Dr George Carlo and the WTR        
[Wireless Technology Research]

A Quick Overview of the life and activities of Dr George Louis Carlo.


Part 1B | Part 2 | Part 3

This is collaborative effort.

Background to the WTR

See the original announcement

The CTIA and WTR

Quick Overview

For many years the major funding for health research into cellphones safety was in the hands of the Wireless Technology Research (WTR) group, funded (supposedly) at arm's-length by the US Cellular Telephone Industry Association to the tune of $27 million (later $28m). This outlay of this money was spread over six years, and is now totally spent with almost nothing to show for the delay, or the funds.

An epidemiologist/science entrepreneur, named Dr George Louis Carlo, along with Dr. Ian C Munro a toxicologist, and Dr. Bill Guy an electrical engineer (with cell phone research experience) were in charge of this operation.

Dr George Carlo directed the effort until 1999 when he broke with the CTIA over a number of issues arising from an acrimonious divorce, and the fact that much of the money disappeared with no productive output, not even reasonable public relations. In the washout, no one believed that true research had ever been done either within the ranks of the CTIA, among politicians, or in the general public. As a PR exercise, it was a total failure: but it succeeded because it gave the politicians an excuse not to act and the media reason not to publish material which might condemn a major advertiser.

The WTR wireless research program was actually run as an arm of George Carlo's own company, Health and Environmental Sciences (HES), using his own staff. The names and acronyms get confusing here because HES was later known as the Health and Environmental Sciences Group (HESG) and then Health Risks Management Group (HRMG). I will use HES for all of these.

In addition he owned or controlled about a dozen other trading names some of which he still uses, namely The Carlo Institute, Science and Public Policy Institute, and the Safe Wireless Institute. Carlo's companies change character and trading names as fast as he changes funding sources and opinions.

His latest chameleon change of colour apparently, is to now condemn the bioshield company he was promoting. At least he is consistent in his inconsistency.

Profitable ventures

The arrival of WTR was a million dollar windfall for Carlo and made him a very rich man. But on the side he also had many other pseudo-scientific interests -- all aimed at supporting polluting or health-damaging corporations against the interests of the public.

He was chosen because he had had years of experience as a promoter of these corporate lines:

  • "Nuclear energy is safe, even after an accident" for the US Government after Three Mile Island
        (Carlo boasted about his early work on the Three Mile Island disaster)
  • "Dioxins are safe, and Agent Orange never hurt anyone" for Dow Chemicals and the Chlorine council
        (Carlo worked for many years for Dow Chemicals to counter the idea that dioxins were a health hazard)
        See Review of his value by an old associate
  • "Breast Implants are safe" for Dow and other implant makers.
        (Carlo had a relatively short-lived breast implant operation for Dow)
  • "Cigarette smoke is not proven as a health hazard" for Philip Morris.
        (Carlo worked for the tobacco industry for many years)
        See Planning for an attack on the credibility of the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board
        See his work as a tobacco industry recruiter and trainer
  • "Environmental and health scientists are misinformed and biased against the tobacco industry"
        (Carlo and LeVois ran this project for Philip Morris to "prove" and "promote" the idea of bias)
        See The proposal to PM
        See The final report
  • "Most anti-business science is junk science" for APCO Associates, via TASSC.
        (Carlo was a member of the 'Advisory Board' of TASSC, which means that he was accepted by a coalition of industries as a professonal lobbyist and supporter of their 'junk-science' message)
        See from page 52 of Communications Strategy (Large PDF)
  • "Epidemiology can't prove any substance dangerous" for a coalition of tobacco and other industries. (this last project, called GEP, used Carlo as a liason with the chemical companies)
        See from page 68 of Good Epidemiological Practices (Same Large PDF)
        See reply to Matt Winokur's (PM) internal e-mail

This is a rough outline of the man and what we now know about his activities.

E-mail Stewart Fist
70 Middle Harbour Rd,
Lindfield 2070 NSW, Australia
Ph:+61 2 9416 7458
Fx:+61 2 9416 4582