Diagnosis - Mercury Money, Politics, and Poison

ISBN-10: 1597263958
ISBN-13: 9781597263955
Edition: 2nd 2009
List price: $35.00
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Description: One morning in 2000, Dr. Jane Hightower walked into her exam room to find a patient with disturbing symptoms she couldn’t explain. The woman was nauseated, tired, and had difficulty concentrating, but a litany of tests revealed no apparent cause.  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 9/29/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 328
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

One morning in 2000, Dr. Jane Hightower walked into her exam room to find a patient with disturbing symptoms she couldn’t explain. The woman was nauseated, tired, and had difficulty concentrating, but a litany of tests revealed no apparent cause. She was not alone. Dr. Hightower saw numerous patients with similar, inexplicable ailments, and eventually learned that there were many more around the nation and the world. They had little in common—except a healthy appetite for certain fish. Dr. Hightower’s quest for answers led her to mercury, a poison that has been plaguing victims for centuries and is now showing up in seafood. But this “explanation” opened a Pandora’s Box of thornier questions. Why did some fish from supermarkets and restaurants contain such high levels of a powerful poison? Why did the FDA base its recommendations for “safe” mercury consumption on data supplied by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist extremists? And why wasn’t the government warning its citizens? InDiagnosis: Mercury, Dr. Hightower retraces her investigation into the modern prevalence of mercury poisoning, revealing how political calculations, dubious studies, and industry lobbyists endanger our health. While mercury is a naturally occurring element, she learns there’s much that is unnatural about this poison’s prevalence in our seafood. Mercury is pumped into the air by coal-fired power plants and settles in our rivers and oceans, and has been dumped into our waterways by industry. It accumulates in the fish we eat, and ultimately in our own bodies. Yet government agencies and lawmakers have been slow to regulate pollution or even alert consumers. nbsp; Why? The trail of evidence leads to Canada, Japan, Iraq, and various U.S. institutions, and as Dr. Hightower puts the pieces together, she discovers questionable connections between ostensibly objective researchers and industries that fear regulation and bad press. Her tenacious inquiry sheds light on a system in which, too often, money trumps good science and responsible government. Exposing a threat that few recognize but that touches many,Diagnosis: Mercuryshould be required reading for everyone who cares about their health.

Jane M. Hightower, M.D., is a board certified internal medicine physician in San Francisco, California. She published a landmark study that brought the issue of mercury in seafood to national attention. She continues to publish scientific papers and give lectures on the subject.

Preface
The Discovery
Finding My Way
The Media Meets the Victims
Spreading the News
A Spoonful of Mercury
Making Money with a Menace
The Summit
Feeling the Heat in Mercury Politics
The Canadian Mercury Scare
Dr. Sa'adoun al-Tikriti
Fishy Loaves
Fishing with the FDA for Evidence in Iraq
Fishing with the Industry for Evidence in Iraq
From American Samoa to Peru
The Political Realm of Seychelles versus Faroes
The Mercury Study Report
Strategic Errors and Redundant Tactics
The Canning of Proposition 65 Mercury Warnings
Diagnosis Mercury
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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