Malaria, DDT, and “eco-imperialism” by greens — Tyee debunks story of blood on enviros’ hands

By February 2, 2010March 19th, 2015One Comment

One Comment

  • The article in the Tyee misses some major facts.

    DDT was banned for political reasons, not on the basis of science. Its ban was directed at population control.

    Alexander King, a co-founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome, was forthright enough to say this. He commented that he had supported DDT use during World War II, but later regretted this, because its use had allowed population to flourish, instead of being killed off by malaria.

    The World Health Organization reversed its 30-year ban on DDT in September 2006, because it was clear that the so-called alternatives were failing to save lives, and that DDT was NOT harmful to human beings. Spraying minute amounts of DDT on the inside walls of houses once or twice a year continues to be a necessary tool in stopping the spread of malaria.

    DDT is more effective than other insecticides because it acts as a repellent; most mosquitoes, even those resistant to DDT, will not enter a house that has been sprayed inside.

    It should be noted that along with the ban on DDT in those 30 years came the taking down of the public health system in Africa and elsewhere through the budget-cutting anti-human policies of both the so-called right wing and left wing, and the defunding of the kinds of infrastructure projects that could bring up living standards on the continent. Millions of people have died as a result. This was the intention of the policy makers, who, like Bertrand Russell, see famine, disease, and war as natural ways of “culling” what they define as overpopulation. The official U.S. policy in the 1970s was to depopulate Africa and other Third World nations. National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSM 200) makes this point explicit.

    It should also be noted that after the U.S. ban on DDT in 1972, the U.S. State Department policy was not to fund any aid program where any substance (like DDT) banned in the United States was used. U.S. AID carried this policy out with a vengeance.

    There is no magic bullet against malaria. But as one child in Africa dies of malaria every 30 seconds, DDT remains a necessary tool.

    For more on DDT, see

    Marjorie Mazel Hecht
    Managing Editor, 21st Century Science & Technology

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