Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power
Winner of the 2008 NAUTILUS SILVER AWARD in the category of Ecology/Environment/Sustainability and Conscious Media/JournalismFrom tainted pet food to toxic toys, Americans can thank the successful lobbying efforts of the U.S. chemical industry for the secret ingredients in everyday products that have been linked to rising rates of infertility, endocrine system disruptions, neurological disorders, and cancer.While the U.S. Congress stalls in the face of these dangers, the European Union has chosen to act. Strict consumer-safety regulations have forced multinationals to manufacture safer products for European consumers, while lower U.S. standards allow them to continue selling unsafe products to Americans. Schapiro's exposé shows that short of strong government action, the United States will lose not only its ability to protect citizens from environmental hazards but also, as economic priorities shift, whatever claim it has to commercial supremacy. Increasingly, products on American shelves are equated with serious health hazards, hazards that the European Union is legislating out of existence in its powerful trading bloc, a lead that even China is beginning to follow. Schapiro illustrates how the blowback from weak regulation at home carries a steep economic, as well as environmental, price.In Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power, investigative journalist Mark Schapiro takes the reader to the front lines of global corporate and political power, where tectonic battles are being waged that will determine the physical and economic health of our children and ourselves.
Not so proud of the US/FDA/EPA now!
By Linda Erday - September 10, 2007
I pulled this book out of the library in Urbana, Illinois while visiting a friend and didn't put it down until I was done. Now I find myself ordering my own copy so my daughter can read it as well. Bottom line: this book reveals how the people of the USA are not as well protected by our government as we might think we are. The recent lead-paint-in-toys recall and this year's pet-food-debacle, while not addressed, become more understandable for those of us who might have thought, "now how could *that* happen?" It happens because the US standards are not as tight as they should be! The book addresses the thousands of chemicals all around us -- those in our appliances, our cosmetics and toiletries, even our food, and shows how very little testing is done on these chemicals before we are subjected to them. It also covers the political and economic aspects of the topic, including how there is contamination of "normal" crops due to cross pollination with Genetically Modified crops, and... read more
Amazing Story - and Maybe Offers Hope
By Amazon Bob - October 19, 2007
I had not realized till I read this book that Europe seems more interested in health than corporate profits, as evidenced by how closely they watch modern products. The US used to be a leader in this regard, but now govt agencies are tools of big business. It's sad, but the hope is that the standards that the Europeans set (and by osmosis, Japan and China) will gradually improve the safety of products in the US. No company likes having two versions of a product.
Sadly, we cannot depend of the FDA, USDA, and other agencies to safeguard our health. Better to know than not so we can act accordingly. Better get the book.
Knowing your poison - and how to avoid it!
By Simon - October 27, 2007
Over the years I have witnessed representatives of America's chemical industry seeking to weaken proposed new health and environmental standards in Brussels and generally decrying the European approach as 'non-sensical'. This book shows how and why such efforts were misplaced, ultimately self-defeating and inimical to the US consumer. My attention was brought to this book by an article in The Economist ('Brussels rules OK', Sep 20th 2007). The article generally concerned the European regulatory approach and how it was influencing not just developments in its own markets, but also abroad, as other countries used the EU standards as benchmarks for their own regulation. Even the US industry seemed to have sat up and noticed at last. Concerning "Exposed", The Economist wrote: 'A gripping new book by an American, Mark Schapiro, captures the change. When he began his research, he found firms resisting the notion that the American market would follow EU standards for items like... read more