Doubt Is Their Product

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Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health
Doubt is Their Product.jpg
Author David Michaels
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
2008
ISBN 0199719764

Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health is a 2008 book by David Michaels, currently Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and published by Oxford University Press.

"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." Michaels argues that for decades cigarette manufacturers knew that their product was hazardous to people's health, but hired mercenary scientists who "manufactured uncertainty by questioning every study, dissecting every method, and disputing every conclusion". In doing so the tobacco industry waged a campaign that "successfully delayed regulation and victim compensation for decades"

Doubt is Their Product documents how the tobacco industry's tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards in areas far from tobacco. 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.[1]

Doubt Is Their Product has been reviewed in Science,[2] New Scientist,[3] and Chemical and Engineering News.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michaels, David (2008). Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-19-530067-X. 
  2. ^ Carl F. Cranor (5 September 2008). "Public Health: The Tobacco Strategy Entrenched". Science 321 (5894): 1296–7. doi:10.1126/science.1162339. 
  3. ^ Merrill Goozner (11 June 2008). "Review: Doubt Is Their Product by David Michaels and Bending Science by Thomas O. McGarity and Wendy E. Wagner". New Scientist (2660). 
  4. ^ Britt E. Erickson (November 17, 2008). "Manufacturing Uncertainty". Chemical and Engineering News 86 (42): 77–8. doi:10.1021/cen-v086n046.p077.