All situations, events, and persons depicted herein are fictional. Any similarity without satirical intent is purely coincidental. All opinions are solely those of the author. Copyright 1996, 1997 by Steven J. Milloy. All rights reserved. Portions of this text may be reprinted for book reviews. October 1996.
... Are manmade chemicals threatening our fertility, intelligence, and survival? Is this sheep-rancher-turned-zoologist a modern-day Cassandra or just another Chicken Little?
Mike Walrus: Tonight, we're bringing you a special 60 MINUTS. With us, we have Dr. Theo Ree, author of the latest doomsday book Our Swollen Future.
At first glance, Our Swollen Future is about a newly theorized threat to human health posed by manmade chemicals. Chemicals commonly found in plastics, pesticides and other industrial and consumer products. Chemicals that may also be found everyday in your food, your water, and the air that you breathe.
Unlike past warnings, Our Swollen Future is not about how manmade chemicals are causing cancer. Instead, Dr. Theo Ree wants us to believe that these chemicals--these "endocrine disputers" or "environmental estrogens"--are disrupting our normal hormonal processes so that our fertility, our intelligence, and even our very survival are being put at risk.
That's at first glance. But as the cliche goes, never judge a book by its cover.
Some say the real story is how Dr. Theo Ree longs to be hailed as the new Rachel Carson, author of the infamous 1960s doomsday book Silent Spring and the queen bee of ecomania.
Others say that Dr. Theo Ree is a pawn of radical environmental groups who see this new scare as a means to advance their own political agendas. Leftist groups who see industry and capitalism as the bane of society. Paranoid groups that, like the Unabomber, see technology as inherently evil.
And last, but not least, some say that Dr. Theo Ree is simply laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of the public. A public, she is banking on, that will believe almost anything.
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