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

ISBN-10: 019530067X

ISBN-13: 9780195300673

Edition: 2007

Authors: David Michaels
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Description: "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.

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/23/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Size: 6.75" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

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