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Book Review: Toxic Deception
In the book, TOXIC DECEPTION, authors Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle talked about the ways and means today's manufacturers were able to hide their "deceptive practices", and keep harmful products in the market even with the availability of safer and cheaper alternatives.
According to the book, there are secret industry documents and internal records from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), showing how the chemical industry distorted scientific studies to produce results that are according to their advantage. They have twisted facts and figures to mislead the consumers on the dangers of four (4) common chemicals investigated in Toxic Deception. In addition, the book also told about EPA's inaction to stop these chemical manufacturers from making their products available to consumers.
At present, all four chemicals remain in the market and are reported to be in wide use despite significant evidence that they cause cancer and other terrible health problems. These chemicals are usually present in the pesticides commonly used in households.
The book relates that scientific studies have come out with evidence that children are more than twice as likely to acquire leukemia if pest strips have been used in their homes. Similarly, dogs have 30 percent probability of contracting lymphoma if their owners spray 2,4-D on their lawns. 2,4-D is the name of the most common herbicide in the market.
Unfortunately, federal health agencies have all but abandoned the long-term testing of chemicals on animals. This type of testing has been the only method known to accurately predict a substance from causing cancer in humans. The authors contend that the change was brought about by the barrage of public relations produced by the big chemical industry players. Animal-rights advocates are no match to the manufacturers' clout and financial advantage. This was during the time when information came out that the manufacturers' products cause rat tumors and abnormalities.
On the EPA's part, instead of conducting their own tests, they often evaluate and rely on the tests that have been designed and conducted by the chemical manufacturers themselves. On other occasions, it was found out that the EPA evaluated the tests conducted by companies hired by the manufacturers.
In effect, the federal government provides the opportunity for these chemical manufacturers to test the toxic effects of their own products and produce results that are advantageous to their cause. One review provided a perfect description: "It is a fox-guarding-the-henhouse system that lends itself to manipulation and even outright fraud."
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