Feychting/Ahlbom and Mobile phone industry

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May 30, 2012, 4:18:45 PM5/30/12
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From Mona Nilsson:

 Swedish Magazine New Technique discloses hole in the firewall Feychting/Ahlbom and Mobile phone industry

Prof Anders Ahlbom: "we are totally independent."
google translation (source below)
Swedish research on cell phone radiation is financed by industry. To ensure independent researchers Vinnova has gone in as an intermediary. But new technology could prove that this "firewall" deficiencies. Relations between industry and researchers reported not set out herein. Maria Feychting, professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, KI, was recently Vice President of the Commission ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection, which sets limits on cell phone radiation and other electromagnetic fields.

While she partially funded his research into health and mobile phones via the telecom industry, which she openly recognizes in his jävsdeklaration to ICNIRP. TeliaSonera, Ericsson and Telenor contributes 50 percent of the cost for the Swedish part of the research project Cosmos (with over 50 000 mobile subscribers), now about 7 million.

Maria Feychting sees no conflict in leading Icnirps activities while she receives industry funding.

- I do not think there is a problem because funds channeled through third parties acting firewall between our researchers and industry, ensuring our independence, she says.

But Ny Teknik's audit shows that the industry and scientists first discuss together about the funding and then turn to Vinnova and request authority to act an intermediary.

Vinnova officer Pontus von Bahr stated that the parties came to the former Director-General Per Eriksson with the arrangement.

In this context, established a so-called Firewall Agreement 2007, which will protect researchers from "undue influence" of mobile stakeholders.

According to Christer Törnevik, research area manager at Ericsson, Ericsson began and scientists to meet 2005th

- Before the contract was written with Vinnova, we asked, however, some quality-related issues, and suggested that certain quality criteria should be included in the contract. It is normal to have the opportunity to give our input and comments on the design of studies, he said.

Ericsson has proposed inter alia an international reference and the number of survey persons would be at least 25 000, he says.

Vinnova has not had any insight into the informal contacts that occurred when the firewall agreement is in force.

Despite the wording of the agreement that it will "ensure that all links" between companies and researchers "are transparent" do not ask Vinnova any specific reports of meetings.

The Authority's list of the file are no records of such meetings.

People from Ericsson Research have sometimes met with KI scientists since Cosmos project commenced in 2007. These meetings have been continued funding and technical information, says Christer Törnevik

According to Maria Feychting, she has participated in meetings with the companies in 2006, 2009 and 2011, which among other things, been the companies' interests to contribute funds.

Firewall deal was until 2009. After signing a contract extension for 2010. Since the agreement has ended.

Now scientists boxes again funding from industry.

The project manager for Cosmos, Anders Ahlbom, professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet, sent October 6, 2011 an email directly to Ericsson: one eleven-page application with project and budget plan for 2012 to 2014. He writes in the email that funding requires a firewall agreement "preferably by Vinnova."

The researchers' request for funding will, according to Anders Ahlbom, later sent to Vinnova.

- I can only say that this is normal. We have a first discussion on the study itself, I see nothing strange about it, says Christer Törnevik.

Tommy Ljunggren, head of systems development in mobile, TeliaSonera, says, however:

- It's a bit strange, I do not know why but we have received an application to us directly and not through Vinnova, he says.

The Company reserves its position until it receives an application from Vinnova.

Anders Ahlbom:

- It may seem conspiratorial and wonder that we have informal contacts with industry, but we are totally independent. My understanding is that the telecom industry to contribute funding.

KI researchers Anders Ahlbom, above, and Maria Feychting, right, drives the Swedish part of the mobile research Cosmos. Anders Ahlbom's integrity as a scientist was questioned last year by a working group of the UN's cancer research agency IARC. Maria Feychting alone in Icnirps Commissioners about getting research funds from the telecom industry. Other ICNIRP members have little or no industry connections.




Cosmosstudien följer mobilanvändare i fem länder, under 25 års tid. Foto: Jörgen Appelgren

Strålforskare kringgår avtalet om oberoende

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