by Marion Nestle
Feb 21 2014

Reading for the weekend: Lethal But Legal

Nick Freudenberg.  Lethal but Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health.  Oxford, 2014.

Lethal But Legal


I spoke last night on a panel celebrating the release of this book.  I gave it a rave blurb:

Lethal But Legal is a superb, magnificently written, courageous, and thoroughly compelling exposé of how corporations selling cigarettes, guns, cars, drugs, booze, and food and beverages enrich themselves at the expense of public health.  Even more important, Freudenberg tells us how we can organize to counter corporate power and achieve a healthier and more sustainable environment.  This book should be required reading for anyone who cares about promoting health, protecting democratic institutions, and achieving a more equitable and just society.

I will be using this one in classes.  Congratulations to Nick Freudenberg, director of Hunter College’s Food Policy Center, for producing this distinguished work of scholarship.

  • Truth Hurts Sometimes

    Speaking of enriching one’s self at the expense of public health we must
    acknowledge the role of so many ineffective public health educators
    over the decades who have been cashing big paychecks the entire time we
    were all becoming obese and diabetic on their watch. Having failed
    miserably, those public health operatives now insist upon regulating us
    into compliance. Those who can…do. Those who can’t…teach. Those who
    can’t teach…regulate. Ominously blaming “corporations” is little more than a desperate
    attempt to distract us from those truly responsible for our
    situation…those paid public health educators who are foolishly given
    the responsibility to bring us safely into the 21st century of nutrition
    and health. More than enough blame to go around. What we need are
    intelligent, humane solutions that work. Arbitrary sanctions and
    regulations are not needed or desired. If we wanted that we could
    relocate to any number of brutish autocratic nations.

  • Leonore

    This book is totally outstanding. I praised it on Amazon; I praised it on my FB page; when it comes out in PB I will shower all my friends with copies. If I still taught I would force all my students to read it. What else can I do?

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