Letter: Wealthy corporations and American Cancer Society messaging

August 3, 2023

The recent article on the CCHS cell tower proposal cited the American Cancer Society, ACS. Those hoping to prove that cell towers and cell phones are safe often quote the well-respected charity.

Interestingly, in 2016, ACS responded to the largest study on wireless radiation with a quote from their chief medical officer at the time, Otis W. Brawley, M.D., saying, “For years, the understanding of the potential risk of radiation from cell phones has been hampered by a lack of good science. This report from the National Toxicology Program, NTP, is good science. The NTP report linking radiofrequency radiation, RFR, to two types of cancer marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk. The findings are unexpected; we wouldn’t reasonably expect non-ionizing radiation to cause these tumors. This is a striking example of why serious study is so important in evaluating cancer risk. It’s interesting to note that early studies on the link between lung cancer and smoking had similar resistance, since theoretical arguments at the time suggested that there could not be a link.”

Why have they since softened their message? ACS has a board of advisors called CEOs Against Cancer. Until recently, their webpage listed the founding members, many of whom are leaders of corporations that are dependent on wireless radiation being safe – Motorola, IBM, Accenture (driverless cars), Ameren (holding company for power and energy companies). The Italian Ramazzini study corroborated the U.S. NTP findings in 2018 and soon the names of the founding members of this advisory group were removed from ACS’s website. Wise PR move. These influential, wealthy companies, however, still lend their opinions and money to ACS. Anything ACS has to say about wireless radiation safety will be strategically tempered. No organization is immune to good old-fashioned economic and political pressures.

Alisha Boyajian

Westford Rd