Industry disputes report on cell phone cancer link

A global wireless industry group Tuesday disputed the significance of a report released by a UN health organization citing a potential cancer link from use of mobile phones.

CTIA-The Wireless Association said the UN agency "conducts numerous reviews and in the past has given the same score to, for example, pickled vegetables and coffee."

This classification "does not mean cell phones cause cancer," the industry association said in a statement, noting that "limited evidence from statistical studies can be found even though bias and other data flaws may be the basis for the results."

The reaction came after the World Health Organization's cancer research agency said the use of cell phones and other wireless communication devices are "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

The radio frequency electromagnetic fields generated by such devices were deemed as potential cancer agents "based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer," the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said in a statement.

A group of experts meeting in the French city of Lyon over the past eight days "reached this classification based on its review of the human evidence coming from epidemiological studies," said Jonathan Samet, president of the work group.

The wireless association said the IARC working group "did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies."

It also noted that the US Federal Communications Commission "has concluded that 'there's no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer'" and that the US Food and Drug Administration has also stated that "'the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems.'"

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