Start eating healthy foods before processed-food -industry decides what you should eat

Twenty years ago, there  was no major processed-food- producing industry in India. Of late, the situation has changed drastically. Now since many upward mobile families have  husbands and wives working, all types of noodles and colas and drinks saturated with sugar  have become a major part of the foodstuffs  families consume. It has almost reached  a stage of no return. It may be very difficult to go back to healthy eating.  Advanced  countries have reached this perilous stage many years ago. It is now virtually impossible to reduce  consumption of salt or sugar by individuals as they have developed a taste for these ingredients.

Health agencies in those countries have started ‘requesting’  processed -food producers and restaurants to gradually reduce salt content. This way salt consumption may come to healthy levels after several years

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/uoia-rpb080916.php

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An analysis of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults reveals that access to healthy foods in a supermarket does not hinder Americans’ consumption of empty calories. In fact, the study found, U.S. adults buy the bulk of their sugar-sweetened beverages and nutrient-poor discretionary foods at supermarkets and grocery stores.

The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis, which posits that a lack of access to supermarkets and grocery stores in some communities worsens the obesity crisis by restricting people’s access to healthy foods.

The study, described in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at data from 4,204 adults who reported their daily food intake in two, nonconsecutive 24-hour periods in 2011 and 2012. The data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The analysis found that nearly half (46.3 percent) of U.S. adults consume sugar-sweetened beverages and 88.8 percent eat discretionary foods such as cookies, pastries, ice cream, cakes, popcorn and candy on any given day.

Sugar-sweetened beverages add an average 213 calories per day to the diet, the researchers found. Discretionary foods add, on average, 439 calories per day.

The largest portion of those products comes from supermarket shelves, the researchers report.

“More than half of the sugar-sweetened beverages and two-thirds of discretionary foods are purchased in supermarkets and grocery stores,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An, who led the study.

“Supermarket purchases of these items are about two to four times as large as all the other sources – fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, convenience stores, vending machines and other locations – combined.”

The food desert hypothesis led the U.S. government to spend almost $500 million since 2011to improve access to supermarkets and grocery stores in underserved communities. States and municipalities also have made efforts to increase the supply of healthy foods, offering financial incentives to build new grocery stores or to increase the amount of fresh food available in convenience stores and gas stations, for example.

“It is true that supermarkets also are the largest source of healthy food,” An said. “But we can’t be naïve and think that people only purchase healthy food from supermarkets. They also buy all this junk food from supermarkets and grocery stores.”

Adding fruit and vegetables improves the diet, An said. “But from the standpoint of obesity prevention, it is only helpful if people replace junk food with healthy food,” he said. “We don’t see from our data that the presence of a supermarket has a preventive effect on people’s obesity or their junk-food intake.”

Indian health agencies must  start the public awareness move now. It is already late. A recent study revealed the usefulness  of  using mobile phones to carry health messages in India

 

 

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A fantastic news story on cockroach “milk”

“Structure of a heterogeneous, glycosylated, lipid-bound, in vivo-grown protein crystal at atomic resolution from the viviparous cockroach Diploptera punctata”. This is the title of a paper published in International Union of Crystallography  Journal (IUCrJ) Volume 3Part 4July 2016. Eleven authors from Canada, France, India, Japan and USA wrote this paper. I am sure that no one except a true specialist may have any interest in reading this paper, except when it is explained in simple jargon free language.

I read it for the first time from the following link:

http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/nutrition-medicine/cockroach-milk-superfood-future/

I could not imagine that such a lovely news story remains hidden in that original scientific paper. As on July 29, 2016, 10. 30 AM IST, different versions of the story appeared in over 250 news-outlets  including some of the major mainstream news papers and dispatches of news agencies.

You may be able to appreciate how various news outlets carried the story by using the following link:

https://www.google.com/?trackid=sp-006#q=cockroach+milk+superfood+of+the+future

No doubt this is likely to be a record of sorts seldom attained by any technical paper.

 

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Mercury poisoning linked to skin products cautions the USFDA

The United States Food and Drug Administration has just now cautioned people regarding cosmetic products which contain mercury. Some companies promote them as anti-aging skin creams and beauty and antiseptic soaps.

” How will you know if mercury is  in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”? US RDA asks.

It is simple.

“Check the label. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it” the agency answered. ”  You should stop using the product immediately”.  FDA cautioned the consumer.

You may, if you so desire,  access the consumer note of July 2016  from the following link:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM294876.pdf

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Nobel Laureates Slam Greenpeace’s Opposition to GMOs, Golden Rice

http://thewire.in/48074/nobel-laureates-slam-greenpeaces-opposition-to-golden-rice/

The Wire

Nobel Laureates Slam Greenpeace’s Opposition to GMOs, Golden Rice

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A Wreath of White Roses Over the Ruins of Mehrangir, Homi Bhabha’s Home

http://thewire.in/45919/a-wreath-of-white-roses-over-the-ruins-of-mehrangir-homi-bhabhas-home/

The Wire

A Wreath of White Roses Over the Ruins of Mehrangir, Homi Bhabha’s Home

BY ON 25/06/2016

Earlier in June, the National Centre for Performing Arts allowed Homi Bhabha’s home in Mumbai to be demolished. Scientists, historians and political leaders are all to blame for this sacrilege.

Homi Bhabha at Mehrangir. Credit: TIFR Archives

We were overwhelmed with inconsolable grief when the present owner of Mehrangir, Homi Bhabha’s home in Mumbai, demolished it during the first week of June this year. Jamshed Bhabha, Homi Bhabha’s brother and the sole owner of the iconic building, had bequeathed it to the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). In turn, NCPA had needed funds to promote its objectives and had auctioned the house on June 18, 2014.

For us, the story of Mehrangir is over with our virtual laying of a wreath of white roses on its ruins (because we cannot trespass upon the hallowed premises now).

Why white roses? Because Homi Bhabha was a lover of trees, gardens and roses. B.P. Pal, a former director-general of the Indian Council of Agriculture, had developed a variety of white roses aptly called Dr. Homi Bhabha Roses. The auction booklet had stated that Homi Bhabha grew various types of beautiful and exotic plants and flowers on his terrace garden in Mehrangir. On Bhabha’s initiative, the erstwhile Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) started to grow roses and, in 1960, the Trombay rose garden had over 750 varieties. Today, a wreath of white roses says it all.

The writing was on the wall when the cash-strapped NCPA sold the ‘family silver’ – about 900 priceless articles like clocks, textiles, rare rugs and carpets, silverware, glass, pottery, antique furniture, paintings and other artefacts that had been inseparable parts of the Bhabha legacy – at three auctions in 2011. When auctioneers were happy, experts on Bhabha’s legacy as well as historians were upset and critical of the NCPA. On August 23, 2012, The Daily Mail (UK) quoted Indira Chowdhury of the Centre for Public History, and co-author of A Masterful Spirit: Homi J. Bhabha, thus: “Mehrangir and all that was inside the building are an invaluable part of history. … Every piece of art has a story to tell. For instance, furniture, some of which was custom-built for the Bhabhas, can tell us a lot about human skills.”

According to the article, she also suggested that the government should intervene and convert the estate into a memorial in collaboration with the NCPA. However, it was already too late.

Alongside eminent scientists such as C.N.R. Rao, Anil Kakodkar and R. Mashelkar, I had wanted to save Mehrangir, and I had written a few articles (e.g. here and here and here). However, we scientists failed to convince the government to acquire Mehrangir along with its priceless legacy; we acted very late. And our indifference was inexcusable.

When those in authority at the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) heard of the possible fate of Mehrangir, they wrote letters through “proper channels” to the state government. Prithviraj Chavan, then the chief minister of Maharashtra and recipient of the latest requests, sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to take steps to acquire the house and declare it as a memorial in honour of Homi Bhabha (scientists are government servants; they have limitations.

At the same time, employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) filed a PIL even if judicial recourse didn’t promise to help. One can see how futile such efforts were through an Indian Express article published in April 2015; itread that “construction of the bungalow was going on in 1941 and hence it cannot be termed as one of “historical importance” under existing regulations” as under the the Maharashtra Ancient Monument & Archaeological Sites & Remains Act, 1960. I do not blame them. The officials had their limitations and had to work within the law. Chavan, who is a technocrat and a former Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office, was apparently unaware of the subtleties of law.

Looking back belatedly, we realise that only a decision by the central government, taken at the highest levels, would have saved Mehrangir.

Homi Bhabha was a great scientist. He was not a community leader nor an SC/ST, OBC or Gujar/Patel/Ezhava/Vaniyar/Modh Ganchi leader. He did not have any separate identity as a Parsi/Hindu/Muslim, nor as a nationalist or as a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family – except that he used to address Jawaharlal Nehru as “My dear bhai” in his letters! Bhabha had no political constituency.

In November 2015, Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis opened a memorial in honour of B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of India’s Constitution and one of the country’s tallest leaders; he deserves the honours. Maharashtra purchased the house at 10, King Henry’s Road, in northwest London, where Ambedkar had lived during 1921-1922, for $4.7 million. The state may also spend $1.5 million to refurbish it to start a museum.

Both Bhabha and Ambedkar contributed uniquely to the nation. It is not fair to compare their contributions. A report inThe Diplomat explains the political nuances and reasons for the state of Maharashtra acquiring the London building.

Let me congratulate BARC workers for filing the PIL, which kept the flame glowing for some time. The newspaper DNAreported in September 2014 that in one of the hearings “the Centre had submitted that after due consideration, it had been decided that the bungalow could not be declared a national monument.” The Centre has asked the state government to acquire the building. Both had been passing the ball back and forth, and it became clear that neither entity considered Mehrangir’s retention a priority.

When the controversy was at its peak, Anil Dharker, a senior journalist and an NCPA sympathiser, had claimed thatJamshed Bhabha lived in Mehrangir all his life and Homi Bhabha had spent only a few years there – that when his parents bought it, he’d been overseas and later spent a lot of time in Delhi. Obviously, Dharker did not have access to the Tata Central Archives, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Archives or other related documents, which set the record straight. Mercifully, Dharker did not ask for a ration card or driving licence in Homi’s name to prove that he lived in Mehrangir.

Thanks to the generosity of NCPA office bearers, TIFR received from Mehrangir some priceless letters of the Bhabha family. I saw letters written by Bhabha and his mother, which show that the family moved in to Mehrangir on March 16, 1939. Homi and Jamshed lived with their parents when they came back from England in the same year. The auction document, a collector’s item, published by NCPA thus describes the eminence of Mehrangir:

‘Mehrangir can boast of visits by some of the most prominent personalities of those times, including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, who was a dear friend of Homi Bhabha. Also in 1960, the family entertained the Queen of England in the very dining room which had witnessed visits by many famous personalities.’

A collection of letters belonging to the Bhabha family. Click image to enlarge.

Mehrangir had been designed by Bhabha himself; he was the one who named it so. I got in to Indira Chowdhury, quoted in the Daily Mail article, about the last-ditch effort of NCPA office-bearers to maximise the yield in the auction from builders and investors. They had used her magnificent description of Mehrangir’s history in her book in the auction booklet. I wrote her: “I feel very odd when I think of the noble purpose for which you wrote those immortal lines. Can you describe what you feel about it now?”

She clarified that she had not noticed that the auction document cited their work. Without directly answering my question, she sent me the link to an article she had written in the Indian Express in October 2011 protesting the NCPA’s decision to auction off the Mehrangir artefacts in 2011.She said she had visited Mehrangir sometime earlier, and the article aptly reflected her sentiments. An excerpt:

The reasons for the strange compulsion felt by the NCPA, which inherited the house from its founder, to auction its contents last week will never be known. As I walked through the house and viewed the opulence of its contents, the moment spoke about the conversion of the past into a profitable resource.

She recalled that in the dining room was a large portrait of Meherbai, painted by Bhabha himself, and of his aunt Lady Meherbai Tata. “Meherbai Bhabha wears an exquisite Chinese gara sari that hints at the many uses that were found for the treasures that came in through trade,” she added in the article. Chowdhury bemoaned the fact that the auction catalogue referred to them as the “Bhabha ladies”.

The fact that one was his mother and the other his father’s sister who had married Sir Dorab Tata and after whom the Lady Tata Hospital is named was expunged. The catalogue introduced the ‘Bhabha ladies’ only to talk about the emeralds and the ‘European-cut diamonds’ that one of them is wearing. On the first floor were amazing writing implements of the early 20th century – telescopic pencils and expandable barrel fountain pens. One had the signature of Mehri D. Tata embossed on it. However, the auctioneer was at a loss when a buyer asked what the pen was doing there. One could go on about the erasure of history that such moments exemplify, but there is a larger point.

(L to R) Homi Bhabha, Jehangir Bhabha, Meherbai Bhabha and Jamshed Bhabha (sitting on the floor). Credit: TIFR Archives

“After it was sold I did not believe that the house would be brought down. And even now I find it hard to believe that Meherangir has been reduced to rubble”, she showed her feelings in an e-mail message when I informed her that the owner has demolished building.

On June 18, 2014, the Mumbai Mirror reported that Smita-Crishna Godrej, who had purchased Mehrangir, assured her friends that “the iconic home where brothers Homi and Jamshed grew up will not be torn down to make way for a high rise and will only be used as a family home”. Of course, the owner is entitled to do whatever she wanted to her property. After the auction, Kushroo Suntook, chairperson of the NCPA, said, “Hopefully, it is for end-use. I would be upset if the structure is demolished.”

Jamshed Bhabha himself never thought that the buyer would demolish Mehrangir – as hinted at in a conversation he’d had with Suntook years before Jamshed’s death. I believe that many of the eminent persons who had written to Modi to stop the auction would not have been clinically indifferent to this legally defensible but inexcusable sacrilege. The central or state governments could have saved Mehrangir by compensating the NCPA by a reasonable amount. Now, its auction retrospectively highlights the need to identify heritage buildings and to take effective measures to conserve them.

What did Homi Bhabha do for India? It is available as a half page note he sent on July 11, 1954, to Nehru describing his vision of atomic energy. It had these items: setting up the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay; uranium prospecting, mining and fuel fabrication; production of heavy-water, enrichment of uranium; setting up power reactors, breeder reactors, plutonium extraction plants; and setting up special reactors for the propulsion of ships. All these have been achieved. And each one of these has grown into huge industrial projects. Apart from strategic applications of nuclear energy, India presently mines and mills its own uranium, fabricates nuclear-fuel elements and designs, constructs, commissions and operates power reactors. Moreover, the use of radioisotopes in medicine, industry and research has grown a hundred-fold over the last few decades.

With the support of Vikram Sarabhai, Bhabha laid the foundation for India’s notably successful space programme as well. Thanks to them, we were witness to the consolidation of a highly successful technological enterprise – so much so that developed countries couldn’t help but take note.

Bhabha died on January 24, 1966. It was one of the saddest days for India and its scientific community. The next day, we all went to work. All the institutions under the Department of Atomic Energy were open that day. An eerie silence pervaded everywhere. Many wept openly. The sense of loss among the senior scientists was total. Everyone felt orphaned. The thoughts about Bhabha and his premature death brought a lump in our throat. And old timers feel the same way about the demolition of Mehrangir.

The author is grateful to Reetesh Chaurasia, a scientific officer with the Department of Atomic Energy, for compiling the letters and photos from the TIFR Archives at a very short notice.

K.S. Parthasarathy is former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

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Deeply grieved over the demolition of Mehrangir

 

I am in Boston ,U.S.A.  for the past several months. I did not know the recent developments in Mumbai. Today, I came to know that Mehrangir, Dr. Homi Bhabha’s  home was demolished by those who bought it at an auction two years ago. I feel deeply grieved over the fact that we could not retain Homi’s legacy.

Here is the link to the article by Ms Pallavi Prasad in the quint

http://www.thequint.com/opinion/2016/05/31/when-you-werent-looking-homi-j-bhabhas-house-mehrangir-demolished

 

I considered it as a sacrilegious event, though legally defendable. The purchaser can certainly do whatever they want . It is their property.Prior to the auction, some well-known persons engaged themselves in a willful disinformation campaign. Some of them even argued  that Homi Bhabha never lived there.

NCPA who owned the property and other memorabilia attached to Dr. Bhabha munificently gifted his collection of letters to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Access to them helped us to show that Bhabha lived  in Mehrangir until  his death. NCPA’s auction document vividly showed that Mehrangir is indeed a heritage building.

I wrote many articles in leading publications and for news agencies pleading to retain Mehrangir.It included  The Deccan Herald, rediffmail.com, PTI and IANS etc. You may, if you so desire, access the article published in Rediffmail.com at the following link:

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/homi-bhabhas-home-belongs-to-india-/20140716.htm

We would like to forget the whole episode as a bad dream.It will be very difficult for many of us who knew what Dr. Bhabha did and achieved for the nation to forget the sad developments.

 

 

 

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Major Study Sees Cellphone Radiation-Cancer Link But Remains Inconclusive

http://thewire.in/2016/06/02/major-study-sees-cellphone-radiation-cancer-link-but-remains-inconclusive-39854/

THE WIRE

Major Study Sees Cellphone Radiation-Cancer Link But Remains Inconclusive

The cancer risk, if any, from cellphone-use continues to be low. After all, there has been no noticeable increase in brain tumours in various countries for the past several decades.

A worried man on the phone. Credit: photoloni/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

It seems official – but its conclusions are no different from earlier ones. On May 27, a major rat study by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) claimed to link cellphone radiation to cancer. The NTP found low incidences of tumours in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats exposed to cellphone radiation. The $25-million study is the largest and the most complex ever conducted by the NTP, yet a closer review reveals that it raises more questions and remains inconclusive.

Specialists have appreciated the uniqueness of the study but roundly criticised it for its glaring pitfalls. The researchers who conducted the study could not explain some findings. For instance, exposed rats lived longer than the controls (i.e., which weren’t exposed; could this mean that cell phone radiation is beneficial?). In addition, rats in the control groups did not suffer from any cancer. Note: The NTP continues its study on mice, with the complete results expected by the end of 2017.

We must not ignore the research because studies like the NTP’s are few. The critical appraisal is not to belittle its significance. The cancer risk, if any, from cellphone-use continues to be low. After all, there has been no noticeable increase in brain tumours in various countries for the past several decades. Unfortunately, less accurate and provocative media coverage of this study may excite raw emotions even as the perceived harm in this instance is more that the actual harm. Possible cancer induction by cellphone radiation concerns people. Anecdotal evidence and highly publicised litigations filed by persons claiming that cellphone radiation injured them fan the fire.

The study’s rationale

These fears led to epidemiological studies trying to identify the role of cellphone radiation as a carcinogen. Details of most of the important studies are available in a factsheet published by the National Cancer Institute.

In 2013, after reviewing the studies published till then, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio-frequency radiation (RFR) as class 2B, a possible human carcinogen based on:

  1. “limited evidence” of an association between exposure to RFR from heavy wireless-phone-use and glioma and acoustic neuroma in human epidemiology studies, and
  2. “limited evidence” for the carcinogenicity of RFR in experimental animals.

Some try to dismiss the impact of the IARC classification saying that the class-2B carcinogens include coffee and pickles.

Since various studies and their analyses were weak, the US Food and Drug Administration nominated the NTP to undertake its study. In it, researchers exposed rats and mice in specially designed reverberation chambers to electromagnetic radiation of frequencies and modulations presently used in cellular communications in the United States. They exposed them for nine hours daily – 10 minutes at a time followed by a 10-minute break – from before birth until they turned two years old.  They chose four dose levels: zero (for the control group), and 1.5 W, 3 W and 6 W per kg of tissue mass.

Some 2-3% of the exposed male rats developed gliomas, a brain cancer, compared with none in a control group. About 5-7% of the male rats exposed to the highest level of radiation developed schwannomas (tumours that occur in cells lining the nerves) in their hearts, compared with none in the control group. The authors then concluded that the brain and heart tumours were “likely caused’’ by the radiation.

Dr. Michael S. Lauer, of the office of extramural research at a National Institute of Health, was one of the outside reviewers chosen by the NTP. He listed many shortcomings of the project. “I suspect that this experiment is substantially underpowered and that the few positive results found reflect false positive findings,” he asserted. “The higher survival with RFR, along with the prior epidemiological literature, leaves me even more skeptical of the authors’ claims.”

Kenneth R. Foster, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, who was not associated with the study, conceded that it did receive a lot of attention. Quoting one of the reviewers, he pointed out that the historical incidence of glioma in rats is 1.7% (about what was found in the exposed rats). The study found no gliomas in the control rats but the incidence was not zero. The reviewer argued that if you assume, plausibly, one glioma in the controls, the statistical significance vanishes or at least becomes much weaker. “In other words, fragile results, the usual problem with ‘small n’ studies,” Foster clarified. He was referring to the inherent frailty of studies involving a small number of effects.

More radiation than at play

Additionally, he pointed out that the exposure levels (1.5, 3 and 6 W/kg) were thermally significant. “At 6 W/kg, rats in previous studies experienced work stoppage – shifting from assigned tasks to thermo-regulatory behavior such as spreading saliva on the tail, reflecting excessive heating to the animals [in human terms, they felt the need to cool off, which rats do by spreading saliva on their tails]. Such exposure levels would trigger all sorts of thermally induced changes in the animals,” he explained.

According to Foster, the paper is bound to attract the attention of health agencies, which will review the results in great detail before forming opinions. As for his: “The results strike me as weak, only male rats showed gliomas (not females). The exposure levels were thermally significant to the animals and at the higher two exposure levels, the animals may have been thermally stressed. [There is] no clear dose-response relation, no big changes in incidence over a four-fold range of exposure.”

He further added, in an email to this correspondent, “The authors mention (I think) that the exposed animals lived longer than the controls. Since cancers tend to appear late in life, this aspect of the result needs to be explored, and some data is needed for incidence of these kinds of cancers in the strain of rats that were used. In short, the results are suggestive but not definitive. Note that the exposures were far above anything that would be permitted by RF safety limits.”

Will the result lead to a reclassification of cell phone radiation by the WHO or the IARC? According to Foster, “It may lead to more ‘precautionary’ advice (using hands free kits), and possibly IARC will upgrade its classification of RF from 2B (possible) to 2A (probable) – but I am not sure about that.”

“Of course, the activists, who seem to suffer from extreme confirmation bias, will pick up on this study and say that it confirms their worst fears,” Foster added. “Given the lack of evidence for an increased incidence of brain tumours in the population in recent decades, I do not expect health agencies to react very strongly to these findings, but they certainly will examine them carefully.”

The takeaway?

In a detailed review, R. Mark Simpson, affiliated with the laboratory of cancer biology and genetics, the National Institutes of Health, prepared a working list of limitations that could potentially impact how the NTP study is interpreted. Following up, Dr. Vijayalaxmi, of the department of radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Centre, said in an email, “I am not sure that one single NTP data (only male rats showing increased tumours and NOT female rats) would [prompt] IARC to reclassify 2B status of cellphones when there are [more than] 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications already in the literature contradicting these observations.” She was not associated with the NTP study. She is an established researcher in the field and was a member of the WHO/IARC working group, which recommended that RF electromagnetic fields be classified as class-2B carcinogens.

In a press release from the American Cancer Society (ACS), Dr. Otis W. Brawley, the chief medical officer, referred to the NTP study as “good science” even as the statement highlighted some of the study’s limitations. “While this study adds significantly to the evidence that cellphone signals could potentially impact human health, it does not actually tell us how certain scenarios of cellphone use change our long-term risks of getting cancer. For example, the animal studies were performed at very high signal strengths, near but below levels that would cause animal tissue to heat up,” Dr. Brawley himself cautioned. “Additional research will be needed to translate effects at these high doses to what might be expected at the much lower doses received by typical or even high-end cellphone users. Also, cell phone technology continues to evolve, and with each new generation, transmission strengths have declined and with it radio frequency exposures.

Most media outlets reacted appropriately (while there were some exceptions). The headline of an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune on May 27 went “Reasons for skepticism about cell phone/cancer study”. The author, Bradley J. Fikes, outlines nine reasons to suspect the study as well as notes that Marty Cooper, widely considered to be the father of the cellphone, does not think much of the results. Fikes quotes Cooper as saying, “I have been studying the possibility of effects of [RF] radiation on people for over sixty years. No responsible scientist would make a statement like the one in this article. To the nine valid comments you made, add that the correlation of rat cancer to people cancer has not been established,” Cooper added.

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