Thirteen years ago, writing in Investor's Business Daily, I was the first reporter in the country to present evidence that cell phones have no link to brain cancer in direct contrast to numerous television and radio shows, and hundreds of related articles in the U.S. and worldwide. Now the largest study ever on the issue has been released and it finds . . . cell phones have no link to brain cancer.
Was my work of 13 years ago that of a genius or a soothsayer? If I could tell the future, I’d be playing the horses instead of writing this. And call me a genius if you wish, but a better explanation would be that other reporters were too lazy or too excited over a hot story to put their brains in gear before booting up their computers.
In any case, the “Cell Phone Saga” provides a terrific example of the incredible poverty of health and science reporting in the country, then as well as now.
It started when Larry King invited Larry Reynard onto his show who claimed that since his wife developed a fatal brain tumor three months after she began using a cell phone, the cancer must have resulted from phone emissions. By no great coincidence he had just filed suit against the phone maker and the service provider. (He lost.)
Yes, it really was that insipid. And it set off a panic. I had to point out, believe it or not, that people were getting brain tumors before cell phones were ever invented. I further noted that the American Cancer Society said about 17,500 brain cancers are diagnosed each year, of which about two thirds are fatal, and already at that time about 4% of the population was using the type of cell phone that was held to the head.
Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .
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