(June 17, 2011) The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) wins an Honourable Mention in this year’s Rubber Duckies Award.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a working group of the World Health Organization, wins an Honourable Mention in this year’s Rubber Ducky Award for coming close — but not quite succeeding — in giving a full-throated scare to holders of the world’s five billion wireless phone subscriptions.
There is “an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use,” IARC announced in a press release, which then clarifies in a footnote 2: “chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence.”
And in footnote 3, dealing with other cancers: “The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of a causal association between exposure and cancer, or no data on cancer in humans are available.”
Memo to IARC: To win a Rubber Ducky, drop the footnotes.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers.LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.