A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Two Questions about the CEFALO Children’s Cell Phone Study

July 29, 2011

We pose two questions about the new children’s study on cell phone tumor risks, known as CEFALO:

(1) How many of the health and science reporters who filed stories actually read the paper beyond the press release and abstract? An even cursory look at the paper would have tipped them off that there was something systematically wrong with the data. Yet, practically without exception, they all bought into the idea that the study added something new. When we interviewed Martin Röösli, one of the lead researchers, he admitted that the no-risk conclusion was based on trend data from the Swedish tumor registry, not his own study.

(2) Why didn’t John Boice and Robert Tarone point out any of the problems with the data? Surely that should have been one of their most important duties as commentators. Their editorial stands in sharp contrast to the one by Rodolfo Saracci and Jonathan Samet, which accompanied the Interphone study last year. They took their job seriously and raised important questions that the Interphone team tried to push under the rug.