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Vodafone’s bid for ‘monster’ phone mast at Clevedon Golf Club rejected by North Somerset Council
United Kingdom Created: 23 Apr 2017
Fears it could fall down on homes, would ‘utterly ruin’ the countryside and damage trees led to the council’s planning committee rejecting Vodafone’s plan.

The telecoms giant wanted to build it on Clevedon Golf Club’s land, but there has been confusion over whereabouts on the course.

Vodafone wanted it nearer to the ninth green than the club, but those concerns are redundant following the council’s decision on April 12.

Nicola Hodges, who lives in Linkside near the proposed site, told councillors that allowing the mast would cause damage to the surrounding area.

She said: “The access track to the mast would have to run along the back or houses and there’s a deep copse (there) which house bats, owls and other wildlife and this would have to be destroyed.”

Of greater concern to planning officers was the trees around the proposed mast which they felt would be damaged or removed.

Cllr David Shopland said concern for trees was a ‘feeble’ excuse for refusing the plan, adding the 80ft mast so close to houses was a more pressing concern.

He said: “It (the mast) is 24 metres high which is nearly twice the height of the clock tower outside (Weston Town Hall).

“If it falls down, it would probably fall towards the houses.

“It’s out of keeping, it’s too big and it shouldn’t be there.”

He said it would ‘utterly ruin’ the surrounding area and was ‘a monstrosity’.

Cllr Chris Blades recommended the council refused the ‘quite grim’ scheme, and the motion was carried.

However, Cllr Bob Garner argued there was need for people to be ‘less precious’ about having phone masts near their homes, otherwise mobile phone signal will remain poor in parts of North Somerset.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: North Somerset Times, Tom Wright, 23 Apr 2017

Furious residents say 'no' to 50ft phone mast plans in Tettenhall
United Kingdom Created: 23 Apr 2017
Furious neighbours have objected to plans for a 50-foot mobile phone mast being put up in their leafy suburb of Wolverhampton under new plans – despite objections from furious neighbours.

A petition has been handed to Wolverhampton City Council planners over the mast, set for Tettenhall, which would have three antennae, microwave dish and various equipment cabinets.

The site, on land owned by the Severn Trent Water, is close to homes on Manor Street and Limes Road, and sits within a wider residential area. Householders are worried the mast will have a ‘severe detrimental effect’ on their health and will spoil the look of the pretty upmarket neighbourhood.

A total of 26 objections have been received against the plans.

But planning officers are urging the council to grant planning permission for the structure, which they say is 30 yards from the nearest property on Limes Road and 80 yards from homes in Manor Street.

Conservative Councillor for Tettenhall and Wightwick, Wendy Thompson, said: “What’s important is how the residents view these things and very often these things are extremely unpopular. They can be very unsightly.

“I think it’s of the upmost importance the design that has been approved is one of the least unsightly and obtrusive as possible. “For example, There is one in the Claregate area I think is particularly unsightly, however, there is one on Yew Tree Lane which people walk past without ever noticing. Hopefully this design will be one like the latter.”

Four years ago, Tettenhall residents lost an appeal to stop a mobile phone mast following a long-running wrangle. They had argued a ‘beautiful gateway into the city’ would be ruined by the structure at the Wergs Garage site. A 49ft mast providing ‘emergency coverage’ was initially installed. And last September a towering phone mast installed by Vodafone, alongside the A41 Tettenhall Road, opposite The Newbridge pub, caused a storm of protest.

Planning officers say this latest application should not be turned down on health grounds because it met government guidelines on public exposure to radiation protection.

It is also believed by some councillors to address signal issues being faced by the emergency services when they enter the area.

Councillor Udey Singh who represents Tettenhall Regis ward said: “I hope that the telemast company have some consideration for the harm that can be caused by radiation in built up areas. However, I think, all things considered that this was necessary for the area - as I understand the emergency services found it difficult to retain signal in the area. I understand that some people have objected to the plans but if we think about it - it could be a matter of life and death if the emergency services don’t have signal so it is important we give them the tools to carry out their jobs.”

The say the proximity of a 47ft high tree within the site would minimise the visual impact on the look and character of the street, as the colour of the monopole would be green.

The council’s planning committee meets report to Tuesday.’s(25th) panning committee states: “Whilst residents have concerns on health issues, the proposal should not be refused on the ground of health as central government clearly states that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards.

“The proposed location of the monopole situated beside a 14m high tree, at a height of 15m and painted green is considered to be acceptable. The impact of the proposal on visual amenity is not to an extent to justify refusal.”

Leon Jeffs who works at Le Monde based on Upper Street, Tettenhall, said: “Well it depends exactly when it’s going to happen and what it’s going to look like.

“I understand that these things have to go up to improve phone signals, but I personally don’t have a problem with my signal when I’m at work.

“I think it needs to be made clear exactly what’s happening and when so that residents and people that work around here can have their say.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Express & Star, 22 Apr 2017

Samsung will start testing gigabit 5G fixed broadband in London and 11 US areas
United Kingdom Created: 20 Apr 2017
Samsung Electronics says it will start the UK's first 5G broadband network in central London, following earlier trials South Korea, China and Japan. In London, it will work with Arqiva, which is best known for DAB radio broadcasting. Arqiva has a licence to use the 28GHz spectrum across the UK, and will host a number of Samsung's 5G base stations.

Arqiva's CEO, Simon Beresford-Wylie, said: "Our trial with Samsung will demonstrate the enormous potential of 5G FWA as an alternative to fibre for delivering ultra-high speed connectivity to homes and businesses." He promised "1Gbps and significantly reduced latency (delay), along with super high reliability for mission critical applications."

Samsung also said it was working with Verizon to offer 5G access in the USA. It said customer trials will start in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington DC in April, "with a fifth location in Michigan starting trials later". Separately, Verizon said it "will begin offering 5G to pilot customers during the first half of 2017 in the following metropolitan areas: Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, DC" - a total of 11 areas. It needs to test performance in different topographies and areas where different building materials are used, for example.

Samsung said in a statement: "In pre-commercial testing started from early December last year, the 5G system demonstrated multi-gigabit throughputs at radio distances of up to 1,500 feet (500 meters) across each of the different environments selected for the customer trials."

Verizon said its 5G network was able to support 4K video streaming with fixed wireless access (FWA) equipment. In tests, it can deliver speeds of well over a gigabit per second.

Whether it can be done profitably is another matter.

In the UK, there have been several attempts to replace broadband with various types of FWA. The most recent failure was UK Broadband's Hong Kong-backed Relish, which signed up only 15,000 customers before being sold to Three for £250 million. According to the Financial Times, "Three justified the price tag by pointing to the valuable spectrum owned by UK Broadband, which will help set the company for a 5G launch in the future."

Samsung has invested heavily in 5G and owns a number of patents in the field. On February 19, it "announced the commercial readiness of its 5G RF Integrated Circuit (RFIC) which is an important component that will be used in the production and commercialization of next-generation base station and other radio access products."

The RFIC chip's availability is behind the new efforts to deploy 5G in the field.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ZDNet, Jack Schofield, 25 Feb 2017

Outrage over 15m phone mast in Butleigh playing field next to children's nursery
United Kingdom Created: 20 Apr 2017
The Parish Council complained of apathy over the fact parishioners had not come forward sooner - But one parish councillor, Wayne Moore-Read, said his peers should reconsider.

Mr Moore-Read said: "It doesn't matter why they've asked us to change our views - 210 people have signed a petition requesting that the location of the mast is changed. In an ideal world, they would have been here sooner, but they're here now and want to communicate."

Despite this, some of Mr Moore-Read's fellow councillors remained unchanged.

Alan Carr, who heads up the Parish Council, said: "We work for the whole village, as we always have done. I think it's the right thing to do and after what I've heard tonight, it makes me even more sure."

Residents left with mixed emotions, but some were frustrated.

"A large number of villagers feel the Parish Council has openly ignored their concerns and the benefits offered by the alternative location," said Butleigh resident Andrew Petherick.

"To do this in the very meeting created to listen to what they had to say was discourteous and patronising. By showing it was listening to dissenters, the Parish Council would have galvanised the community, both young and old, together in one room. It missed this golden opportunity."

The arguments

Parishioners were then invited to share their views in strict three-minute time slots.

Those in favour mentioned fears over poor outdoor signal which could prevent them from making emergency calls when outside and tried to allay concerns over potential health risks by outlining the different tiers of radiation the public are exposed to every day. Levels of radiation emitted by a mast were placed towards the lower end of the spectrum.

Those against the mast's location – including a representative of the nursery and primary school - spoke of the effect the 'perceived risks' would have on nursery and school numbers and the footfall at the post office - the only shop in the village.

"The perceived risks to people's health are huge," said one resident. "Nursery staff don't want to work close to the mast. New families, which are the very lifeblood of the village, will be put off moving here. Numbers at the school are already dwindling – if the school closes, it jeopardises the whole future of the village. I don't understand why the Parish Council would want to risk this, especially as alternative sites have been offered."

A young father, who said he was new to the village, questioned the relevance of the mast in a modern world where apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Face Time, all of which rely on WiFi not mobile signal, are becoming the preferred means of communication.

The contract for the mast is due to be issued this week and is scheduled for signing in a meeting on April 25.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Somerset Live, Claire Herbaux, 19 Apr 2017

This of course has nothing to do with the Microwave Radiation either!! Touchscreen use by toddlers linked to poor sleep patterns
United Kingdom Created: 17 Apr 2017
Three quarters of children aged six months to three years use a touchscreen device every day
The more time toddlers spend using touchscreen devices, the more likely they are to have sleep problems, a new study has found.
Three quarters of children aged between six months and three years in the UK use devices such as an iPad or smartphone every day, according to researchers at Birkbeck, University of London and King’s College London.
Light emitted by electronic screens has been shown to lower levels of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin in adults – and this could also be the case for young children, said Tim Smith, a psychology lecturer who carried out the study.
“Parents are wondering what the potential impact might be on their children, but the technology is such a recent introduction into family life that the science isn’t really there to inform parents, or give them guidelines on how they should be using them.”
He added: “We didn’t have a daily diary in the study, so we didn’t know exactly when the children are using the devices, but the total time they used the device during the day was associated with these sleep differences.”
The study also revealed positive impacts of touchscreen use among toddlers, including improvements to motor skills that meant they were able to stack blocks earlier.
Read more at link:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/toddlers-touchscreens-poor-sleep-patterns-three-quarters-day-disrupt-smartphones-a7682136.html
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Katie Forster the Independent

Of course it isn´t because of the Microwave Radiation! Pupils as young as four having panic attacks, say teachers
United Kingdom Created: 17 Apr 2017
Children as young as four are suffering from mental health problems such as panic attacks, anxiety and depression, says a teachers' union.
Almost all of the 2,000 who responded to an NASUWT survey said they had come into contact with mentally ill pupils.
Members of the teachers' union suggest schools are struggling to access enough support to deal with the issue.
The Department for Education said it was investing £1.4bn to ensure all children get the help they need.
The NASUWT teachers' union is highlighting the problem at its annual conference in Manchester this weekend and it will also warn of problems with school funding.

The survey found:
· 98% of teachers said they had come into contact with pupils who were experiencing mental health issues.
· They were most likely to be teenagers, with more than half of teachers saying they had seen issues in 14 to 16-year-olds.
· But nearly a fifth (18%) of those surveyed by the union said they had been in contact with four to seven-year-olds showing mental health issues while more than a third (35%) had seen problems in youngsters aged seven to 11.
Nine in 10 said they had experienced a pupil of any age suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, while 79% were aware of a pupil suffering from depression and 64% knew of a youngster who was self-harming.
Around half (49%) were aware of children with eating disorders, and a similar proportion (47%) knew about a youngster with obsessive compulsive disorder.
Pressure of exams and testing, family problems such as ill health or a break-up and SOCIAL MEDIA were all seen as having an impact on mental health.
Read more at link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39589910
Click here to view the source article.
Source: By Hannah Richardson BBC News education reporter

Ex-Google product manager reveals the tricks Apps use to get us hooked
United Kingdom Created: 11 Apr 2017
Silicon Valley companies are exploiting weaknesses in our brains, it's claimed - Apps such as Snapchat use clever tricks to keep us glued to our smartphones - Ex-Google Tristan Harris warns tactics are 'destroying our kids' ability to focus'.

Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Facebook are using underhand tactics to get our brains hooked to our smartphones.

That's according to former Google product manager Tristan Harris, who claims technology companies are using techniques borrowed from casinos to get us addicted to checking our phones.

He said the widespread phenomenon is known as 'brain hacking' by computer programmers and warned that the methods are 'destroying our kids' ability to focus'.

'They are shaping the thoughts and feelings and actions of people,' he told CBS News.

'They are programming people.

'There’s a whole playbook of techniques that get used to get you using the product for as long as possible.'

Mr Harris said notification streams on smartphones and apps such as Facebook are designed to excite the brain in a similar way to slot machines.

He said: 'Every time I check my phone, I’m playing the slot machine to see, “What did I get?”

'This is one way to hijack people’s minds and create a habit, to form a habit.

'What you do is you make it so when someone pulls a lever, sometimes they get a reward, an exciting reward.

'And it turns out that this design technique can be embedded inside of all these products.'

He said this explains why apps allow users to slowly gather rewards over time.

For example, Twitter lets its users slowly build up followers, while Snapchat keeps a running score based on how much you use the app.

Mr Harris said: 'Snapchat’s the most popular messaging service for teenagers.

'And they invented this feature called “streaks,” which shows the number of days in a row that you’ve sent a message back and forth with someone.

'The problem is that kids feel like, “Well, now I don’t want to lose my streak.”

'But it turns out that kids actually when they go on vacation are so stressed about their streak that they actually give their password to, like, five other kids to keep their streaks going on their behalf.'

He said competing companies have entered into a race 'to the bottom of the brainstem' to grab our attention and keep us hooked to our phones.

'It’s because the game is getting attention at all costs,' he said.

'And the problem is it becomes this race to the bottom of the brainstem, where if I go lower on the brainstem to get you, you know, using my product, I win.

'But it doesn’t end up in the world we want to live in.

'We don’t end up feeling good about how we’re using all this stuff.

He added the tactics are 'weakening our relationships to each other' and 'destroying our kids ability to focus'.

'And so you could ask when these features are being designed, are they designed to most help people live their life?' he added.

'Or are they being designed because they’re best at hooking people into using the product?
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Mail Online, DAISY DUNNE, 10 Apr 2017

Firm withdraws phone mast plans
United Kingdom Created: 7 Apr 2017
PEOPLE from Bradford on Avon who have been protesting against plans for a telephone mast in the town are celebrating after the application was withdrawn.

People living in Bath Road and Masons Lane were overjoyed to learn Galliford Try, the company which aimed to build a mast at the top of Masons Lane next to the BT hub, had withdrawn the plans, but the firm said this week it will be back with a new plan later this year.

Locals believe the mast would cause a health hazard as well as ruin the conservation area.

Gisela Norman, of Winsley Road, said: “This is a tremendous victory. Apparently the application was the most contentious one the council has had. It received a lot of opposition from the town. The next step is to look to the future and ensure that we check for any application notices that may be posted around the town and see if there will be another development elsewhere in Bradford. People were concerned of the health risks and the fact the mast was being built near a school.

“We had a celebration at The Castle Inn, which is directly opposite where the mast would’ve been built. Everyone was really happy with all of the hard work that had been put in to try and stop this development.”

In the space of a month and a half the campaigning residents gathered more than 1,000 signatures on their petition, a tenth of the town’s population, and collected a further 100 letters of objection as well as winning support from the town council and MP Michelle Donelan.

“We had such great support with 1,086 signatures and all of the letters of objection. Everyone did a fantastic job and really pulled together as a community to say that they didn’t want this development, especially in the position it was planned for. I think we really just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped, everyone who signed the petition and everyone who put up signs,” added Mrs Norman.

“One thing that everyone noticed, included the councillors, was that Galliford Try didn’t respond to any letters sent to them. The group of about 60 people really did make an impact on this application and it really just goes to show how the town can be brought together.”

A spokesman for Galliford Try said: "We submitted a proposal for a mobile phone base station at the BT telephone exchange. However, due to changes in the tree line local to the site and comments from local residents, we have decided to withdraw the present planning application, redesign the site to take account of the comments received and then submit a new planning application. Vodafone and O2 have identified that they need to improve the coverage in the Bradford upon Avon area."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Wiltshire Times, Patrick McLean, 07 Apr 2017

400,000 extra phone masts needed to bring 5G network to rural Britain
United Kingdom Created: 31 Mar 2017
Rolling out high speed mobile phone coverage and internet to the forgotten corners of rural Britain will require at least 400000 extra masts, many of which will need to be 80ft high, experts have predicted.

In this month’s budget Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor, pledged to invest £1.1 billion the development of a 5g network which will bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband and phone coverage to the UK by the early 2020s.

But a recent report by consumer watchdog Which? found that mobile users in half of England cannot even access 4g, while in Wales the fast signal is available for just one third of the time.

Expert from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), King’s College London, and the universities of Surrey and Sussex, warned that people living the countryside may have to accept 80 foot (25 metre) masts if they want to catch up and enjoy the faster service.

More than 10 times the number of masts and base stations, will be needed for full coverage across the country, but super-fast 1-2 gigabits per second speeds will always be confined to cities, they warned.



Professor Will Stewart, of the IET said: “There is nowhere near enough capacity to deliver what we think the system needs, there never has been.

“The crucial thing is you need to be shorter range to deliver the extra capacity, that means more base stations, at least ten times more, maybe 100 times. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 masts now.

“The coverage is enormously important. It’s not just ex-Prime Minister’s who are concerned that they can’t get coverage in Cornwall. We need services to always work, we see them now as a utility.

“One of the things you are going to see in five years is the masts getting taller, to get more coverage. 25 metres is what the mobile operators are asking for. The UK has got the shortest masts in Europe. We’ve done something really stupid, we’ve kept the masts below the treeline, but the trees grow taller every year.”

According to an HM Treasury report released this week, 5G will open the doors “to potentially revolutionary technologies such as automated cars and advanced manufacturing, as well as enabling the many thousands of connected devices, such as smart energy meters, that are predicted to enter our everyday world as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).”

However the current signal in some rural areas is currently so bad that EE is preparing to launch a mobile mast suspended from a helium blimp as part of its effort to improve coverage.

4G replaced 3G internet as a mobile communications standard several years ago and was designed to provide wireless internet access at a much higher speed, allowing customers to watch videos and use social media on the move.

But even in London most people can only access a 4G signal 69.7pc of the time and the capital has one of the worst downloads speeds in the country. And fewer than half of mobile connections were made on a 4G service at the end of last year according to Ofcom.

Mischa Dohler, Professor of Wireless Communication at King’s College said: “The rural coverage problem is a big headache. If coverage wasn’t there in 4g it won't be in 5g.

“The real problem is the cost to put up the base station in rural areas. So one recommendation is to deregulate street furniture. That’s what we really need. Then you can roll our the base stations you need.”

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said networks should consider siting base stations on churches or farm buildings to avoid the need for intrusive masts.

“Super slow speeds continue to frustrate communities in more remote areas. Yet we need to ask whether we can deliver the type of coverage being suggested here without markedly harming the character of our precious landscapes.

“Rather than building thousands of ever higher masts at the behest of industry, we need to maintain strong planning protections and help local communities add new infrastructure to existing buildings. Churches or farm buildings can provide the right structure, if damage to their heritage value is prevented.

“Creative efforts that engage local communities will make sure rural areas are not left behind and protect the countryside."

Some communities are even being forced to pay for their own masts, or run fibres to nearby villages which do have coverage to pick up a signal.

Prof Stewart, who clubbed together with locals in his village to pay £25,000 for internet link up to his village said: “We did it, and several villages around me have done so as well.

“Since we did it BT has decided to come in to the billage, but it works our cheaper to do it through the community. BT charges £30 a month, but our community network is only £10 a month. So why would anyone ask for BT?”

Prof Stephen Temple, of the Institute of Communication Systems at the University of Surrey, added: “The biggest headache for policymakers is going to be coverage over the next 20 years.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Telegraph science, Sarah Knapton, 30 Mar 2017

ME/CfS study manipulated to support 'all in the mind' claims. Same happened with EHS study
United Kingdom Created: 23 Mar 2017
The public relies on scientists to report their findings accurately and completely, but that does not always happen. Too often, researchers announce only their most favorable outcomes, while keeping more disappointing results well out of sight.

**** MV EDITORS comments ************************************
Practically same thing happened in the Essex EHS study. See here:
Aug 2009, United Kingdom: Essex EHS study manipulated to show no effect
****************************************************************

This phenomenon, first identified by the psychologist Robert Rosenthal in 1979, is called the “file drawer problem.” Although it is widely recognized – affecting drug trials, psychology experiments and most other fields – it has seldom been documented, for obvious reasons. Suppressed results are, well, suppressed, and they are usually discovered only by chance.

It was therefore almost unprecedented when a group of patients, at the end of last year, successfully unmasked the skewed data behind an influential British study, first published in Lancet in 2011, of the devastating disease known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (sometimes called myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS).

My interest in this issue is both professional and personal. As a law professor, I have devoted much of my career to the study of judicial ethics, including the problem of implicit biases that can undermine the reliability of both court trials and clinical trials.

I have also been living with ME/CFS for over a decade, so I am acutely attuned to the need for responsible and transparent research on the illness. Unfortunately, the most extensive study of ME/CFS – called the PACE trial – was deeply flawed from its inception, in ways that the principal investigators have yet to acknowledge.

‘Dysfunctional’ beliefs all too real for those in pain

The story began in 2005, when a group of psychiatrists set out to test their theory that ME/CFS is primarily a psychosocial illness, characterized by patients’ “unhelpful cognitions” and their “dysfunctional” beliefs that their symptoms are caused by an organic disease.

Under this assumption, they recruited over 600 ME/CFS patients for the PACE trial and randomly divided them into four categories. One group was treated with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that addresses patients’ “false perceptions” of their illness, and a second group received graded exercise therapy (GET), which consisted of supervised increases in their activity levels. The other two groups were essentially controls, receiving neither of the treatments under study.

In a 2013 article in Psychological Medicine, the PACE team announced its most striking results. This follow-up article claimed that the therapy arms of the study – CBT and GET – had achieved impressive 22 percent recovery rates – not just improvement rates – as opposed to only seven or eight percent in the control arms.

The result was enthusiastically promoted in the press, but many patients were suspicious, especially of the GET outcomes, which contradicted their experience of debilitating crashes following the simple movements of daily life.

ME/CFS patients have consistently explained that exertion exacerbates their worst symptoms. For many, even moderate exercise can result in a days-long crash, in which they are nearly immobilized by muscle weakness and joint pain. In the U.S., post-exertional relapse has been recognized as the defining characteristic of the illness by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine.

For the PACE investigators, however, the announced recovery results validated their conviction that psychotherapy and exercise provided the key to reversing ME/CFS.

There was just one problem. A subsequent investigation found that the PACE investigators had changed the standard for recovery midstream, weakening one of the key criteria to the point that a subject could actually have gotten worse in the course of the trial and yet still count as “recovered” following supervised GET.

Unraveling the mystery

Here is how it worked, as shown by the investigation: At the outset of the trial, patients were recruited who scored at 65 or lower on a measure called the physical function score, and recovery was defined as achieving a subsequent score of 85 or higher, which indicates a relatively healthy person.

Before the unblinded trial was completed, however, the definition of recovery was reduced to a score of 60, which was below the level that qualified research subjects in the first place.

It was the change in this outcome measure (and several others) that allowed the PACE researchers to declare their favorable outcome for GET. The unimpressive results under the original protocol went unpublished, as though they had been stuck in a a figurative file drawer.

When the Psychological Medicine article was published in 2013, members of the patient community immediately pointed out the discrepancy. Because the study had been publicly funded, they sought the underlying data under the U.K.’s Freedom of Information law. The PACE investigators refused to release any of the raw results.

In October 2015, David Tuller of the University of California at Berkeley published a lengthy expose of the PACE trial, pointing out the jiggered outcome measure, as detailed above, and many other flaws. His report attracted the attention of numerous American scientists who joined an open letter seeking an independent review of the PACE data.

Finally, in summer 2016, a British Freedom of Information tribunal ordered the PACE team to unlock the file drawer and disclose their raw data. A revelation followed.

Exaggerated recovery claims

A group of patients and scholars reanalyzed the PACE data according to the original determinants and, as suspected, the “recoveries” under CBT and GET all but disappeared. As they reported last December in a peer-reviewed medical journal, the recovery rate for CBT fell to seven percent and the rate for GET fell to four percent, which were statistically indistinguishable from the three percent rate for the untreated controls.

Thus, the PACE investigators proved nothing more than a familiar adage among statisticians: If you torture the data, they will confess anything.

Researchers in the U.S. and Australia have recently made great progress toward identifying biomarkers for ME/CFS, which may lead to an effective medical intervention. Over 100 prominent researchers, clinicians and organizations have called on Psychological Medicine to retract the PACE article, although the journal has not yet publicly responded.

Thanks to the original PACE announcement, however, graded exercise is still routinely prescribed throughout the U.S. and the U.K. despite reports that the treatments can cause intolerable pain and relapse. Those who question GET are often told that they must simply exercise more, no matter how badly they crash afterward.

It is bad enough to torture the data, but it is indefensible to torture patients based on manipulated results.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Conversation, Steven Lubet, 23 Mar 2017

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