190 of 196 people found the following review helpful
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. It is when you discover that the scientific community, the manufacturers themselves and various government regulators really have absolutely no idea how these different chemical concoctions are going react with each other in the real world that you just might become a bit concerned.
On many different levels "The Hundred Year Lie" challenges the way we live our lives today and implores each of us as individuals and society in general to make the necessary changes before more damage is done. I simply cannot imagine that anyone who reads this book will not feel compelled to make some significant changes in his or her own lifestyle. In our never-ending quest for comfort and convenience we have done considerable damage to our our own personal well-being and to our environment. Some say the damage may be irreparable. This is a fascinating and well written book that is certainly worth your time and attention. Highly recommended!
105 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2006
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 "known...to 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.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2006
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.
The implications are such that our actual birthright (a state of "naturally
occurring health" as he puts it, where the body burden of synthetic chemicals
is allowed to be eliminated, a point he drives home in the book by chronicling
a experiment in detoxification himself) has been deftly robbed from everyone
on the planet, including the planet itself it seems. We have become entirely
dependent on stuff that is clearly destroying our health.
In fact, we are complicit in this attack on everybody's health by maintaining
our habits, which in turn are heavily reinforced by everything we hear and see
everywhere on a daily basis.
I saw how my purchase decisions are not only destroying my health and the
health of my family (even my kid's ability to reproduce) but how MY consumer
choices are in fact destroying people everywhere, animals everywhere and the
very ecosystem we entirely depend upon.
I'm a Gen-X'er with a predilection for healthy living. He's a Baby Boomer.
Regardless, everybody everywhere is confronted with this super-massive
problem. Like the old Palmolive ad kept repeating on TV when I was a kid:
"You're soaking in it!" That's the problem nobody wants to talk about.
Luckily Fitzgerald offers us a framework in which to begin dealing with these
realities, not just talk about it like some novelty item that is as dangerous
as any WMD. I'd say the Synthetic Belief System is the WMD we need to be
talking about as citizens of all countries.
Read this book.
138 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2006
"The United States spends more than twice as much on health care than any other industrialized nation in the world-$6,100 per year for every man, woman, and child. Fifteen percent of the economy is now devoted to medical care, up from 10 percent in 1987. Yet, the United States ranks forty-sixth in life expectancy and forty-second in infant mortality among the nations of the world." Pages 86-87. A frightening expose of the chemicals which afflict all living things on the earth with humans, of course, at the top of the toxic chain. Expect more toxins to enter our little nature web without regards to long term effects, thanks to a government and FDA in the pockets of well heeled business. In the end, it may be ourselves who can take what little action is possible. Fitzgerald's stay at the Hippocrates, with its pure food diet and physical regime, seemed at first reading totally bizarre. But, he claims it radically reduced the toxins in his own body and seemed to actually heal many of the patients. And, after watching modern medicine actually kill, in my opinion, friends of mine, not before extracting obscene amounts of money and inflicting terrible pain, I would personally consider this alternative option. Important reading for anyone interested in their health and the health of their offspring. Why then only 4 stars? Simply because in the long run this book will make no difference. Business and government will pollute more systematically and nothing Fitzgerald has to say will slow the process.
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2006
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.
Mr. Fitzgerald deftly juggles a wide variety of subjects, but the chapter that most outraged me is his chapter on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the reproductive potential of many species--including the human being. I knew that entire populations of amphibians and fish had been decimated by herbicides, fungidcides, pesticides and plastics, but I had no idea the extent to which the human population had been impacted.
Among the many facts presented in this book worth careful consideration is that ten percent of American couples are unable to conceive, and that a recent study of in vitro fertilization revealed that 80% of three hundred embryos sampled from healthy women in their twenties were genetically defective (the actual percentage was probably higher, as only eleven chromosomes were tested). If that is not enough, consider that a 2001 study in China "found that 85 percent of university students tested were infertile."
Am I the only one who finds the implications of this chilling? And Fitzgerald provides page after page of this sort of information along with a bibliography whose sources verify it. I had trouble believing, for example, that in Canada there is a grossly disproportionate ratio of female to male births (less than 35% males) and was able to corroborate this by reading a study on a website managed by concerned scientists and cited in "The Hundred Year Lie." Yes, it is hard to believe--and, Yes, it appears to be true.
One reason this book is so solid is that it is not bogged down in sentiment or emotionalism, nor is it an environmental manifesto encouraging some sort of assault against the chemical, pharmaceutical and government regulatory agencies. It is blunter than that, and more in touch with the sad reality we face: We simply will never be able to count on the accurate dissemination of information about how to eat and live healthfully from government agencies like the USDA, the chemical industry that introduces thousands of untested chemicals into our foods and plastics every year, or from the pharmaceutical companies that have a vested interest in Americans remaining chronically ill with cancer, coronary disease, auto-immune disorders and diabetes. One look at the absurd Food Pyramid should tell you all you need to know about the reliability of the government regarding nutritional and health matters.
"Hundred Year Lie" is lean and "nutrient-dense" almost to the point of being factually overwhelming. There is no padding, no wasted prose. Fitzgerald's book is an eloquent, provocative, thoroughly-reasoned and ruthlessly pragmatic examination of the situation we find ourselves in, not as it could or should be in some Utopian world. He urges us to take responsibility for our own lives, to disease-proof our bodies and environments to the degree feasible--because, realistically speaking, this is our only option if we want to attempt to free ourselves from the misery of chronic disease. Admittedly, this is not a message most Americans seem to want to hear right now, which is one reason I fear this important book may not receive the attention it deserves. My hope is that we will be surprised, and that this extraordinary book will awaken people.
My only criticism of this book is that I wish it were footnoted--I just like footnotes in science and health-related books. On the upside, the text and bibliography are so comprehensive that it is a simple matter to pursue avenues of interest raised by Fitzgerald. I believe this book is an important achievement: the right book, appearing at the right time, and I hope people read it and alert others about the content contained in it.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2007
The Hundred Year Lie is not just another book. It is a necessary and long overdue wake-up call. And anyone who eats food should read it. Although I consider myself well informed on the subject of healthy living and proper diet I was none-the-less still shocked at how bad it has become. Fitzgerald writes with clarity and authority, based on solid research and real science. He demonstrates how we, as a species, are slowly but consistently poisoning ourselves. It is time to take action before we become too toxic and dysfunctional to do so. The book is aimed at the layperson, and although I would have personally preferred more of a technical text, I feel this book is presented in the most useful and accessible style to ensure a broad response. There is not a question. Buy 10 copies and make sure everyone you care about reads it. It clearly shows both the problem we have inherited and the solution that we MUST collectively embrace.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2006
First 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Now 'The Hundred Year Lie'. Seems like the party is officially over, although as I read this book, I found myself not wanting to accept what I was being convincingly shown. I even tried to pretend that it didn't ring true in my feeling intuition.
The Hundred Year Lie is REALLY well-written. Within a few pages I felt that I knew the author, and that he was taking me along on his journey of discovery.
The book is REALLY well-researched, and makes it very clear that I (and everyone I know) has been buying lies for as long as I can remember.
By the end of the book, I was (and remain) deeply frightened. I feel how addicted I am to believing that things are getting better and better, when in fact it is becoming crystal clear that humans are threatening the entire planet.
This book is a wake-up call for EVERYONE, because no one is immune from the effects of synthetic chemicals; they are everywhere, in every body.
If it weren't for the fact that the author shows us that it is possible to clean up our act, I would be tremendously depressed by this book. But it is clear that, now that the 'toxins genie is out of the bottle', there is an absolute requirement that all humans everywhere cooperate to deal with this issue, which transcends all apparent differences, political, racial and religious.
I recommend this book to everyone, everywhere. May you read it and be moved to change and to pass on the recommendation. There is not a more universally important, far-reaching and immediate issue anywhere in the world.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2006
THE HUNDRED YEAR LIE: HOW FOOD AND MEDICINE ARE DESTROYING YOUR HEALTH pinpoints the dilemma of chemicals in everyday products which are affecting health - and tells what to do about it. It comes from a newspaper reporter and investigative writer who here attacks the lies perpetuated by the chemical, pharmaceutical and processed foods industry, offering an eye-opening view of real health issues.
Diane C. Donovan
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2006
Definitely a modern day must read. Hopefully this book will serve as a wake-up call for some people. It seems like a good idea to think about what we put in our bodies. I found the book very well-researched and realistically poignant at that. I also liked that he not only assesses the grim state of affairs, but he offers a solution as well. The only thing that Mr. Fitzgerald forgets to mention is that a lot of the times toxic substances are also added to the the supplements that he recommends taking (such as Ginko Biloba, etc.) as a part of the manufacturing process.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
Very professional written. This book gives the details about the unknown sources and toxins we accumulate in every aspect of our lives. It also teaches the many important aspects in nutrition and detoxifing the body near the end of the book. I found the product recmmendations and the list of natural remedies for minor and serious ailments very useful in my quest not to be another helpless cancer victim to what these corrupt government agencies and overpowerful businesses have done to us and our environment.