why millions die

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Helen, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Politics kills; and there is a killer worse than war -- much worse. Please, please read this entire article. I bolded a couple of things, but I would have liked to put most of the article in bold.

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    Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide
    By Lisa Makson
    FrontPageMagazine.com | July 31, 2003

    A pandemic is slaughtering millions, mostly children and pregnant women -- one child every 15 seconds; 3 million people annually; and over 100 million people since 1972 --but there are no protestors clogging the streets or media stories about this tragedy. These deaths can be laid at the doorstep of author Rachel's Carson. Her 1962 bestselling book Silent Spring detailed the alleged "dangers" of the pesticide DDT, which had practically eliminated malaria. Within ten years, the environmentalist movement had convinced the powers that be to outlaw DDT. Denied the use of this cheap, safe and effective pesticide, millions of people -- mostly poor Africans -- have died due to the environmentalist dogma propounded by Carson's book. Her coterie of admirers at the U.N. and environmental groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund have managed to bring malaria and typhus back to sub-Saharan Africa with a vengeance.


    "This is like loading up seven Boeing 747 airliners each day, then deliberately crashing them into Mt. Kilimanjaro," said Dr. Wenceslaus Kilama, Malaria Foundation International Chairman.


    "[M]ost politicians today are more concerned about getting re-elected rather than doing what is right. [M]any of them have very poor scientific backgrounds and do not understand the impact of the policy decisions they are making . [and] are not able to teach their constituents that there will be severe consequences to their decisions," said former Surgeon General and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dr. Harold M. Koenig.

    "These poor public policies [i.e. prohibiting use of DDT] are being implemented because it is easier for politicians to go along with the noise coming from the hysterics rather than to learn the whole story and educate the general electorate that there are ways agents like DDT can be used safely," said Koenig, who is currently president of the Annapolis Center, a nonprofit educational organization that "promotes responsible environmental, health, and safety decision-making by applying a science foundation" to the public policy process.

    Although DDT "provides the most effective, cheapest, and safest means of abating and eradicating" infectious diseases, all changed with the 1962 publication of Carson's tome Silent Spring. And just as the world's leading scientists predicted 30 years ago, Carson's crusade against DDT has caused the world's deadliest infectious diseases such as typhus and malaria, which "may have killed half of all the people that ever lived" according to the World Health Organization, to make a deadly comeback that will soon threaten the United States and Europe again.

    "The resurgence of a disease that was almost eradicated 30 years ago is a case study in the danger of putting concern for nature above concern for people," said Nizam Ahmad, an analyst from Bangladesh that focuses on problems affecting developing countries.

    "It's worse than it was 50 years ago," said University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill malaria expert Dr. Robert Desowitz said.

    According to the WHO, "more people are now infected [with malaria] than at any point in history," with "up to half a billion cases [being reported] every year." The National Institute of Health reports that "infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death" in the world and is "the third leading cause of death in the United States." WHO estimates put the number of people in Africa dying from malaria annually is equal to the number of AIDS' deaths over the last 15 years combined!

    "Carson and those who joined her in the crusade against DDT have contributed to millions of preventable deaths. Used responsibly, DDT can be quite safe for man and the environment," Koenig said, summing up what many infectious disease experts believe.

    The discovery of DDT by scientist Paul Herman Muller, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948, was originally hailed as a major public health success because DDT kills mosquitoes, lice and fleas, which are carriers for more than 20 serious infectious diseases like the bubonic plague, typhus, yellow fever, encephalitis and malaria.

    "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It is estimated that, in little more than two decades DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that would otherwise have been inevitable," a statement from the National Academy of Sciences said. Before DDT, infectious diseases spread like wildfire, leaving millions dead in their wake. During World War I, typhus epidemics killed 3 million Russians and millions elsewhere in European. But during World War II, before it was blacklisted by Carson and her crew, DDT saved millions of Allied troops from becoming ill and/or dying from infectious diseases such as malaria, typhus and the plague. Plus, DDT also saved the lives of recently liberated Nazi concentration camp survivors by killing off typhus-causing lice.

    Other reasons for DDT being hailed as a modern day miracle are legion. For starters, it is extremely cheap to produce, costing $1.44 to spray one house for a whole year. Alternative pesticides being pushed by the U.N. and environmentalists are 10 to 20 times more expensive.

    "DDT is the best insecticide we have today for controlling malaria," said malaria expert Dr. Donald Roberts of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. "DDT is long-acting, the alternatives are not. DDT is cheap, the alternatives are not. End of story."

    Another reason DDT is such a blessing is that it enables developing countries to make significant economic progress, thanks to plunging infectious disease rates. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, "The unparalleled benefits stemming from [public health] programs [in developing countries] are due almost entirely to the use of DDT. DDT provides the only safe, economically feasible eradication measure available today [that helps to promote economic development."

    The nation of India provides an illustrative example. Before the World Health Organization began its worldwide malaria eradication program in the 1940s, India had more than 100 million cases of malaria and 2.5 million deaths annually; produced less than 25 million tons of wheat per year; was host to widespread starvation; and spent 60 percent of its GDP on malaria control. But by the '60s, India's malaria cases dropped to fewer than 100,000 reported cases, with less than 1,000 deaths. Thanks to this stability, India produced more than 100 million tons of wheat annually.

    But most importantly, DDT is also not hazardous to humans or the environment -- despite all the propaganda to the contrary. According to tests conducted by Dr. Philip Butler, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Sabine Island Research Laboratory, "92 percent of DDT and its metabolites disappear" from the environment after 38 days. (See Environmental Protection Agency's DDT hearings transcript, page 3,726.) Plus, humans have nothing to worry about small exposures to DDT.

    "DDT is so safe that no symptoms have been observed among the 130,000 spraymen or the 535 million inhabitants of sprayed houses [over the past 29 years of its existence]. No toxicity was observed in the wildlife of the countries participating in the malaria campaign," said the WHO director in 1969. "Therefore WHO has no grounds to abandon this chemical which has saved millions of lives, the discontinuation of which would result in thousands of human deaths and millions of illnesses. It has served at least 2 billion people in the world without costing a single human life by poisoning from DDT. The discontinuation of the use of DDT would be a disaster to world health."

    The only reason millions of lives are being lost to infectious disease is because of Carson's crusade against DDT in her 1962 doomsday book "Silent Spring." Carson predicted that pesticides -- namely DDT -- would cause "practically 100 percent" of the human population would be wiped out from a cancer epidemic after one more generation. This would come about because a race of super-insects, impervious to pesticides, would come about threatening U.S. farms. Desperate farmers then would triple the amount of pesticides they were using so they could stop the super-bugs from destroying their crops. As a result, DDT would eventually work its way up the food chain, killing off first the bugs, then the worms, then the birds (hence her title), the fish and finally mankind.

    Although this sounds pretty scary, all of this was mere speculation on Carson's part, based upon erroneous analysis of data (junk science). For example, Carson argued that the rise in cancer rates from 1940-1960 was proof that DDT was the cause because spraying began in 1940 and continued. However, if Carson would have looked at Center for Disease Control data from the 1900-1960, she would have noticed that her theory was way off the mark because cancer rates started to skyrocket in direct correlation to a surge of tobacco use.

    "Sure more people are dying now of cancer than did in the past, because they are no longer dying of other causes at earlier ages, especially infectious diseases. The longer people live, the greater chances they have of dying of cancer," Koenig said. "We know of some things that have greater association with cancers. These include the use of tobacco in any form, excessive sun exposure, obesity, stress and lack of exercise. There are a few chemicals that are suspected to be carcinogenic. As far as I know there is no known association between DDT or any other insecticide and cancer. To categorize Carson's work as research is a big stretch. It was really just hysterical speculation."

    Despite the constant banshee call of environmentalists that DDT causes cancer -- their main reason for justifying a worldwide DDT ban -- there is no scientific data to back that up.

    "The scientific literature does not contain even one peer-reviewed, independently replicated study linking DDT exposures to any adverse health outcome [in humans]," said Dr. Amir Attaran, who is with Harvard University's Center for International Development and is a former WHO expert on malaria who used to support the environmentalists' call for using alternatives to DDT. Attaran changed sides on the DDT debate after he witnessed what happened when South Africa. After intense U.N. and environmentalist pressure, South Africa stopped using DDT and switched to the U.N. Environmental Program's alternative pesticides as a way to control malaria. But the mosquitoes quickly developed resistance to the new pesticides and malaria rates increased 1,000 percent. And despite UN threats to cut off funding for South Africa's public health programs, the nation started DDT again because its politicians could not stand idly by and allow millions of its citizens to become sickened and/or die from malaria. "They really tried to phase this stuff out, and had the budget to afford the alternatives," Attaran said. "[But if] South Africa can't get by without DDT, it's pretty much as if to say that nobody can."

    In addition to Carson's unfounded cancer claims, Silent Spring is also chock full of other "untruthful and misleading" statements that have absolutely no grounding in scientific reality whatsoever, said San Jose State University entomologist Dr. J. Gordon Edwards. Edwards is an environmentalist "with a desire to keep truth in science and environmentalism." He has even has a book published by the Sierra Club.

    Edwards at first supported Carson but quickly changed his mind once he began checking her sources. What he discovered was not only did Carson rely upon "very unscientific sources," but she cited many of the same sources over and over again in order to make her book appear incontrovertible. Even more startling is that Edwards "found" many of Carson's statements based upon sound, scientific sources were actually -- his word -- "false."

    "They did not support her contentions about the harm caused by pesticides," Edwards said. "She was really playing loose with the facts, deliberately wording many sentences in such a way as to make them imply certain things without actually saying them, carefully omitting everything that failed to support her thesis that pesticides were bad, that industry was bad, and that any scientists who did not support her views were bad. It slowly dawned on me that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about those topics, and that I really was being duped, along with millions of other Americans."

    For example, Carson wrote that the Audubon Society's annual bird census from 1940-1961 showed widespread declines in the bird population so since this was the same time period that DDT spraying began, DDT was to blame. However, Edwards noted that the Audubon census figures actually show the inverse -- bird populations were increasing! In fact, some birds were benefiting so much from DDT, such as the blackbird and redwings, that they had become "pests."

    "The phenomena of increasing bird populations during the DDT years may be due, in part, to (1) fewer blood-sucking insects and reduced spread of avian diseases (avian malaria, rickettsial-pox, avian bronchitis, Newcastle disease, encephalitis, etc); (2) more seed and fruits available for birds to eat after plant-eating insects were decimated [by DDT]; and (3) Ingestion of DDT triggers hepatic enzymes that detoxify carcinogens such as aflatoxin," stated a May 1967 Virginia Department of Agriculture Bulletin.

    Yet, despite Carson's research inconsistencies and dearth of solid scientific evidence, DDT was eventually banned in the U.S. This is due to the work of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Ruckelshaus, an attorney with ties to the Environmental Defense Fund. Ruckelshaus ordered a hearing on a possible ban of DDT after EDF, which was started and financed by Audubon, and Audubon launched a lawsuit against the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the newly created EPA because of DDT.

    After seven months of hearings, which produced 9,362 pages of testimony by 125 witnesses, EPA Judge Edmund Sweeney ruled against EDF, Audubon and the Carson coterie, saying that according to the evidence, "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man...is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man...[and the] use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife." But Ruckelshaus quickly overruled Sweeney and banned DDT on Jan. 1, 1972. His decision had nothing to do with science or concern for the American people -- Ruckelshaus never attended a day of the hearings and admitted that he never read the transcripts. Instead, it was due to Ruckelshaus' ties to EDF and environmentalists.

    "The ultimate judgment [on DDT] remains political," Ruckelshaus wrote to American Farm Bureau Federation President Allan Grant on April 26, 1979. "Decisions by the government involving the use of toxic substances are political with a small 'p.' In the case of pesticides in our country, the power to make this judgment has been delegated to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency."

    Although the ban was appealed, Ruckelshaus' ban on DDT remained intact because Ruckelshaus stacked the deck in the environmentalists' favor -- he appointed himself as the appeal judge. After the appeal was foiled, Ruckelshaus began soliciting donations on behalf of EDF on his personal stationery, writing: "EDF's scientists blew the whistle on DDT by showing it to be a cancer hazard, and three years later, when the dust had cleared, EDF had won." Scientists decried the decision.

    "The news that the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S.A. has now imposed almost a total ban on the use of DDT may be welcomed by partisans of the antipollution movement, but will cause concern to well-informed public health workers, since it increases the difficulty of controlling several tropical arthropod-borne diseases," said Dr. L. J. Bruce-Chwatt in the British medical journal, The Lancet. "The rich countries, preoccupied with their own environmental problems and degenerative illnesses related to affluence should be reminded of the fact that the old plagues have not been banished from the world and that any apparently beneficial move may have an unexpected rebound effect and jeopardize the health gains achieved elsewhere over the years."

    Thirty years later, Ruckelshaus' legacy is alive and well. The Green lobby, lead by the WWF and Greenpeace, refuse to stop Carson's crusade against DDT until DDT is banned worldwide. They almost succeeded in 1999 when Germany, which held the European Union presidency, threw its weight behind the issue and began lobbying the UN Environmental Program. Although the resulting Persistent Organic Pollutants treaty never passed, in the meantime, environmentalists and UN politicians from the West are determined to do what they can to stop DDT use.

    For example, Mexico, which was one of the few remaining producers of DDT in the world, was forced by the Clinton Administration to stop producing DDT if it wanted the North American Free Trade Agreement to pass. The U.S. State Department's Agency for International Development, under intense pressure from environmentalists, even changed its funding priorities in developing nations, noting that DDT funding would no longer be supported (but birth control would).

    The reason for this shift away from DDT towards an emphasis on population control reveals the Malthusian philosophy behind the anti-DDT movement.

    "[Any known alternative to DDT] only kills farm workers, and most of them are Mexicans and Negroes. So what? People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them and this is as good a way as any," said Dr. Charles Wurster, chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund's Scientific Advisory Council and a key promoter of the DDT ban.

    Another anti-DDT Malthusian is Sierra Club director Michael McCloskey, who said that the "Sierra Club wants a ban on pesticides, even in countries where DDT has kept malaria under control...[because by] using DDT, we reduce mortality rates in underdeveloped countries without the consideration of how to support the increase in populations."

    This rationale of the anti-DDT crusaders is much like Carson's Silent Spring -- it is based on nothing more than a pack of unscientific hypothesizing. Much like Silent Spring, Thomas Robert Malthus' Principles of Population paints a horrific doomsday scenario: a worldwide "population explosion" will occur, but man's food production cannot keep pace, so millions will die from starvation. But just like Carson, Malthus only used data that supported his argument, citing birthrates from affluent areas where population was growing, while ignoring birthrates (and death rates) in all areas. And just as with Silent Spring,"environmentalists bandy about Malthus' notions even though he made these predictions before the Industrial Revolution and the widespread availability of contraception. It is interesting to note that despite the anti-DDT crowd's banshee-like cries of overpopulation, statistics -- yet again -- show that the opposite is
    true: deaths are outpacing births worldwide by a wide margin. So much so that many countries in Europe are trying to encourage their citizens to have more children. For example in Spain, which has the lowest birthrate of all European nations, the government is even awarding families in rural communities highly valuable Serrano pigs; in Valencia, women are given a "fertility" reward of $3,000 just for having a second child.

    Today's anti-DDT crusaders' actions, which have caused the deaths of millions, are portrayed as compassionate. "Unquestionably [the DDT ban] places an unfair burden on poor countries," Koenig said. "In fact, this is just a modern day form of imperialism, the more developed and richer nations forcing the poor of the world to do their bidding just to survive."

    It is impossible for developing countries to survive on their own without DDT because their populations, those who actually survive the deadly infectious diseases, never regain their full health.

    "We have got to stop pressuring countries to stop using DDT," Roberts said. "It is immoral."

    "Malaria perpetuates poverty by debilitating people. Unable to work, its victims cannot afford to feed themselves or their children. Sick and malnourished, they are prone to a vicious cycle of future infection and debilitation," said Dr. Roger Bate, author of When Politics Kills: Malaria and the DDT Story. "To break the cycle, to save lives, it is imperative that we have all the tools, including DDT, that work to help control malaria, protect health and ensure development."

    Sujatin, a resident from the Irian Jaya province Indonesia, told Smithsonian Magazine what it is like to live with malaria. "My husband works as a logger in the jungles. He's gone for weeks at a time and he gets malaria. It is a terrible thing to have. Sweating. Very bad headaches. High, high fever. You vomit. You are so weak...when malaria comes every few days, you feel like you want to die," she said.

    "Malaria keeps Africa down, and down is where the rest of the world wants us to be. If this was a disease of the West, it would be gone," Mamadou Kasse, medical editor of Senegal's largest newspaper, Le Soleil, told Atlantic Monthly's Ellen Ruppel Shell for her August 1997 article, "Resurgence of a Deadly Disease."

    If Carson's crusaders are really concerned about saving lives and helping developing countries, then must allow DDT to be used without repercussions.

    "Malaria kills a few million every year; each life lost is a potential Mandela, Shakespeare, or Edison, and nothing is less reversible than death, nor more tragic than the death of a child," Dr. Roger Bate said. "Hundreds of millions suffer chronic illness, which creates a painful economic burden and perpetuates poverty. This may not be the intention of those who are debating a DDT ban, but it surely will be the outcome."

    If that is not enough to convince them, Carson's crusaders should realize that their actions against DDT might eventually boomerang.

    "anning DDT worldwide is beyond ignorance, it is just plain stupid," Koenig said. "[Although m]alaria still is prevalent in the countries in the equatorial regions . [it] is only a matter of time, a short time, before we see these diseases again in the regions between the tropics and the poles."

    Until that time comes, the malaria plague seems to be off the public radar. However, let there be no mistake: Rachel Carson and the worldwide environmentalist movement are responsbile for perpetuating an ecological genocide that has claimed the lives of millions of young, poor, striving African men, women and children, killed by preventable diseases.
     
  2. KenH

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    And the danger is that environmental wackos are getting louder and even more dangerous as the years go by.
     
  3. Peter101

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    Helen leaves out some important information in regard to DDT. One of the major reasons it was banned is because it was believed to be responsible for egg shell thinning in many birds. The decline in numbers of the Bald Eagle is believed to be because of DDT. It is interesting that the Bald Eagle population has bounced back impressively since DDT was banned.

    Also, governments outside of the United States can permit the use of DDT within their own countries if they so desire. The study Helen quotes is only one study of the effects of DDT. There were many, many more studies and those studies not quoted by Helen are the ones that led to the banning of DDT.
     
  4. Helen

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    Feel free to give us references for those articles, Peter101. I would appreciate it, since even the judge involved, after hearing the various testimonies and study results, came to the conclusion that DDT was not a threat.

    And, quite honestly, as beautiful as the bald eagles are, are they worth three million human lives a year?
     
  5. Haruo

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    If DDT was in fact causing abortion in the bald eagle, you can bet it was having deleterious effects on many other, more numerous species. Some of which might be important to human survival. There is an ecosystem out there, and there are links in its chain that it would be calamitous to eliminate. Consider the effects of pesticides on bees.

    Just on an intuitive level, I would think this would be even more troubling to those who do not believe in evolutionary biological theory than to those who do.

    Haruo
    looking forward to Peter 101's comment
     
  6. KenH

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    And some environmental wackos go further than Rachel Carson and don't stop at simply telling lies -

    Officials Suspect Terror in Calif. Fire

    Sat Aug 2, 7:51 AM ET

    By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer

    SAN DIEGO - Officials suspect radical environmentalists set a fire that swept through an unoccupied five-story apartment complex, causing more than $20 million in damage.

    A banner reading "If you build it, we will burn it," with the initials "ELF," was found Friday next to the burning building still under construction in the upscale University Town Centre residential neighborhood. No injuries were reported.

    The initials may correspond to the Earth Liberation Front, a loose-knit group that describes itself as "an international underground organization that uses direct action in the form of economic sabotage to stop the destruction of the natural environment."

    Members of ELF have claimed responsibility for dozens of fires and other acts since 1997, causing $50 million in damages to luxury homes, ski lodges and sport utility vehicles. There was no immediate claim of responsibility posted on the group's Web site.

    The group, which only communicates with the press by e-mail, issued a brief and vague statement in response to media inquiries:

    "The ELF press office has received no communique for the San Diego fire that took place Aug. 1, 2003, and thus cannot answer any questions as to why this location and city was chosen for the latest ELF action," the statement said. "The banner at the site reading `You build it — we burn it — ELF' is a legitimate claim of responsibility by the Earth Liberation Front."

    San Diego police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and arson experts were investigating.

    Capt. Jeff Carle, of the San Diego Fire Department, said three construction workers who were sleeping on the site managed to escape the flames unharmed.

    "It could have killed someone," said Carle.

    Several hundred residents of a building next to the construction site were evacuated as heat from the blaze broke windows and melted plastic blinds in their homes.

    The 206-unit complex was part of a larger project approved by the City Council in late 2000 that included a hotel and offices. University Towne Centre is a rapidly growing area of apartment complexes and office buildings east of San Diego's tony La Jolla section.

    Carle said if environmentalists were behind the fire, he didn't understand their motivation: More trees would be cut down to rebuild the structure.


    --story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=718&e=10&u=/ap/20030802/ap_on_re_us/apartment_arson
     
  7. Peter101

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    The background behind the banning of DDT is quite involved and complex, and this background was hardly touched on in Helen's post. But to make a long story short, here is an account from the ePA web site about the final stages in the banning of DDT. Note that Helen's post mentions nothing like the following:

    "Immediately following the DDT prohibition by EPA, the pesticides industry and EDF filed appeals contesting the June order with several U.S. courts. Industry filed suit to nullify the EPA ruling while EDF sought to extend the prohibition to those few uses not covered by the order. The appeals were consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
    On December 13, 1973, the Court ruled that there was "substantial evidence" in the record to support the EPA Administrator's ban on DDT."

    For more information, see the following link:

    http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/02.htm
     
  8. Peter101

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    Helen:"Feel free to give us references for those articles, Peter101. I would appreciate it, since even the judge involved, after hearing the various testimonies and study results, came to the conclusion that DDT was not a threat."

    From the link given in a previous post, it is clear that four separate government committees and an appeals court thought that DDT was a threat. See below:

    "Both the pros and cons of DDT use were considered by four Government committees who issued the following reports: (1) may 1963, "Use of Pesticides," A Report of the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC); (2) November 1965, "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment," A Report of the Environmental Protection Panel, PSAC; (3) May 1969, Report of the Committee on Persistent Pesticides, Division of Biology and Agriculture, National Research Council, to the Agriculture Department; (4) December 1969, Mrak Commission Report. All four reports recommended an orderly phasing out of the pesticide over a limited period of time."
     
  9. Peter101

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;"[Any known alternative to DDT] only kills farm workers, and most of them are Mexicans and Negroes. So what? People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them and this is as good a way as any," said Dr. Charles Wurster, chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund's Scientific Advisory Council and a key promoter of the DDT ban.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    This is a very interesting quote from Helen's post. It is interesting because it is impossible for me to believe that any responsible person would say that. I doubt very much if Dr. Charles Wurster said that. Most likely it is an Internet hoax. What do you think Helen, do you think anyone outside of Sadaam Hussein could be so callous? Seems to me you are quoting a questionable article. Not only did the author of the article fail to give an accurate account of the banning of DDT, but very likely she also slandered this fellow Dr. Charles Wurster.
     
  10. Peter101

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    A few minutes searching on the Internet is enough to provide evidence that Dr. Charles Wurster denied ever having made the statement attributed to him. It seems that an employee he fired, a Mr. Yannacone, was instrumental in spreading the quote and it also seems that there is no record, written or otherwise to prove that it is a valid quote. Here is part of the information about this curious incident, and after that, the link where the information was obtained.

    "The committee never questioned Yannacone. Instead of removing the comments from the record, they put a copy of the speech into their files. They did allow Wurster to submit a letter that was included in the transcripts (page 268):

    "I wish to deny all of the statements of Mr, Yannacone. His remarks about me, attributed to me, and about other trustees of EDF are purely fantasy and bear no resemblance to the truth. It was in part because Mr. Yannacone lost touch with reality that he was dismissed by EDF, and his remarks of May 1970 indicate that his inability to separate fact from fiction has accelerated.
    I respectfully request that my denial of any truth to Mr. Yannacone's remarks be made part of the record of these hearings."

    None of the authors who have quoted Wurster's alleged comments have indicated that he denied making the remarks. No one that I know of has ever produced a transcript or other record of the supposed news conference. And, as we have seen, Yannacone's termination has been transformed into a resignation in protest.

    The above was found at the following link:

    http://info-pollution.com/unquote.htm

    [ August 03, 2003, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: C.S. Murphy ]
     
  11. mioque

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    If memory serves, DDT was starting to lose it's effectiveness as a mosquitokiller. And that was also a factor that contributed to it's banning.
     
  12. NarrowWay

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    What prevents African nations from spraying with DDT? American laws and American demonstrators? It seems to me that the greatest impact of what you've described is in poorer countries and not in the US. We don't rule the world (yet).
     
  13. NarrowWay

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    The Use of DDT in Malaria Control Programs in Brazil

    by Dr. Carlos Catão Prates Loiola

    BACKGROUND

    Malaria is still a major serious public health problem in Brazil, mainly in the Amazon region where 99.4% of the cases registered in the country are located. At the beginning of the 1940s, Brazil registered more than 6 million cases of malaria per year, which corresponded to 1/7 of the Brazilian population. With the efforts made, at first for control and subsequently for eradication, it was possible to reduce the number of cases per year of this disease to nearly 40,000 by the beginning of the 1960s. This effort produced, without a doubt, really surprising, fantastic results, such as the eradication of this endemic disease in extensive areas of the nation. The entire northeastern, southeastern, and southern regions, and almost the entire midwest are free from the indigenous transmission of malaria, except sporadically in small foci. Until then it was believed that it was possible to achieve eradication utilizing the strategy of comprehensive coverage with application of insecticide in 100% of the houses existing in the areas considered malarious, along with active and passive search for all patients with fever for collection of blood samples for microscopic examination and treatment of all positive cases. It is evident that other factors, such as the disordered occupation of geographical spaces either by rural colonization through governmental action, or by occupation of land in jungle areas through private initiatives, or by the predatory action of illegal mining, associated with the low effectiveness of DDT application in residences, played a major role in impeding the success of malaria eradication actions in the jungle areas of Legal Amazonia.

    Starting in the 1970s the occupation of the Amazon region intensified; major highways, colonization, hydroelectric projects, and timber and livestock exploitation, along with mining, attracted large groups of people from other regions, resulting in high population growth rates, reaching 98.3% in the period from 1970 to 1991. In spite of this, achieving eradication, although in the long term, was believed to be possible. Meanwhile, even then the adopted strategies had been demonstrating signs of failure for some time and there were daily indications of the need for changes.

    In 1989 Brazil experienced a great transformation into its model of health care and made a significant decision in including in the Federal Constitution the Unified Health System (UHS) which has among its directives the decentralization of health actions and services. Simultaneously, the failure of the model for control of endemic diseases led to the immediate effort to adapt it to the new strategies and then implement it in accordance with the UHS directives. This change represents, first of all, a profound transformation in the direction of the investments. It was necessary to channel them to strengthen the local levels, instead of a federal institution that was, until then, the only one responsible for malaria control in the country. These changes coincide with the formulation of the "Overall Strategy for Malaria Control."

    At the end of the 1980s it was concluded that malaria had its own absolutely unique characteristics of such significance that ignorance of its peculiarities could lead to a lack of success for its programs. Actually, in any one region there is no single malaria; there are several. Of importance are the introduction of the epidemiological concept of stratification and the assessment of local risk factors, along with the management of geographical spaces as true sites of production of the disease where, accordingly, the actions and the efforts of investment should be directed.

    The Brazilian program showed signs of failure and the levels of endemicity increased significantly. The number of recorded cases went from 52,000 in 1970 to 169,871 in 1980 and 508,864 in 1987; it remained around that level until 1995. Similarly, there was a considerable increase of the number and severity of the infections caused by P. falciparum (from 26,000 in 1970 to 266,000 in 1987). This phenomenon was immediately reflected in the seriousness of the disease and in the morbidity and mortality indicators.

    At that time the Brazilian government decided to strengthen malaria control and sought financial support from the World Bank (IBRD), through negotiation for the financing of the Project for Control of Malaria in the Amazon Basin (PCMAM). This project, in its conception, also brought the stamp of past directives with a rather strong tonic in the pulverization actions and massive use of insecticides, still conserving the centralized vertical structure for executing actions. As expected, 3 million kg of DDT were acquired during the first year of the project. Meanwhile, other PCMAM proposals advanced in the direction of the change and the possibility of appraising other actions.

    A new overall strategy for the struggle against the disease, based on local epidemiological and social reality and incorporating other appropriate control measures to every situation, on multisectoral action in order to reduce the influence of socioeconomic, cultural, political, and ecological risk factors, and on the active participation of the population, was adopted in the Ministerial Conference of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1992. The objective of malaria control becomes man and not the mosquito, to the extent that the first goal is to prevent the serious cases and the deaths caused by the disease. The new orientation of the struggle against the disease adopted by Brazil, in accordance with the recommendations of the Conference of Amsterdam, will be comprehensive malaria control, as a joint action of the government and the society directed toward eliminating or reducing the risks of death or illness from malaria.

    CURRENT SITUATION

    With the strong concentration of cases in the Amazon region, 99.4% in 1996, the program initiated the preparation of plans for control in every state of that region, with the participation of the state secretaries of health and some of the municipal secretaries of health. In the preparation of each plan, the transmission characteristics of malaria were taken into account in the different situations created by human groups at risk, such as miners, settlers, inhabitants of the peripheries of the large cities, migrants, indigenous communities, and groups created by the expansion of the agricultural frontier. Once this analysis was carried out, the interventions appropriate to each situation were selected, complementing care of patients with the application of selective measures to combat the vectors in their larval and adult forms, training the staff involved in the activities, and also promoting the participation of the communities through informational, educational, and communication activities. Environmental projects were also designed for the elimination of the breeding sites of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria and the selection of new indicators for the evaluation of the program and its activities, such as data on hospital admissions for malaria and deaths, was investigated.

    The enhancement of the studies of epidemiological stratification made it possible to discover that, in Legal Amazonia, where over 99.4% of the total of registered cases of the country are found, 80% of them are limited to 133 municipalities that comprise the high-risk area. The intention is, through the cooperation of the states and municipalities, to guarantee the expansion of the capacity to diagnose and treat malaria patients, to establish selective surveillance of vectors, to carry out actions of I.E.C., and to implement the epidemiological surveillance system for malaria and thus to create permanent local structures to control that endemic disease.

    RESULTS

    Approximately 19 million people, 12.3% of the Brazilian population, live in areas at risk of acquiring malaria. An increase can be observed in the concentration of the cases of the disease in Legal Amazonia in the last 17 years, from 94.9% in 1980 to 99.4% in 1996. In 1996 444,049 cases of the disease were reported in the country, representing a reduction of 21% from the 564,570 cases recorded in 1995. The occurrence of P. falciparum, by far most significant cause of malaria, fell by 35.6%, compared to 1995 when measured by the number of cases and, as a percentage of the total number of malaria cases, fell from 35% to 28.9%. It is important to emphasize that P. falciparum was the dominant species from 1984 to 1988, causing over 505 of the known cases. This reduction in the absolute number of cases and specifically in the number of the infections caused by P. falciparum was mainly the result of: a) investments in the program from 1989 to 1996, with greater emphasis on the three years from 1994 to 1996; b) execution of malaria control activities in cooperation with states and municipalities; c) implementation of the new strategy of integrated control, which gives priority to the stratification of malaria by area of risk, selective control with specific interventions in accordance with the risk strata, and participation of other actors in the control program; d) decentralization of diagnosis and treatment, with expansion of the laboratory network and use of more powerful drugs (mefloquine and derivatives of artemisin), with more specific operational treatment protocols for every type of malaria; e) intensification of sanitation activities in vector control; and f) preparation and broad dissemination of manuals on diagnosis and treatment of malaria, with emphasis on grave malaria, and also of manuals on regulations and field operations.

    IMPACT

    There was a significant reduction in mortality, from 7 deaths per 1,000 population in 1988 to 1.8 in 1995. This result could be explained by more aggressive therapy, obtained through the significant expansion of the diagnostic network, which increased from 420 laboratories in 1989 to 1,083 in 1996, and by training professionals, primarily those caring for patients with grave malaria in the health services network of the Amazon region. If we consider that malaria attacks mainly men of working age, between 15 and 34 years old, every death avoided corresponds to saving over 25 years of productive life. The fall in mortality is due partly to the reduction in the number of infections caused by P. falciparum which diminished from 17 cases per 1,000 in 1988 to 11 cases per 1,000 in 1996, and also to the greater therapeutic aggressiveness measured by the number of admissions for malaria that rose from 10,000 in 1988 to 50,000 in 1995. In 1988 7% of the infections caused by P. falciparum were admitted, with a mortality of 0.54%, while in 1995 20% were admitted, and there was a 30% reduction in mortality.

    Studies of cost-effectiveness promoted by the World Bank demonstrated that in the period from 1988 to 1996 nearly 1.9 million new cases were prevented by the malaria program, 236,000 deaths were avoided, and 8.8 million years of life were gained. The program saved nearly US$ 670 million in direct or indirect expenditures, that is, 33% more than the money invested in the program. This result corresponds to a net value close to U$ 270 million, an economic rate of return of 66%. Because of its daily rate of cost-effectiveness of US$ 67 and the US$ 260 for cases avoided, the Malaria Control Program and its activities are included in the category of highly cost-effective interventions. Twenty-two percent of this impact can be attributed to PCMAM.

    DIFFICULTIES IN THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM FOR INTEGRATED CONTROL

    Although progress has been significant as can be observed in the results obtained and the impact on the disease, there are still several bottlenecks to the implementation of the new strategy with the speed and scope intended. Despite the complete adaptation of the national to the international directives, the difficulties in trying to reach this objective have been enormous. The characteristics of the process itself, requiring a case-by-case approach that does not permit a unique strategy and presupposes time-consuming negotiation and consensus-building, is perhaps the main difficulty. In addition to this, there are also bottlenecks and a dearth of clear, safe mechanisms that guarantee the participation of the different levels of government in the financing of activities and adequate continuous education of the human resources, mainly at the regional and local levels, for their correct utilization in the construction of this new moment.

    Added to all this is the difficulty in mobilizing the other areas of government, so that intersectoral participation, so fundamental to the implementation of this new strategy for integrated control of malaria, is not achieved.

    http://www.chem.unep.ch/pops/POPs_Inc/proceedings/Iguazu/PRATES.html
     
  14. Helen

    Helen
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    Following up on some of this, I found some interesting materials.

    From the World Health Organization
    http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-15.html
    "A universal ban on DDT now must include time-limited exemptions for its production and use in malaria control. Otherwise, we might see increased death rates and suffering as a result of malaria," states David Nabarro, Project Manager for Roll Back Malaria in the World Health Organization (WHO). (1)

    The announcement comes on the eve of the Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Bonn, Germany from 20-25 March 2000. The talks will lead to a legally binding Treaty to combat the threat of 12 POPs, including DDT, to the environment and public health. (2)

    The Treaty aims to see a significant reduction in the use of DDT, if not its virtual elimination. The current draft of the Treaty includes exemptions which would allow countries to continue using the pesticide for public health purposes, as well as provisions for technical and financial support to DDT dependent countries to help them reduce their reliance on this persistent organic pollutant.

    WHO believes that these exemptions and provisions are essential to reaching the ultimate goal. Nabarro adds: "A premature shift to less effective or more costly alternatives to DDT is likely to be unsustainable. Countries need time and resources to evaluate and select alternatives that are locally appropriate and sustainable. In the meantime, they require the reassurance that DDT can be used, if needed, to protect human lives. This is simply good planning, and good planning needs time and cash."

    Provisions related to the reduction and or elimination of DDT are among the key issues to be discussed in Bonn this week.

    Extensive use of DDT for agricultural purposes has resulted in serious damage to the global environment. Although the pesticide is now banned from agricultural use, it continues to be used in limited quantities for public health purposes. WHO projections suggest that the amounts of DDT needed for malaria control are a small fraction of what has been used for agricultural purposes.

    Further reductions are possible. Environmentally safer alternatives to DDT do exist and more are under development. At present these alternatives are either significantly more expensive, or are useful only in more limited circumstances than DDT.

    For many malaria-affected countries, responsible DDT use is a vital strategy in situations where alternatives are not available and where the potential loss of human life associated with unstable malaria transmission and epidemics is greatest.

    "At present, issues around the continued use of DDT are emotive and complex," states Nabarro. "Countries affected by malaria are asking for help in making informed decisions towards reducing their use of DDT. They will try to eliminate its use, but to do this they want help to ensure that there are minimal adverse health consequences as a result the of their decisions."

    WHO emphasizes the need for negotiators in Bonn to consider the available information on current public health uses of DDT and existing and potential alternatives, and has been working in collaboration with UNEP to ensure that this information is available. (3)

    WHO and UNEP have also been working in partnership to ensure wide consultation and participation in POPs discussions at the country, regional and global levels.

    "From our consultations with WHO member states and regional experts, it is clear that one of the highest priorities is the need for solid scientific and programme based information on the costs, effectiveness and safety of potential alternatives to DDT. This will require significant new investment by the global community in research and capacity building. This is one of the key reasons for supporting a time limited exemption on DDT use. To obtain this critical information will take several years," Nabarro says.


    note: this was started several hours ago, before three phone calls, the window guy coming to measure some failed double-panes for replacement, and Chris being ready for lunch. There's more, but I don't have the time right now.
     
  15. Helen

    Helen
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    THE NEW YORK TIMES
    August 7, 2003

    Is There a Place for DDT?
    By HENRY I. MILLER

    STANFORD, Calif.‹The outbreak of West Nile virus in the United States is rapidly becoming a significant threat to public health. With the peak season just beginning, the mosquito-borne virus has been found in animals (primarily birds and horses) in 38 states, and has caused 103 serious infections and three deaths in humans in 15 states.

    Last year, there were more than 4,000 cases and almost 300 deaths. We may be on the verge of an epidemic, but there is no treatment and a vaccine is at least a decade away.

    Public health officials have recognized the seriousness of the problem, but too often their response has been tepid and designed to avoid controversy. The Centers for Disease Control Web site, for example, advises people to avoid mosquito bites by covering up, using insect repellent, and staying indoors during peak mosquito hours. Missing from its list of suggestions, however, is any mention of insecticides or widespread spraying. Anyone curious about the role of pesticides in battling mosquitoes and West Nile is directed to a maze of other Web sites.

    In the absence of a vaccine, elimination of the organism that spreads the West Nile virus ‹ in this case, the mosquito ‹ is the key to prevention, but fundamental shortcomings in public policy limit the tools that are available.

    In 1972, on the basis of dubious data about toxicity to fish and migrating birds, the Environmental Protection Agency banned virtually all uses of the pesticide DDT, an inexpensive and effective pesticide once widely deployed to kill disease-carrying insects. Allowing political sentiment to trump science, regulators also cited the possibility that DDT posed a cancer risk for humans ‹ an assertion based on studies showing an increased incidence of the illness in mice that were fed extremely high doses of the pesticide.

    Not only did government regulators minimize scientific evidence of the safety and effectiveness of DDT, they also failed to appreciate the distinction between its large-scale use in agriculture and more limited application for controlling carriers of human disease. Although DDT can be a toxic substance, there is a big difference between applying large amounts of it in the environment ‹ as American farmers did before it was banned ‹ and applying it carefully and sparingly to fight mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects. A basic principle of toxicology is that the dose makes the poison.

    The regulators who banned DDT also failed to take into consideration the inadequacy of alternatives. Because it persists after spraying, DDT works far better than many pesticides now in use, some of which are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. (While its longevity poses risks, they are minimized with targeted use.) Also, the need to spray other insecticides repeatedly drives up costs. For example, budget problems compelled Maryland this summer to turn down requests for spraying from communities badly infested with mosquitoes.

    Given the long-term ineffectiveness of other pesticides, DDT remains the best alternative to fighting mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. It's worth recalling that DDT worked before, eradicating malaria from the United States. It's worth recalling, too, that since DDT was widely banned, insect-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever have been on the rise worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that malaria kills about one million people annually, and that there are 300 million to 500 million new cases each year.

    How can we drain the public policy swamp? First, the government should undertake a re-evaluation of the voluminous data on DDT that has been compiled since the 1970's. It should also make DDT available for mosquito control in the United States.

    Second, the United States should oppose international strictures on DDT. This includes retracting American support for the United Nations Persistent Organic Pollutants Convention, which makes it exceedingly difficult for developing countries ‹ many of which are plagued by malaria ‹ to use DDT.

    Finally, federal officials should embark on a campaign to educate local authorities and citizens about the safety and potential importance of DDT. Right now, most of what people hear is the reflexively anti-pesticide drumbeat of the environmental movement.

    Because DDT has such a bad rap, it will be politically difficult to resurrect its use. But we should begin the process now. In the meantime, we'll just slather on the insect repellent, slap, scratch ‹ and occasionally become infected with a life-threatening but preventable disease.


    Henry I. Miller, a doctor, is a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was a Food and Drug Administration official from 1979-1994.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company
     
  16. DanielFive

    DanielFive
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    A malaria vaccine is the long term answer.

    Malaria Vaccine Initiative

    Perhaps DDT should be used until such times as mass vacination is possible. If this is a temporary measure surely the ecological effects can be monitered and controlled to some degree.
     
  17. Peter101

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    Contrary to the claims posted by Helen, it is not at all likely that the elimination of malaria in the United States and other temperate climate countries was due entirely to the use of DDT. Improved quality housing that kept out mosquitos and improved health care probably played just as big a role. Nor is it certain that use of DDT in areas where malaria is still common would wipe out the disease.
     
  18. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Unfortunately, 'trial and error' is the only way to prove or disprove some things. :eek:
     

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