Here are few excerpts from my discussion on IZgMF website that concerned Alexander Lerchl and his “crusade” against Vienna group of the EU REFLEX project. These are 3 slightly edited comments of mine that I posted on IZgMF website (link to my comment on IZgMF.
On Moday, Feb. 8, 2021 I have re-tweeted (@blogBRHP) message from Microwave News and added my comment. Here is my tweet:
“He [Lerchl] has grant support from #BfS, where are located #ICNIRP offices. He always had support of #telecoms, e.g. #FGF. He is buddy of Mike #Repacholi and together they are science advisors to the Japan/S.Korea “replication” of US #NTP study.
Its #CoI #SCANDAL, but nobody cares.”
I have also posted links to two Microwave News stories on Lerchl, and apparently one more story is in making…
Of course I have my conflict of interest when mentioning Lerchl. I have two of these CoI:
- Due to bad-mouthing by Lerchl, MOPHORAD project, which was to continue research of REFLEX, in spite of very good science evaluation marks was not funded. One of the sub-projects of MOPHORAD was my proteomics study.
- I was proposed for the scientific advisory board of Japan/S.Korea partial replication of US NTP study. However, Repacholi and Lerchl, among others, were chosen.
Project MOPHORAD, that was to continue research of REFLEX was victim of Lerchl’s “activities”:
- Lerchl bad-mouthed REFLEX for well over 10 years – no need to prove this fact
- This activity of Lerchl was noticed by the international science community (see below)
- Proof that the international science community was feeling uneasy with Lerchl activities is seen in letter from the IARC. Lerchl asked IARC to be appointed to the expert group that was to review studies pertinent to cancer and RF-EMF. IARC declined and Lerchl sent another letter, explaining his conflict-of-interst and requesting revision of the original IARC decision. IARC disagreed and pointed out importance of both, perceived conflict-of-interst and publications record of Lerchl. Here is quote from IARC letter, sent to Lerchl on October 26, 2010 and signed by Robert Baan and Vincent Cogliano:
“…Thank you for your letter of October 20th, explaining in detail again your arguments against our decision to refrain from inviting you to join the IARC Monographs Working Group to evaluate the carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. We note that you omitted to mention in your letter our e-mail response of September 3rd, in which we indicated the critical importance of a perceived conflict of interests in making our decision over participation.
We accept your explanation about the nature of your consultancy for the German Informationszentrum Mobilfunk (IZMF) and thank you for this additional clarification. We appreciate, given your distinguished position on the German Radiation Protection Board, the important implication that would have come with concluding a real conflict of interests. Your argument about being on a WHO committee – as a technical consultant – to prepare a Research Agenda for Radiofrequency Fields attempts to compare two activities that are fundamentally different. An IARC Monograph is an evaluation exercise that demands complete independence from all commercial interests and from advocates who might be perceived as advancing a pre-conceived position.
In this connection, leaving aside the interests you mention in your Declaration, about half of your recent publications on radiofrequency radiation are not original research papers but criticisms of studies that suggest a harmful effect of exposure to radiation emitted by mobile telephones. In addition, some of your statements on the web pages of the “IZGMF” and “Next-Up” follow a similarly strong stance.
Taking the above points into account, we feel that your participation would not contribute to a balanced search for consensus within the forthcoming Working Group. Given this and the fact that we had many more qualified applicants than we can invite for the meeting, our final decision remains unchanged…”
This letter from the IARC clearly indicates that the international scientific community paid attention to what Lerchl was doing.
In this context, it was easy to happen that when the EU had two highly rated projects, MOBI-KIDS and MOPHORAD, but the MOPHORAD had “ballast of bad publicity and rumors” disseminated by Lerchl, that the EU has chosen to fund MOBI-KIDS, because it was good project and had no bad “publicity” behind.
So, Lerchl didn’t need to bad-mouth MOPHORAD. It was enough to bad-mouth REFLEX.
Complaints of Lerchl about publications from Vienna team of REFLEX should have been about quality of science and not fraud.
There are no perfect studies. Every study has some errors and mistakes. Every study is possible to make better. This applies also to studies published by the Vienna team of REFLEX project. It is possible to debate science in their studies, to debate quality of studies, to debate scientific reliability of these studies.
Lerchl did not debate science. Lerchl was running amok to prove his own false conviction that Vienna team falsified data. There is no proof of it.
We can agree or disagree on quality of studies published by the Vienna team. But there is no debate whether they falsified data or not. There is no proof of misconduct.
As one activist on IZgMF, H. Lamarr, said about Lerchl:
“Lerchl’s only mistake was to insist that the questionable results of the “Reflex” studies were the product of a forgery. He did not accept the alternative that the results could also be the product of technical errors by the two working groups.”
Lerchl mistake was grave. It ruined EMF research of Vienna group and of the whole worldwide community of EMF researchers. Lerchl should be ashamed.
Ashamed should be also his enablers, who did not step in. The list of enablers can be long but I will point out just two. With the permission and the acceptance of German radiation protection agencies, the BfS and the SSK, Lerchl has been acting without science but with malice.
BfS and SSK should explain themselves and apologize for the mistake. Of course they will not do it. But, nevertheless, both BfS and SSK carry the stain of Lerchl’s misbehavior.