In 1993, Larry King had a guest on his show named David Reynard of Tampa, FL. During the show Mr. Reynard unleashed a bombshell that ignited one of the most shocking controversies in television history. He stated that he was filing a lawsuit against the cell phone companies and was alleging that his wife, Susan, had died from a brain tumor caused by repeated use of a cell phone. This allegation caused cellular stocks to quickly tumble. Congressional inquiries were triggered and the cell phone industry scrambled to save its image. In an effort to reassure the public and the government the cell phone industry agreed to conduct long-term research studies to prove that cell phones were safe.
Following public hearings the Senate took issue with both the cell phone industry and with the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA was the agency of responsibility for granting approval of cell phones. To settle the allegations and bring proof to the issue the cell phone industry volunteered to conduct long-term research to prove cell phone safety. However, they offered to do so only if the FDA agreed not to regulate them until the research was completed. And so the process began. As a first step, the cell phone industry hired appropriate medical and science researchers to conduct a study that was to become the largest of its kind ever conducted on cell phone safety. The cell phone industry funded this research project with $28.5 million of its own money.
The protocol required that every study conducted to be duplicated in at least two laboratories. Research protocols were peer reviewed before being initiated. Furthermore, preliminary data were peer reviewed before interpretation and final reports and data were peer reviewed at the conclusion of the process. Every effort was made to ensure the study was above reproach and that the results of the study were credible and not biased due to industry funding.
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