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Most people, especially Americans, have come to expect corporations to put profit above all else. Still, we mostly don’t expect there to be mercenary scientists. Science is supposed to be constant, apolitical, and above the fray. This commonsense view misses the rise of science-for-sale specialists over the last several decades and a “product defense industry” that sustains them—a cabal of apparent experts, PR flaks, and political lobbyists who use bad science to produce whatever results their sponsors want.

"This is not to assert that the conclusions of every study or report produced by product defense experts are necessarily wrong; it certainly is legitimate for scientists to work to prove one hypothesis in the cause of disproving another. One means by which science moves toward the real truth is by challenging and disproving supposed truth and received wisdom. Maybe there are two sides to every story—but maybe not two valid sides, and definitely not when one has been purchased at a high price, and produced by firms whose financial success rests on delivering the studies and reports that support whatever conclusion their corporate clients need."

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