“Doubt Is Their Product”, the One Book To Read If You Want To Understand the Fight

Posted in Recent Info on the testing effort by Administrator on the October 5th, 2008

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emporer, once wrote that nothing is new, all has gone before. In the case of granite testing and the fight to prevent it from happening, one can look into the granite industry’s play book. The parallels between big tobacco, lead paint manufacturers, asbestos manufactures, and many other industries that sucessfully delayed standards on their products are right there to read.

David Michaels is an epidemiologist and director of the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. He once served as the Assisant of Energy for Envirnomental, Safety, and Health, an agency devoted to protecting those working for and living near nuclear plants. Mr. Michaels wrote a book called “Doubt Is Their Product”, and expose of the Product Defense Industry, those who work with manufacturers of dangerous products in an attempt to slow down the day of reckoning.

The Product Defense Industry has many methods, which bring back memories of the tobacco wars going on back in the last century. Most over 45 years of age will remember watching tobacco officials standing before congress, defending their product as harmless.

One of their methods is to hire their own scientists, then publish in captive “scientific journals”.

Or they will request the data from reputable studies, then apply unusual methods to dilute the conclusions, trashing the original study.

Then there is the tactic of attacking the activists or scientists on the other side, attempting to discredit when they have no other methods. This one ought to be familular with this blogs readers.

Another method, is to use Freedom of Information requests to steal info from Federally funded scientists, even before the study is done, which the granite industry is currently doing with several researchers. One of the Radon forums I am a member of recently had several state officials mentioning the letters they had recieved from the MIA, demanding all info on the subject, as well as requesting that Build Clean be forced to turn over their data on the as of yet unfinished Houston countertop survey.

Then there is the DAQ, or Data Access Act and the Data Quality act, which the hazardous material industry can use to force government scientists to change their studys and their conclusions. Considering that epidemiologist studies can take 20 to 30 years, interfering with the studies can eliminate any truly damaging studies from coming out.

So from the lead paint industry’s use of purity, health, and prosperity to brand their product, we now have the granite industry using anti bacterial, natural, and safe to brand their product. The MIA even has a brocure with an infant playing with granite blocks! So it should come with no surprise that the granite industry stoops to personal attacks and strong arming researchers.

But, apparently the hiring of Cohn & Wolfe, the big tobacco PR firm, is changing their ways. If you look up the “Truth about Granite and Radon” on the MIA website, you will find that they removed the picture of the baby playing with the granite blocks from that brochure.

Absolutely lacking in morality and concern for their customers, these guys will do anything to continue selling the hot granite.

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