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You've Been Had!: How the Media and Environmentalists Turned America into a Nation of Hypochondriacs

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 10 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:343
  1. Michael Fitzpatrick (, general practitioner
  1. Hackney, London

    Melvin A Benarde

    Rutgers University Press, $28/£23.50, pp 304

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    ISBN 0 8135 3050 4

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    As his title suggests, epidemiologist Melvin Benarde is not one to mince words. For him, television, radio, and newspapers are “the scoundrels at whose doorsteps must be placed our current pandemic of mediagenic diseases.” He cites recent scares over “an extraordinary range of potential causes of cancer,” including “asbestos, dioxin, hot dogs, breast implants, pesticides, coffee, liquor, hair dryers, mouthwash, dietary fat, magnetic fields and cellular phones.” He blames the media for creating “an epidemic of anxiety, year after persistent …

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