Tuesday, 19 September 2006

DDT ban removal will save millions

I haven't yet taken time to praise the WHO decision to rescind the long-overdue banning of DDT, which has seen millions die unnecessarily from malaria. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll simply post the ARI press release on the matter (below), with which I wholly agree.

Meanwhile, Richard Tren from the organisation Africa Fighting Malaria has still had no response from his open letter to Greenpeace calling them to account for their decades-long support of the ban, and suggests their "various inconsistent and contradictory statements beg several questions":

First, if, as Mr. Krautter asserts, Greenpeace should not be characterized as opposed to the use of DDT in malaria control, why should the organization describe its use in malaria control as a "cycle of misery?" Furthermore, why does Dr Santillo consider that the restricted and careful use of DDT for malaria control is "a step in the wrong direction?"

Second, please, could you detail the financial commitment that Greenpeace itself has made to developing new malaria control technologies, and include any details of the success achieved? Given that Greenpeace informs us that it is "committed to seeing more effective methods for combating malaria," we assume that it has followed that up with actual investment.

Third, please, could you detail the lobbying and advocacy efforts that Greenpeace has undertaken to ensure that public and private funds are invested in the search for chemical alternatives to DDT?

Africa Fighting Malaria applauds the constructive and positive role that [some other environmental] organizations have taken with regard to DDT for malaria control. The criticism that Greenpeace has leveled at the WHO, and by implication, some of the world's leading malaria experts and scientists is damaging to malaria control programs and ultimately will cost lives in Africa.

Ask the next bearded young man who stops you on the street and asks you to donate to Greenpeace any one of those questions, and see what answer you get.

Anyway, here's what the ARI's Yaron Brook has to say:
WHO Sides with Humanity Against Mosquitoes and Environmentalists

Irvine, CA—The World Health Organization, conceding that alternative methods to fight malaria have failed, will start encouraging the use of DDT around the world.

"For anyone who cares about human life, this is excellent news," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "The widespread use of DDT against malaria-carrying mosquitoes can prevent the infection of hundreds of millions of people every year and save millions of lives."

Before environmentalists managed to ban or severely restrict its use, DDT led to a dramatic reduction in malaria cases wherever it was used.

"The decades-long environmentalist opposition to DDT never had any basis in science: for half a century DDT use has been proven safe to humans and deadly to mosquitoes.

"The environmentalists responsible for banning or tightly restricting the use of DDT are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and for the untold suffering of hundreds of millions more, most of them children.

"The environmentalists' persistent opposition to the use of DDT shows that they are indifferent to human suffering. This is because environmentalism places the 'preservation' of nature above the requirements of human survival and prosperity. Given the choice of eradicating malarial mosquitoes with a man-made pesticide or condemning millions of people to suffering and death, committed environmentalists have consistently opted for the latter..."

LINKS: World Health Organization (WHO) Announces New Policy Position On Indoor Residual Spraying For Malaria Control - Medical News Today
DDT cleared for fighting malaria - ABC News
Calling Greenpeace to account - The Commons Blog
Open letter to Greenpeace - Richard Tren, Africa Fighting Malaria
Ayn Rand Institute News - US Politics Today
Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

RELATED: Environment, Health, Politics-World, Objectivism

1 comment:

  1. Did governments of the 1960s follow blindly towards unscientific lobbying of Green Peace to ban DDT?

    I think that similar movement is happening right now with Green Peace lobbying governments for more legislation to support Kyoto.

    Real scientists of today are silent while charlatans, psychics, holistic health practitioners, tree huggers, cockroach lovers, pacifists (Al Gore), muslim apologists, do lobby governments around the world for policies in areas which are outside their domain of expertise, such as Weather & Climate Change.


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