Face to Face with Smart Meters

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Jan 11, 2012, 3:45:15 AM1/11/12
Attachment from François Therrien
Smart meters map from John Weigel
Video 4 minutes on IARC decision from François Therrien
Face to Face with Smart Meters from Jean Hudon
From John Weigel, part of a submission
The more submissions that are received, the greater the chance of some form of action and it removes government's ability to say it was not informed of the dangers.  The committee will accept submissions by e-mail.  Submissions can be made by e-mail to the Clerk of the Committee at:  Eugene.ocr...@oireachtas.ie 

Mr. Eugene O Cruadhlaoich  (Clerk for Committee),

Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and Gaeltacht,

House of Oireachtas,

Leinster House, Kildare Street,

Dublin 2, Ireland

Dear colleagues and friends,

A number of papers recently came out on the issue of scientific fraud in medical research and the negative consequences they can have on the health of the patients. I attach some of these.
But I would like to add that scientific fraud may also be exceedingly dangerous for the health, not only of patients but of whole populations, including the most vulnerable. Most probably, the best examples are the flurry of papers negating (even when they exist in the data) the risk of exposure
to a number of environmental hazards, such as EMF (cell phones, in particular for children), ELF (living close to Very High Power lines, again for children with a risk of childhood leukemia), pesticide residues in food, water and air, contaminants or constitutants of plastics, formaldehyde emanating from furniture, etc.., etc.., etc...
The link between scientific fraud and conflict of interest has long been very clear. Yet, it may become more blurred. The industry learnt from the past and became much more cautious. The days when the tobacco industry people stood in front of the US senate swearing on the Bible that they did not know tobacco was dangerous or addictive are gone. Now, in the same setting they say they are industry people, producing products respecting regulations and legislation but are not experts on health and therfeore do not comment on these issues. So, who is now doing the job? So called "independant", clean looking scientists, belonging to public institutions (Universities, international or national organizations, including the most authoritatives (WHO, national academies of science or medicine). They produce exceedingly well thought of studies where everything has been cleverly designed to make sure the study will come out negative and even in the case the results turn out to be positive, then they are "explained away" in the text by "biases" or the role of chance, and sometimes do not even appear in the summary (which in this day and age is the only part most people, including scientists and students, read.

So, what can we do? Learn to read the papers differently. Instead of reading the abstract and glancing through the text, ignore the abstract, read the tables and figures, including the most tiny print at the bottom of these tables and graphs, and never forget the affilaitions, the acknowledgements and of course the sources of funding and declarations of interest.

In the future, something else may be helpful. My son and some of his colleagues published a Correspendence in Nature about a website they created to document and discuss cases of scientific misconduct (www.scientificredcards.org) which has been approved by the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty. You may consider contributing to this as it could help both the research community and the public at large.

Have a nice week and also a Wonderful, Honest, Productive and Useful New Year. Keep on fighting for the health of the populations and for truth! It will not help with your career but it may contribute to helping our planet and therefore ourselves to survive.

Annie J. Sasco, MD, DrPH
Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention
INSERM - U 897
Bordeaux Segalen University
Case 11
146, rue Léo-Saignat
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