Wednesday, May 03, 2006

US government takes strong stance in favor of using DDT in Africa

Well it's about damn time. They caved to the pressure of enviromentalists back in the 1970s and the hysteria created by Silent Spring. But what's worse? Learning how to use an insecticide properly to maximize benefits (benefits like saving millions of lives from malaria) and minimize side effects or banning it all together?

U.S. government officials are enthusiastically endorsing and funding the use of DDT in sub-Saharan Africa after years of resisting calls from scientists who said the insecticide would be the best weapon for fighting malaria, despite lingering objections by some environmentalists.

[...] The insecticide credited with eliminating malaria in the Western world years ago was outlawed in the United States in 1972 and is banned in most countries because of environmental concerns and unsubstantiated fears it can harm humans.

"We think DDT is safe when used correctly and are not aware of any human health risks," Mr. Green said.

USAID is the federal government's lead agency in efforts to help African countries find ways to battle the continent's deadliest disease, which kills about a million Africans yearly, most of them young children and pregnant women. DDT is generally cheaper and more effective than other insecticides in preventing household bites.

I wonder if George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt will be the new face of the pro-DDT lobby? No? But it will save millions of lives in Africa, George. It will save use millions in aid that can be redirected to helping with other diseases like AIDS, Angelina. Still want to stay silent on the subject?