The EU vs. DDT


In the Wash Times, Richard Tren and Marian Tupy expose the dirty secret of DDT: It's an effective–and generally safe–way of combating malaria in Africa. But members of the EU are ready to embargo Ugandan agricultural products if that country uses the pesticide to save over 100,000 Ugandan kids a year.

Despite the fact that malaria is both preventable and curable, the disease kills up to 110,000 Ugandan children every year. Based on its past performance, it is reasonable to expect that the introduction of DDT could dramatically reduce that death rate.

Unfortunately, DDT also happens to be an insecticide that most environmentalists love to hate—and nowhere more so than in the capitals of Western Europe. DDT has been used for more than 60 years and in all that time no scientifically replicated study has been able to link the chemical to cancer in humans. Despite the bad press from environmentalists, the insecticide has an incredibly safe record of use.

Whole thing here.

Reason's Ron Bailey–author the great new Liberation Biology–cracked the complicated case of DDT and bird eggs a while back. And he tallied up the costs of banning the stuff, both for raptors and human beings:

Banning DDT saved thousands of raptors over the past 30 years, but outright bans and misguided fears about the pesticide cost the lives of millions of people who died of insect-borne diseases like malaria. The 500 million people who come down with malaria every year might well wonder what authoritarian made that decision.

Whole thing here.