Feb 17, 2016

Mobiles might not give you brain cancer, but Catalyst gives scientists a headache

Science experts have called last night's Catalyst on the link between mobile phones and cancer "complete clap-trap", "scientifically bankrupt" and "biased".

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

One of Australia’s leading experts on the causes of cancer has rubbished last night’s ABC Catalyst program on whether the wi-fi in mobile phones causes brain tumours as “biased” and perhaps even “deceptive”.

“My broad thoughts on the program is that it was scientifically bankrupt,” Professor Bernard Stewart told Crikey. “It was biased, and little short of misleading and deceptive.”

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19 thoughts on “Mobiles might not give you brain cancer, but Catalyst gives scientists a headache

  1. zut alors

    The bottom line is that nobody knows whether there will be long term consequences for using mobile & wi-fi technology.

    Both sides can argue their cases scientifically & eloquently but, ultimately, time will be the decider.

  2. Raaraa

    Can’t speak for mobile radiation, but I’ve read an article that mentioned that the amount of radiation produced by wi-fi is less than that from a blast of microwave on the oven (with the door closed). That is also still less than the background radiation we receive from around us.

  3. Keto Vodda

    One issue not raised in Catalyst was whether the Australian standards for exposure are for transient or long term exposure. Walking past a transmitter is quite different from working or sleeping not far away.

    In my own case multiple symptoms appeared shortly after mobile phone towers appeared on the building across the lane from my work – at the same height as my floor – outside my window.

    I moved to another building as I was not coping and the symptoms gradually diminished. Even now 4 years later, some of the symptoms will suddenly appear and I will look around and there will be a transmitter not far away in my direct line of sight.

    I take that sensitivity as a benefit. Now I have some means of monitoring my exposure.

  4. rhwombat

    Demasi has form: the debacle of her Catalyst report on statins. One attempt to generate controversy by a reporter is a mistake, twice is a job application for Faux News – though she may have to dye her hair blond..

  5. johnd

    Science is not a debating club. There is verifiable evidence, or there is not. That is the only criteria. It’s interesting that the proponents of wifi sensitivity and other such things are unable to produce such evidence, only anecdotes. And anecdotes are not evidence.

  6. paddy

    I’m with rhwombat. It’s a bloody sad state of affairs,
    when ABCTV’s premier(?) science program, has gone so tabloid that the real scientists won’t appear on it because they fear they’ll give it unwarranted credibility.

  7. Maureen Chuck

    Its not surprising that Prof Simon Chapman declined to participate in last night’s Catalyst. Demasi lost all credibility after Heart of the Matter. One of the prominent experts on that show Prof David Sullivan said he was edited in a way that distorted his views. National Heart Foundation complained that they were also misrepresented.

  8. Bill

    Catalyst cannot thought of as Australia’s premier science program.

    The Science Show holds that title easily. The TV show does not indulge in evidence based science in matters like radiation hazards.

  9. AR

    I think that I’ll abide by the actuarial axiom of “precautionary principle”.
    As with the first TVs & microwaves being dangerously over emitting, I’ll stick to infrequent use and earplug & mike.

  10. mikeb

    I’m with AR. You don’t stick you face in front of the microwave and use mobile phones as little as possible.

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