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Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health
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Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"Doubt is our product," a cigarette executive once observed, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."
In this eye-opening expose, David Michaels reveals how the tobacco industry's duplicitous tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dis
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 14th 2008)
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Todd Martin
Oct 14, 2015 Todd Martin rated it liked it
Let’s say that a corporation manufactures a popular and profitable consumer product and evidence emerges that the product causes harm (cancer, brain damage, an erection lasting more than 4 hours … whatever). What do you do? One option would be to admit the problem, notify the media, pull the product from the market, and compensate the victims. Instead many companies choose the following:
• Suppress the evidence of harm as long as possible, then deny harm
• Raise doubt about the scientific evidenc
May 07, 2015 Pamela rated it it was amazing
I skimmed this book, did not read it very thoroughly but did go through nearly every page. The reason being is the book would make my blood pressure rise too much if I read it deeply. It's a good book, but I get quite angry hearing about companies that are so calculating, misleading and obscure important information, all in order to improve profits. People's health should not be disregarded so callously for a better bottom line.

The book is a very important book, extremely well researched and no
Megan M
Jul 06, 2012 Megan M rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely important book about the lows that corporations will go to to keep their harmful products on the market to maximize profits. Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Energy under Clinton, extensively documents the disgusting tactics of Big Pharma, the asbestos industry, Big Tobacco, chemical companies and plastics manufacturers in their bid to keep regulations low, killing or seriously injuring hundreds or thousands of people. While this is not and easy book to read (it can be d ...more
Oct 17, 2009 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
This is the best book I have come across on the subject of corporate influence on science. Prof. Michaels details in case after case how corporations have used the "tobacco strategy" to muddy the waters and delay government regulation of harmful substances. The case studies -- secondhand tobacco smoke, lead, benzene, beryllium, diacetyl, the list goes on and on -- start to blur together, so consistent is the gameplan.

The main scientific takeaway from the book is this: epidemiology is difficult t
May 30, 2016 Rhys rated it really liked it
I bought this book by mistake (but read it on purpose). It was very well written.

Doubt is their Product is ostensibly about corporate shenanigans as it relates to manipulating science to sidestep regulation, putting corporate profits ahead of pubic and environmental health - a perspective that is so commonplace that if a corporation were in fact to try to do something progressive or altruistic, it would be met with disbelief.

What makes this book remarkable is that Michaels explains how mercenary
Feb 20, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent story from a government employee who has been on the "front lines" of the battles over science in regulation. The book discusses the ways that industry produces "science" (both in terms of funding and publishing the research, and statistical and experimental methods) that is designed to obscure and confuse findings of associations between various environmental exposures and health effects. These range from tobacco and asbestos to beryllium that nuclear workers were expo ...more
Sep 06, 2015 Shadoshard rated it really liked it
The psychology of advertising with the appropriately sinister spin - this book packs the necessary data and references that should make it mandatory reading for high school psychology. But it's terrifying just how successful the industry is in twisting reality to suit their short sighted and damaging agendas. The writing is clear and precise and difficult to dispute. A rallying cry to wake up to the realities of media manipulation before science becomes witchcraft in the 21st century and we're w ...more
Ralph Hermansen
Feb 08, 2013 Ralph Hermansen rated it it was amazing
"Doubt is Their Product" is a well researched and scholarly book. It is also tells a very sad story. The government we trust to keep us safe has put the foxes in charge of the henhouses. OSHA, for example, has been so intimidated that it has quit trying to protect us. The nuclear weapons industry has contaminated the countryside and used security as an excuse to hide the fact. The FDA has little to no funding to protect us from drugs with serious side effects. If you vote, you must read this boo ...more
Mark Mastalski
Jul 14, 2008 Mark Mastalski rated it liked it
A good look at how industry and the lack of governmental oversight is leading to a dangerous combination when it comes to public health safety. The author does a fine job of describing many different issues where public health safety should be job #1, but instead industry, hiding behind "sound science", has gotten to run the show over groups such as EPA, OSHA and NIOSH. Of course it comes down to politics in many ways, but this is a good book to read if you want to know a better history of how t ...more
Ethan Johnson
Apr 03, 2013 Ethan Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye-opening must-read about how the oligarchy is affecting the regulatory departments of the government, and prolonging the destruction of public health and the environment. It seems this was written in 2006 or 2007, so I would be interested to learn what the author has to say about the situation now.
May 27, 2010 Ross rated it really liked it
Covers some of the same ground as The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney, but through a practitioner's (rather than a science journalist's) perspective. This author also goes back further in time and gets more technical about the way, for example, industry manipulates epidemiological studies and seeks to exclude science from the court system.
Jul 21, 2008 Aaron rated it liked it
i wish i could give it 3.5 stars; it's well written although a bit redundant in parts. overall, it's a pretty solid read detailing industry's unquenchable thirst for cash (even in the face of senselessly killing its employees). capatilism!
Katie Stark
Sep 12, 2014 Katie Stark rated it it was amazing
A technical read for a very specific audience, but if anyone else is working in health implications from lack of corporate responsibility, especially in investigations, this book is a major eye-opener!
Mike Barnett
Jan 16, 2010 Mike Barnett rated it liked it
Really important information, but more of a textbook than a easy read. Just unbelievable to read how badly the corporations have the government in their pocket.
Oct 09, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing
I'm very interested in this topic (possibly working in this area for my career?) however, it's non-fiction, which I HATE so we'll see how far I get...
Dec 27, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone in my field. This book should be required reading in any type of environmental health or public policy program.
John Woods
Aug 19, 2011 John Woods rated it really liked it
A must read. It starts to feel a little repetitive after a while, but then, hey, that's why it's a must read -- because it's so tragic that we allow industry to manipulate government this way.
Sep 11, 2008 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As reviewed by Carl F. Cranor in "The Tobacco Strategy Entrenched" in the 5 September 2008 issue of Science.
Greg Knight
Jul 14, 2008 Greg Knight rated it really liked it
Recommended to Greg by: KEXP
Excellent expose on the tactics of product defense groups and lobbyists and how they twist science to achieve political gains.
Hugo de Vries
Hugo de Vries rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2015
Gila Neta
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Sep 03, 2012
Kevin Smith
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Nov 10, 2012
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Brent Neal
Brent Neal rated it it was amazing
Dec 24, 2010
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