Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Friday, 15 February 2008

Just a quickie, as I have a lot to do today!

I just read on another website about how environmentalism kills 2 million people per year because environmental hysteria caused the banning of DDT.  I'd give you link, but it bothers the guy when I link to him.

Just in case you have been exposed to this myth, or know someone who has, here's some facts.

The DDT Ban Myth  (quote from this site follows):

Several anti-environmentalists have claimed that public concern over the effects of DDT after the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring led to a ban on the pesticide in some third world countries in the 1960s.  This ban, it is claimed, led to a resurgence in malaria, resulting in thousands of deaths.  But in accounts of the war on malaria, such as in Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague,  it is clear that the suspension of spraying programs was unrelated to any environmental concerns.  In fact, DDT continued to be the insecticide of choice in the battle against malaria as recently as 1994, some 30 years after the alleged ban, in areas where it was still effective (Curtis). Before considering what actually happened, let's see how some anti-environmentalists described the alleged ban.

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia entry:

The World Health Organization estimates there are between 300 million and 500 million cases of malaria every year, resulting in more than 1 million deaths,[63] with about 90% of these deaths occuring in Africa, mostly to children under the age of 5.

Most prior use of DDT was in agriculture, but the controlled use of DDT continues to this day for the purposes of public health. Current use for disease control requires only a small fraction of the amounts previously used in agriculture, and at these levels the pesticide is much less likely to cause environmental problems. Residual house spraying involves the treatment of all interior walls and ceilings with insecticide, and is particularly effective against mosquitoes, which favour indoor resting before or after feeding. Advocated as the mainstay of malaria eradication programmes in the late 1950s and 1960s, DDT remains a major component of control programmes in southern African states, though many countries have abandoned or curtailed their spraying activities. South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Ecuador are examples of countries that have very successfully reduced malaria infestations with DDT.

Indeed, the problems facing health officials in their fight against malaria neither begin nor end with DDT. Experts tie the spread of malaria to numerous factors, including the resistance of the malaria parasite itself to the drugs traditionally used to treat the illness[64] and a chronic lack of funds in the countries worst hit by malaria.

The growth of resistance to DDT and the fear that DDT may be harmful both to humans and the environment led the U.N., donor countries, and various national governments to restrict or curtail the use of DDT in vector control. At the same time, use of DDT as an agricultural insecticide was often unrestricted, and restrictions were often evaded, especially in developing countries where malaria is rife, so that resistance continued to grow.[14]

[UPDATE:  the same blog entry that discusses how "harmless" DDT is has now spawned derisive comments about how evivormentalists are forcing poor people to eat Twinkies because they made apples expensive by banning Alar...another chemical that they claim is completely harmless.]

Here are some real facts about Alar.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Alar_and_apples

http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets/docs/alarscarenegin.html

But if your one of the people that think that Alar and DDT are prefectly safe, and that people don't have any choice because fresh fruit costs more than Twinkies...and it's the evil liberals fault...don't worry.  The brave Libertarians over at Center For Consumer Freedom are protecting you.

They mock the "Alar Scare" all the time, referencing it to deride every concern about nearly every food danger that comes down the pike.  They are also defending you from "fat nazis" who want to take away your freedom to eat guilt free:

http://www.consumerfreedom.com/oped_detail.cfm/oped/523

No kidding...here's the title of the article:

Preserve right to eat without guilt: Don't post calories of fast-food dishes

Friday, 15 February 2008 11:45:40 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
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