Monday, May 09, 2016

Mobile phones DON'T increase the risk of brain cancer, 30-year study concludes

Research relies on fact that all cases of cancer are recorded in Australia

By epidemiologist Professor Simon Chapman, of the University of Sydney

There is no link between mobile phones and brain cancer, a landmark study has revealed.  Researchers found no increase in tumours over the last 29 years, despite an enormous increase in the use of the devices.

In Australia, where the study was conducted, 9 per cent of people had a mobile phone in 1993 - a number which has shot up to 90 per cent today.  But in the same period, cancer rates in people aged 20 - 84 rose only slightly in men and remained stable in women.

There were 'significant' rises in tumours in the elderly, but the increase began five years before mobile phones arrived in Australia in 1987, the researchers said.

The study's author, Professor Simon Chapman, of the University of Sydney, said phones emit non-ionising radiation that is not currently thought to damage DNA - and his findings make him even more confident the devices are not liked to cancer.

Earlier this year, Australia saw a whirlwind tour from the electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones alarmist Devra Davis.  Davis is an international champion of the belief that populations bathed in radiation emitted by mobile phones face epidemics of disease – particularly brain cancer.

Davis' concerns were the focus of an ABC Catalyst program which attracted widespread criticism, including from me and Media Watch.  The Catalyst presenter Maryanne Demasi was nominated for the Australian Skeptics bent spoon award.

At the time of the Catalyst program for which I declined to be interviewed, I had my hands tied behind my back.

Along with colleagues in cancer research, I had a paper in preparation examining the possible association between the incidence of brain cancer in Australia and the inexorable rise of mobile phone use here over the last three decades.

Releasing our findings would have jeopardised publication, we could say nothing about what we had concluded.

Today the paper is published in early view in Cancer Epidemiology. Here's what we set out to examine and what we found.

We examined the link between age and incidence rates of 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia between 1982-2012, and national mobile phone usage data from 1987-2012.

Extremely high proportions of the population have used mobile phones across some 20-plus years -from about 9 per cent in 1993 to about 90 per cent today.

We found age-adjusted brain cancer incidence rates (in those aged 20-84 years, per 100,000 people) had risen only slightly in males but were stable over 30 years in females.

There were significant increases in brain cancer incidence only in those aged 70 years or more.

But the increase in incidence in this age group began from 1982, before the introduction of mobile phones in 1987 and so could not be explained by it.

Some 90 per cent of the population use mobile phones today and many of these have used them for a lot longer than 20 years. But we are seeing no rise in the incidence of brain cancer against the background rate

Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and related techniques, were introduced in Australia in the late 1970s.

They are able to discern brain tumours which could have otherwise remained undiagnosed without this equipment.

It has long been recognised that brain tumours mimic several seemingly unrelated symptoms in the elderly - including stroke and dementia - and so it is likely that their diagnosis had been previously overlooked.

Next, we also compared the actual incidence of brain cancer over this time with the numbers of new cases of brain cancer that would be expected if the 'mobile phones cause brain cancer' hypothesis was true.

Here, our testing model assumed a ten-year lag period from the start of mobile phone usage to evidence of a rise in brain cancer cases.

Our model assumed that mobile phones would cause a 50 per cent increase in incidence of brain cancer.

This was a conservative estimate that we took from a study by Lennart Hardell and colleagues (who reported even higher rates from two studies). The expected number of cases in 2012 (had the phone hypothesis been true) was 1,866 cases, while the number recorded was 1,435.

Using a recent paper that had Davis as an author we also modelled a 150 per cent increase in brain cancer incidence among heavy users.

We assumed that 19 per cent of the Australian population fell into this category, based on data from the INTERPHONE study an international pooled analysis of studies on the association between mobile phone use and the brain. This would have predicted 2,038 expected cases in 2012, but only 1,435 were recorded.

Our study follows those published about the United States, England, the Nordic countries and New Zealand where confirmation of the 'mobile phones cause brain cancer' hypothesis was also not found.

In Australia, all cancer is recorded. At diagnosis, all cases must by law be registered with state registries tasked with collecting this information. It has been this way for decades. So we have excellent information about the incidence of all cancers on a national basis.

The telecommunications industry of course also has information on the number of people with mobile phone accounts.

While touring Australia, Davis was confronted with the 'flatline' incidence data on brain cancer.  Her stock response was that it was far too early to see any rise in these cancers. She was here to warn us about the future.

Davis would appear to be arguing that we would see a sudden rise many years later. That is not what we see with cancer; we see gradual rises moving toward peak incidence, which can be as late as 30-40 years (as with lung cancer and smoking).

We have had mobiles in Australia since 1987. Some 90 per cent of the population use them today and many of these have used them for a lot longer than 20 years.

But we are seeing no rise in the incidence of brain cancer against the background rate.


For Puck's sake, does the BBC have to turn EVERYTHING into a politically correct lecture?


There's some things in life you just don't mess with; rabid dogs, wet paint, anyone with an STD, the history of WW1, oh and Shakespeare.

Rewriting things rarely tends to improve them, and revisionist views should be reserved for the paranoid or power mad.

Funnily enough, BBC programme commissioners are both.

Which might help explain why the BBC have allowed Russell T Davies to re-write A Midsummers Night's Dream for 90 minute BBC One film which airs on Bank Holiday Weekend.

I love the original play. I studied it for my English Literature exams in the days when set texts were more demanding than the collated tweets of Caitlin Moran.

It was the first play which allowed me to reach beyond the tedium of iambic pentameter in a Convent School Classroom and wander off into magical lands where fairies, not strict nuns, controlled the destiny of young lovers.

The original play tells of four young loves, whose longing for each other is hampered by the meddling Puck, dispensing a love-potion at the direction of Oberon, the fairy king.

But forget all that. Thanks to the megalomania of Russell T Davies and the encouragement of our state broadcaster, the original play has been slung, unceremoniously out of the window of Broadcasting House.

The ending Shakespeare wrote for our pleasure was a group wedding, with the lovers' reconciled, and married alongside Theseus and Hippolyta.

He said: 'It's such a happy ending and it's very male/female, male/female. I wanted to have a man with a man, a man who was dressed as a woman with a man, and a woman with a woman. Because its 2016, that's the world now. And I want children to come and watch this and see the real world in the middle of this fantasy.'

The magical wood - just wasn't magical enough... and the young lovers? Way too heterosexual.

That's the trouble with Shakespeare you see? He was just too straight.

400 years after his death, he needs to get with the times... or the the gay times at the very least.

Davies has reworked this comedy I love to include a number of same-sex relationships including a lesbian kiss, to show children 'the real world'.

Believe me, children see enough of the real world every day without needing it to be contrived into Shakespeare at night.

My kids have mates with two mums, two dads, step-siblings and families only loosely connected by finances. They are growing up into a world where unless you are gender fluid, you're old news.

Davies said 'it's 2016; that's the world now,' adding: 'Only idiots might have a problem with that.'

I understand. It is the real world. And my kids are fluent in the language of being whatever the hell you want to be.

But the beauty of Shakespeare, David Walliams and J.K.Rowling is their ability to take children away from the mundane and make magic happen from every page. Unlike all the manufactured digital information cluttering their minds, the written word charms them into finding their own enjoyment, instead of it being spoon-fed to them just as the producers planned.

I want my children's first experience of Shakespeare to be just like my own; strangely brilliant and perfectly of our time, despite being written so far in the past in a language barely recognisable as our own.

Whilst we are on a modernising streak, perhaps the BBC could commission a version in text-speak, or via SNP chat? Maybe the four young lovers could get on Tindr, or Grindr? Even better.

Davies has already meddled with Doctor Who, turning him from the ultimate Time-lord with a tardis into Doctor Who Am I....and is this tardis trans?

But do I need all this elbowed into Shakespeare? Do I need the sexual agenda of Russell Davies on force fed to my children via my TV? And do I want my money - your taxes- used to to help him push his agenda via the BBC? No I do not.

The BBC is relentless in pursuing a left-wing liberal agenda paid for by an audience who prefer their reality less contrived. The only way they get away with it is by distracting sofa surfing middle England with Strictly, Mary Berry's cardigans and a the rasping of David Attenborough next to an ape.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Davies, the writer, also has a view of naysayers like myself. 'Only idiots might have a problem. That's what plays do; they reinvent themselves constantly, for every generation. The next generation will do a new one and this is how they are meant to be done. If you've got a problem, line up and kiss me instead.'

I do have a problem. I don't want Shakespeare queered-up so you feel more at home. And if you've got a problem with that, I couldn't give a flying Puck.


Texas AG Asks Target How It Will Protect Women and Children in Bathrooms

In a letter to Target on Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked Target’s CEO to explain what steps it will take to protect women and children in restrooms and fitting rooms in the wake of its announcement that it will let people use its bathrooms and changing rooms according to their gender identity.

“Target, of course, is currently free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores. The voters in Houston recently repealed by a wide margin an ordinance that advanced many of the same goals as Target’s current policy,” Paxton wrote in the letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell, which was published by the Austin American-Statesman on Wednesday.

“The Texas Legislature may at some point in the future address the issue. Regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity,” Paxton wrote.

“As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,” he concluded.

On April 19, Target announced on its website that it welcomes “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

As previously reported, the American Family Association has called for a boycott of Target, garnering 1 million signatures for its #BoycottTarget pledge campaign one week after it was launched.

Fox News quoted AFA spokesperson Walker Wildmon as saying, “What he’s asking in this letter is exactly what we’ve been asking Target to answer. What about women and children? What about men who pretend to be women and go into these bathrooms just so they can prey on women?”

“It’s fabulous that someone in leadership in our country is stepping up to the plate and asking the tough questions that need to be asked,” Wildmon said.


Justice Is Swerved

North Carolina is a textbook example of how the Obama administration has gone about their mission to fundamentally transform America with pen and phone. [Wednesday], Attorney General Loretta Lynch showed off the administration’s creative writing ability by unilaterally rewriting a 52-year-old law to facilitate that White House’s narrative. Of course, this has been the M.O. of the Obama administration for seven and a half years — as we’ve seen with everything from health care and abortion to marriage and gun policy.

In what can only be described as classic DOJ, the office fired off a nasty letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) claiming H.B. 2 (the law giving businesses the right to set their own bathroom policies) somehow violates the Civil Rights Act. According to the army of wannabe legislators at the Justice Department, the Tar Heels are treating “transgender employees, whose self-described gender identity does not match their ‘biological sex’… differently from similarly-situated non-transgender employees.” If that’s the case, then maybe the DOJ ought to send a letter to itself, because so does every federal park and building in America!

Governor McCrory, who’s already stared down billionaire CEOs, the liberal media, and the LGBT activist bullies, wasn’t about to be intimidated by the president’s lawless cronies. Still, the administration’s tactics continue to astound him — and every American. Speaking to business leaders [Wednesday] night, the governor called the letter “something we’ve never seen regarding Washington overreach in my lifetime.” “This is no longer just a North Carolina issue. This impacts every state, every university and almost every employee in the United States of America,” he said. “All those will have to comply with new definitions of requirements by the federal government regarding restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities in both the private and public sector.”

Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who has enough backbone for the entire state, couldn’t believe his eyes. “To use our children and their educational futures as pawns to advance an agenda that will ultimately open those same children up to exploitation at the hands of sexual predators is, by far, the sickest example of the depths the … administration will stoop to [to] ‘fundamentally transform our nation,’” he fired back. Thanks to Target, who made this issue a very real one for most Americans with its bathroom free-for-all, millions of Americans are already fired up to fight back.

Let’s not forget: this is a transgender policy that, as recently as a few years ago, was too extreme for even Democrats to support. The Left has tried — and failed — over and over to pass a version of this gender lunacy on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), but even the president’s own party wouldn’t bite. So, as usual, the administration is deciding to take matters into its own hands. After all, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) admitted just last week, most of the far-Left’s priorities can’t be accomplished legislatively anyway. “[P]assing bills is so tiresome and inefficient,” David French wrote sarcastically, “especially when a mere memo can change the law, and the Obama administration can be confident that leftist judges will uphold most anything done [by] Obama…”

As FRC’s own Chris Gacek points out, “This is not a judicial opinion — it’s a threatening letter from the Department of Justice.” What the DOJ is advocating, he goes on “is a radical re-interpretation of ‘sex’ in these statutory sections of Title VII. And even if [leaders] were to go this route on ‘sex,’ it’s not clear that bathrooms arranged biologically should be unlawful.” French took the issue a step further, asking the most obvious question, which is: “Is there a single person who believes that the Congress that passed Title VII [in 1964] believed that it was doing away with the distinction between male and female — making it completely dependent on individual preference — and thus granting men access to women and girls in bathrooms, lockers, and showers?” No more than a founding father wrote a “right” to same-sex marriage or abortion in the shadows of the U.S. Constitution! “I wonder…” French ponders, “will the DOJ intervene to defend the state from liability the first time a woman or child is assaulted in a bathroom by a man who was granted a legal right to be there? Quack science meets quack law and social justice warriors rejoice.”

Meanwhile, the groundswell against this insanity is only intensifying. In Palatine, Illinois — another one of the Obama administration’s targets — parents aren’t taking the government’s coercion lying down. This time, the Department of Education tag-teamed the school district after a boy complained that he couldn’t use the girl’s restrooms and locker rooms. The superintendent held out as long as he could, until the agency dangled federal dollars in front of administrators. Worried about losing their funds, Palatine surrendered.

Now, 51 families are suing. Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom are representing the 73 parents who are furious that their child’s privacy and innocent are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. “The agency based its threat on its inaccurate interpretation of Title IX, a 1972 federal law that — contrary to the agency’s opinion, actually authorizes schools to retain single-sex restrooms and locker rooms,” attorney Jeremy Tedesco argued. “Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty.”

The Obama administration believes it can bypass Congress. It can even ignore the Constitution. But as long as the Constitution exists, it cannot silence the people — who, like us, think the White House and the commander and chief should be focused on America’s safety, not America’s bathrooms. A government big enough to control the bathroom policies of communities across the nation is a government big enough to flush our freedoms. Watch our new video calling out the president’s for his backwards priorities.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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