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The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health Paperback – June 26, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This provocative and frightening look at the synthetic chemicals used by the processed foods, pharmaceutical and chemical industries delivers an excellent, up-to-date summary of "what is really in our food, water, vitamins, prescription drugs, childhood vaccines, cosmetics, and in our homes." Former Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Fitzgerald (Mugged by the State) takes aim at the belief that "lab-created synthetics are as benign as—and more effective than—naturally occurring foods and medicines." The "hundred-year lie" dates from 1906, the year Congress enacted the Pure Food and Drug Act. Utilizing a range of articles from science journals and government reports, along with interviews with scientists and environmentalists, Fitzgerald looks at synthetic chemicals—from artificial sweeteners to antidepressants—that are diminishing our health. Throughout, Fitzgerald explodes various myths such as that one right dose of a particular drug works for everyone and that all food additives have been tested for safety. Still, Fitzgerald's faith in Eastern and other natural healing processes will not convince everyone. The author concludes with practical steps for "choosing a diet of pure foods and a lifestyle free of synthetics." (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Provocative and frightening . . . excellent. (Publishers Weekly)

Exhaustively researched . . . a useful addition to your library. (

A frightening wake-up call . . . if Fast Food Nation made you consider some serious lifestyle changes, The Hundred-Year Lie will inspire you to go ten steps farther. (Boston Herald)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288393
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Just over a century ago, the Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. According to author Randall Fitzgerald it was this legislation that reassured the American public that the food and medicines they were consuming had been thoroughly tested and were safe to use. As it turns out nothing could be further from the truth! "The Hundred Year Lie" tells the sordid story of a century of deception and irresponsibility by the companies who process our food and manufacture the drugs and chemicals we use everyday. Indeed, the promise of "a better life through chemistry" is a notion we all need to examine and seriously reconsider.

At a bare minimum, reading "The One Hundred Year Lie" will make you stop in your tracks and think about all of the different chemicals you are ingesting and coming into contact with every day. It is not just the voluminous amounts of additives in your food that you must worry about. Stop and consider all of the personal care products you use on a daily basis. Add to that the over-the-counter and prescription drugs you may be taking and all of the household cleaning products that you employ. Then think about all of the chemicals that are applied to our clothing, our bedding and to our furniture. Next, you might want to consider the flouride in your municipal water supply and maybe the highly toxic arsenic in all of that pressure treated lumber around your property. Now if you are a pretty unscientific sort like me you will then appreciate Randall Fitzgerald's attempt to explain the concept of "synergy". Most people just take it for granted that the products they use must have been thoroughly tested and deemed completely safe to use.
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110 of 118 people found the following review helpful By John Morley on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As Al Gore's movie makes "inconvenient truths" about global warming more understandable, this book will open your eyes to the unintended damage being done to you, those you love and and every other creature on the planet.

In a story that makes clear the need for this book, the author stands outside a Wal*Mart. Shoppers are rushing past a state-mandated sign that warns of chemicals inside that are " cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm." He stops a shopper to ask if she had thought about the sign. She brushes past with the dismissal that, "If there was any danger, someone would tell us!"

Well, you are being told. If--like the shopper and most of the rest of us--the signs with the bold letters aren't clear enough for you, this book certainly is.

Fitzgerald is a professional writer, rather than a scientist, activist, politician or scholar. This may be why his book is an enjoyable read and easy to understand. And it's unburdened by the technical complexities or alarmist attacks that are too common to writing on this topic.

Also to its credit, the book goes beyond gloom and doom to offer practical solutions that you can begin right now. Although nothing quick or easy is promised, the case that we need to do something is made starkly compelling. Getting informed is the first step, and this book is information that we all need now to make better choices concerning every detail of what we eat and how we choose to live.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Alexandre Merineau on October 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Fitzgerald goes where few would dare in this meticulously researched Magnum

Opus on the rise and ubiquity of unsafe and largely untested synthetic

chemicals passing as food, medicine, and their undeniably extreme impact on

our ability as a species to maintain our health

and civilization. Impressive...

Fitzgerald's book is not abstract, it is not philosophical, it is not a cheap

attempt at self or product promotion, and it is completely devoid of

finger-pointing or blame.

Even when he identifies the culprits that have generated, maintained and

profited from what he calls "The Synthetics Belief System" (a century old

attempt to equate the application of synthetic chemical "discoveries" to food,

medicine and consumer goods with notions of identity, self-worth, and the

myths of "progress, all promoted by the processed food, pharmaceutical and

chemical institutions... and our blind belief) he convincingly points that it is

we consumers, we employees, we stockholders, we government officials and the

electorate that are ultimately keeping this pattern of "accelerating

degeneration" in place...all because we have come to aggressively demand all

this synthetic chemical "food stuff" and "medicine stuff" and "consumer stuff"

as our birthright. We have been taught an awful lesson.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crowley on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Randall Fitzgerald's "The Hundred Year Lie" is the most important, convincing and blunt health-related book I've read since Colin Campbell's "The China Study." My immediate reaction after finishing this book was fear, but it was followed rather quickly by a sense of empowerment and determination. I am recommending this book to friends and everyone in my family.

Mr. Fitzgerald has packed an enormous amount of alarming and scientifically-based information on a wide range of topics that directly impact our health and quality of life into an engrossing, well-organized and shocking book. Even though much of this information has been available (with a bit of effort) for some time, I have not seen it organized so ingeniously or presented in such a stark, authoritative and grounded fashion. By "grounded", I mean that it is alarming in its content but not hysterical in its tone. Hundreds if not thousands of scientists worldwide have been trying to sound the alarm about the effects of synthetic chemicals on our environment, bodies and reproductive capacity for several years, but because the information is so upsetting it has not been readily accepted or discussed by the larger population.

In one of the book's most mesmerizing chapters, Fitzgerald crafts a painstaking, revealing time-line of our last century in which it becomes possible to fathom the causes and effects set into motion by the introduction of synthetic chemicals, drugs and food additives to our lives. It becomes virtually impossible to accept that the exponential rise in cancer, heart disease, birth defects and diabetes are wholly unrelated to these trends in our dietary habits and exposure to unregulated toxins in our food, water and environment.

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