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Health & Fitness Health Care Issues

Mad Cows and Mother's Milk

The Perils of Poor Risk Communication

by (author) Douglas Powell & William Leiss

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 1998
Category
Health Care Issues, Health Risk Assessment
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780773528178
    Publish Date
    Nov 2004
    List Price
    $32.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780773516182
    Publish Date
    Oct 1997
    List Price
    $110.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780773516199
    Publish Date
    Apr 1998
    List Price
    $32.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780773566644
    Publish Date
    Oct 1997
    List Price
    $32.95

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Description

The first case study deals with the mad cow fiasco of 1996, one of the most expensive and tragic examples of poor risk management in the last twenty-five years. For ten years the British government failed to acknowledge the possibility of a link between mad cow disease and Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent, until increased scientific evidence and public pressure forced them to take action, resulting in the slaughter of more than one million cattle. The second study looks at what is commonly known as hamburger disease, caused by a virulent form of the E. coli bacterium, which has struck thousands and killed over thirty people in the last few years. Despite its widespread effects, it is unclear whether scientific knowledge on preventing the disease is reaching the public. Other case studies include the use of a genetically engineered hormone to increase milk production in cows, health risks associated with silicone breast implants, public controversies surrounding dioxins and PCBs, and the introduction of agricultural biotechnology. These case studies show that institutions routinely fail to communicate the scientific basis of various high-profile risks. These failures to inform the public make it difficult for governments, industry, and society to manage risk controversies sensibly and often result in massive costs. With its detailed analyses of specific risk management controversies, Mad Cows and Mother's Milk will help us avoid future mistakes.

About the authors

Douglas Powell's profile page

William Leiss is a fellow and past president of the Royal Society of Canada, an officer of the Order of Canada, and professor emeritus at the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University. He is the author of several books, including Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk: The Perils of Poor Risk Communication.

William Leiss' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"There is no other book like this one, drawing so extensively and insightfully from case studies. This is the best book I have seen on risk communication." Paul Slovic, Decision Research

Other titles by William Leiss