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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

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Polluters and those who manufacture dangerous products often oppose public health and environmental regulation through a strategy of questioning the validity of scientific evidence on which the regulation is based. The author looks at the success of this strategy and argues that America's regulatory system has been broken.
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 14th 2008)
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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
I skimmed this book, did not read it very thoroughly but need 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 n
Oct 17, 2009 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Megan Sanchez
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
Ralph Hermansen
"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
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
Theresa Stueve
I thought every person on the planet should read 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.
Ethan Johnson
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.
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
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!
John Woods
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.
Mike Barnett
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.
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...
A must read for anyone in my field. This book should be required reading in any type of environmental health or public policy program.
Greg Knight
Jul 14, 2008 Greg Knight rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Unfortunately a very true assessment. Not an easy read but more people should be aware of it
Great book, although it gets tiring...better reference than vacation read.
Excellent look at environmental & regulatory issues. Highly recommended.
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