Tim Ayers had changed that to "Our commitment is to provide the remainder of the $25 million" and that any decision on further funding would need to be reviewed.
1997 Dec: Laboratory DNA research (in vitro) was about to begin under Ray Tice at Integrated Laboratory Systems (ILS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, after "fine-tuning the exposure system".
1997 Dec 20: The tobacco industry's junk-man, Steve Milloy, working through the front of the The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), was now taking an interest in debunking cellular telephones and health concerns. [along with denial of ETS, DDT, global warming, etc.]
In cooperation with APCO Associates, Milloy also ran "Issues Watch", a network of corporate media monitors within the APCO/CGI/Grey Marketing affiliates around the world. They signed up industries with environmental and health problems, and in return for generous cash payment they would report back to the USA head-office if some adverse scientific research finding emerged. Milloy could then respond overnight by ridiculing the finding in his junk-science web site.
Carlo had been a member of TASSC's Scientific Advisory Board but it is not known if he was still associated.
[TASSC was mainly funded by the tobacco industry at this time, but it was exending its reach into other industries with product liability problems. It had considerable support from ExxonMobil and the oil industry, Dow Chemicals, and now obviously, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).]
1998: Publication of "Wireless Phones and Health: Scientific Progress."
[The balance between pre-publication and per-booklet costs can only logically lead to the charged booklet price of $321 a copy if the intention was to limit distribution to the wealthy cellphone companies, and keep it out of the hands of activists.]
This edited volume features contributions that were originally presented at a State of the Science Colloquium sponsored by the Wireless Technology Research, LLC (WTR) and the International Committee on Wireless Communication Research.
Contributions report on the public health impact of wireless communication technologies, including radiofrequency (RF) dosimetry, RF epidemiology, RF toxicology, and clinical and in vitro studies on interference between these technologies and medical devices. WTR has collected and edited papers from each of the presenters, and collected updates to be appended to the original papers.
1998: While also operating the WTR's 'independent' Peer Review Board, John Graham and the HCRA were paid $300,000 by AT&T Wireless Communications to research driver distraction, and to assess the risk of using cellphones while driving
The study [released only in July 2000] came out against any such ban. The HCRA concluded that such a ban would be too costly — likely more costly than air bags — and that there was "not enough reliable information on which to base reasonable policy."
Nader's Public Citizen organization noted:
As you would expect with the HCRA, Graham's cost-benefit analysis misapplied basic statistical methods and weighed projections of the public's injuries and fatalities against lost industry profits and other consequences of a ban.
1998 Jan: /E Carlo is now negotiating with his old staff spokesman, Jeff Nesbitt, who now worked for the CTIA via Porter Novelli PR.
[Nesbitt was a peripatetic think-tanker and Republican aide to Dan Quayle who had learned to spel potatoe rite and was seen by the CTIA as a political trouble-shooter.]
In the Carlo-Schramm book it says that
"Jeff Nesbitt, who acted as a go-between [eventually] reported to Carlo that the industry would give Wireless Technology Research (WTR) another $1.2 million to complete the follow-up work through the end of 1999. "[Since Carlo had the CTIA over the end of the barrel by making statements that WTR research had suggested problems which still needed to be resolved, the cellphone industry could hardly do otherwise.]
1998 Jan: The University of Washington, St Louis group (Led by Prof. Joe Roti-Roti, with Robert Malyapa as principal scientist.) released what they claimed to be a matching pair of studies replicating the Lai-Singh DNA-break findings. This has been funded by Motorola at the time of the Lai-Singh War-Gaming.
Roti-Roti's group had received $US5.4 million (probably the most money ever given as a grant in this line of research) from Motorola to set up his special "comet assay" laboratory and conduct 'independent' cell phone research. However he took a high-tech approach to the Lai-Singh replication, using what is known as the Olive technique of computerised comet assay screening.
However, while Lai-Singh had exposed live rats, the St Louis group used cultured cells in petri dishes and different lysis chemicals, so their attempts to claim this as a failed 'replication' study was later treated with derision. Microwave News reported that...
- ... each lab favors a different variant of the technique. Roti Roti and Malyapa used the assay developed by Dr Peggy Olive of the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver, Canada, while Lai and Singh used the assay developed by Singh himself.
- The Singh method uses proteinase K, an enzyme that digests proteins that may be bound to the DNA, while Olive's does not. "Digestion with this enzyme is an essential step," Lai said. "When we do not use proteinase K, we do not see an effect with microwaves either."
- There is also a heated dispute over the sensitivity of the Olive assay as reported by Roti Roti and Malyapa. Lai and Singh are troubled by what they say are Roti Roti and Malyapa's impossible claims that the Olive assay can detect damage by very low levels of ionizing radiation. Lai and Singh conclude that Roti Roti and Malyapa simply cannot be using the assay correctly.
1998 Feb: /E (early) The main item on the agenda at a WTR workshop was the issue of whether to do transgenic mice studies (which take a minimum of two years).
[This was another stalling of the claimed need to quickly replicate the Repacholi/Adelaide Hospital research finding of a doubling of cancers in Pims1 mice exposed to GSM phone radiation.]
1998 Mar: Five years after the WTR began, Ron Petersen an executive of Lucent Technologies was quoted in Microwave News as saying, "We cannot really account for the money that WTR spent." He noted that the cancer research program "is really nonexistent. There's nothing there."
By then a large part of the funds had been spent and virtually all was committed. The WTR was on its way to establishing a world record for the most amount of dollars spent for the least amount of work published.
While continuing to support the WTR, Motorola had also established its own major research operation in Florida, and was heavily funding health research in Europe.
1998 April: The International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) controlled by Michael Repacholi and associated with both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the cellphone industry, met to set standards for cellphone radiation.
[Six months later a group of independent research scientists, opposed to the laxity of these standard, signed The Vienna Declaration calling for more protective measures to be taken, based on the "precautionary principle."]
1998 Apr 20: CK Chou joined Motorola as director of its R/F Dosimetry lab, This forestalled any possibility of Lai and Singh doing more work with WTR funding.
1998 May: The World Health Organisation announced its "Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health" project. This was to be part-funded by Motorola and other members of the cellphone industry.
"In May 1996, in response to growing public health concerns in many member states over possible health effects from exposure to an ever-increasing number and diversity of EMF sources, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international project to assess health and environmental effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields, which became known as the International EMF Project."[It was later revealed that the cellphone industry paid for this research, and that one of their favourite consultant scientists, the Australian Dr Michael Repacholi, was in charge along with Leeka Kheifets, a consultant and ex-staffer for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the US mains-power lobby organisation.]
1998 July 18: The Barrera Associates weekly report to the tobacco industry included a note on Risk Assessment [Lisa Barrera focussed on surveillance of the EPA]
Fred Thompson (the Republican contender for the Presidency in 2008) had sponsored another Risk Assessment bill to try to restrict the activities of the regulators.
RISK ASSESSMENT HEARING - The House Science Committee held a hearing on risk assessment and federal policy this week, specifically on S 981, sponsored by Senators Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Carl Levin (D-MI).
The focus of the hearing was how risk assessment might be modified to better protect public health and safety, and provisions which would require cost beneft analyses in major environment and safety regulations.
- Gil Omenn (supports 5.981), Chairman of the Presidential Risk Assessment/Risk Management Commission,
- George Carlo (qualified support for bill), Chairman of Science and Public Policy Institute,
- George Gray (qualified support), Harvard Center for Risk Analysis [John Graham's deputy], and
- Lois Gold (qualified support), University of California at Berkeley.[partner of Bruce Ames - tobacco science lobbyist]
1998 Oct 25: -27 A Workshop on Possible Biological and Health Effects of RF Electromagnetic Fields, was held in Vienna, Austria. This was an ad-hoc meeting of the top independent bioelectromagnetic scientists from Europe and America who met to discuss the failures of the WTR, and the corporate influence that they believed was being exerted over WHO and European studies.
They passed The Vienna Declaration [aka Vienna EMF Resolution],which said in part:
"The participants agreed that biological effects from low-intensity exposures are scientifically established. However, the current state of scientific consensus is inadequate to derive reliable exposure standards. The existing evidence demands an increase in the research efforts on the possible health impact and on an adequate exposure and dose assessment."This group included a number of the most prominent scientist in the field from the USA, Sweden, the UK and elsewhere. Also prominent was Carl Blacman, the top radiation scientist from the EPA in Washington; Henry Lai from the Uni of Washington, Seattle; and Kjell Hansson Mild from Sweden.
In addition to the formal declaration, the Vienna declaration also recommended some detailed action-items for national parliaments to consider:
- regulators around the world to reexamine existing guidelines for both EMF and EMR and to reduce them to the lowest possible levels to protect the public and workers. Values above 4 milliGauss (low frequency magnetic fields); above 0.1 microW/cm2 (power density for radio frequency radiation) and above 40 GS units (dirty electricity) have been associated with adverse health effects in peer reviewed scientific publications!
- government agencies responsibility for the location of both base stations and power lines to keep distances at least 400 meters (base stations) and 100 meters (transmission lines) from residential properties as well as school and health care facilities.
- utilities (water, gas, electricity) to reconsider the use of wireless smart meters and provide wired options for those who are sensitive, for those who do not want to be exposed, and for those in densely populated settings.
- manufacturers who are providing technology that uses electricity and/or emits radio frequency radiation to re-engineer their products to provide the minimum radiation possible. This includes light bulbs, computers, wireless home devices like baby monitors and cordless phones, cell phones, smart meters, plasma TVs, among others.
- architects, builders, electricians, and plumbers to design and construct buildings that are based on principles of good electromagnetic hygiene. This includes using materials that absorb or shield building interiors from microwave radiation especially near external sources of this radiation and in multi-unit buildings; to provide wired alternatives to wireless devices; to properly wire and ground buildings to minimize low frequency electromagnetic fields and to eliminate ground current problems; and to install filters on electrical panels and/or throughout the building to ensure good power quality.
- local, state, federal health authorities to educate medical professions about the potential biological effects of both low frequency and radio frequency electromagnetic energy; about the growing number of people who have electrosensitivity (ES) or electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and to alert them on how they can help their patients in terms of minimizing their exposure and promoting their recovery.
- hospitals and health care centres to review their policy on wireless technology and to provided electromagnetically-clean areas within these centres for those who are sensitive to this radiation.
- school boards to reopen their policy on the preference of WiFi (wireless technology) over wired internet access and not allow towers/antennas within 400 meters of their school property.
- parents to practice good electromagnetic hygiene especially in the bedroom and especially for their children. This involves using wired rather than wireless devices in the home, keeping electric appliances away from the bed, turning off/unplugging devices when not in use.
- the media to provide information to the public about the health and safety of using this technology; to rely on "independent experts" who do not receive funding or other benefits based on the outcome of research studies; and to identify experts funded by the industry as "industry representatives". The integrity of many of these scientists leaves much to be desired.
|The WTR was now obviously being wound down. It was to be replaced by a public relations operation called Wireless Information Network (WIN). Dr Carlo was now also concentrating on the Breast Implant Public Health Project for Dow Corning under HES staffer Martha Embrey, one of Carlo's oldest and most loyal associates. Martha is also an expert in air pollution, water pollution/dioxin, wireless research and cardiac pacemakers.|
1998 Nov 18: The WHO's project on World EMF Standards Harmonization met in Zagreb, Croatia under the chairmanship of Dr Michael Repacholi. This project aimed at setting worldwide EMF exposure standards had been funded by the cellphone companies (although the documents don't reveal this fact.)
The meeting was dominated by the electrical engineers (IEEE) and officials from ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.) a non-government organisation recognised by WHO.
The only American in attendance were Professor James C Lin, Uni of Illinois at Chicago, [who urged that health be treated as the major consideration in setting the standard], Dr Om Gandhi, Uni of Utah and Robert Cleveland of the FCC. Carlo and the WTR were not present.
1998 Dec: /E Carlo told Microwave News [reported July 1999] that the CTIA had informed him 'last winter' that it would no longer support Wireless Technology Research — although it had previously promised him a role in following up the epidemiological and genotoxic findings.
Carlo supposedly still had enough funding to run the 'Second Colloquium,' planned mid-1999, to present the wider scientific community with the results of all the WTR research.[It turned out that they had so little to announce, that Motorola took over and presented their own work to fill the time available.]
|The Carlo divorce|
While the cellular phone industry was divorcing Carlo, he was also having problems with Patricia, his wife and business partner of many years standing. They had seven children together, but Carlo had a reputation of appreciating the support of attractive female travelling companions and employed them as research assistants in his Health and Environmental Sciences Group. This obviously hadn't gone down too well over the years.
The details of the marriage breakup aren't widely known, but a bitter battle developed over the division of spoils in the companies they had jointly owned, and this opened a door to some interesting facts about the real nature of the relationship between the WTR and the Carlo's HES, and between both these and the CTIA.
It emerged in the law-suits that Thorne Auchter, one of Carlo's longest friends and regular fishing partner (also the MBS and Federal Focus Inc. partner of Jim Tozzi) was also a secret partner in the Carlos HES operations.
Then to top off a bad year, an arsonist burned down George's house — the one that Patricia would have received as part of her settlement — the one that contained all their private and corporate records. The HES also filed for Chapter 11 relief, and the administrator believed that money from the CTIA had been siphoned off when it should have remained within the company.
To defend himself in these court cases Carlo wanted some confidential papers from the CTIA archives — but the CTIA refused to help. They were still smarting over Carlo shafting them by his promotion of cellphone dangers in his last few months, and also over the role that Carlo had played in the researcher-indemnity strike a few years back.
They probably now regret this decision.
1998 Dec: A later long article giving a Carlo-centric view of the events says:
According to Dr Carlo, "The industry played dirty. It actually hired people to put negative things about me and the other scientists who found problems on the internet, while it tried to distance itself from the program. Auditors were brought in to say we misspent money, but none of that ever held up.
They tried every angle possible." This included discussions with Dr Carlo's ex-wife to try to figure out ways to put pressure on him, he says. Threats to his career came from all directions, and Dr Carlo learned from Congressional insiders that the word around Washington was that he was "unstable." But all the character assassination paled in comparison to what happened next.
Toward the end of 1998, Dr Carlo's house mysteriously burned down. Public records show that authorities determined the cause of the blaze was arson, but the case was never solved. Dr Carlo refuses to discuss the incident and will only confirm that it happened. By this time, enough was enough. Dr Carlo soon went "underground," shunning the public eye and purposely making himself difficult to find.
Following the loss of his home, Dr Carlo collaborated with Washington columnist Martin Schram —who in the course of the work did his own research to corroborate Dr Carlo's view on things —to write Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age (Carroll & Graf, 2001). He wrote his book as what he thought would be a last volley at the cell phone industry.
1998 Dec: Some WTR-sponsored scientific studies in toxicology and epidemiology are released [Claim in Carlo's book]
1998 Dec 10: The Wireless Information Network (WIN) [aka the Wireless Industry Global Information Network] held its first meeting in London.
It was set up in advaince of the public release of the WTR findings in order to coordinate the industry's reply to adverse health findings. It promotes itself as:
"The US wireless industry, responding to the global proliferation of media coverage of mobile phone health concerns and to Internet-savvy activists, is leading an effort to create a worldwide information-sharing network to counter negative publicity."
|HES Group Internships|
|Young Politicians of America lists internships available in Washington DC for four paid internships with Carlo's Health and Environmental Science Group (HESG): |
[Some of the other internships on offer are also from corporate and libertarian lobbyships — some appear to be legitimate associations.]
1999 /E: As a result of the failure of WTR research and the lack of replication of others, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA finally announced a study program of their own.
"Federal safety regulators are investigating whether microwave radiation from cell phones causes cancer or other diseases. The investigation was triggered by two industry-sponsored studies that the Food and Drug Administration said require additional research.These were the Carlo-promoted Muscat AHF study (which Muscat denied showed significant dangers) and Tice's replication of the Lai-Singh DNA break work.
The question of cell phone safety recently led Metrocall of Alexandria, Va., the nation's third-largest pager company and a major seller of AT&T cellular phones to warn its sales staff that parents buying for a child or young adult should consider a pager instead of a cell phone 'due to potential health risks.
1999: A Carlo study published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: Factors associated with breast implant rupture: pilot of a retrospective analysis.
Also A review of the literature on the etiology of capsular contracture and a pilot study to determine the outcome of capsular contracture interventions.
Both paper by Martha Embrey and George L Carlo. with EE Adams, B Cunningham, W Peters, VL Young.
1999 Jan 25: "Industry launches global effort to counter cancer claims." by Jeff Silva, RCR News,
The Wireless Industry Global Information Network, or WIN, held its first meeting Dec. 10 in London. The gathering attracted 34 attendees, including people from nine industry trade associations, 12 network operators and three manufacturers.
In all, Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, New Zealand and Norway were represented.
Jo-Anne Basile, who manages health issues for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, led the discussion.
"I see our WIN project as a very positive effort to improve communications on a global basis," said Basile.
Basile said the formation of WIN comes in recognition of the global evolution of wireless products and services and the fact "science is not constrained by geographic borders." She said CTIA is supporting the World Health Organization's RF health project, headed by Dr Michael Repacholi.
In addition to Basile, other U.S. speakers at the meeting included Norman Sandler and Dr Mays Swicord of Motorola Inc. [snip]
Carlo said U.S. wireless carriers and manufacturers need to put a market surveillance structure in place that would swiftly identify any health problems and trigger intervention. The absence of such a post-WTR structure and of a concrete industry show of commitment to the health issue could invite federal regulation, Carlo observed.
Carlo was expected to make recommendations for market surveillance at WTR's Second State of the Science Colloquium early next month, but the conference has been rescheduled to precede the annul Bioelectromagnetics Society meeting, June 21-42, in Long Beach, Calif.
1999 Feb 1 - 2: George Carlo conducted a series of briefings of CTIA executives and scientific consultants of some of the less desirable findings of the WTR.
However, in a later CTIA letter to Carlo refuting Carlo's charges in an October 1999 press release that they had ignored the adverse findings of the WTR, Thomas Wheeler maintained...
... that the CTIA Board voted unanimously to fund the appropriate follow-up research.
You failed to mention that you stated to the CTIA Board that while these [research] results were noteworthy, they did not pose a public health threat and that the appropriate followup step was to research the specific questions raised by the specific studies.'
1999 Feb 9: Lai-Singh replication Carlo also briefed several federal agencies (confidentially) about findings of DNA damage by Ray Tice's group at Integrated Laboratory Systems.
This work had been funded to replicate the Lai-Singh DNA-break work, and they'd discovered consistent DNA damage to rodent cells with three-hour cellphone exposures. They tested a four varieties of cellphone types, and exposed the rodents to a range of exposures.
Some of their findings showed a correlation between exposure and DNA damage,
1999 Mar: Microwave News carried a story about the battle between the CTIA and George Carlo, with the news:
WTR has found links between cellular phone use and brain cancer, Dr George Carlo told Microwave News.[He didn't specify what had been found, but he was clearly putting pressure on the CTIA to continue its funding.]
"We have some positive results that will require further study," Carlo said. "It's clear that these findings will rattle some cages."
Cellular phone radiation can triple the number of chromosome abnormalities in human blood, according to a study sponsored by Wireless Technology Research (WTR), an industry group.[Carlo was trying to pressure the CTIA into continuing their funding of WTR. He also wanted them to commit to a long-term project involving follow-up research on cellphone users. This became the Safe Wireless Initiative.]
"This is a very important finding," stated WTR chair Dr George Carlo. "These results are frankly quite positive —there's a dose-response and it's across all technologies," Carlo said in an interview. "This clearly points to the need for continued research and especially for post-market surveillance."
1999 Mar: Radiation Research publishes a paper by Professor Roti-Roti's St Louis team which reported on a study where cell phone R/F-signals caused a two-fold activation of the c-fos gene in fibroblasts. (The study was supported by Motorola).
This c-fos is a proto-oncogene which is thought to be closely related to cancer development. On the other hand, DNA strand breaks are known to activate this gene. It is very likely that they observed a DNA damage-induced activation of c-fos gene, which provides a link between DNA damage reported by Sarkar, Phillips, Verscheave and Lai-Singh, and cancer promotion reported by Repacholi, Guy and others.
[The significance here is mainly that the St Louis team depended for their existance on a generous $5.4 million grant from Motorola, and had previously collaborated with John Moulder at the Radiation Research journal to publish a highly dubious comet-assay comparison study designed to discredit Lai and Singh.]
Just as WTR's bank account starts to run dry, Carlo has started to say there might be something to cell phone worries after all. Pardon our cynicism, but we've wondered if the two might be connected.[Guess which Wireless Association would have paid Milloy to run this piece?]
Carlo has also hailed the WTR's genotoxicity [the Tice research] results as "a very important finding." But concerns about RF/MW exposure and genetic damage have been around for a long time, and WTR never seemed too worried before.
Five years ago, Lai and Singh announced that RF/MW exposure could produce breaks in DNA. Read the Lai-Singh letter on pp 12-13 to see how WTR follows up on interesting results.
In fact, WTR destroyed its own credibility long ago. It still won't say how much of its $25 million went into research grants. It can't cover up years of inaction by hyping ambiguous results.
1999 Mar: The CTIA was dragged into the Carlo divorce when one of the attorneys subpoenaed the CTIA in an attempt to produce financial dealings with the HES and WTR. They also wanted as witness, a CTIA offical who could give testmony in a sworn deposition about the financial dealings.
This was not something that the CTIA wanted dragged out into public view.
The amendments passed by the full parliament go beyond the environment committee's recommendations on one impor- tant point: They address the potential health risks associated with long-term, chronic exposures.
The parliament noted that the EC's proposed safety standard was drafted "only with respect to the thresholds for acute effects." Declaring that the public must also be protected against "potentially harmful long-term effects," it urged the EC to "keep the matter...under review" and revise its standard by 2001.
1999 Mar 19: The Lai-Singh threat': Microwave News carried the Letter to the Editor, "Inside the WTR Research Program: A Very Strange Experience" in which Drs Henry Lai and Narenderer P Singh described continuing confrontations and stonewalling, and censorship of their final report. They said they had refused to change their data or conclusions to suit WTR's political ends: WTR lawyers then threatened to sue them.
This article also gives a blow-by-blow account of the attempts to 'War-Game' them and block them from performing further DNA research.
This has been a very strange experience for us. The WTR program is a disgrace to the American research establishment. It has shown a consistent pattern of chaotic corruption and deception.
Much money and time have been wasted while the public and millions of cellular phone customers continue to wait for an answer to the possible health effects of wireless communication.
Until we have an independent and reliable research program free from any control from the industry, the global impacts of cellular phone use will be assessed by "post-market surveillance" —in other words, by what-ever effects may occur among users of these devices.
1999 Mar 29: At the 30th Annual Meeting of the Environmental Mutagen Society (EMS) in Washington Dr Ray Tice of Integrated Laboratory Services (research funded by the WTR) announced that they had observed an increase in genetic damage to rodent cells at exposures of 5 W/Kg and 10 W/Kg, using micronucleas assays "following extended (24 hour) exposures".
"There's no way you're going to get positive results twice over for four different technologies as a chance result. If it's an artifact, it's a consistent one."The ILS team found no DNA damage using the comet assay with only 3 hour exposures. [Lai-Singh found them with 1 hour exposures, using comet assays]
1999 Apr: Carlo began promoting the results of a study by Joshua Muscat, who working through the American Health Foundation (run by Carlo's Nocebo associate, Ernst Wynder) as evidence that cellphones were linked to actual cases of cancer. This study was only sent for publication in August 2001 and published in Jan 2002.
Muscat had statistically linked cellphone usage to a possible increase in a type of acoustic neuromas — a rare benign tumor of the nerve to the ear. His findings were not highly significant, and he opposed Carlo's interpretation of them in this way.
According to Muscat,
"No conclusions can be drawn for long-term users, since the study was conducted about 10 years after introduction of cellular telephone technology."This claim also raises questions. Also, much later, in 2000....
Carlo alleged that some data in the study was altered, and that the altered data formed the basis for a report published in December 2000 by the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded that cell phones are safe to use.A later interview (2006) conducted by reporter Michal Winn with George Carlo boasted that the WTR had been highly successful by this time.
Shortly after, the New England Journal of Medicine pushed up its publishing date of another study that also supported the safety of cell phones.
"The truth is, there have been seven epidemiological studies, and five of those show a significant increase in the risk of tumors," Carlo says. "Two of those seven do not show an increase in tumors and those two were not looking at rare tumors."
"Eventually, there were 56 studies completed by scientists working in highly credentialed institutions around the world, and results were subject to peer review.This became the Carlo line over the following decade, and like all clever PR it is a mixture of truth, half-truth and fiction.
There have been no studies that indicated that human tissue had been harmed by the heating effects of radiation. However, many studies indicated that exposure to cell phone radiation produced adverse affects, caused by the radiation, and that some of these effects have led to DNA damage.
[Actually very few studies pointed to such effects, but those that did were by reputable, expert, independent scientists who had generally not been funded by the cellphone industry.]
In other words, there are effects other than heating that are occurring when human or animal tissue is exposed to cell phone radiation, greater in proportion to length of use, and related to the proximity of the transmitting source. Moreover, there is evidence that tumors are occurring with greater frequency on the side of the head in the portion of the brain and inner ear that lies within the radius of the plume of highest radiation from cell phones.
1999 Apr: Microwave News ran an article attacking Carlo's claims that the AHF Muscat study had turned up positive correlations with acousic neuromas. He had begun feeding information to the newsletter to discredit the CTIA
In a backroom briefing, Carlo told Microwave News that:
"WTR has found links between cellular phone use and brain cancer,That's the article that we might have run if we weren't more skeptical. Carlo made the statements quoted above in an April interview, dangling the "positive results" in front of us the way you might tease a dog with a juicy bone.
We have some positive results that will require further study, It's clear that these findings will rattle some cages."
Carlo made it clear that he wanted us to do a major story. And we nearly did — until we talked with the study's principal investigator, Joshua Muscat.
"To say that I have positive findings is not really correct," Muscat told us. "When George Carlo says that I have positive findings, it really is in terms of a couple of isolated ways of analyzing the data. I would not say it is indicative of what we found.".
What's going on?
Just as WTR's bank account starts to run dry, Carlo has started to say there might be something to cell phone worries after all. Pardon our cynicism, but we've wondered if the two might be connected.
Carlo has also hailed the WTR's genotoxicity results as "a very important finding." But concerns about RF/MW exposure and genetic damage have been around for a long time, and WTR never seemed too worried before.
1999 May: The Journal of Clinical Engineering publishes another WTR pacemaker study: A Comparison of Clinical and Bench Test Results from Pacemaker/Wireless Phone Interference Studies: Does Bench Testing Adequately Predict Clinical Pacemaker Interference? This was an examination of the testing procedures.
Those credited with this study are Rebecca A. Steffens [Jenrow]; Claudine M. [Johnson] Valmonte; George L. Carlo; Paul Ruggera; Donald Witters; Ronald Kaczmarek; Mel Seidman.
The first three on this list were the same old HES crew. The last four may have actually known something about the technical aspects of radio interference and pacemakers: they all worked for the FDA.
1999 May: The date set for the release of the CTIA's so-called "peer review" of the epidemiology and genetic studies conducted by the WTR. [Details not available]
Carlo says in his book that two scientists, biologist Martin Meltz and epidemiologist Linda Erdreich were selected by the CTIA President to run this process.
1999 May 14: The Lai-Singh threat': Carlo threatens to sue Drs Henry Lai and NP Singh of University of Washington. He wrote a letter to Dr Richard McCormick. the President of the University charging that Drs. Henry Lai and N.P. Singh had written a "libelous" letter about WTR which was published in Microwave News (see MWN, M/A 99 and M/J 99).
He attacked their work, claiming athat their laboratory was not up to normal "Good Laboratory Practice" standards, and says that normally their failure to comply...
"... would be the basis for dismissal.Carlo requested a meeting so that the matter could be resolved "outside the courts."
Indeed, WTR staff recommended to me on several occasions that Drs Lai and Singh, and the University of Washington, be fired."
See page 8 Carlo Letter to Dr McCormick
1999 May 22: An article by John Schwartz in the Washington Post tipped the bucket on the CTIA with an article "Study: Cell Phone Use May Have Cancer Link"
He promoted the idea that George Carlo had found cellphone health problems, but had not been permitted to continue with his WTR research program. This article followed an interview given him by Carlo the previous day.
WASHINGTON — Preliminary results from research paid for by the cellular telephone industry suggests there may be a correlation between cell phone use and cancer, according to the director of the program. The study found possible connections both in biological tests and statistical analysis of cell phone users.The CTIA saw this as a traitorous act — especially the piece where Carlo claimed to use his cellphone only with a headset to keep the transmitter away from his head.
"to consider present concerns about the possible health effects of Mobile Phones, base stations and transmitters; to conduct a rigorous assessment of existing research; and to give advice on the present state of knowledge. To make recommendations on further work that should be carried out to improve the basis for sound advice."This became better known as the "Stewart Inquiry".
1999 Jun 7: Jeff Silva's article about the demise of cellphone industry research: Controversy follows WTR to the end.
WASHINGTON-The close of the six-year 27 million Wireless Technology Research L.L.C program has re-energized a public debate about whether mobile telephones cause cancer or pose other health problems to the nation's 70 million wireless subscribers[Note: The action appears to specifically involve only HES — Health & Environmental Sciences, Ltd — and makes no mention of the supposedly incorporated entity known as Health & Environmental Sciences Group, Inc. or or Carlo's other non-profits and for-profit operations.]
Indeed WTR Chairman George Carlo claims new studies suggest a possible mobile phone-cancer link. While saying the results do not rise to the level of a public-health problem, Carlo insists the findings demand serious attention of the federal government and wireless industry.
Carlo's research is no less controversial than the man himself. There have been fights with scientists lawyers and industry leaders over a host of issues Congress and the Food and Drug Administration have even dabbled in the crossfire at times. And now Carlo believes his reputation has wrongly come under fire.
But Carlo's travails are not just about Carlo and WTR. The fireworks that erupted during the past six years underscore the complexities in addressing scientific issues in a highly political public forum, and doing so without creating hysteria in the media and public.
Mobile phone carriers around the country continue to meet resistance to antenna siting because of concerns over the impact of towers on health, aesthetics and property values.
In the end Carlo indeed delivered research — though not as much as some believe $27 million could buy, and certainly not the kind of research the cellular industry wanted to see. Of the total about $2 million went to resolving interference from mobile phones to medical devices.
Behind the scenes, as WTR wraps up its work and Carlo prepares to officially announce results of his cancer studies at a conference later this month in Long Beach Calif., a different controversy has erupted out of the public eye.
This flare-up like so many others before it has come to symbolize the rocky tenure of George Carlo.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association which hired Carlo and publicly stood behind him for the past six years was served with two subpoenas in connection with two of several lawsuits filed against Carlo in Washington D.C. Maryland and Virginia.
One subpoena sought all documents related to CTIA funding of WTR, and the other requested testimony from a CTIA official.
None of that sat well with CTIA President Thomas Wheeler who, according to Carlo, confronted him about the subpoenas. Carlo said he assured Wheeler the allegations were baseless, but it appears drawing CTIA into the lawsuits all but killed any chance Carlo had of conducting follow-up cancer research or market surveillance for the trade group.
Carlo for his part said it would have been a logical next step to continue his work for CTIA in light of WTR results and his heavy investment in WTR projects.
The lawsuits involve in one form or the other George Carlo and his wife Patricia equal business partners in WTR's sister company Health & Environmental Services Ltd.; WTR and HES share the same facilities and personnel.
In addition to HES and WTR Carlo heads a number of other public-health projects.
The Carlos who are in the midst of a nasty divorce, have accused each other of misappropriating funds and other improprieties in a lawsuit in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia that was headed for dismissal late last week. The plaintiffs moved to drop their claims against George Carlo. In exchange George Carlo is dropping all counter claims in the same lawsuit.
Patricia Carlo through her attorney declined comment. She oversees financial matters for HES.
Glen Franklin Koontz the lawyer who originally brought the lawsuit on behalf of HES (before HES was dismissed as a plaintiff) against Carlo and Thorne Auchter, former head of the Occupational Safety Health Administration in the Reagan administration, has vowed to rekindle allegations in the near future against Carlo that could implicate WTR.
"WTR is basically an instrument of George Carlo. He has used it for his own purposes," said Koontz. "There will be more lawsuits."
[Koontz represented the company Health & Environmental Sciences, which was then subject to bankruptcy proceedings and therefore had an interest in the Carlo's divorce case since joint assets were being divided.]
Carlo said Elizabeth Hughes, an attorney for Patricia Carlo, sought to withdraw the lawsuit against Carlo because it was a weak case.
"Mr Carlo and his attorneys are whistling past the grave and I wouldn't be too confident that that surmise is correct," said Koontz. Hughes for her part declined comment.
Koontz said CTIA cooperated and complied with the subpoenas noting the association had no knowledge of the alleged misconduct by Carlo and WTR. CTIA says all WTR audits to date have come back clean and that a final audit will be conducted now that WTR has finished its work.
[There is no mention here that the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis was supposedly in control of the auditing, as well as running the Peer Review Group. The HCRA appear to have simply disappeared from all WTR activities.]
Koontz has his doubts "There's a good possibility that the audits may not be kosher and we're looking into that," he said.
WTR and CTIA, despite nagging questions about how Carlo spent the $27 million, have steadfastly refused to release the audits. Carlo said all WTR expenditures were approved by an audit committee.
The lawsuits appear to have taken a toll on Carlo. Carlo said Koontz lacks legal standing and is using the legal process to harass him into giving up as much marital property as possible. In doing so Carlo said Koontz is destroying his reputation in the scientific community.
"I unequivocally deny every allegation that has been made in every one of the lawsuits," said Carlo "I am sickened by the fact that this has been taken out of the courtroom and into the public by Mr Koontz."
This week Carlo said his attorneys plan to file a lawsuit against Koontz for defamation of character, misuse of process, fraudulent misrepresentations, and tortious interference with business relationships.
1999 Jun 9: Lai-Singh threat: Dr Steven Olswang, the vice provost of Washington University, had responded on behalf of Henry Lai and Narendra Singh to Carlo's threat to sue for libel. He stated that, while Carlo's complaints...
"present legitimate differences of viewpoints about a topic of considerable academic importance, [they] do not present investigatable issues of scientific integrity.
The University of Washington encourages legitimate academic discourse, and as such, we are not prepared to intervene."
I want to say thank you to the Industry. I've had some ups and downs with the industry. But this industry has acted in an unprecedented responsible manner beginning in 1993, funding not only the efforts of the WTR, but also supporting the independence of the WTR.At this conference, Carlo also decided not to pursue the matter of suing Henry Lai and Narendra Singh (who had been 'War-Gamed' by Motorola, Burson Marsteller and the CTIA/WTR) for their 'libelous' letter about the WTR to Microwave News. "George told me 'Let's forget about it,' in Long Beach," Lai reported to Microwave News.
The industry has tried to do the right thing. I believe so far they have. I want to thank them for that, not as the head of the WTR, but as a fellow who uses a cellphone with a headset for convenience."
[Note the snippy references: "so far" and "for convenience".
Since his open break with the CTIA earlier that year, Carlo had taken to using his cellphone only with an extension earpiece — which everyone, including the cellphone industry, interpreted as a public display of fears that EMF radiations to the head were dangerous.]
|Microwave News report on the Colloquium|
| "The Talk of Long Beach:|
Motorola Takes Center Stage as Carlo Makes his Exit."
MWN explained that WTR's two-day symposium was held immediately before the BEMS (BioElectroMagnetics Society) annual conference and...
... was designed to showcase WTR results, but it had funded so few studies that Motorola researchers had to be brought in to fill out the program. At WTR's own meeting, there was more science from Motorola than from WTR.
|The Colloquium Publication|
|The booklet of the Colloquium had the normal acknowledgements thanking WTR staff.
However it did not credit the CTIA — which, presumably, had refused to fund the Colloquium or the publication. Instead, Carlo gave publication credits to:
1999 July: Microwave News carries a number of reports:
• Carlo Makes Peace with Lai and Singh
• Denies Misuse of Funds
• Several lawsuits, including divorce
Carlo is currently in the midst of several suits and countersuits in a bitter divorce case. According to the trade publication RCR, his wife and former business partner Patricia Carlo has charged that he looted the assets of their consulting firm, Health and Environmental Sciences Group Ltd. (HES) , by funneling its money to WTR.
[It is not clear whether MWN added "Group" accidentally, or whether this was a correction to the Silva report.]
She has accused the head of the WTR audit committee, Ronald Cavill of Cavill & Co. of approving "false and fraudulent invoices" that were then submitted to HES, adding that WTR, HES, and Cavill's company all shared the same Washington address.
" Patricia Carlo alleges George Carlo improperly spent HES money on close friends and associates for travel, vacations, pleasure boats, country club dues and sporting events," RCR's Jeff Silva reported on July 19. George Carlo denies the charges, characterizing them as pressure tactics designed to get a better deal in the divorce.
1999 July 19: RCR Journal "Carlo Denies Wrongdoing in Court" by Jeff Silva.
Wireless Technology Research L.L.C. Chairman George Carlo urged a federal bankruptcy court to reject efforts to block the liquidation of his consulting firm, but he declined to address allegations that WTR audit committee Chairman Ronald Cavill approved fraudulent WTR invoices.Carlo is currently in the midst of several suits and countersuits in this bitter and convoluted divorce case. In essence his wife and former business partner Patricia Carlo has charged that he looted the assets of their consulting firm, Health and Environmental Sciences Group Ltd. (HES), by funneling its money to WTR.
Patricia Carlo, wife and business partner of George Carlo, claims her husband and top associates stole money as part of a scheme to drive Health and Environmental Sciences Group Ltd. into the ground. She's opposed to George Carlo's filing for Chapter 7 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, arguing he is trying to use bankruptcy protection to avoid lawsuits against him.
Patricia Carlo alleges George Carlo improperly spent HES money on close friends and associates for travel, vacations, pleasure boats, country club dues and sporting events.
George Carlo denies any wrongdoing, saying the allegations are an attempt to extract a favorable divorce settlement.
The audit accusations accompany the close of a six-year, $27 million WTR program. The question of how WTR money was spent has become as controversial as some of his scientific findings.
1999 Aug 1: An article by Betsy Harter at the "Connected Planet" website has Jo-Anne Basile, CTIA vice president for external and industry relations, defending against press criticism of the WTR. People were maintaining that it's only achievement was...
"...among other things "... a comfortable living, with travel to overseas conventions, for a lot of people including a lot of scientists."
[Basile said] Despite such attacks, CTIA is pleased with WTR's research. "I have no question about the quality of the scientific studies that were conducted by the individual scientists," CTIA's Basile said. CTIA plans to fund ongoing research, but does not have a specific amount in mind yet.
1999 Sep 20: RCR Reports on "Several Wireless Health-Related Lawsuits Set to Hit Courts Next Month."
On Oct. 14, a trial is set to begin in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia Circuit in which it is alleged that Ronald Cavill, appointed head of the WTR audit committee by WTR head George Carlo, approved fraudulent invoices as part of a scheme to siphon money from sister company Health & Environmental Sciences Ltd.
The accusations were leveled by Patricia Carlo, wife and business partner of George Carlo. The Carlos are in the midst of a divorce, while HES is in a disputed bankruptcy.
Cavill has declined repeated requests for comment. George Carlo has denied any wrongdoing, saying the allegations are an attempt by his wife to leverage a favorable divorce settlement.[The CTIA refused to release audit reports and said they were all OK.]
1999 Oct: 4-5 The second of three WHO EMF seminars this year. International Seminar on Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on the Living Environment. Ismaning, Germany.
This was an ICNIRP seminar being run by Michael Repacholi.
[The business of running inquiries, seminars, and studies was becoming a major industry in its own right.]
1999 Oct 4: A Boston Globe article explained that Carlo was warning potential mobile phone customers about the possible dangers of cellphones.
WASHINGTON _ Almost nobody expected George Carlo, of all people, to be warning consumers about the possible dangers of cell phones.[This is an excellent example of how a clever PR practitioner can 'massage the message' without actually lying:
Back in 1993, Carlo was dubbed "industry's boy" by consumer advocates. A public health consultant with strong ties to industry, he won the nation's most lucrative contract to oversee a series of studies that scrutinized the relationship between cell-phone handsets and cancer.
Bur now that the project is winding down and its final report is due later this year, Carlo has created a stir by saying that consumers should take some precautions when using cellular phones, even while scientists at the US FDA and elsewhere say that cellphones do not pose any danger to users."
He says that more research is needed before cell phones can be considered completely safe. "It's not an all-clear," said Carlo, 46, a lawyer who has a Ph.D. in pathology. "The science is in a gray area."
[Carlo's "PhD in pathology" made its inaugural appearance in this article, and it has been often repeated since. In a later book an acolyte credits him with having "training in medical science, pathology, epidemiology and law," which was 50% right. ]
In an interview two weeks ago, Carlo suggested that people should keep the cell phone's antenna at least two inches away from the head, and avoid letting children use the phones until more research is done.
[T]he six-year endeavor, while funded by Wheeler's group [the CTIA], was designed to be independent; the money was placed in a blind trust, and government auditors set up a system to monitor the distribution of funds. And all studies initiated by Carlo and the Wireless Technology Research Group were peer-reviewed by a panel at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Even FDA officials, who were kept up-to-date on the research, initially blessed the project.
In the project's first couple of years, it helped produce what has been widely regarded as an impressive piece of research on cellular phone interference with cardiac pacemakers. That work led to changes in the manufacture of current-day pacemakers, Carlo said.
1999 Oct 7: The CTIA got wind of the fact that the ABC-TV's 20/20 team was making a program on cellphone health featuring Carlo.
They also found out from a press conference that he was using this program to promote his new publishing venture "Consumer Empowerment Package on Wireless Phones" which was to be marketed by his Florida-based "Health Risk Management Group, Inc."
[Having now lost his house and his old company, Carlo was now wintering close to his old friend and partner, the Florida-based Republican bagman and ex-OSHA director, Thorne Auchter.]
The CTIA complained to the ABC that Carlo's appearance on this program would turn it into an 'infomercial" masquerading as a news report.
Now that the ABC News has been placed on notice concerning CTIA's concerns, I expect 20/20 to take the appropriate steps to advise viewers of Mr Carlo's interest in profiting from his statements so that they can more fairly evaluate Mr Carlo's claims.The letter was signed by Michale Altchul, the CTIA's legal counsel, rather than the president, Tom Wheeler — an implied threat that would have guaranteed that it was brought to executive attention in any media outlet.
1999 Oct 9: On the same day that the CTIA attacked Carlo, he bypassed Wheeler and the CTIA by writing directly to the Chairman and CEOs of 28 cellphone companies which made up the organisation.
The letter written to Armstrong at AT&T, was widely circulated after it 'leaked' to the press. This was both Carlo's swan-song, and his attempt to lay claim to the high ground of scientific integrity.
He spelled out what problems the WTR research had found. (most well-known beforehand, but including some legitimate findings which was never admitted to at the time).
My tenure is now completed. My presentation to you and the CTIA board in February was not an effort to lengthen my tenure at WTR, nor to lengthen the tenure of WTR itself. I was simply doing my job of letting you know what we found and what needed to be done following from our findings.What the CTIA had not fully appreciated was that the the grass was equally as green on the other side of the fence. A billion dollar industry had already grown up in providing protective cellphone radiation shield; protective crystals; EMF measuring equipment; special 'directional antenna'; and 'safe cellphones' equipped with random noise generation devices.
I made this expressly clear during my presentation to you and in many subsequent conversation with members of your industry and the media.
[The CTIA denies this. They say that he was still trying to sell them on the idea that he needed to conduct another five years of research — so it is anyone's guess as to who was telling the truth.]
Today, I sit here extremely frustrated and concerned that appropriate steps have not been taken by the wireless industry to protect consumers during this time of uncertainty about safety.
As we close out the business of the WTR, I would like to openly ask for your help in distributing the summary findings we have complied of our work. This last action is what always has been anticipated and forecast in the WTR's research agenda.
I have asked another organization with which I am affiliated, [ie 'owned'] the Health Risk Management Group (HRMG), to help us with this public health intervention step, and to put together a consumer information package for widespread distribution. Because neither WTR nor HRMG have the means to effectuate this intervention, I am asking you to help us do the right thing.
1999 Oct 8: Carlo was now vigorously attacking the cellphone industry and generating publicity by accusing the industry of not revealing all that the WTR had found out about the health consequences of cellphone radiation.
The CTIA's president, Thomas Wheeler, countered Carlo's Open Letter to the cellphone companies with a leaked letter to Carlo which is clearly written for media distribution.
In the letter he put on record the fact that, as Director of the WTR, Carlo had never officially advised the CTIA of cellphone health problems [Which wouldn't have been needed because they already knew.].
In effect the CTIA are saying in this letter: "Why weren't you a whistleblower when you were in our employ? Or when you hoped we would fund your second five-year plan of research?"
As with Carlo's letter to Armstrong, Wheeler's letter it is not written for Carlo, but for media consumption.
1999 Oct 18: CTIA Attempts to delay TV show
WASHINGTON - The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association last week attempted to delay ABC's "20/20? broadcast on mobile phones and attacked the credibility of the man who led CTIA-funded health research.
ABC said it plans to air the segment on mobile phone health concerns, possibly this week. "60 Minutes" also is considering doing its own probe into mobile phone health-related questions.
C Andrew Copenhaver, a lawyer who previously represented Food Lion — a North Carolina-based supermarket chain — in a successful lawsuit against ABC for the 1992 "PrimeTime Live" broadcast about allegedly spoiled meat, wrote ABC President David Westin last Monday to request the "20/20" broadcast on mobile phones be postponed.
In addition to claiming that results from mobile-phone testing in Germany are misleading because the United States and Europe have different safety standards, Copenhaver attacked the veracity of recent statements by Dr George Carlo on possible mobile phone health risks and questioned his motives for making them.
[The difference between US and European safety standards are about as much as the difference between their English spelling.]
"Mr. Carlo has recently published a book, and is seeking personal advantage from his statements to `20/20,' " said Copenhaver.
Carlo heads Wireless Technology Research L.L.C. and Health Risk Management Group. More recently, Carlo wrote top telecom executives and asked them for help in clearing up uncertainty about mobile phone safety that he believes CTIA and federal regulators are ignoring.
Carlo, a lawyer and epidemiologist, added fuel to the fire by marketing a new mobile phone safety guide on his new Web site. He also is underwriting video presentations at 7-Eleven stores and Subway sandwich shops on how consumers can make informed decisions about buying mobile phones.
"We're in a gray area," said Carlo. "Let the public decide how much risk they want to take." Carlo advocates subscribers wearing headsets to reduce any health risk from wireless phones.
Carlo's new mobile phone consumer guide sells for $20. "If we could give it away free, we would," said Nancy Akers, a spokeswoman for Health Risk Management Group, a consulting firm.
1999 Oct 18: The CTIA signed a 'letter of intent' with the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health to begin discussions and negotiations on further research.
Under the proposed collaboration, FDA would provide recommendations on research on the health effects of radiofrequency (RF) energy emissions of the type produced by mobile phones (including cellular phones and PCS phones) and scientific oversight of research based on these recommendations; the research would be administered and funded by CTIA. A formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) may be developed as a result of this effort.[It is difficult to keep from laughing. What has happened in the last decade ? Virtually zero.]
[This is the stage in negotiations that the two organizations reached in 1994, but with less FDA oversight, and more uncertainty. CRADA agreements left control of the research program in the hands of the funders.]
The research to be planned is to be conducted by organizations other than CTIA, and will address the results of certain as yet unpublished studies previously conducted by the Wireless Technology Research, LLC (WTR) with funding provided by CTIA. Given the potential significance of any research result showing a positive bioeffect finding, FDA and CTIA opted to use a Letter of Intent to allow an informal collaboration to begin even as a formal collaborative agreement is being developed in order to follow up on two of WTR's studies.
[This reads as if the FDA deliberately chose an arrangement that would allow the CTIA to close down any research which produced results showing a bioeffect.]
The processes to be set forth in the proposed CRADA are intended to ensure that the ensuing research is conducted in a way that promotes quality, scientific independence, integrity and efficiency.
1999 Oct 20: According to Don Maisch, an expert on EMF emission standards, the American ABC TV program "20/20" on cellphones ran into a contrived CTIA block:.
When the program decided to test five mobile phones for compliance with the FCC emissions standard they found that all four US testing labs approached to do compliance testing refused to do the work.[This reveals the extreme sensitivity of the CTIA to reports from any media outlet with enough gumption to do its own research. It also illustrates the futility in setting such standards — more than it does problems with the cellphones.
It was suggested on the program that this refusal might have been because anyone who did the testing would be blacklisted by the industry.
20/20 then went to Dusseldorf, Germany, at the Institute for Mobile and Satellite technology , a research laboratory which does work for both industry and government in Germany and was on a list supplied by the American FCC. Dr Achim Bahr ran the tests for 20/20.
Following standard compliance testing it was found that, depending on the position of the phone during the tests, four out of the five analogue phones tested were over the FCC prohibited SAR measurement of 1.6 W/kg.
"It is possible for the industry to submit the findings that are favourable to them and have the FCC only review those. In fact this industry is regulating itself."
1999 Oct 20: Carlo appears on the ABC TV's program 20/20 in a program, "Worried About Your Wireless." He also received ABC News coverage promoting the program.
Dr Carlo continued expressing his concern and dismay in the way he was handled by the industry.
"You can not guarantee that cell phones are safe. That's absolutely true, but that has always been true.
The industry had come out and said that there were thousands of studies that proved that wireless phones are safe, and the fact was that there were no studies that were directly relevant, says Dr George Carlo. 'We've moved into an area where we now have some direct evidence of possible harm from cellular phones.'
The $200-billion-a-year cell phone industry maintains the devices are safe.
1999 Oct 28: A week after his ABC appearance, Carlo's Health Risk Management Group, Inc published the material written by two of Carlo's staff, Rebecca Steffens Jenrow and Claudia Johnson Valmonte, together with new staff members, Poly M Thibodeau, Nancy Akers, and Marjan Najafi.
[Despite his divorce, loss of the HES, and the demise of CTIA funding, Carlo has managed to maintain a substantial number of his staff in work. The now had a new and potentially-profitable enterprise.]
Wireless Phones and Your Health: A Consumer Self-Protection Guide for the Purchase and Safe Use of Wireless Phones is a 123-page "Consumer Empowerment Package" costing over $100 to help consumers in their choice of safe phones and protection devices. It consists of:
1999 Nov 11: Back in July, the British Government had charged Sir William Stewart and an Independent Expert Committee on Mobile Phones (IECMP) with running a six-month inquiry into mobile phones and base-stations. This became known as the Stewart Inquiry.
This is the date of the first meeting of the Expert Panel to consider the material that had been provided.
1999 Nov 21-27: WHO's International Seminar on Pulsed Radiofrequency Field Exposure Health Consequences and Standards. Erice, Italy.
[This is the third of three WHO EMF seminars this year, and it is a week-long.]
1999 Nov 22: Jeff Silva of RCR reported
The Food and Drug Administration-which recently agreed with the cellular industry to replicate two studies by Wireless Technology Research LLC. that showed positive findings-may have rejected cooperating with industry on research when mobile-phone cancer allegations first surfaced in 1993 because of a potential conflict of interest.Silver also reports on the rumours that Carlo had hooked up with the product-liability plaintiff lawyer Peter Angelos to sue the cellphone companies.
[They had been planning a CRADA — Cooperative R&D Agreement]
Today, FDA and CTIA have agreed on a CRADA. The go-between in the cooperative pact between FDA and the cellular industry is Jeff Nesbit. Nesbit is a former FDA staffer who was Carlo's right-hand man at WTR. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Nesbit, who joined the Porter Novelli public-relations firm after leaving WTR, is now a paid consultant to CTIA.
Carlo, who has angered industry by going public with research findings that he claims suggest a possible health risk from mobile phones, calls the cooperative accord between FDA and CTIA "a blatant conflict of interest."
[CRADAs put the FDA in the position of being both involved in the research, and a judge of the value of the research. The selection of projects and control of the research would have remained with the CTIA.]
Carlo said CRADAs are designed to help firms develop drugs and other products of potential public benefit where a market-driven incentive is lacking.
There has been speculation Carlo might become an expert witness in any future health-related lawsuits against the wireless industry. To date, no lawsuits against industry have succeeded.
"If anybody wants me for an expert witness, they'll have to subpoena me," Carlo angrily replied. "I won't be an expert witness voluntarily. This is not what this is about."
1999 Dec: George Carlo had briefly gone into partnership with super-lawyer Peter Angelos to sue the cellphone companies.
The legal stakes in the cell phone safety battle rose considerably in December, when high-profile attorney Peter Angelos jumped into the fray.[Angelos and the other prospective lawyers and litigants were to discover to their cost that the demise of the WTR, and the Damascian conversion of Carlo didn't add one iota to the evidence supporting their position. It was all confected fairy-floss. Angelos soon broke contact with Carlo.
Angelos brings the analogy to the tobacco industry full circle: He has successfully litigated suits against the tobacco and asbestos industries, winning a reported $4.3 billion in settlements for the state of Maryland against the tobacco industry.
Angelos, who owns the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, had said he wouldn't get involved in litigation against the wireless industry unless he felt he had a 90% chance of winning. Angelos apparently believes that Christopher Newman gives him that chance.
Newman, a neurologist who has a brain tumor, blames his disease on his use of cell phones and has filed an $800 million lawsuit against Verizon Wireless, Motorola, Cellular One, the CTIA and the Telecommunications Industry Association. Angelos has filed to be co-counsel in the Newman suit. More than 100 people with brain tumors have called attorneys in the case about participating in such a suit.
The rumor mill operated by wireless industry opponents is grinding at full tilt. According to one unsubstantiated story, one unnamed law firm has what it believes to be a memo showing that a cell phone manufacturer sliced 30% off the radiation levels its phones registered before releasing its results.
The industry so far remains steadfast in discounting such rumors. "We have confidence in the safety of our products, which are backed up by science," says Norman Sandler, director of global strategies at Motorola. "The claim of [the Newman] lawsuit and others like it are groundless."
|George Louis Carlo|
|• Part 1 — Dioxins, Love Canal, Three Mile Island, Agent Orange etc.|
• Part 2 — Tobacco industry, GEP and miscellaneous chemical industry projects.
• Part 3 — Cellphone EMF problems: the CTIA and SAG/WTR
• Part 4 — Later tobacco and other — immunology, vaccination, breast implants.
• Part 5 — Later problems with cellphone EMF research and the demise of the WTR.
• Part 6 — EMF scaremongering and various cellphone 'protection' businesses.
CONTRIBUTORS:qdr2 gwf2 dlo2