Prof. F. Adlkofer: "The accuracy of the REFLEX results is beyond doubt."
Professor Franz Adlkofer coordinated the REFLEX study (2004) funded by the European Union. It was the largest research project so far to investigate whether mobile phone radiation could be carcinogenic. It confirmed the cancer potential. This result was denied as falsified. On the occasion of the Bremen REFLEX judgement, diagnose:funk conducted an interview with Prof. Adlkofer.
History: "The correctness of the REFLEX results is beyond doubt, not least because the same effect has meanwhile been confirmed several times even with different methods," this is the core statement in the following interview that diagnose:funk conducted with Prof. Adlkofer. In 2008, Prof. Alexander Lerchl wrote about the explosive nature of these research results: "So the results of Diem et al. were indeed worrying. If they were confirmed, this would not merely be an alarm signal, but the beginning of the end of mobile telephony since DNA damage is the first stage in the development of cancer" (A. Lerchl: Fälscher im Labor und ihre Helfer, 2008, p.43). The industry then was up in arms against the REFLEX results., They referred to Prof. Alexander Lerchl as a key witness, who was also a member of the Radiation Protection Commission and his claim that the REFLEX results were falsified. However, the scientists involved defended themselves against this claim.
After several years of litigation, the Hanseatic High State Court of Bremen reached a final verdict on 10 December 2020. Prof. Alexander Lerchl is no longer allowed to claim that the results of the REFLEX study were falsified. His falsification claim dominated news coverage for more than 10 years and provided governments worldwide with a justification for their inaction in radiation protection. Politicians were provided with a welcome killer argument also against citizens' initiatives: "Mobile phone radiation, harmful to health, carcinogenic? All faked!" Only the Austrian magazine "Profil" investigated the background, the journalist Tina Goebel early exposed the intrigues (article "Strahlenschmutz" and "Rufunterdrückung", see also video at the end of the article). The accusations of falsification and the events at the University of Vienna are a scientific scandal of great importance, because a key technology of the 21st century is at stake. Nevertheless, the current Bremen judgement is not worth being reported in the media. One would now have to report on this scandal, but also on one's own journalistic failure. We asked Prof. Franz Adlkofer what he thinks of the Bremen judgement and the predictable attempts to talk down the result.
Interview with Prof. Franz Adlkofer
"The correctness of the REFLEX results is beyond doubt, not least because the same effect has meanwhile been confirmed several times even with different methods."
diagnose:funk: Mr. Adlkofer, can you briefly explain why the trial against Prof. Lerchl on the Hanseatic High State Court Bremen took place at all?
Prof. Franz Adlkofer: The background is as follows: In 2008 Prof. Lerchl, together with the former rector of the Medical University of Vienna, invented the story that the REFLEX results were falsified. Because every fake needs a faker or a faker to be believed, they made the technical assistant Elisabeth Kratochvil, who had contributed significantly to the REFLEX results, the faker. Both of them pursued - as it appears today - the goal to eliminate the business-damaging REFLEX results in the interest of the mobile phone industry. Elisabeth Kratochvil, who is not aware of any guilt, fought back. To enable her to do so, the Pandora Foundation paid the legal costs.
What were the proceedings in front of the Hanseatic High State Court in Bremen about?
The sole issue of the Hanseatic High State Court in Bremen was whether Prof. Lerchl could provide evidence for his claim of forgery. He was unable to do so. His miserable attempt to deceive, to transform the punishable factual assertions into unpunishable expressions of opinion, also failed. Surprisingly not mentioned was the fact that he had caused great harm to Elisabeth Kratochvil with his actions.The court was also not concerned with the question of whether the REFLEX results are right or wrong. This question must be answered by science itself. Courts lack any prerequisite for this.
What was the expert called in by the Hanseatic High State Court supposed to say in his expert opinion?
The expert was proposed by Prof. Lerchl and commissioned by the Hanseatic High State Court with the expert opinion. He was undoubtedly a statistician of distinction who, in contrast to Prof. Lerchl, was also able to look beyond statistics. He confirmed to the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court that Prof. Lerchl's arguments fell far too short to be able to speak of a forgery. Incidentally, this had been predicted to Prof. Lerchl many times over the course of the years, e.g. by the Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Vienna, the Austrian Agency for Scientific Integrity, the editors of the journals with the REFLEX publications, and finally even in the reports of his courtesy experts, which he submitted to the court. He did not want it to be true because it would have taken the wind out of the sails of his furious campaign against the REFLEX results. Obviously, Prof. Lerchl gradually lost track of what he was doing in his campaign against the REFLEX results. In the end, he even demanded that the Hanseatic High State Court reject the expert on the grounds of bias and replace him with someone more sympathetic for him.
Why did the expert and the Hanseatic High State Court nevertheless adopt critical tones towards the REFLEX results, which certainly cast doubt on their accuracy?
The Hanseatic High State Court, as is its right, related to the expert's statements. The expert did indeed make critical comments about the REFLEX results, but in doing so he not only exceeded his mandate, but also his competence. His statements in this regard are probably due to his lack of knowledge of bioscience. If the Hanseatic High State Court had commissioned an expert with a bioscientific background or even knowledge of the test system used to obtain the data, as requested by Elisabeth Kratochvil's legal representation, questions about the accuracy of the results would not have arisen at all.
So now confusing debates are being conducted again in order to distract from the core of the judgement, that the accusation of falsification may no longer be voiced. The statistical report, which you say fails to take biological processes into account, is used as an irrelevant war zone. Can you explain this in more detail?
The anomalies criticised by Prof. Lerchl are simply inherent in the system of the biological test procedure used by Elisabeth Kratochvil, which has been internationally established for more than 20 years. Therefore, the expert opinion ordered by the Hanseatic High StateCourt is suitable for clarifying the question whether the REFLEX results are falsified, but it cannot make any statement on whether the REFLEX results are correct or incorrect. The test system used consists of two components, an objective one, which determines whether gene damage is present or not, and a subjective one, which estimates the severity of the gene damage. The objective approach is decisive; the subjective approach is a desirable addition. It follows that the expert's criticism of the REFLEX results, who as a statistician was probably not aware of these biological-psychological correlations, is unfounded. Prof. Lerchl either lacked the intellectual prerequisite to recognize these correlations or he did not want to recognise them because this would have been the end of his campaign.
In your opinion, what significance do the REFLEX results still have today?
The REFLEX results, as results of basic research, point to a genetically damaging potential of mobile phone radiation. For me and the others responsible for them, there is no doubt that they are correct, not least because the same effect has been confirmed several times in the meantime, even using different methods. Together with the available results from animal experiments and epidemiological studies, they must be seen as proof that mobile phone radiation can cause cancer in humans - as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the WHO has considered at least possible since 2011.
In your opinion, which studies have confirmed the REFLEX results?
From the Bioinitiative report, an overall overview of the state of research in the field of electromagnetic fields (update 2014), it emerges that of 76 publications in which the same test procedure as in Vienna was used, genetic damage was detected in 49 publications. In 27 publications, the results were negative. By the way, anyone who disqualifies the Bioinitiative report, a compilation of independent scientists, disqualifies himself.
What significance should this judgement have for radiation protection policy?
Within the framework of the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme, under the influence of the mobile telecommunication industry, politics has entrusted Prof. Lerchl with the handling of the topic that attracts the most public attention, namely the question of the development of cancer by mobile radiation. Through misguided planning, misguided implementation and misguided evaluation of his research projects, he succeeded in achieving the zero result desired by him and probably also by his clients. It looks like the research project recently assigned to him by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) to clarify the question of how 5G radiation affects human cells will end comparably. Prof. Lerchl is obviously willing to use any means, even the destruction of a young woman's professional existence, to enforce his idea of the harmlessness of mobile phone radiation. If possible, do not find anything detrimental in your own research and preventing others from finding anything detrimental has proven to be a recipe for success for him. The mobile phone industry is probably indifferent to how its interests are defended. For politics, which is obliged to the welfare of the citizens, it is quite different. After the judgement of the Hanseatic High State Court in Bremen, it has to ask itself whether it can afford to cooperate with a man who has been exposed as an unscrupulous slanderer. Otherwise, it could turn out one day that politics were taken in by a fraud when telling the story about the harmlessness of mobile phone radiation.
Prof. Adlkofer, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Copyright by diagnose:funk, Germany, www.diagnose-funk.org, 2021