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Motorola scientist: "We were all dependent on money coming in. I was in no position to do anything else."
USA Created: 14 Aug 2005
Dr Jerry Phillips, above, says the mood from Motorola changed when he told them his experiments revealed biological effects from cellular radio frequency signals.
A Motorola official questioned the science behind his study.

In their research, Phillips and his colleagues found changes in the expression of rat genes exposed to cellphone signals.
They didn't know what it meant, but they knew it was noteworthy.
Phillips authored a paper describing the results and submitted a draft to Motorola.
He says he soon received a call from Dr. Mays Swicord, director of electromagnetic research at Motorola.
"He said, `You need to include a statement in here that, even though you see a change in this one gene, that it's of no physiological importance.'
I said, `I can't say that. I don't know whether it is or not.
Whether or not we have consequences, I don't know.'
He said, `No, it has to say it has no physiological consequences.'
I said, `No, I won't do it.' "
When the study was published in 1997, it contained a sentence at the end Phillips says he never wrote.
It states that changes he discovered are "probably of no physiologic consequence."
The origins of that sentence remain a mystery to the now semi-retired Phillips.
"I have no idea how that statement got in there."
While Phillips privately disputed the change, he says he decided at the time that any outspoken challenge would risk a loss of funding that would undermine his livelihood.
"We were all dependent on money coming in. I was in no position to do anything else."
In an interview, Swicord dismisses the allegations as "pure nonsense," saying there was no company interference.
"I thought the results were incomplete and there was a lot of statistical variation," said Swicord, who joined Motorola in 1995 after 26 years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"This was a point of difference of opinion. ... We did not tell him what to publish or how to publish."
While Swicord says he was concerned about the public reaction to the research, his concerns about the study were based in science.
"I just didn't think it was properly done."
Lai's review of the science on the biological impacts reveals what he calls a telling pattern.
The Canadian-trained scientist concludes that nearly 60 per cent of published studies on cell radio frequencies have reported some biological effects, including altered gene expression, DNA breaks and even death of animal brain cells.
In some cases, the differences are dramatic.
In 36 studies focused on genetic effects, such as DNA damage, 53 per cent showed some kind of biological effect that might indicate concern.
Of those studies, a vast majority 79 per cent were independent. Conversely, studies showing no effects had direct industry funding 82 per cent of the time.
Published research on other potential effects including behaviour, molecular, brainwave and other effects show a similar pattern of funding biases, according to Lai.
Swicord challenges Lai's analysis, saying the quality of each study must be considered in weighing its value. And industry funded studies, he says, have strong scientific credibility.
"We have tried in the industry to fund quality work, and I know there are some sloppy studies out there."
Lai says industry has unfairly painted his work as sloppy.

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