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

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

by David Michaels
     
 

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ISBN-10: 019530067X

ISBN-13: 9780195300673

Pub. Date: 04/23/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

"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

Overview

"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 dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense consultants, he argues, have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. To keep the public confused about the hazards posed by global warming, second-hand smoke, asbestos, lead, plastics, and many other toxic materials, industry executives have hired unscrupulous scientists and lobbyists to dispute scientific evidence about health risks. In doing so, they have not only delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats. The Orwellian strategy of dismissing research conducted by the scientific community as "junk science" and elevating science conducted by product defense specialists to "sound science" status also creates confusion about the very nature of scientific inquiry and undermines the public's confidence in science's ability to address public health and environmental concerns Such reckless practices have long existed, but Michaels argues that the Bush administration deepened the dysfunction by virtually handing over regulatory agencies to the very corporate powers whose products and behavior they are charged with overseeing.
In Doubt Is Their Product Michaels proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system has been broken. He offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy.

Named one of the best Sci-Tech books of 2008 by Library Journal!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195300673
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/23/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
421,542
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Sound Science" or "Sounds Like Science"?     ix
The Manufacture of Doubt     3
Workplace Cancer before OSHA: Waiting for the Body Count     12
America Demands Protection     29
Why Our Children Are Smarter Than We Are     38
The Enronization of Science     45
Tricks of the Trade: How Mercenary Scientists Mislead You     60
Defending Secondhand Smoke     79
Still Waiting for the Body Count     91
Chrome-Plated Mischief     97
Popcorn Lung: OSHA Gives Up     110
Defending the Taxicab Standard     124
The Country Has a Drug Problem     142
Daubert: The Most Influential Supreme Court Ruling You've Never Heard Of     161
The Institutionalization of Uncertainty     176
The Bush Administration's Political Science     192
Making Peace with the Past     212
Four Ways to Make the Courts Count     232
Sarbanes-Oxley for Science: A Dozen Ways to Improve Our Regulatory System     241
Acknowledgments     267
Abbreviations and Acronyms     271
References     275
Index     357

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