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...moreI 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 noted. The author knows what he writes. It's also a scary book, because of the truth, exposing the history of what has happened. The book tells us how science, and what sounds like science, is used to manipulate in order to avoid doing what’s right, and ultimately hurting or killing people. We see this happen time and time again.
It opens with the warning label we now have on aspirin bottle about Reyes Syndrome. Sadly many children, too many children, had to die before the label was adopted. While the drug manufacturers were debating and denying their product was the cause, more children died. The entire book is like this, sad tales where people are in harm’s way but the organizations deny the harm their product does. And why, well, we know, to ensure their balance sheets look healthy.
There are many cases of worker's health clearly being damaged, one example covered is about the butter on popcorn in a factory that was causing lung issues for the workers, and yet the company does nothing, then denies it until it is irrefutable. Until more workers become sick. The book covers, Big Tobacco, which seems easy to pick on, as well as some chemical companies. There is also a chapter on why children's IQ has gone up about 20 points recently, because finally lead has been taken out of paint and other products.
The book discusses how people demand healthy living, and we see public outcries after specific events or when a book is published, such as Silent Spring but there is a lot of push back. Companies manipulate OSHA, FDA, and other oversight regulatory agencies, who typically do not get enough funding from congress. (It isn’t in the book but money from companies or industries contributing to campaign funds and messing with the political process certainly has an effect.) Then when cases do go before the courts, poor rulings are made, often due to the manipulation continuing to go on by the companies. It is truly sad how data is used to show inconclusive results when it is clear there are health ramifications.
The book is not entirely negative, and I may go back and read the last two chapters in depth. These two are positives, how to improve the system titled: Four Ways to Make the Courts Count & Sarbanes-Oaxley for Science: A dozen ways to improve our regulatory system.
Another chapter I probably should also read more thoroughly is about how drug companies in developing their pills manipulate their data. And there are many ways they can do this, but in the end it's all about getting approval quickly even before really knowing how safe the drug may be. After gaining FDA approval if it proves to have problems, they can pull it back, but that is also difficult with more stalling on the part of the drug manufacture.
This is a vital book. I hope people will read it. It's not easy. I couldn't do it. But I'm happy it's out there, it is a necessary book that hopefully will help to change things like The Jungle and Silent Spring did. We can do better.
Slightly interesting storyline, but somewhat dated particularly with smoking in the hospital. The sexism wasn’t too fun to read either….as if a woman...moreSlightly interesting storyline, but somewhat dated particularly with smoking in the hospital. The sexism wasn’t too fun to read either….as if a woman couldn’t be a surgeon. Hah!
Interesting note: includes an annotated bibliography at the end, for further reading. Perhaps to make the fiction seem more real?(less)
A short book, about 100 pages long, that covers something that has been known and practiced for ages. The difference here is scientific study was appl...moreA short book, about 100 pages long, that covers something that has been known and practiced for ages. The difference here is scientific study was applied and Benson shares the results. After the two pages describing how to do it, the rest was why. The Relaxation Response is like meditation, or deep prayer, and part of the book explores the different religions and writings that have discussed this process. It is a simple thing to do. The hardest part is to make it a habit and do it at least once a day, if not twice for 10 to 20 minutes. Seems like common sense, being calm and relaxed instead of stressed out is better for blood pressure and mood. Now to apply it!