Tuesday, January 11, 2005
The World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace apparently have reversed their long-standing opposition to the use of DDT to fight malaria. In his column in the New York Times (Jan. 8), Nicholas Kristof quotes spokesmen from WWF and Greenpeace as supporting the use of DDT in anti-malarial programs:
* "I called the World Wildlife Fund, thinking I would get a fight. But Richard Liroff, its expert on toxins, said he could accept the use of DDT when necessary in anti-malaria programs. 'South Africa was right to use DDT,' he said. 'If the alternatives to DDT aren't working, as they weren't in South Africa, geez, you've got to use it. In South Africa it prevented tens of thousands of malaria cases and saved lots of lives.'"
* "At Greenpeace, Rick Hind noted reasons to be wary of DDT, but added: 'If there's nothing else and it's going to save lives, we're all for it. Nobody's dogmatic about it.'"
DDT was banned by the U.S. -- and for practical purposes by the rest of the world -- in 1972 following an intense lobbying campaign by the Environmental Defense Fund. Tens of millions of people -- mostly pregnant women and children -- have died from malaria during the last 30 years. Many, if not most, of these deaths may have been avoided had DDT been more widely used.
The WWF nevertheless maintains on its web site that "DDT should be phased out and ultimately banned." Greenpeace has long called for banning DDT, and has been a leading advocate of the POPs Treaty, which would make DDT more difficult to use in anti-malaria programs, if not operate as a de facto ban.
It might be easy for some to dismiss the past 43 years of eco-hysteria over DDT with a simple "Nevermind..." -- a la Saturday Night Live's Emily Litella -- except for the blood of millions of people dripping from the hands of the WWF, Greenpeace, Rachel Carson, Environmental Defense Fund and other junk science-fueled opponents of DDT.
The fight against DDT was sffectively the start of the modern "ecological" movement. Inspired by Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring which forecaste chemicals building up in the food chain & poisoning higher up that chain (each link further up was assumed to & sometimes does concentrate the dose thus, theoretically, being more poisonous to higher animals). DDT fitted the case perfectly except for the fact that it is so sar from beingpoisonous to higher animals that you can eat it undiluted.
The other problem is that DDT is the only really effective way of getting rid of mosquitos & that the banning of it worldwide, at the behest of rich western "environmentalists", has been calculated to have caused the deaths by malaria of 500 million people.