2
Aug
2004

Finance editorial with Michael Pascoe

“Truth is irrelevant, what matters is what sells"

REMEMBER:

Dr Charlie Teo

Brain tumours: the silent killer
//omega.twoday.net/stories/235398/

* "When patients come in with a brain cancer, I often say to them, "your cancer was on the right side of the brain, it is in the area just above your ear, can you tell me if you feel that you have had more exposure than most people to mobile phones," and I am surprised that most people say, "yes I have used my phone continuously for the last seven years and it is always stuck to my ear on this side..." well that is where the cancer is...

Dr Miguel Muntané


In the following excerpt from the transcript of the 'Sunday Sunrise' news program (1/8/04), Michael Hawker, CEO of the Insurance Australia Group makes a brief comparison to the current asbestos claims and the possibility for similar claims for the mobile phones industry 30 years down the track. Though he discounts any evidence for a health problem (and I doubt he has looked at the science any deeper than media articles) he cannot rule out the possibility.

So 30 years in the future will put Mr. Hawker in the 80+ age bracket where senility goes with the territory - but what about all those 6 to 12+ year old children Motorola and other companies are today targeting as a "customer electronics market"? If there is a health problem apparent in 30 years, most likely mental dysfunction of one kind or another, today's young cell phone users will be in the prime of their lives raising a young family and in the peak of their working careers.

And if there is a health problem, the many millions (or billions) of people exposed to microwaves from cell phone use will absolutely dwarf the thousands who were exposed to asbestos in the past.

Should the cell phone industry worry about this? Absolutely not. As we say in Australia, if "shit hits the fan" in 30 years time, today's senior cell phone executives now running the show will be retired and well and truly out of the game. It will just be someone else's problem. As they say "truth is irrelevant, what matters is what sells". That's corporate science today.

Don Maisch


Transcripts by category: Finance
Finance editorial with Michael Pascoe
01/08/2004

Full transcript at:
//seven.com.au/sundaysunrise/finance_040801_pascoe

SNIP

". . . While the focus remains on James Hardie, there are other aspects of the whole asbestos tragedy that should be considered - among them, the performance of the insurance industry - coverage finished up a long way short.

That was something I took up at a Banking and Finance magazine insurance panel discussion on Friday, eliciting this intriguing, perhaps worrying, response from Insurance Australia Group CEO, Michael Hawker.

Michael Hawker/Insurance Australia Group: So I'd argue that when some of these policies were written say in 1940, early-1950s, the risk wasn't perceived to be risk at that point in time. And it's very interesting.... the extrapolation of that might be mobile phones today.... there's a lot of chatter in the background that maybe mobile phones are seen as potentially providing some sort of medical effects, no evidence at all... a lot of chatter... everyone in this room's probably heard a lot of the chatter, but everyone's still uses the mobile phone. So take the personal, take the personal decision, even though there's all this chatter in the background.. I'm still going to use this mobile phone because of the convenience. I'll be fascinated in 30 years' time to see whether mobile phones are the asbestos of the future. And I can tell you, the industry is certainly not pricing in a risk of mobile phones creating a medical issue in today's premiums. And if they were, today's premiums would be substantially higher than they are.

SNIP
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