BioEM2013: the infamous​ Danish Cohort… again…

On the first day of the meeting, in the epidemiology session was presented the just published UK million women study.

In the introduction of this talk was briefly reviewed epidemiological evidence of the possible causal association between exposures to cell phone radiation and brain cancer. In this context was mentioned the Danish Cohort study.

The presenter spoke about the inadequacy of the exposure data in the Danish Cohort study, such like the absolute lack of radiation exposure information, like the serious misclassification of exposed and unexposed persons, like the contamination of the control population with the heavy users. Then was the shocking conclusion that the Danish Cohort study provides:

evidence against an association between cell phone use and cancer”.

Interestingly, and disturbingly, nobody in the audience reacted to this untruthful statement.

Is it so that when the untruthful statement is repeated enough many times it begins to sound like a truth?

I sincerely hope that it is not the case.

I have written before, on several occasions, about the Danish Cohort. My most recent opinion was published in The Scientist Magazine. In this opinion piece I listed the reasons why the Danish Cohort study should be retracted. Why such harsh action is justified?

Here is the quote from this opinion piece:

“…It is clear to me that these flaws invalidate the conclusions of the Danish Cohort study. Peer-review failed, and a study that should never have got published due to its unfounded conclusions remains as a valid peer-reviewed article in the British Medical Journal. As long as the flawed study is not withdrawn it will be used by scientists and by decision makers to justify their actions…

This is what happened yesterday. Danish Cohort study was used as evidence against association between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.

Danish Cohort does not provide such evidence. It has such enormous flaws that drawing any conclusions is not only impossible but it is scientifically unethical. Conclusions drawn by the authors of the Danish Cohort that were perpetuated in yesterday’s presentation are simply untruthful. They are not misleading, they are untruthful.

Why nobody in the large audience stood up and dared to say the “the king is naked”? I do not have answer.

Certainly the science was the big loser yesterday.



7 thoughts on “BioEM2013: the infamous​ Danish Cohort… again…

  1. Pingback: Commentary on the BioEm conference, Thessaloniki, Greece by Dariusz Leszczynski | EMFacts Consultancy

  2. Hello Darius
    Ref the honeybee demise.

    I too stood up to be counted 8 times at the International Bee Research Association in January 2011 to try to explain a natural answer (mine) was available to stop honeybees dying needlessly, for my trouble I was then cast as a troublemaker and told to my face these associations do not want to be party to my book or myself and told to disappear.

    Please consider, science is mainly funded by chemical company money this is turn creates a biased answer to experiments in becoming fungi, bacterial or chemical answers, however private funded science can create a major flaw where an opinion is formed so an assumption is created to what is happening in the wild environment which the miss-informed media attach themselves to scaremongering mainstream public in selling newspaper, a prime example is the neo-nicotinoids extravaganza.

    Look at the facts re honeybees versus pesticides(neo-nicotinoids);

    Bumblebees were used in the experiment NOT honeybees .

    France banned neo-nicotinoids in 2008 and yet the honeybee decline continues.

    Laboratory tests overdosed the bumblebees with pesticides, however an opinion was formulated so an assumption was made to what is happening in the wild to ALL bees.

    When field tests were done it was found to be inconclusive.

    Pollen tested from beehives near to neo-nic`s, only a millionth of a millionth was found on a pollen grain, this is not enough to give any honeybee an upset stomach rather than kill 80,000 honeybees in each of my colonies

    If it was neo-nic`s it would be local, within 2 miles, to that area where it is grown, not widespread across continents.

    My colonies are by and where pesticides are used and yet my honeybee colonies are NOT dying.

    The parasitic varroa mite is the key reason for the honeybee demise.

    There is one other phenomena, (EMF), that kills or saves honeybees but allow the honeybee to control varroa mites.

    I have that natural answer. It has taken over 20 years of my 33 years beekeeping career to find.

    John Harding

  3. Yes, I was in the audience. I have provided my opinion publicly on several occasions both in writing and verbally (e.g. at BEMS2012 in Brisbane). It is time that also others thinking similarly to me would stand up and speak. Otherwise it gives an impression that I am the only one complaining. This is not so. Many complain in private but for some reason do not speak up…

  4. Darius, were you a member of the audience?

    “Interestingly, and disturbingly, nobody in the audience reacted to this untruthful statement.” and “Why nobody in the large audience stood up and dared to say the “the king is naked”? I do not have answer.”
    If you were present then did you not have the opportunity to do just this? I understand that it takes a lot of courage to stand up in a crowd and speak out. No body wants to suddenly have the spotlight on them especially if taking such an action could jeopardise their career and standing in the scientific community. I suspect there may have been people present who in their hearts agree with you but are waiting for some one else to take the lead and speak out. People like Prof Olle Johansson and others have done so in the past very vocally and look what happens, they are rubbished, ostracized and in some cases looking for a job. I think it is more productive if such like minded people can come together as a collective and make a public statement rather than as concerned individuals.

    I have to say I am an avid follower of your blogs and have used some of your statements in my battle with ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) regarding the inappropriateness of our RF standards for assuring the public that RF is safe particularly with mandated roll out of wireless smart meters in our state. Their latest Mobile Phone fact sheet 14 was released early this year and leads off with “Overall, the evidence suggests that the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions of mobile phone handsets are not harmful to the user.” despite the group 2B classification by the IARC! Of course it does not help that quite a few of the ARPANSA working group who established the RF standards worked for Telstra (a major Australian Telecommunications company) . It is unfortunate that the industry has infiltrated positions of trust and has resulted in the very situation that you talk about in the blog.
    ARPANSA does in several places include references to the Danish Cohort Study on their website but I will give them some points for trying to provide a little more balance despite the fact that they appear to cherry pick the studies that they analyse. It would not surprise me if ARPANSA uses such flawed studies to support their current position on RF.

  5. Can you believe that the Danish Cohort study is also cited as “evidence” on Health’s Canada’s website (prepared and approved by a few high-ranking health officials)?

    “Smart Meter and Cancer Risk Statement
    The following statement was prepared at the request of the Provincial Health Officer by Mary McBride, Distinguished Scientist, Department of Cancer Control, of the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC. It has been approved by Dr David McLean, Head of cancer Prevention BCCA.
    Date: 23 December, 2011
    …the large Danish study, whose study design is not subject to the same bias and error as the Interphone study, did not find any excess risk of brain tumours among any group of cell phone users, even those with heavy or long-term use.

    The evidence, therefore, does not support a conclusion that RF fields, whether from cell phones or Smart Meters, can cause brain tumours in adults. ”

    Not sure we should call this ignorance or corruption. A shameful mess anyhow.

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