[ RadSafe ] Mohan Doss's comment on the BMJ article in RadSafe Digest Vol. 1950, issue 1

Doss, Mohan Mohan.Doss at fccc.edu
Mon Nov 2 21:18:13 CST 2015

Dear Peter,
    When there is a fundamental error in the design of a study, it would be right to reject the study. As an example: If a scientist is attempting to measure the effect of plant growth as a function of watering frequency (daily, once in 2 days, once in 3 days, etc.), and conducts the study outdoors in different seasons, different areas, etc., and ignores the rain that would be occurring at different rates, the study would be deeply flawed. One would not place any trust in the results from such a study. You may say it is a matter of opinion to reject such a study, but I would say it is a matter of logic, not a matter of opinion. It is a simple but major error. Neglecting medical radiation dose is such an error in the INWORKS study. 
   We should use models when we do not have data. When we have data, the data should be used. There is plenty of data that show reduction of cancers following low-dose radiation exposure.  Of course there are lots of publications showing support for the LNT model. However, such publications are found to have major flaws making their conclusions not trustworthy. If we are gullible and accept all such publications at face value without analyzing the validity of the publications, we would be unable to decide which is the correct side. 
    Re: Chernobyl question - it is on my list, but there are more important issues to address at present. Hence the delay. But I will address it sometime.
    With best regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Peter Crane
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2015 9:21 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Mohan Doss's comment on the BMJ article in RadSafe Digest Vol. 1950, issue 1

Mohan, maybe I misunderstand you, but it seems that you are saying that any paper that disagrees with your viewpoint can be disregarded a priori, since experience shows that it is bound to be flawed. This does not seem consistent with the openmindedness and receptivity to new information that are hallmarks not only of good science but also of rational discourse generally.

RadSafers should be aware that the Subcommittee of the NRC's Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes presented their report to the full Committee last Wednesday. Their unanimous view was that although there was data on both sides of the issue, nothing had been presented so compelling as to meet the threshold necessary to reject the LNT and ALARA as a basis for regulation. They indicated that more study was needed, as well as an openminded approach to these issues. Their report was adopted unanimously by the full Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes. It should be stressed that their charter did not include evaluating the three petitions now before the NRC; rather, it was confined to giving their views on the LNT and hormesis. 

I hope, Mohan, that you will not ascribe the findings of the Subcommittee and the full Committee to pecuniary motives. That would do them a serious injustice.

Incidentally, Mohan, I am looking forward to hearing your views, promised some weeks ago, on both the significance of thyroid cancer and the relevance of the post-Chernobyl thyroid cancers. It will be recalled that the opinion of Carol Marcus was that the radiation doses were too low for those cancers to be relevant to this debate, whereas your opinion was that the radiation doses were too high for them to be relevant. Given that your petition claimed to be supportive of Carol's, I was puzzled by the apparent contradiction.

-- Peter Crane, NRC Counsel for Special Projects (retired)

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