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Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health Hardcover – 1 May 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019530067X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195300673
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 750,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


...a powerful, thorough endictment of the way big business has ignored, suppressed or distored vital scientific evidence to the detriment of the public's health. (Nature)

About the Author

David Michaels is a scientist and former government regulator. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health. He was the architect of the historic initiative to compensate nuclear weapons workers who developed cancer and lung disease. He is currently Research Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and Professor, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He lives in Bethesda, MD.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exposé, with many detailed examples, of methods used by industry and industry front bodies in the US to resist tighter legislation and compensation claims by casting doubt on published scientific studies, suppressing data, spuriously reanalysing published results, setting up "vanity" scientific journals favourable to industry, stacking government committees, and sponsoring legislation to require one-sided disclosure of research data. The title comes from an internal memo of a tobacco company. The author has been a scientist and a safety regulator of the nuclear weapons industry under the Clinton administration. He concludes by proposing a set of principles by which governments could rectify the problems - these could be applied worldwide, not just in the US, with benefit to public health and safety. (Under President Obama, the author has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Labor in charge of the Occuaptional Safety and Health Administration.)
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By T1 on 9 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the truth 3 May 2014
By Jcm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Michaels' book is one of the most significant and important books about how "science" works and doesn't work, and how in our society the rules are set in such a way that the rich and powerful can manufacture their own "science" and make it come out however they want it to come out. And the way the rich and powerful want it to come out is for them to make more money, often by passing the cost of death and disease associated with their products and processes on to the public. After reading this book, whenever you hear industry spokespeople talking about "science" you will know that they are really just lobbying for.a position that will result in profit for them and loss for you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed expose with real solutions 15 Oct. 2008
By Seth Davidson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Michaels has traveled the honorable path of scientific muckracking, peeling back the lies and distortions that have killed millions in the U.S. for the greater good of shareholder profit. The great improvement of his book, "Doubt is their Product," is that it also lines out a series of concrete solutions with proven examples of ways that agencies can retake the high ground.

This book has an important inspirational component and a get-to-work component that activists can use to make the workplace and environment safer. Michaels counsels us on practical means such as ending court sanctioned secrecy, allowing injured workers to sue their employees, develop better compensation systems, and ending pre-emption that harms public policy and public health.

The book includes a crucial chapter on concrete ways to improve the regulatory system so that it protects the majority rather than serving as a shield, flack, and apologist for corporate profits.

This is a must read for any law school course on administrative law, and for any college course on modern government. Its discussion of the asbestos industry--creator of the global mesothelioma scourge--is particularly apropos. Best of all, the book is well written, thoroughly researched, and righteous while being coolly objective.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first-hand account 25 July 2013
By MEL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every voter should read this book. Michaels exposes every trick of industries who use or produce toxic products in their too-often-successful bids to avoid regulation.
Is it really worth the money and time they spend? Wouldn't it be cheaper just to find substitute products and protect their workers? In the process of avoiding responsibility, these industries are damaging true scientific analysis for decades to come.
David Michaels might be the only person who can present the facts so completely since he was directly involved with many of these situations.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable reference 26 Nov. 2009
By John R Mashey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with others that this is dense and long, but I think it is well worth reading, even if you skip parts of chapters.

I would especially suggest study of:
Chapter 13: Daubert: the Most Influential Supreme Court Ruling You've Never Heard Of
Chapter 14: The Institutionalization of Uncertainty
[The Data Access Act (Shelby) and the Data Quality Act]

a) The behaviors of some corporations, PR agencies, product defense organizations can get somewhat redundant. Hill & Knowlton created the tactics 50+ years ago and they've been widely employed.

b) But the legal issues in these two Chapters represent relatively recent changes in the law with profound effects. They (especially the Data Access Act) are now widely being used to harass climate scientists, for example.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haven't been able to finish it! 28 May 2014
By Suzanne B. Conaway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The good news is: it's a well-written, well-documented book. The bad news is: I find the corporate chicanery and the gullibility of the American people so depressing, I put it down and haven't been able to pick it up again.

I'm doing some light reading now. I'm hoping to pick the book up and finish it after I finish a 'fun' book.
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