Cover image for Our daily poison : from pesticides to packaging, how chemicals have contaminated the food chain and are making us sick
Title:
Our daily poison : from pesticides to packaging, how chemicals have contaminated the food chain and are making us sick
Author:
Robin, Marie-Monique., author.
Uniform Title:
Notre poison quotidien. English
Publication Information:
New York, NY : The New Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
470 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
Over the last thirty years, we have seen an increase in rates of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive disorders, and diabetes, particularly in developed countries. At the same time, since the end of World War II approximately 100,000 synthetic chemical molecules have invaded our environment--and our food chain. In Our Daily Poison, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin investigates the links between these two concerning trends, revealing how corporate interests and our ignorance about these invisible poisons may be costing us our lives. The result of a rigorous two-year-long investigation that took Robin across three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia), Our Daily Poison documents the many ways in which we encounter a shocking array of chemicals in our everyday lives--from the pesticides that blanket our crops to the additives and plastics that contaminate our food--and their effects on our bodies over time. Gathering as evidence scientific studies, testimonies of international regulatory agencies, and interviews with farm workers suffering from acute chronic poisoning, Robin makes a compelling case for outrage and action.
General Note:
Originally published in French as: Notre poison quotidien (Paris : Découverte, 2011).
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781595589095
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Over the last thirty years, we have seen an increase in rates of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive disorders, and diabetes, particularly in developed countries. At the same time, since the end of World War II approximately 100,000 synthetic chemical molecules have invaded our environment--and our food chain. In Our Daily Poison , award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin investigates the links between these two concerning trends, revealing how corporate interests and our ignorance about these invisible poisons may be costing us our lives.

The result of a rigorous two-year-long investigation that took Robin across three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia), Our Daily Poison documents the many ways in which we encounter a shocking array of chemicals in our everyday lives--from the pesticides that blanket our crops to the additives and plastics that contaminate our food--and their effects on our bodies over time. Gathering as evidence scientific studies, testimonies of international regulatory agencies, and interviews with farm workers suffering from acute chronic poisoning, Robin makes a compelling case for outrage and action.


Author Notes

Marie-Monique Robin is an award-winning French journalist and filmmaker. She received the 1995 Albert Londres Prize, awarded to investigative journalists in France. She is the director and producer of over thirty documentaries and investigative reports filmed in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. She lives outside Paris. Allison Schein and Lara Vergnaud hold Master's degrees in French-English Literary Translation from New York University. Both translators live in New York City.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Although Robin (The World according to Monsanto, 2010) and other journalists have been exposing the facts about man-made environmental toxins for years, nothing has yet stanched the flow of ever more dangerous poisons that adulterate our food and threaten our health. Rather than targeting a single offender this time, Robin spreads the blame among several international corporations, each with a vested interest in secrecy. Claiming proprietary confidentiality, pesticide or phytopharmaceutical manufacturers often withhold product ingredient information and obfuscate safety test results. Robin's years of exhaustive interviews and research into innumerable scientific studies about food contamination and the associated diseases affecting farm workers and consumers have produced an enlightening and deeply disturbing account of abuse within a political system that deals all the face cards to industries, leaving the public without even trump. Worse is the fact that there seems no better intervention than a complete paradigm shift, an unlikely hard reboot of politics and business as usual. Robin's research, facts, and writing are stellar. All we can do is keep spreading the word.--Chavez, Donna Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

French journalist and documentary filmmaker Robin (The World According to Monsanto) delivers another fiercely activist account of how chemicals that are supposed to improve our lives are making us sick-and how the regulation process "protects producers much more than it does consumers and citizens." Her unrelenting search for the truth behind the poisons in our foods takes her across the U.S. and Europe to talk with researchers examining the links between chemicals and disease, and those who are hiding those links. For example, she blasts the skewed 1981 study of cancer causes that puts individuals' behaviors at the top of the list, and hails the director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer who asserts it's estimated that "80 to 90 percent of cancer is linked to the environment and lifestyle." But Robin takes particular aim at how chemicals in our food and packaging are regulated, with one OSHA official telling her there's too much conflict of interest among scientists and corporations. What Rachel Carson's groundbreaking Silent Spring did for the environmental movement, Robin is doing for awareness of toxins in the food chain. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Robin (The World According to Monsanto) deals with a subject that can be highly technical; unfortunately, the author's jargon- and acronym-ridden prose does little to elucidate the subject for readers, particularly in the first section on agricultural pesticides. The chapters of greatest interest to consumers, those that deal with aspartame and Bisphenol A (BPA), are left until the very end, but only dedicated readers or those with some familiarity with the topic will make it that far. Throughout the text, Robin does little to synthesize the conflicting opinions of scientists and regulators, opting to quote lengthy passages from other books or her own documentaries. Furthermore, the theme is somewhat unclear: while all the chapters have something to do with chemicals or diseases caused by them, the connection to food is not always explicit. In addition, the book's tone is explosive and outraged, evoking feelings that are warranted but that do little to help the author's argument. VERDICT Although there is valid information here, the work does not contribute significantly to the debate about chemicals in the food chain; it merely parrots other sources.-Cate Hirschbiel, Iwasaki Lib., Emerson Coll., Boston (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Knowledge Is Powerp. 1
Part I Pesticides are Poisons
1 The Ruffec Appeal and the Battle of Paul Françoisp. 9
2 Chemical Weapons Recycled for Agriculturep. 24
3 "Elixirs of Death"p. 37
4 Ill from Pesticidesp. 56
5 Pesticides and Cancer: Consistent Studiesp. 71
6 The Unstoppable Rise of Pesticides and Neurodegenerative Diseasesp. 87
Part II Science and Industry: Manufacturing Doubt
7 The Sinister Side of Progressp. 107
8 Industry Lays Down the Lawp. 125
9 Mercenaries of Sciencep. 141
10 Institutional Liesp. 156
11 An Epidemic of Chronic Diseasesp. 178
Part III Regulation at Industry's Beck and Call
12 The Colossal Scientific Masquerade Behind Poisons' 'Acceptable Daily Intakes"p. 207
13 The Unsolvable Conundrum of "Maximum Residue Limits"p. 230
14 Aspartame and Regulation: How Industry Is Pulling the Stringsp. 256
15 The Dangers of Aspartame and the Silence of Public Authoritiesp. 270
Part IV The Shocking Scandal of Endocrine Disruptors
16 "Men in Peril": Is the Human Species in Danger?p. 295
17 Distilbene: The "Perfect Model"?p. 316
18 The Case of Bisphenol A: A Pandora's Boxp. 331
19 The Cocktail Effectp. 360
Conclusion: A Paradigm Shiftp. 379
Notesp. 389
Indexp. 451

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