Comments from Greece: Dr. Fragopoulou & Prof. Margaritis

Part of the BioInitiative  authors are open for debate and do not reject the idea of “The Round-Table Initiative” completely, as Cindy Sage and David Carpenter have done… Here is one example of such open attitude. Message published with the approval of the authors.

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Dear Dariusz,

We find it hard to understand the rationale behind the “Round Table Initiative (RTI)” issue.

In the first place, how is the “reviewing of the published literature” going to be done? Normally review articles undergo a peer review process in scientific journals. Is the RTI going to substitute this process? Isn’t this highly unprofessional for such a serious topic concerning billions of people? There are papers published on all issues you are raising. Apparently you suggest re-evaluating published work and concluding whether it is solid data or not? 

We fully understand the Editor’s of the BioInitiative Report reservations. On the other hand, we also generally agree with Professor Lai’s statement adding that the right way of a “Round Table” gathering would be that EVERY SINGLE SCIENTIST (or one per each research group) that is qualified with relevant publications in the field would be invited to participate.

Your goal as stated is to “determine whether cell phones provoke a risk to health”, but you know that most papers published have nothing to do with this. They are basic research papers on model systems studying protein/gene expression, memory deficits, DNA damage, apoptosis etc., i.e. data that are difficult to be translated into EMF impact on humans. And this brings us to the “Precautionary Principle (PP)” as an outcome of the non-human research. What could someone expect from a discussion on this issue? ICNIRP, that has been also invited to take part, has clearly stated that available data do not support a re-evaluation of the safety limits and of course no need for adopting the PP is necessary. With these thoughts we are just saying that it is a very ambitious task the RTI you suggest and may lead to un-bridged opinions by the participants making very difficult and hard the moderator’s work.

We may also point out that in EMF research, we all know that the results are still controversial, cause to the enormous variability in exposure conditions (source, duration, repetition, pulsed vs. CW signals, etc.), in experimental techniques used in different labs, in different model systems used and because wireless communication is based on financial grounds. The point of effect-no effect situation is the result of deep research analysis that has taken years of hard work and several man-months of effort from scientists all over the world. Therefore, it is not possible by just exchanging views to end up with conclusion stating that YES, or NO, EMR is hazardous. This is not a YES or NO issue. There is grey between black and white.

 Our research group (Professor Margaritis is the group leader) is always willing to discuss tête-à-tête, in an unbiased way, the EMF effects coming from our studies, trying to understand the potential mechanism of EMF function. Of course, the major still pending problem, as stated above, is how to translate cell culture or even lab animal data into effects in human health.

Maybe, we can exchange ideas during the BEMS meeting in June as well.

In conclusion, we are still skeptical whether the “Round Table” would be fruitful. However, we are open to discuss this in the future (within the limitations of the research obligations we have) after hearing all parties’ positions.

Best regards, Adamantia F. Fragopoulou & Lukas H. Margaritis

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