Andrew Kenny in The Spectator
writes

Judged on sheer evil, the worst crime in history was brown, the Nazi
genocide, although the reds slaughtered more people. The death toll
(difficult to measure) is roughly, Hitler’s holocaust 6 million,
Stalin’s famine and terror 8 million, and Mao’s famine 30 million. But
the greens have topped them all. In a single crime they have killed
about 50 million people. In purely numerical terms, it was the worst
crime of the 20th century. It took place in the USA in 1972. It was
the banning of DDT. …

In 1971 DDT was poised to rid the world of malaria. In 1972 it was banned. …

This was the time of Rachel Carson’s mendacious book Silent Spring,
about the horrors of pesticides, when the newly emerging green
ideology was looking for a cause célèbre. … The greens, leaning
heavily on Ruckelshaus, were determined to ban it and did so, with
catastrophic consequences for poor people with dark skins. Tens of
millions of humans were sacrificed on the green altar.

The US extended the ban overseas by various measures, including
refusing aid to countries that used DDT. Other rich countries, urged
on by their greens, followed suit. Malaria, which had been in retreat,
came surging back, killing multitudes.

In a review of Michael Crichton’s State of Fear Ron Bailey agrees with Crichton that the greens killed 50 million:

Along the way, Mr. Crichton makes vividly apparent how
environmentalist misinformation costs lives and money. He has Kenner
tell fatuous Hollywood environmentalist Ted Bradley (Martin Sheen?)
that banning DDT was “arguably the greatest tragedy of the twentieth
century.” Why? Because DDT was the best defense against
malaria-carrying mosquitoes. “All together, the ban has caused more
than 50 million needless deaths,” Kenner says. “Banning DDT killed
more people than Hitler, Ted. And the environmental movement pushed
hard for it.” True enough.

Junkscience has a rel="nofollow">death clock that puts the death toll even higher at
90 million deaths.

i-e7230839db3a7df817999c896096e22f-chapinfig2small.png However, it
is conceivable that relying on a science fiction writer and an
astroturf web site
might not be wise. so I checked to see what the peer-reviewed
scientific literature. “Agricultural production and malaria
resurgence in Central America and India
” published in
Nature by Chapin and Wasserstrom tells us what really happened. The graph on the
left shows that malaria did skyrocket in India in the 70s. But not
because they cut back on DDT spraying because of pressure from
environmentalists. The graph shows that they didn’t cut back on DDT,
but dramatically increased its use. So how come malaria increased?
Well, the increase in DDT use was in agriculture. This caused the
insects to become resistant, so they had to use more DDT to get the
same effect. This caused more resistance, so even more DDT was used
and so on. The end result was that in the areas where DDT was used in
agriculture, the mosquitoes became completely resistant and DDT no
longer stopped them from spreading malaria, with the disastrous
results shown in the graph.

Was this catastrophe predictable? Well, yes. In fact, Rachel Carson
warned about it in
Silent Spring. If India had followed the example of the
United States and banned the agricultural use of DDT and reserved it
for public health many millions of cases of malaria would have been
prevented. However, India probably could not have afforded the more
expensive alternative insecticides to DDT, so this may not have been
feasible. But there were other alternatives that would have greatly
reduced pesticide use and slowed the development of resistance.
Chapin and Wasserstrom continue the story:

In response, entomologists developed what they call integrated pest
management systems[85-86], the key to which lies in timing insecticide
applications so that the crop is protected from predators only at the
most vulnerable stages of its growth cycle. As it turns out, cotton
buds destroyed by pests regrow throughout the plant’s life, so that
producers can afford to sustain a high level of insect damage before
there is a need to apply pesticides. Simple precautionary measures may
also lower their chemical costs: up to 75 per cent of the hibernating
boll weevil population may be eliminated by the ploughing under of
crop debris after harvest. Thus many growers west of the Mississippi
now spray their fields only seven or eight times each season instead
of 25 or 30; similar measures have been developed for raising corn,
rice and many kinds of fruit[87].

So why did WHO not urge cotton producing countries to employ
integrated management systems that would not interfere with malaria
eradication programmes? A possible answer may perhaps be found in the
activities of another international agency, the Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO). Like WHO, FAO was established to provide technical
advice and assistance to members of the United Nations. In the case of
pesticides, which are manufactured and distributed by a few
multinational corporations, FAO’s advice might have played a critical
role in reducing environmental contamination. Both farmers and
extension agents in developing nations must normally rely on pesticide
company salesmen for information about how to use agricultural
chemicals — much as physicians in Western countries rely upon
pharmaceutical companies for information about new drugs. Beginning in
1967, therefore, FAO put together a small working group of experts on
integrated pest management which published technical manuals and
disseminated other information[88-94].

Three years later, it commissioned an American entomologist, Dr Louis
Falcon, to develop an integrated system in Nicaragua, a system which
achieved remarkable success within a few seasons. Similar programmes
were subsequently undertaken in Mexico, Peru and Pakistan[95].

But FAO did not recommend these programs.

Why did FAO choose this course of action, which in retrospect does
not appear to have been guided by an accurate appreciation of the
perils of pesticide addiction? It is important to examine how
pesticide manufacturers have influenced the policies of international
agencies. As public concern about the effects of toxins like DDT began
to grow in the 1960s, these corporations formed a trade association
called GIFAP (Groupement International des Associations Nationales de
Pesticides) which in turn worked directly with UN technicians through
a FAO bureau known as the Industry Cooperative Programme (ICP). By the
early 1970s joint FAO-ICP regional seminars had been organized in many
parts of the world to promote new and better ways of distributing
agricultural, pesticides. More important, high-level officials in WHO
and FAO, who share the industry’s views on many major issues, invited
GIFAP to play an active part in agency “consultations” and other
internal meetings[98,99]. In this way, for example, no fewer than 25
corporate representatives lent their expertise to the meeting in Rome
on pesticides in agriculture and public health and served on
subcommittees responsible for formulating UN policy. Not surprisingly,
these subcommittees stressed the need to apply more pesticides in a
more effective manner rather than to limit their use or replace them
with alternative forms of pest control. And what is more curious, none
of these deliberations included representatives of other international
constituencies such as environmental groups, labour unions or farmers’
organizations. Perhaps for these reasons, in June 1978, the current
director general of FAO, Eduard Saoumi, finally expelled ICP from his
agency[100].

So the people with significant responsibility for the resurgence in
malaria were the chemical companies that stymied efforts to reduce the
agricultural use of pesticides. And it was chemical companies that
helped set up the astroturf junkscience site that has attempted to
blame Rachel Carson for causing the resurgence. Nice. It’s like a
hit-and-run driver who, instead of admitting responsibility for the
accident, frames the person who tried to prevent the accident.
Bastards.

Update: Some of Chapin and Wasserstrom’s claims have been disputed. See follow-up post

Comments

  1. #1 slickdpdx
    October 14, 2005

    I was following you until your conclusion “So the people with significant responsibility for the resurgence in malaria were the chemical companies that stymied efforts to reduce the agricultural use of pesticides.”
    I understand that there may have been a better way to do things, from the standpoint of the environment and eradication efforts, but your conclusion seems to stray far beyond that fact.

  2. #2 Brian S.
    October 14, 2005

    Tim’s conclusion makes sense to me: by fighting attempts to reduce ag use of DDT, the chemical companies increased mosquito resistance to DDT that could be properly used for public health.

    Here’s my question: while the enviros are acting appropriately now in being willing to consider indoor DDT use where appropriate, was there a time when the enviros opposed such a use in Third World countries? I think Tim may have covered this elsewhere, but I’m not sure.

  3. #3 Ian gould
    October 15, 2005

    >while the enviros are acting appropriately now in being willing to consider indoor DDT use where appropriate, was there a time when the enviros opposed such a use in Third World countries?

    Yes, prior to around 2000 when the international treaty banning persistent insecticides was being negotiated some major green groups initially lobbied for its inclusion.

    They all, so far as I know, reversed their position prior to the treaty being completed and sorted a continuing exemption for public health use.

    All: While the number of malaria deaths world-wide seems somewhat uncertain it appears to be around 1 million to 1.5 million.

    If the lower figure is correct, then it’s impossible for the ban to have cost 50 million lives and even if the upper figure is correct you have to assume DDT would have prevented around 95% of malaria deaths to reach that figure.

  4. #4 dsquared
    October 15, 2005

    Ian is right, by the way; IIRC the junkscience.com counter operates on the implicit assumption that every single death from malaria is one that would have been prevented if the (non-existent) “DDT ban” had not been in place.

  5. #5 Steve Munn
    October 15, 2005

    Well done Tim. This whole DDT saga is worthy of book and I reckon you are well qualified to write it.

  6. #6 Dano
    October 15, 2005

    Tim, that’s a fine blog post. Well done, sir. That’s just a fine piece of writing, period.

    D

  7. #7 Joel Shore
    October 15, 2005

    In amplification to Ian’s comment in #3, I know that the specific case of the World Wildlife Fund, his chronology is absolutely correct with one important clarification: Even before WWF changed their stance, they were not pushing for an immediate ban on DDT in the POP (persistent organic pollutant) treaty negotiations. What they were pushing for was a definite future date for ending its use. They argued that this was necessary in order to encourage the development and dissemination of alternatives. However, at some point in the negotiations, they changed their position and agreed to not having any phase-out date.

  8. #8 d
    October 16, 2005

    There’s actually a Green crime in progress that has the potential to be quite a contender. That’s Greenpeace stonewalling, sabotage and misinformation about vitamin A enhanced Rice (Golden rice). 6000 deaths a day result from vit A deficiency triggered infectious disease in the third world. Golden rice, could perhaps impact on some 30-50 % of these. Greens have already caused significant delays. lets say 2 years x365x1000= quite a lot. Then there’s Golden cassava, Golden banana, Golden Sorghum.

    Hmmm.

    Lets move on to interference with GM food aid acceptance in Africa. Hmmm.

    Maybe better get back to the actual harm caused by Green anti-DDT mindset demonising DDT and delaying and impeding DDT house spraying, discussed at Quiggin , affecting maybe only thousands of lives, but still an issue.
    Also discuss the harm from demonising corporations.Whats good for the goose is good for the gander

  9. #9 Tim Lambert
    October 16, 2005

    Given your misrepresentations about DDT in your comment d, I’m discounting 100% your claims about golden rice and GM foods.

  10. #10 cytochrome sea
    October 16, 2005

    Heh, completely an unimpressive early study done by those without a clue. To be nice, we should forget about one of the authors demonstrated (never mind, I feel not going there)
    to have exaggerated and lied.

    Honestly, anyone that;s gonna go and blame someone else is obviously a faggot habit…

  11. #11 zoot
    October 16, 2005

    Honestly, anyone that;s gonna go and blame someone else is obviously a faggot habit

    You talking about Andrew Kenny or Ron Bailey?

  12. #12 Tim Lambert
    October 16, 2005

    Shorter cs: the study is wrong because I say so.

  13. #13 d
    October 16, 2005

    Well Tim you don’t really impress by discounting my comments but you’ll completely lose credibility if you discount modern published peer reviewed papers in Nature Medicine.
    I’d really like to get your response to the disaster in South America where there were definitely many unnecessary deaths caused by de facto bans on DDT , and its quite clear if you read the relevant papers that the old India evidence you mentioned is irrelevant.
    The problem was caused by phasing out of house spraying in the mid 80s in several South American countries.

    Worst crime ever no. Only many hundreds of thousands of cases involved. Moral responsibility: the overstated response to DDT by Green activists. The data are presented in Nature Medicine Vol 6 No 7, July 2000 p729 by Amir Attaran, Donald Roberts and others,

  14. #14 d
    October 16, 2005

    To add more to the missing parts of your story, Tim, here one more paper that contradicts your interpretation.

    DR Roberts et al Lancet (2000) Vol 356 Issue 9226, page 330.

    They state that resistance is not a major barrier to continued use of DDT. They also mention have epidemics were triggered by discontinuation of DDT use in house spraying.

    BTW – you don’t explain how I have misinterpreted DDT evidence in a previous post.

  15. #15 Tim Lambert
    October 16, 2005

    d, in the Lancet paper by Roberts et al that you cite, Roberts writes:
    >DDT house spraying was stopped in Sri Lanka in 1961, and this was followed by a major malaria epidemic.

    This is misleading, as I explained [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/02/ddt3.php). Sri Lanka suspended spraying 1964 because there were so few cases. They resume spraying when there was an epidemic. Which DDT failed to control because of resistance. They didn’t get malaria under control until they switched to malathion.

    And why are 100 million cases of malaria in India caused by the agricultural use of DDT irrelevant? Is it because you can’t blame the greens for them?

  16. #16 J F Beck
    October 16, 2005

    Maybe I’m reading Fig.2 incorrectly but it seems to show that there were over 30 million cases of Malaria in India in 1977. The best I can work out, there were actually “only” 6.47 million cases in the peak year of 1976.

    Further, there’s this from WHO regarding malaria resurgence in India:

    The strategy of malaria eradication was highly successful and the cases were reduced to about 100,000 and deaths due to malaria were eliminated by 1965-66. Subsequently the programme faced various technical obstacles and financial and administrative constraints, which led to countrywide increase in the number of cases.

    It seems there’s more – and less – to this story than Chapin and Wasserstrom tell us.

  17. #17 Eli Rabett
    October 16, 2005

    With malaria there can be a confusion between the number of infected people and the number of malaria crises per year, eg the number of times anyone is sick. Perhaps this is what happened

  18. #18 Tim Lambert
    October 16, 2005

    I think the 6.47 million cases are just those confirmed by a blood test, but I’ll check with WHO statistics in the library tomorrow.

  19. #19 creeker
    October 16, 2005

    slickdpdx

    Who else is responsible than a consortium of 25 chemical industry reps (ICP)- so called expert consultants with axes to grind, that advised the U.N.’s FAO.

    Reread the previous paragraph, particularly the last sentence.
    “in June 1978, the current director general of FAO, Eduard Saoumi, finally expelled ICP from his agency[100].”
    Pretty unambiguous and doesn’t seem to me to stray at all…quite the contrary…it is the fact, since the chems were the only reps on the ICP.

  20. #20 d
    October 16, 2005

    Tim, my irrelevancy comment is based on the mechanisms explained by Attaran et al. Effectiveness of DDT in indoor spraying similar to that described in the recent BBC report on Africa. It occurs because it makes the mosquitoes stay away. It is effective EVEN WITH resistant mosquitoes. Besides that, its STILL effective in India eg see the 2005 papers below for instance.

    I’m still interested in your responses to the Attaran and Roberts Papers. Attaran describe a cumulative 12,000,000 cases in South America up to 1997. The death rate in about 3%. from this I would put global deaths from restrictions to DDT use in houses at about 500,000, so you are right, its not the worst crime of the 20th century, but not something any responsible person would try to justify or defend once they realise the circumstances.

    : J Vector Borne Dis. 2005 Jun;42(2):54-60.

    Impact of DDT spraying on malaria transmission in Bareilly District, Uttar
    Pradesh, India.

    Sharma SN, Shukla RP, Raghavendra K, Subbarao SK.

    Malaria Research Centre Field Station, Inderjeet Garden, Bhotia Parao, Haldwani,
    District Nainital, Uttaranchal, India. mrchaldwani@sanchar.net.in

    BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Impact of indoor residual spraying of DDT on malaria
    transmission and vector density was evaluated in six villages of Shergarh PHC,
    Bareilly district, Uttar Pradesh under the operational condition of National
    Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) from July 2001 to March 2002
    (one transmission season only). METHODS: Two rounds of DDT (50% WDP) spraying @
    1 g/m2 were done both in the experimental and control villages by the state
    health authorities. The spraying in experimental villages was supervised by
    Malaria Research Centre (MRC) whereas the district health authorities supervised
    the operation in control villages. Mass blood surveys were made three
    times–before the first round, in between the first and second rounds and after
    the second round of spraying. The blood smears were examined by the trained
    microscopists of MRC, Haldwani. From the above examinations epidemiological
    indicators such as slide positivity rate (SPR), slide falciparum rate (SFR) and
    infant parasite rate (IPR) were calculated. All malaria positive cases were
    given radical treatment as per NVBDCP schedule. Entomological parameters such as
    per man hour mosquito density, parity rate, gonotrophic condition and adult
    susceptibility status of Anopheles culicifacies to diagnostic dosages of DDT
    (4%) were monitored as per the standard techniques. RESULTS: A total of 988.5 kg
    of DDT was consumed during two rounds of spray. The house coverage varied from
    87 to 95.3%. Parasitological evaluation revealed significant reduction in
    malaria cases (p < 0.0005) and infant parasite rate declined from 2.9 to 0%.
    Entomological observations revealed considerable reduction in the density of
    malaria vector An. culicifacies despite of its 21.4% mortality against DDT test
    papers. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION: The overall results of the study revealed
    that DDT is still a viable insecticide in indoor residual spraying owing to its
    effectivity in well supervised spray operation and high excito-repellency
    factor.

    Trop Med Int Health. 2005 Feb;10(2):160-8.

    DDT indoor residual spray, still an effective tool to control Anopheles
    fluviatilis-transmitted Plasmodium falciparum malaria in India.

    Gunasekaran K, Sahu SS, Jambulingam P, Das PK.

    Vector Control Research Centre, Medical Complex, Indira Nagar, Pondicherry 605
    006, India. k_guna@yahoo.com

    This study from two districts of Orissa State which are endemic for Plasmodium
    falciparum transmitted by Anopheles fluviatilis and A. culicifacies investigated
    the impact of dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) indoor residual spraying,
    in view of the ongoing discussion on phasing out DDT in India. Based on their
    high annual parasite incidence and logistical considerations, 26 villages in
    Malkangiri and 28 in Koraput district were selected for DDT spraying. For
    comparison, six and four unsprayed villages were chosen from the same districts.
    In each district, the prevalence of malaria infection and incidence of malaria
    fever, indoor resting density and parous rate of the vectors, and their
    susceptibility to DDT were monitored in six and three villages selected randomly
    from the sprayed and unsprayed groups respectively. Anopheles fluviatilis was
    susceptible to DDT while A. culicifacies was resistant. DDT residual spraying
    with 1 g/m(2), was carried out in October-November 2001. Spraying 74-86% of
    human dwellings and 100% of cattle sheds brought down the indoor resting density
    of A. fluviatilis by 93-95%. This was associated with a significant reduction of
    incidence of malaria fever as well as prevalence of malaria infection from
    November to February in both districts. The spraying also seemed to impact on
    vector longevity, and a residual effect of DDT on the sprayed walls was observed
    up to 10-12 weeks despite re-plastering. Hence DDT spraying can still be an
    effective tool for controlling fluviatilis-transmitted malaria. Although this
    species is exophilic, its nocturnal resting behaviour facilitates its contact
    with the sprayed surfaces. DDT is still useful for residual spraying in India,
    particularly in areas where the vectors are endophilic and not resistant.

    PMID: 15679559 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  21. #21 d
    October 16, 2005

    I certainly DONT regard malaria problems caused by excessive use of DDT in India irrelevant: but why do you imply that I said that? Neither do I accept the conclusion that agricultural used “caused” as many as you claim, if you think awhile you’ll realise that’s full of contradictions, as alternatives are better, and its still effective in houses. Banning of Agricultural use was fully justified, but discouragement to house hold spraying is not. Discontinuation of household spraying as documented by Attaran did occur and HAS CAUSED many deaths, probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands. That a truth that you don’t seem to acknowledge, and its a pity.

  22. #22 d
    October 16, 2005

    Here are the exact remarks by Attaran et al in Nature Medicine 2000 that pin point what Green propaganda IS IN FACT responsible for – institutional barriers to DDT use in house spraying programs by various forms of discouragement displayed by NGOs such as WHO. This remark and others provide evidence that show, Tim, that your HOAX claim is incorrect. The presence of such barriers opens up any exaggeration of DDT harm to moral scrutiny.

    There is in fact “de facto DDT ban” that needs to be addressed honestly, and not submerged in mockery of overstatements made by reporters, and it is a ban created by Green excess.
    The responsible course of action I would have expected after discovery of adverse consequences of anti-DDT demonisation would have been to immediately start active publicity of CAVEATs about DDT harm, and this corrective response would involve pro-active communication that NO HUMAN HARM by DDT has been proven, and that DDT has an important role still in house spraying.This would be similar to telling mothers that a particular vaccine has a low incidence of side effects- informed consent if you like.

    To my knowledge, that has never occured and hence many people are still misinformed, including you too, Tim it seems. Its that moral failure that the Green lobby groups have to bear until they set the record straight.

    Quote
    African countries in particular
    lack the resources to dispatch health experts to the treaty
    negotiations, and although it provides financial assistance,
    the United Nations Environment Programme has declined
    to assist with this, or even to provide a translator when
    French- and English-speaking diplomats meet to discuss
    DDT. The resulting lack of knowledge suffocates debate. At
    worst, threats are used, as Belize learned when the US
    Agency for International Development demanded that it
    stop using DDT.
    Such arm-twisting is as lamentable as it is effective. Highly
    indebted poor countries must of necessity rank poverty reduction
    over environmental orthodoxy, and stimulating growth
    and foreign investment will require nearly eliminating
    malaria from economically productive zones. This is essential
    for development in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria subtracts
    more than one percentage point off the gross domestic
    product growth rate, for a compounded loss (since 1965) now
    reaching up to $100 billion a year in foregone income32.
    Seen in this way, the insistence to do without DDT is ‘ecocolonialism’
    that can impoverish no less than the imperial
    colonialism of the past did. Sub-Saharan Africa, which never
    experienced much spraying of houses with DDT, should consider
    starting this.

  23. #23 d
    October 16, 2005

    More evidence to document the role of over-the top anti-DDT activism in causing harm; this time from an African review.
    The science has moved on far Tim, from India in the 70s.

    Trop Med Int Health. 2004 Aug;9(8):846-56. Related Articles, Links
    Historical review of malarial control in southern African with emphasis on the use of indoor residual house-spraying.
    Mabaso ML, Sharp B, Lengeler C.

    Indoor residual house-spraying (IRS) mainly with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was the principal method by which malaria was eradicated or greatly reduced in many countries in the world between the 1940s and 1960s. In sub-Saharan Africa early malarial eradication pilot projects also showed that malaria is highly responsive to vector control by IRS but transmission could not be interrupted in the endemic tropical and lowland areas. As a result IRS was not taken to scale in most endemic areas of the continent with the exception of southern Africa and some island countries such as Reunion, Mayotte, Zanzibar, Cape Verde and Sao Tome. In southern Africa large-scale malarial control operations based on IRS with DDT and benzene hexachloride (BHC) were initiated in a number of countries to varying degrees. The objective of this review was to investigate the malarial situation before and after the introduction of indoor residual insecticide spraying in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique using historical malarial data and related information collected from National Malaria Control Programmes, national archives and libraries, as well as academic institutions in the respective countries. Immediately after the inception of IRS with insecticides, dramatic reductions in malaria and its vectors were recorded. Countries that developed National Malaria Control Programmes during this phase and had built up human and organizational resources made significant advances towards malarial control. Malaria was reduced from hyper- to meso-endemicity and from meso- to hypo-endemicity and in certain instances to complete eradication. Data are presented on the effectiveness of IRS as a malarial control tool in six southern African countries. Recent trends in and challenges to malarial control in the region are also discussed.

    Table 2 summarizes the start of IRS programmes in the region and changes in residual insecticides applied over time. The first trial testing of the residual application of insecticides for malarial control in southern Africa was carried out in 1931 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and by 1932 a widespread residual house-spraying programme using pyrethrum was undertaken. In 1946, DDT replaced pyrethrum as the insecticide of choice (Sharp et al. 1988; le Sueur et al. 1993). In 1956, malaria became a notifiable disease, total coverage of all malarial areas was achieved for the first time in 1958, and by 1970 South Africa had a well-structured malarial control programme (Sharp & le Sueur 1996). In 1996, the pyrethroid deltamethrin was introduced for IRS in line with international trends to replace DDT. Subsequently, A. funestus, which had disappeared since the 1950s re-emerged in 2000 and was shown to be pyrethroid-resistant (Hargreaves et al. 2000). As a result, national policy reverted to the use of DDT, and surveillance has since indicated that A. funestus has again disappeared (Ministry of Health 2003).

    In Swaziland, the malarial control programme was launched in 1945. Residual indoor spraying with DDT was initiated on a limited scale in 1947 (Mastbaum 1955). By 1950, coverage of all malarial areas was achieved. During the 1951-52 transmission season, BHC was introduced due to a shortage of DDT. From 1955-56, the efficacy of dieldrin vs. BHC was evaluated and no significant difference was found in the vector population density and number of malarial cases in areas sprayed with the two insecticides. However, dieldrin was discontinued due to higher cost (Mastbaum 1956, 1957a). Focal spraying, partly with BHC and partly with DDT, was carried out in the 1960s (Delfini 1969). From the 1980s, all inhabited structures in malarial areas were sprayed with DDT and later with synthetic pryrethroids (cyfluthrin) in houses with painted walls.

    In Botswana, the National Malaria Control Programme was initiated in 1974. However, malarial interventions including spraying of human habitations have been reported as far back as the mid-1940s (Mastbaum 1944). In the 1950s, indoor house-spraying with DDT became the main vector control method (Freedman 1953). DDT remained the insecticide choice until 1971 when Fenitrothion was tried but abandoned again in 1972 because of low efficacy (Chayajabera et al. 1975). In 1973, residual spraying with DDT in the malarial districts of Ngamiland, Chobe and Francistown resumed, and in the 1980s a comprehensive vector control programme was organized which led to improved spraying coverage. In 1998, Botswana stopped the use of DDT and introduced pyrethroids (deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) as alternative insecticides as a consequence of a lack of availability of good quality DDT (Ministry of Health 1999).

    In Namibia, residual spraying with DDT was first carried out in 1965. However, it was only in the 1970s that full coverage of the malarial regions (Ovambo, Kavango and Caprivi) was achieved (Hansford 1990). In 1991, a comprehensive malarial control programme was launched under the auspices of the NVDCP within the Ministry of Health and Social Services. To date residual spraying with DDT is being done in traditional housing, with carbamates (bendiocarb) applied only in western-type housing.

    In Zimbabwe, indoor house-spraying pilot projects with DDT began as far back as 1945. A large-scale house-spraying programme was initiated in 1949 (Alves & Blair 1953, 1955). Spraying operations were later extended to other parts of the country as part of a ‘barrier’ spraying programme to prevent epidemics and to limit the spread to malaria-free areas. These operations continued until the late 1970s and after 1980 the malarial control programme was reviewed with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality rather than only preventing epidemics (Taylor & Mutambu 1986). In 1988, DDT was replaced by deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin due to the international lobby against persistent organic pollutants (Freeman 1995).

    In Mozambique, residual house-spraying with DDT and BHC was first introduced in 1946 in the southern part of the country in the semi-urban area of Maputo city and in the rural area of the Limpopo Valley (Soeiro 1956; Ferreira 1958). Between 1960 and 1969, residual spraying with DDT was carried out in southern Mozambique (Maputo region) as part of the malarial eradication experiment (Schwalbach & de la Maza 1985). The escalation of civil war in the late 1970s led to a complete breakdown of malarial control measures. Following the cessation of hostilities in the 1990s, IRS mostly with lambdacyhalothrin and partly with deltamethrin was re-introduced, but only in suburban areas of most provincial capitals (Barreto 1996). In 2000, IRS with carbamates (bendiocarb) was re-introduced in the rural parts of Maputo province as part of the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative (LSDI), a trilateral agreement among Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa aimed at protecting communities against malaria in the Lubombo region in order to create a suitable environment for economic development and promotion of eco-tourism (Sharp et al. 2001).

  24. #24 Ian gould
    October 17, 2005

    I don’t know about the specific figures d. quotes for Vitamin D deficiency deaths but he is correct in saying that the major green groups have been guilty of serious misrepresentation in attempting to make their case against Golden Rice. (Based on my own experience with such groups i suspect this is due to ignorance rather than deliberate deceit.)

    Specifically, they’ll argue that you’d need to eat several kiloes of golden rice per day to meet your daily Vitamin D requirement.

    This may be true but is only relevant if you are ONLY eating golden rice.

    If golden rice is substituted for ordinary rice in a mixed diet it may provide a significant part of the daily Vitamin D requirement, enough in many cases to prevent acute deficiency–related diseases.

  25. #25 z
    October 17, 2005

    “Ian is right, by the way; IIRC the junkscience.com counter operates on the implicit assumption that every single death from malaria is one that would have been prevented if the (non-existent) “DDT ban” had not been in place.”
    And that the death rate jumped from insignificant to 2 million per year the instant the nonexistent ban was non-signed.

  26. #26 z
    October 17, 2005

    “I certainly DONT regard malaria problems caused by excessive use of DDT in India irrelevant: but why do you imply that I said that? Neither do I accept the conclusion that agricultural used “caused” as many as you claim, if you think awhile you’ll realise that’s full of contradictions, as alternatives are better, and its still effective in houses. Banning of Agricultural use was fully justified, but discouragement to house hold spraying is not. Discontinuation of household spraying as documented by Attaran did occur and HAS CAUSED many deaths, probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands. That a truth that you don’t seem to acknowledge, and its a pity.”

    Oscillating goalposts; “DDT ban” seems to morph between documented ban on huge amounts of agricultural spraying, which ban served to decrease the incidence of malaria, and vaguely defined unwillingness to use DDT to fight disease by persons unspecified, because of undocumented sympathetic effects of agricultural ban by mechanisms unspecified; except in the various places where DDT use to fight disease continued in the absence of agricultural use, for reasons unknown and unquestioned.

  27. #27 z
    October 17, 2005

    I hardly think this is the crime of the century; that would have to be the millions of unnecessary deaths due to fire, caused by the asbestos ban put forward by the unthinking environazis and their ilk. Using my randomly exponentiating Immolation Death Clock, I can show that the number of deaths attributable to this asbestos ban is in fact larger than the entire population of the earth, thus making the environazis the worst mass murderers in the history of the universe, including the disguised lizard men who secretly rule our planet.

  28. #28 J F Beck
    October 17, 2005

    The following is an excerpt from a summary of Sharma, V.P. Environmental management in malaria control in India. In Malaria: waiting for the vaccine. Targett, GAT. Ed. England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1991 from Pesticide Action Network North America:

    Malaria fell sharply in India during the malaria eradication campaign of the 1960s due to DDT spraying, the success of which overshadowed the small successes of other methods. However, malaria resurged following the close out of the eradication program, peaking in 1976.

    So, it seems that linking increased DDT use to increased malaria is overly simplistic.

  29. #29 d
    October 17, 2005

    Similar time tabling of events to those of #29 are described by Attaran et al 2000 for South American malaria. So many aspects of Tim’s HOAX claims, and about insect resistance from agriculture being the deciding issue are falling apart from the evidence of recent posts. Insect resistance is not an absolute problem in several regions, and insect resistance doesn’t prevent DDT from being effective in house spraying due to its repellency effect;alson recent reports show several public health research groups are revalidating the effectiveness of DDT in house spraying 9eg in India).
    In short, about the only part of Tim Lambert’s DDT proposition I accept is that junkscience/sensationalist journos may exaggerating the total numbers numbers, but before I accept even that I would want to do more careful data collection myself. My current personal estimate of say 300,000 to 1 million deaths caused by premature cessation of DDT spraying in houses may be too low. A more accurate estimate requires integration of numbers over many different countries for long periods of time.

  30. #30 Patrick Caldon
    October 17, 2005

    d: Your tone indicates that you’re making some kind of crushing point against Tim’s analysis, but that point eludes me, since most of your quoted statements (particularly from post #24) seem to be consistent with or support his views. Those that don’t, for instance your suggestion of a lot of deaths, don’t appear to have much evidence supporting them.

    Your argument seems to be (and maybe I’m misunderstanding) that since house spraying with DDT works in a good many places (those where wall staining and resistance are not issues, for instance), it ought to work everywhere. Similarly you seem to conclude that because some aid agencies have on occasion discouraged DDT in some places, almost every aid agency has invariably discouraged DDT everywhere. I’m somewhat dubious about your apparent chain of reasoning in both of these instances, but perhaps my view of your argument is misconstrued.

    Perhaps you could try a short summary of why the material in #24 is relevant?

  31. #31 d
    October 17, 2005

    patrick;
    Its a pity my tone gave that impression patrick. I’m merely expressing my actual opinion of Tim’ s argument, which at first I had though had more substance than I now do after checking the published science to refresh my memory.
    Sorry if you can’t see the point to my argument. It’s much easier to get the message over by Hyped up headlines but that’s exactly what Tim’s against.
    My basic point is that DDT use in house spraying has slowed down for little good reason with awful outcomes.Posts like 24# are to document FROM PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE that anti-DDT rhetoric had a significant role in that slow down; as the outcome is many deaths its worth asking what caused that slow down. My reason for using this somewhat technical literature (which by tradition makes its ethical points in a very low-key fashion- hence it seems vague) is that Tim will probably dismiss any other source by saying it has a political basis.
    Maybe you can answer this – why were the programs of DDT house spraying discontinued in Africa and South America if house spraying still worked to protect the inhabitants? Why has in taken so long to restart DDT spraying and find out it still works?

  32. #32 d
    October 17, 2005

    For example Patrick, Ted Lapkin in Quadrant 2003 provides a coherent and literate commentary that makes the same point I’m making, but I’m skeptical that Tim will take it seriously:

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/php/archive_details_list.php?article_id=421

  33. #33 Tim Lambert
    October 17, 2005

    d, I’ve already commented on Lapkin [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/02/ddt3.php) and on South Africa [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/09/ddt-use-in-south-africa.php). As usual, your claims do not hold up.

  34. #34 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 17, 2005

    d the articles about the DDT debate from right-wing columnists and think-tanks have three basic points: 1.DDT is a magic bullet that is needed stop malaria 2. the use of DDT has been stopped worldwide solely due to environmentalists 3. the imperialist and racist environmentalists are causing human suffering and death in the third world by imposing their radical agenda.

    These claims are factually incorrect and are really just attempts to slander the right’s political opponents. IMO the authors of these articles are not just getting a complicated story wrong, they are intentionally lying.

    d the articles you are citing do not disprove Tin Lambert’s position.

    Robert’s piece in Nature Medicine is a letter to the editor about a treaty that was being negotiated and not a research article. The letter states that DDT can be effective but if only used carefully. The letter then claims environmentalists are trying to stop all the use of DDT but provides nothing to back up this assertion. In fact the enviro groups position is similar to Roberts own, limited careful use of DDT is acceptable but if there is a viable alternative it should be used.
    The letter to the editor is here:
    http://www.malaria.org/attarannaturemed.html

    The Tropical Medicine and International Health Journal article you cite concludes that DDT is not a magic bullet but can be effective in some areas if used in a careful and limited way in the context of a larger anti-malaria program. It does not implicate environmentalists. The article is on-line here:
    http://www.biology.missouri.edu/courses/bio4994_Smith/DDTHouseSprayingTMIH2004.pdf

    The Lancet article is also not a research article, it is an opinion letter about the negotiations of a treaty. It again gets the position of the enviro groups wrong. It also oversells the effectiveness of DDT. Roberts dismisses the negative ecological effects of DDT (again with little or no evidence), even though there is ample evidence of this and even the majority of the pro-DDT advocates in the scientific community acknowledge the ecological harm that widespread use of DDT can cause. The letter is here
    http://www.malaria.org/ddtlancet.html

  35. #35 Patrick Caldon
    October 17, 2005

    d: I can’t answer your questions, I truly don’t know the answers. My curiosity is to your answers to those questions.

    In post #24, there’s only one reference to pressure from international lobbying in a very long piece. Otherwise, it seems a pretty standard story of government in action, albeit in a resource starved and occasionally war torn area, where people don’t want brown stains on their freshly painted walls. My reading of your post #24 is that people have started and stopped using DDT for a whole variety of reasons, and that pressure from environment groups or donor agencies is pretty minor in the scheme of things.

  36. #36 Ian Gould
    October 17, 2005

    >These claims are factually incorrect and are really just attempts to slander the right’s political opponents. IMO the authors of these articles are not just getting a complicated story wrong, they are intentionally lying.

    Actually I don;t think most of them ARE deliberately lying – they are simply hearing second- and third-had reports which happen to accord with their particular biases and failing to check them before commenting publicly.

    This isn’t an exclusively right-wing trait by any means – see much of the exaggerated angst over genetically engineered crops.

    (North America has been conducting a rather large experiment with genetically modified soy, corn and cotton for the past decade or so, if the more dire predictions were credible you’d expect some of them to have come to pass by now.)

  37. #37 z
    October 17, 2005

    That would be the No True DDT Ban fallacy; i.e. No True DDT Ban would allow DDT to be used where effective against mosquitoes. But what about all the countries where DDT seems to be used without criticism, let alone “ban”? Well, that’s obviously not the True DDT Ban, which obviously only operates in areas where DDT is not being sprayed.

  38. #38 creeker
    October 17, 2005

    Tim
    See Frontpage.com on “Bring Back DDT” by Roger Bate

    Roger Bate and Richard Tren, the co-founders of Africa Fighting Malaria, recently presented the following testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

  39. #39 Joel Shore
    October 17, 2005

    Creeker– I assume this is the link that you meant to give: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19659

    Africa Fighting Malaria is one of those astroturf groups…It is actually founded and run by a bunch of people who are very much into fighting governmental environmental and safety regulations, be they of the tobacco industry or on climate change, and not particularly knowledgeable about fighting malaria.

    Bate and Tren testified before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee because the chair of that committee is the right-wing nutjob Senator James Inhofe. Roberts, who has also been mentioned in this thread, also gave some very deceptive testimony that you can watch here, http://epw.senate.gov/epwmultimedia/epw092805.ram , in a panel that included author Michael Crichton (who has been elevated to the status of an expert on science and public policy by Inhofe because Inhofe loved “State of Fear”).

    Yes, politics in America has really descended to the level of farce.

  40. #40 creeker
    October 17, 2005

    Joel Shore

    Yes, that’s the link.

    I came across Tim’s blog from Grist, so I’m trying to educate myself and separate fact from ideology, not an easy task.

    So far what I’ve gleaned is:
    1) IRS (indoor residual spraying) of DDT is endorsed by environmental groups and the scientific community as an effective malaria control strategy.
    2)Agricultural use of DDT is not endorsed by these same groups.
    3)DDT’s metabolites DDE and DDD which appear to contain a phenol group, which I’ve been told has been pr oven to be harmful to humans (my wife is a chemist), so I’m confused by statements by Bate and Tren that there is no peer reviewed proof of deleterious human effects. A lot of stuff is found in fatty tissues and mother’s milk (PCB’s, too) and would fall under the precautionary principle if it were being absorbed in great quantities, so banning wholesale agricultural use should work.
    4) There’s been a huge resurgence of some raptors (in our area, osprey or fish hawks),and non-raptors (passarines?), like bluebirds, which I thought was due to the diminished use of DDT, but I haven’t talked the the Audubon Society on this. I see some think the Audubon Society and Ruckleshaus were perpetrating a scam of some sort, and I guess these birds just came back on their own… who knows.

    The bottom line, IMHO, is that if controlled use of small amounts of DDT for IRS (so it doesn’t get into the food of the occupants) works to save human lives and a ban on agricultural use saves wildlife (and human life in the long term) , I’m for it, and I’m wondering why we don’t just do it worldwide until something cheaper and better comes along, and stop the bickering.

  41. #41 Dano
    October 18, 2005

    I’m confused by statements by Bate and Tren that there is no peer reviewed proof of deleterious human effects.

    Ahhhh…yes, you suspect you see tendention.

    DDE’ is a breakdown product of DDT – there are deleterious effects of DDE’, but few if any directly from DDT. So it is narrowly true about deleterious effects from DDT.

    But it is mendacious when omitting effects from DDE’.

    …I’m for it, and I’m wondering why we don’t just do it worldwide until something cheaper and better comes along, and stop the bickering…

    My fallback is: money AND making greens look bad – two birds with one stone!

    Best,

    D

  42. #42 Ian Gould
    October 18, 2005

    >The bottom line, IMHO, is that if controlled use of small amounts of DDT for IRS (so it doesn’t get into the food of the occupants) works to save human lives and a ban on agricultural use saves wildlife (and human life in the long term) , I’m for it

    As near as I can work out, the majority of people posting here actually agree on this. (when we aren’t berating each other)

    >I’m wondering why we don’t just do it worldwide until something cheaper and better comes along, and stop the bickering.

    It may be that in some areas (Congo and Somalia come to mind) the government infrastructure to run IRS programs simply doesn’t exist and netting is a more practical alternative.

    IIRC too, the South Africans use DDT for IRS on traditional housing but another insecticide for western-style housing.

    So there may be some practical limitations – but money definitely shouldn’t be one of them.

  43. #43 z
    October 18, 2005

    “‘The bottom line, IMHO, is that if controlled use of small amounts of DDT for IRS (so it doesn’t get into the food of the occupants) works to save human lives and a ban on agricultural use saves wildlife (and human life in the long term), I’m for it’
    As near as I can work out, the majority of people posting here actually agree on this. (when we aren’t berating each other)”

    But it does seem that there is a significant minority who implicitly don’t so much care about the above one way or the other, are primarily interested in attacking environmentalism (and the left in general), and are not in fact particularly in favor of the ban on agricultural use, whether it saves wildlife and/or human life or not.

  44. #44 bellatrys
    October 18, 2005

    I got suspicious reading about this a while back.

    It turns out a lot of the guys plugging this meme in, frex, conservative Catholic newspapers like the Register – were Olin Foundation beneficiaries.

    Guess what Olin used to make and sell in the US…

    Neoconned! Entering the Matrix

  45. #45 Dano
    October 18, 2005

    But it does seem that there is a significant minority who implicitly don’t so much care about the above one way or the other, are primarily interested in attacking environmentalism (and the left in general), and are not in fact particularly in favor of the ban on agricultural use, whether it saves wildlife and/or human life or not.

    Yes.

    Best,

    D

  46. #46 d
    October 18, 2005

    #41
    :1) IRS (indoor residual spraying) of DDT is endorsed by environmental groups and the scientific community as an effective malaria control strategy.

    >The problem is that the environmentalist groups are not ensuring that IRS spraying is occurring at an effective level, are continuing with efforts the prevent DDT use, do not correct the inaccurate propaganda, and their over the top political activities have have been responsible for discontinuing of house spraying – followed by malaria epidemics in South America and elsewhere – that have caused deaths. Every set of evidence that environmentalist activities was the cause of discontinued spraying has been pushed aside as if it didnt occur. This climate of denial is wrong. Tim Lambert has not addressed the details of this evidence, particularly the Attaran 2000 Nature Medicine paper, “Balancing risks on the backs of the poor”, but goes back to his interpretation of 25-40 year old evidence.
    Tim’s attitude to dissent is rather worrying, and he has now made three over the top assertions that he does prove. “100 million deaths due to DDT over use”, dismissal of my vitamin A comments, “As usual d you’re wrong”. How Tim knows my average rate of error I don’t fathom – these sounds more like the type of remark he’s criticising in others for, to me. What they does prove is that Tim doesn’t always have an open mind to the grey and contested areas of his opinions, which is poor scientific technique.
    The first step should be an accurate and fair statement of the dissenting argument, not an exaggerated “Strawman” that a mechanism for denial while deluding oneself of one’s own morality. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

    2)Agricultural use of DDT is not endorsed by these same groups.

    >That’s really good, it was an idiotic excess, and to the great credit of environmental activists, this is one on their great achievements. But the point is, that’s history, and today we are faced with correcting the imperfections of that great achievement. Unfortunately, some of the major problems in the world are caused by these imperfections, and they’ll remain problems till we start being more frank about them. Tim’s denial attitude wont get us there.

    3)DDT’s metabolites DDE and DDD which appear to contain a phenol group, which I’ve been told has been pr oven to be harmful to humans (my wife is a chemist), so I’m confused by statements by Bate and Tren that there is no peer reviewed proof of deleterious human effects. A lot of stuff is found in fatty tissues and mother’s milk (PCB’s, too) and would fall under the precautionary principle if it were being absorbed in great quantities, so banning wholesale agricultural use should work.

    >Having seen the peer reviews on DDT establish (eg see citations in Attaran, or type in review DDT malaria into Medline) that most claims about DDTs direct human harm are, in Attaran’s words “unpersuasive”, I would like to return to the actual evidence on DDE and make my mind up on that. Perhaps those who make the points about it and couple it to comments about mendacity will post them, as they surely must have them close to hand to adopt such an aggressive tone.

    Yes, I am aware that there are claims about DEE and pseudo hormonal effects. Yes there is an association between low birth rate and DDT exposure to mothers, but association is not cause and DDT may be a proxy for something else, like poverty and malnutrition.
    Should we ignore them: NO, but should we ignore the risks of preventing sensible use DDT use ABSOLUTELY NOT because the consequences of that are very directly tragic.

    4) There’s been a huge resurgence of some raptors (in our area, osprey or fish hawks),and non-raptors (passarines?), like bluebirds, which I thought was due to the diminished use of DDT, but I haven’t talked the the Audubon Society on this. I see some think the Audubon Society and Ruckleshaus were perpetrating a scam of some sort, and I guess these birds just came back on their own who knows.

    >The desirability of reducing massive DDT use, and consequences like damage to bird life, and other effects of persistent fat soluble compounds that bird damage may be a proxy for are strongly affirmed by me (see 2).

    The bottom line, IMHO, is that if controlled use of small amounts of DDT for IRS (so it doesn’t get into the food of the occupants) works to save human lives and a ban on agricultural use saves wildlife (and human life in the long term) , I’m for it, and I’m wondering why we don’t just do it worldwide until something cheaper and better comes along, and stop the bickering.

    >My point remains that many environmental organisations do not have a good record on this. The reason is that acknowledging the truth about DDT exposes their errors in the past. They think that is a problem. I think correcting errors is a sign of high standards.
    Finally the key peer reviewed paper by Attaran 2000 and the data in it have not been discussed at this weblog. Im starting to doubt Tim’s read it.

  47. #47 d
    October 18, 2005

    “d, I’ve already commented on Lapkin here and on South Africa here. As usual, your claims do not hold up.”

    >Finding parts of Lapkin that you disagree with is not showing every statement in it is wrong.
    >I was responding to remarks that my criticism are vague. Lapkin’s statements are not vague.
    >The points I retain from Lapkin (and repeated by Attaran 2000) are the weak support for DDT IRS by international NGOs such as WHO and Scandinavian AID agencies and pressure to stop manufacturing DDT which is foolish. I gave one peer reviewed statement that an African country had difficulty getting suitable DDT. I would characterise such stances as misjudgement caused by political pressure, and they not necessarily “Ecoimperialism”. They are morally questionable if they are not corrected promptly, and the delays in correcting them have been significant.

  48. #48 d
    October 18, 2005

    Constant use of Astroturf labels to deal with arguments is a bit of a problem in itself as are all labelling ploys – evolutionist, leftist, right-winger, reductionist, Scientistic [spelling!] … Astroturf organisations are set up by Green lobby groups as well: there are at least three operating in Australia. The political purpose of the Astroturf is to allow extreme statements and actions to be made, but denied if necessary. Its a defense against ad hominem attacks, and reflex ad hominem responses are extremely common in the Green lobby groups. At the end of the day, you have to ignore ad hominem arguments, apart from pointing out when they are made, and get on with looking at the evidence and its reliability. That’s hard work but the only way out.
    As far as the peer review, yes, several of the medical citations I gave are not strictly peer reviewed but even Letters to the Editor and policy comments in journals like Lancet are rigidly controlled. Editorially reviewed might be accurate. Also medicine is not only science – it touches on policy and judgement, so there is a place for valuing those types of article too. At least a degree of competency is assured.

  49. #49 z
    October 18, 2005

    “The bottom line, IMHO, is that if controlled use of small amounts of DDT for IRS (so it doesn’t get into the food of the occupants) works to save human lives and a ban on agricultural use saves wildlife (and human life in the long term) , I’m for it, and I’m wondering why we don’t just do it worldwide until something cheaper and better comes along, and stop the bickering.”

    Err, I think that’s what “we” are doing. As near as I can figure, the complaint seems to be that everybody all over the world isn’t spraying DDT all over their houses, just to be safe.

    Are there places where DDT is not being sprayed where it would help? Undoubtedly. As there are undoubtedly places where DDT is being sprayed with no positive benefit; places where other insecticides are not being sprayed where they would help, places where malaria medication is not being sufficiently utilized, etc. etc. etc.

    If Uganda, for instance, wants to spray DDT, they can do so. If the problem is that people will not then buy their vegetables unless they have been certified DDT free, I think the answer would be to check the damn vegetables, rather than make consumption of unchecked Ugandan vegetables compulsory. Most citizens in first world countries would be in favor of testing imported produce for pesticides in general, and would be shocked to find out how often that doesn’t happen. If the cash to do the testing is the issue, perhaps the concerned industrial giants can divert some of the money used to fund the astroturf organizations to cover the bill. Similarly for the argument that other pesticides are too expensive, and/or that USAID et al won’t fund DDT, despite their statement on their website that they do; these are the same outfits who opposed government-funded charity in the first place, in favor of private charity.

  50. #50 Tim Lambert
    October 19, 2005

    d, the Attaran paper is arguing against a ban on DDT. DDT was not banned so environmentalist pressure didn’t stop anyone from using. I’ve looked at the claim that the WHO doesn’t support DDT spraying. It’s just not true and I have links to the documents that disprove it in an earlier post. Similarly claims that USAID or the World Bank or the Global Fund don’t support DDT use are also untrue.

    The sum total of this environmental pressure is that some aid agencies don’t want to fund DDT. And the result of this was that [in Mozambique they used Bendiocarb](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/09/ddt-use-in-south-africa.php). And guess what? They reduced malaria by 67%. You would think that would shut up the AFM crew, but no, it gets cited both as an example of green perfidy (“They won’t fund DDT”) AND as an example of the effectiveness of DDT (“residual spraying with mumble reduced malaria by 67%”)

  51. #51 d
    October 19, 2005

    Tim,
    Im well aware that Attaran is arguing against a ban, as he was the main reason why the formal ban originally intended at Joburg did not occur in its original form because he wrote articles in several key journals, including BMJ at the time arguing the case, plus organising protests by pro DDT scientists.

    That’s not the point I’m . Im trying to get your comments on data in Figure 1.
    It basically shows that millions of cases followed cessation of wall spraying about 1980, while they were prevented again in the 90s in Ecuador when wall spraying was reintroduced.Before 1980 they were prevented despite the occurrence of “resistance”. The story is very different from India years earlier.

    Quoting Attaran:
    >But despite ‘resistance’ in itself, DDT still works to alleviate mortality and morbidity. Resistance tests work by measuring whether mosquitoes survive a normally toxic dose of DDT. The tests wholly overlook two non-toxic actions of DDT: contact-mediated irritancy9, which drives mosquitoes off sprayed walls and out of doors before they bite, and volatile repellency10, 11, which deters their entry in the first place. Both actions disrupt human-mosquito contact and disease transmission.

    >Data from the Pan-American Health Organization show a strong inverse correlation between malaria cases and rates of spraying houses (1959-1992) in South America, even after DDT resistance became widespread in the 1960s ( Fig. 1). Here, ‘cumulative cases’ represent the population-adjusted, ‘running’ total of cases that exceed or fall short of the average annual number of cases from 1959 to 1979 (years in which World Health Organization strategy emphasized house spraying12). Cumulative cases increase considerably in later years, coincident with a sharp decrease in rates of spraying houses.
    >This inverse correlation is readily understandable because it is so biologically plausible. For mosquitoes, DDT is a toxin, irritant and repellent all rolled into one chemical. All three properties decrease the odds of being bitten by mosquitoes, and toxicity particularly reduces the odds that parasite-bearing mosquitoes will survive to infect others. Lowering these odds slows disease propagation by second- or higher-order relationships and therefore is very important13, 14. Indeed, renewing the spraying of houses with DDT, as Ecuador did in the early 1990s, rapidly decreases case rates5.
    Later paper published 2005 I previously posted confirm this conclusion that house spraying still works.
    Environmentalist pressure is a significant factor in discontinuation of spraying around 1980. .

  52. #52 d
    October 19, 2005

    TIm
    “DDT was not banned so environmentalist pressure didn’t stop anyone from using.”

    Massive reductions in DDT house sprayings and the malaria epidemics they caused occured before the Joburg conference- see Attaran 2000. This shows that you don’t need a formal ban for anti-DDT activism to influence policy; you can in fact have de facto bans and various indirect pressures such as threats to deny funding made by Scandinavian agencies.

    Lets also not forget the very recent South African story – DDT use stopped, epidemic started, followed by reintroduction of DDT, epidemic halted, followed by recent BBC report taking about how they now take house spraying so seriously. Just who do you think pushed South Africa to discontinue DDT if as you say there was NO BAN?

  53. #53 Tim Lambert
    October 19, 2005

    d, I’ve pointed you to my post on South Africa several times now. Why are you asking questions that I have already given you the answers to?

    If you want to claim that the evil environmentalist stopped folks from spraying DDT then you have to provide actual evidence. There are, you know, many other reasons why spraying has been stopped or reduced. But you don’t care, you just want to bash environmentalists regardless of the evidence.

  54. #54 z
    October 19, 2005

    “Just who do you think pushed South Africa to discontinue DDT if as you say there was NO BAN?”

    Obviously, Evil People who don’t value Human Life.

  55. #55 z
    October 19, 2005

    “This shows that you don’t need a formal ban for anti-DDT activism to influence policy;”

    So, it’s not even the “DDT Ban” that’s the problem, it’s any “anti-DDT activism”? Great Scott, this has morphed into the Gun Debate.

  56. #56 d
    October 19, 2005

    Your recent comments continuing to speculate about my motives are actually wrong.

    More importantly, you have repeatedly not yet addressed the data in figure one on Attaran, which show that

    1. after DDT resistance was widely spread

    2. for a period (1970s) house spraying was at a high level and malaria was absent

    3. then DDT house spraying dropped,

    4. followed by resurgence of malaria (late 80s), 12 million cumulative cases in 90s

    5. when in 1990 in one country restored DDT,

    6. malaria AGAIN came under control.

    7. I note again in the 2005s at least two other reports confirm the effectiveness of house spraying.

    8. During this 1970-80s period, leading up to Joberg, DDT demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation.

    YET you STILL claim environmental activism has no cause to pause about consequential ethics.

    The fact that you do not mention these data that contradict many of your conclusions extremely poor treatment of evidence.

  57. #57 d
    October 19, 2005

    Z says
    “”This shows that you don’t need a formal ban for anti-DDT activism to influence policy;”

    So, it’s not even the “DDT Ban” that’s the problem, it’s any “anti-DDT activism”? Great Scott, this has morphed into the Gun Debate.”

    >No its not any anti-DDT activism, z, but over the top activism that is inaccurate widely spread, used for political gains, never corrected, and whose consequences are repeatedly ignored, is covered up by “straw man” distractions, accompanied by emotional collectivist labels, repeated ad hominem abuse, and which is denied and avoided by cognitive dissonance when it is bought to their attention up that’s the problem.

    >Are you claiming, z, that this kind of difficulty in civil discussion is not occurring, because I could give you many examples?

  58. #58 Ian Gould
    October 19, 2005

    >Obviously, Evil People who don’t value Human Life.

    almost right – you’re missing the mandatory racist slur: “… don’t value brown people’s lives”.

    Never mind that the people involved in the decision-making were probably themselves “brown”.

    The South African government is obviously incapable of making decisions on its own and sits around waiting for direction from the first passing white.

  59. #59 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 19, 2005

    d you keep bring using sources that don’t to support your claims. The Attaran 2000 opinion letter (you have stopped calling it Roberts 2000 but it is still the same article) in Nature Medicine is weak. Nature does have a much more open policy about commentary then research. This month Nature published a letter that criticized Nature’s coverage of the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans and this letter claimed that the press in Europe is Marxist-leftist.

    The original commentary is here
    http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nm/journal/v6/n7/full/nm0700_729.html
    It states that the use of DDT in developing countries “may now be ending” not that it has ended. It advocates IRS, and it claims that enviro’s are blocking IRS, but environmental groups are in fact not. Figure 1 you refer to, even the authors themselves say is only “correlation” that is “plausible”. The authors themselves don’t think that there is much scientific evidence for their conclusion. They also imply that house spraying discussed in figure 1 stopped because of the enviro’s but provide nothing to support this claim.

  60. #60 d
    October 19, 2005

    Z and Ian
    Well not obviously the implications you draw. The causes are probably unintentional, and possibly come from the best of intentions, but also could be caused by an attitude that sees every dissent in terms of the kind of imagined implications that you and z introduce.

    So, definitely not obviously the nonsense you are imagine. However continued refusal to discuss the causes of a serious mistake that’s cost the lives and health of millions is not a cause for rejoicing.

    Let me make an analogy. Aboriginal children were removed from their families in the early years of the last century with the very best of intentions.? Do those best of intentions necessary justify the actions if the consequences were bad?

  61. #61 d
    October 19, 2005

    Joseph no 60
    Roberts 2000 is yet another paper:
    DDT house spraying and re-emerging malaria
    D R Roberts; S Manguin; J Mouchet
    The Lancet; Jul 22, 2000; 356, 9226; Health Module pg. 330

    This stream started with a Nature paper,Chapin and Wassertrom. Are we to reject that “policy discussion” too because of Nature’s liberal attitudes to commentary? I think not.

    “Agricultural production and malaria resurgence in Central America and India” by Georganne Chapin and Robert Wassertrom published in Nature Vol 293 17 Sep[t]ember 1981 pages 181-185″

  62. #62 z
    October 19, 2005

    I would like more data regarding Central and South America; most of the studies seem to come from Africa and Asia. But how much of a problem is it in the Americas, compared to Africa where it seems to be enormous? (not rhetorical question, I really don’t know).

  63. #63 d
    October 20, 2005

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol3no3/roberts.htm

    South American Stats

    This is one peer reviewed source of information via CDC EID journal

    Malaria is reemerging in endemic-disease countries of South America. We examined the rate of real growth in annual parasite indexes (API) by adjusting APIs for all years to the annual blood examination rate of 1965 for each country. The standardized APIs calculated for Brazil, Peru, Guyana, and for 18 other malaria-endemic countries of the Americas presented a consistent pattern of low rates up through the late 1970s, followed by geometric growth in malaria incidence in subsequent years. True growth in malaria incidence corresponds temporally with changes in global strategies for malaria control. Underlying the concordance of these events is a causal link between decreased spraying of homes with DDT and increased malaria; two regression models defining this link showed statistically significant negative relationships between APIs and house-spray rates. Separate analyses of data from 1993 to 1995 showed that countries that have recently discontinued their spray programs are reporting large increases in malaria incidence. Ecuador, which has increased use of DDT since 1993, is the only country reporting a large reduction (61%) in malaria rates since 1993. DDT use for malaria control and application of the Global Malaria Control Strategy to the Americas should be subjects of urgent national and international debate. We discuss the recent actions to ban DDT, the health costs of such a ban, perspectives on DDT use in agriculture versus malaria control, and costs versus benefits of DDT and alternative insecticides.

    Eliminating DDT for Malaria Control

    Countries are banning or reducing the use of DDT because of continuous international and national pressures against DDT (e.g., the International Pesticide Action Network is “…working to stop the production, sale, and use…” of DDT [14]) and aggressive marketing tactics of producers of more expensive alternative insecticides. It has become easier for political pressures to succeed given the global strategy to deemphasize use of the house-spray approach to malaria control. A recent agreement of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation for eliminating the production and use of DDT in Mexico within the next 10 years3 is the latest development in the campaign to eliminate DDT.

    There is a cost in abandoning DDT for malaria control. This cost is seen in the results of malaria control programs from 1993 to 1995. We can get a uniform picture of events from 1993 to 1995 by standardizing malaria rates according to size of population at risk for malaria in each country (3,4). Since there were variations in this population variable for the 3 years, we took the population estimates for the midyear interval, 1994, as the basis for adjusting malaria rates for 1993 and 1995 (2). Each country was also characterized according to its reported use of DDT for malaria control in 1993 through 1995 (2-4).

    As shown in Figure 7, countries that discontinued their house-spray programs reported large increases in malaria rates. Countries that reported low or reduced HSRs also reported increased malaria. Only Ecuador reported increased use of DDT and greatly reduced malaria rates.

    The multifaceted issues of DDT use for malaria control (e.g., ecologic damage, human carcinogenicity, and pesticide resistance) and the applicability of the Global Malaria Control Strategy to the Americas should be the subject of intensive national and international debate. We are now facing the unprecedented event of eliminating, without meaningful debate, the most cost-effective chemical we have for the prevention of malaria. The health of hundreds of millions of persons in malaria-endemic countries should be given greater consideration before proceeding further with the present course of action

  64. #64 Ian Gould
    October 20, 2005

    d.

    Your posts are usually extremely clear and well-written.

    Unfortunately message 61 is a long way from that – you might want to restate your point as I simply can’t follow what you’re saying.

    If as I assume you’re saying that possible errors which led to the cessation of IRS with DDT should be investigated, I agree.

    But considering that the South African government, entirely off its own bat, refused for several years to give anti-retroviral drugs to pregnant women with HIV despite urging to do so by virtually all NGOs and aid agencies, I’d say they’re quite capable of their own stuff-ups without the involvement of western environmentalists.

  65. #65 d
    October 20, 2005

    Sorry Ian for Lack of clarity in 61, I keep on forgetting the spell checker, and regret being unable to edit after posting. I may get back to you on that one.
    In the meantime in response to another comment bu 63 I have been digging for good statistical data on South American malaria, and have confirmed some really good news – death rates for malaria are very much lower in South America than in Africa and elsewhere, and treatments have improved dramatically in recent years.(The caution is that in remote areas some deaths might be missed, and the overall disease burden of ill heath is still unacceptably high.)

    For best stats on S. American malaria
    see Bremen, J. The ears of the hippopotamus: manifestations, determinants, and estimates of the malaria burden. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 64(1,2)S, 1-11 (2001).

    (found via a great Nature Vol 415 7 February 2002 issue on malaria in a paper by Jeffrey Sachs)

    Good stats are are also at the PAHO website

    http://www.paho.org/english/hcp/hct/mal/malaria.htm

    Central and South America numbers from PAHO web site

    Exposed population at high risk 9 million

    Total Regional Cases of P. falciparum (the worst type)
    270,000 (similar numbers in 1994 and in 2003)

    Death rates have drastically reduced since 1993 and are much less than in Africa:

    1994 Crude death rate 83 per million exposed
    2003 Crude death rate 7.5 per million exposed

  66. #66 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 20, 2005

    d you called the paper Roberts and Attaran, then just Attaran, OK.

    Lets be more specific. You have called letters to the editor and policy editorials peer reviewed research and stated that they were reliable sources of information because they were peer reviewed research, when corrected you said it doesn’t matter because the standards are the same. The standards are not the same. Peer reviewed research has a higher standard for accuracy.

    Second your major point of your comments seems to be about environmentalists banning DDT. #57 you write “demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation”. You are citing articles for support of this position. Some of the articles you are citing have implied that environmentalists are attempting to ban DDT but don’t offer any real proof. Others don’t say this at all.

    You are also relying heavily on Roberts who by his own admission is on the scientific fringe on the use of DDT. The scientific consensus about DDT is that in some regions IRS using DDT in the context of a comprehensive anti-malaria program is indeed effective, but DDT is not necessary for control of malaria. DDT is not the miracle cure the Roberts seems to believe it is. The environmentalist position is that when there are viable alternatives that do not have DDT’s harmful side effects they should be used, but if DDT is the only effective option in disease control they do not oppose it.

  67. #67 d
    October 20, 2005

    Malaria Still a Public Health Problem in the Americas

    Washington, D.C., September 30, 2005 (PAHO)?Despite reductions in recent years, malaria still constitutes a public health problem in the Americas, according to a report presented at a ministerial-level meeting of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

    The report notes that malaria transmission was eliminated from a number of territories, but is still reported in 21 of the Member States of PAHO. “It is estimated that 40 million persons live in areas of moderate and high risk, and approximately 1 million cases have been reported annually since 1987,” the report says.

    The report was one of the agenda items for the 46th Meeting of the Directing Council, made up of the health ministers of the Americas, which is meeting this week in Washington.

    At their meeting, the hemispheric health ministers were asked to continue their countries’ commitment to the 1998 Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Initiative and the internationally agreed-upon health-related development goals in the U.N. Millennium Declaration.

    The report makes clear that there has been a reduction in the overall malaria incidence in recent years. But, it adds, “the disease still constitutes a public health problem in the Region with a disparity in the outcome of efforts in different countries related to a number of factors.” Among those factors the reports lists the following:

    * Variations in ecological conditions.
    * Diagnostic and treatment coverage.
    * Weaknesses in health systems.
    * Technical capacity issues.

    “There is a need for continued commitment to achieving the RBM Initiative and the internationally agreed-upon development goals, including those on malaria contained in the Millennium Declaration, preserving achievements in malaria control, and focusing on present and new challenges, including those related to communication, coordination and cooperation within the health and other sectors,” according to the report.

    The report notes that in 2004 PAHO Member States indicated that of the 865 million inhabitants of the Americas, approximately 250 million live in areas at ecological risk of malaria transmission.

    The report also shows that of the 21 PAHO Member States where malaria is endemic, 15 reported decreases in the absolute numbers of cases between 2000 and 2004 and that eight of them had decreases over 50%. However, six countries reported increases: Colombia (9%), Dominican Republic (94%), Guyana (20%), Panama (392%), Peru (23%) and Venezuela (57%).

  68. #68 d
    October 20, 2005

    Re:the paper Roberts and Attaran, then just Attaran, OK.
    > There are several different pro-DDT for IRS 2000 papers, at least two or three different ones involving Attaran (one more cited below)hence the possible confusion.

    Lets be more specific. You have called letters to the editor and policy editorials peer reviewed research and stated that they were reliable sources of information because they were peer reviewed research, when corrected you said it doesn’t matter because the standards are the same.
    > First the commentaries cite earlier peer reviewed research that I have also previously posted as sources. I acknowledge my need for some correction/caution about the peer reviewed status of Attaran but I think you will find even commentaries in Nature and Nature Medicine are peer reviewed. Even letters to the editor of Lancet are really peer reviewed.
    >In any case you mis-state my position; I was searching for peer reviewed sources so that Tim would NOT AUTOMATICALLY reject them WITH OUT SOME DISCUSSION on the basis that there non-peer reviewed rubbish, and I do not reject evidence merely because its not formally peer reviewed: we just have to tread more carefully.
    >My apprehension that Tim would refuse to discuss this has so far proved justified. Some peer reviewed stuff is garbage and there are indeed famous examples in Nature. I do not reject Tim’s starting Nature paper in this thread even though its in the same grey category as the Attaran/Roberts papers you question. Besides the latest 1997 Roberts Emerging Infectious Diseases paper I posted already and cited in the grey papers you worry about is genuinely peer reviewed

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/peer_reviewers.htm

    and contains primary data analysis,and it indeed gives evidence of actions to stop DDT by environmentalist groups (eg PANUP) that Tim would have us believe never occured. I can post details from one more commentary in a professional journal, (The British Medical Journal, Attaran and Maharaj Vol 321 p1403 if you like) if you like, citing explicitly that environmentalist pressure triggered the cessation of DDT use in South Africa in 1996. (BMJ heading “Doctoring malaria badly: the global campaign to ban DDT.” Maharaj is a South African in the Department of Health in Pretoria.
    Wouldn’t you think such a statement on the public record in one of the top three medical journals in the world has some basis in fact?

    >Greenpeace never have changed their anti-DDT position while WWF was much more reasonable (and write in the same BMJ issue).

    Second your major point of your comments seems to be about environmentalists banning DDT. #57 you write “demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation”. You are citing articles for support of this position. Some of the articles you are citing have implied that environmentalists are attempting to ban DDT but don’t offer any real proof.
    > See my previous response. The case that environmentalist actions have had no influence on DDT use is almost ludicrous. It was the central plank in the campaign against persistent organic pollutants. One still has to address cessation of DDT use in S America in 1985 and S Africa in 1996 subsequently found to be serious misjudgements-and with epidemics recorded in the peer reviewed literature. The BMJ gives figures of 30000-120000 cases in South Africa in 1999. I’ve read the original sources on this epidemic -it did occur. It was managed using DDT.

    You are also relying heavily on Roberts who by his own admission is on the scientific fringe on the use of DDT.
    >”Fringe” – no. “Fringe to environmentalists” maybe. Check Roberts publication list and research publications.Also check subsequent studies in 2005 that take up his suggestions to reexamine IRS.

    … but DDT is not necessary for control of malaria.
    >In poorer regions this is really not true. The BMJ article Ive just cited says explicitly it is sometimes necessary.The recent South African epidemic supports this judgment.

    DDT is not the miracle cure the Roberts seems to believe it is.
    > This is rhetorical overstatement of Roberts position. There is every evidence Roberts and Attaran’s case is valid plus recent 2005 peer reviewed papers on IRS utility in Africa and India that I have posted. Do the medline research to check.

    The environmentalist position is that when there are viable alternatives that do not have DDT’s harmful side effects they should be used,
    > YES I agree

    but if DDT is the only effective option in disease control they do not oppose it.
    > This is a dangerous position that is not precautionary . Are we to wait until there is proof that DDT is the ONLY option, because the proof that it is the only option is an epidemic!

    > And not all environmentalist groups are even so reasonable, apparently. There are several citations, Lapkin, Attaran, Roberts, of behind the scenes opposition. Not publicly opposing it is not good enough. Denial that there is any bad outcome of any environmentalist campaign is not good enough.But repeated denial and evasion is what we get.
    >As deaths have clearly resulted from misjudged actions in the past, something much more that “no comment” is appropriate, – that action should be active advocacy of a correct case for DDT IRS use and a warning of the perils of misjudging a ban.

    >My case that Tim’s use of the word HOAX is is unjustified is fully proven I would say by just my last posts. Environmentalist did not cause millions of deaths. They are at least partly responsible for millions of cases, with difficult to assess and variable crude death rates of 0.3% or less, depending on the region. The deaths are in the range ten of thousands to hundreds of thousand only. Tim’s case never mentions the issues I raise.

  69. #69 Tim Lambert
    October 20, 2005

    d, I’ve pointed you to my post about South Africa again and again but you keep making false claims about what happened there. How come?

  70. #70 d
    October 20, 2005

    You’ll have to explain Tim your reasons for asserting my claims are false, and which of my comments you are particularly referring to, as I’m am not aware of any that are as you assert.
    And Ill happily engage after I hear your explanation of DDT in South America
    My views closely correspond to the opinions express in the BMJ and Nature Medicine by Attaran, and EID by Roberts.
    Apart from that, I simply disagree with you about non-influence of anti-DDT activists on DDT application

  71. #71 Tracy Spenser
    October 20, 2005

    Looks like Fumento has made a fool of you again? When are you ever going to learn?

    http://www.fumento.com/weblog/archives/2005/10/mosquitoes_ddt.html

    http://www.townhall.com/blogs/c-log/story.php/story/2005/10/20/172204.html?showratings=0&a=justpublished

    And when are you going to stop encouraging a policy of genocide against people who just happen to have darker skin than yours?

  72. #72 Ian Gould
    October 20, 2005

    Fumento was advocating broad-acre spraying back in January.

    He now quotes an article on the continuing efficacy of IRS to support his position.

    The only people being made fools of here are those dumb enough to accept Fumento at face value.

  73. #73 Tim Lambert
    October 21, 2005

    d, have you read my post about South Africa?

  74. #74 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 21, 2005

    d you keep confusing peer reviewed research with political commentary. The peer review standards are not the same. The editorials you cite claim that environmentalists are banning the use of DDT. They cite to a statement of one organization that would like to see DDT phased out and replaced with other pesticides. In the South African example they state that DDT use was stopped because of environmentalist but this is uncorroborated. There is no cite or footnote referring to any other source and no details are given. Because these are statements about the politics in editorials, the same strict standards for accuracy in scientific and medical research do not apply.

    The “research” you cite to repeatedly, the graph from the Nature Medicine article, is by the author’s own admission only a “plausible correlation” between stopping the use of house spraying in South America and the increase in malaria. If this were submitted as a research article it would not be published. The authors imply that environmentalists stopped house spraying but do not openly say it and again offer no evidence for this claim.

    You have written that Greenpeace has not changed its position about the use of DDT but the WWF has. Greenpeace and the WWF have had the same position: they would like to see DDT replaced but if disease control requires the use of DDT they do not oppose it. Recently the New York Times columnist Kristof contacted both Greenpeace and the WWF and he was surprised to hear that they do not oppose the careful use of DDT.

    About Roberts credibility, he has admitted in testimony to the US Congress that the scientific community does not support his claims about DDT. He has been published (mostly editorials) but publishing does not necessarily mean acceptance.

    Your claims about DDT being necessary are questionable. DDT’s main asset is that it is less expensive but not that it is better then other pesticides. The Tropical Medicine article you cited states that.

    You also claim that the environmentalists are stopping the use of DDT until developing nations prove they can’t use something else this is again wrong.

    d you keep bringing up how the incredibly powerful monolithic environmentalist cabal is imposing its iron will on the world. You are overstating the ability of the environmentalists.

  75. #75 z
    October 21, 2005

    “Looks like Fumento has made a fool of you again? When are you ever going to learn?”

    Well, there is really no defense against some adolescent calling you names in public.

  76. #76 d
    October 23, 2005

    First up, thanks for civilised, careful disagreement, with point highly relevant to those I made. Very refreshing to see it, because this type of discussion can lead to progress.
    “d you keep confusing peer reviewed research with political commentary.”
    >The 1997 Robert EID paper is peer reviewed. Ive already explained elsewhere that that this his thread started with a commentary type citation from Nature.

    In the South African example they state that DDT use was stopped because of environmentalist but this is uncorroborated.
    >It was corroborated by events, it was a disaster, and also one of the co-authors was with the South African Public Health agencies who would have direct access to this information

    The “research” you cite to repeatedly, the graph from the Nature Medicine article, is by the author’s own admission only a “plausible correlation” between stopping the use of house spraying in South America and the increase in malaria. If this were submitted as a research article it would not be published.
    >This is your speculation, and the published EID 1997 peer reviewed paper (please don’t call it “peer reviewed” ) argues cogently for causality.

    You have written that Greenpeace has not changed its position about the use of DDT but the WWF has. Greenpeace and the WWF have had the same position: they would like to see DDT replaced but if disease control requires the use of DDT they do not oppose it.
    >I stand at least partly corrected about Greenpeace if your comment is not misleading , but a link would help to show what their position actually is – I will definitely recheck it myself, but do not consider this necessarily ensures they have appropriate policies, or that all carry overs from their previous positions are redressed.
    Recently the New York Times columnist Kristof contacted both Greenpeace and the WWF and he was surprised to hear that they do not oppose the careful use of DDT.
    >That’s good news- be nice to see them (Greenpeace) proactive in publicizing this, because its an important event.Again, lets make sure that careful use doesn’t imply extra costs and barriers that cost lives.
    About Roberts credibility, he has admitted in testimony to the US Congress that the scientific community does not support his claims about DDT. He has been published (mostly editorials) but publishing does not necessarily mean acceptance.

    >This is interesting: It would be important to see the exact testimony, because the issue is whether he still stands by his argument, not whether he believes it was widely accepted at the time of the hearings, which you give no date to. Id also be very careful that this is not political misuse of what he actually said: what was you direct source for this information?

    If it was in the lead up to Joburg I’d discount it: and it may just indicate he is honest under testimony. As far as implying that Roberts is an oddball, there are a long list of his other publications on medline pertaining to modern malariology. At the end of the day, numbers of critics don’t count a bit, only reliable evidence, and subsequent confirmation which I have cited 2005 examples.

    SNIP

    d you keep bringing up how the incredibly powerful monolithic environmentalist cabal is imposing its iron will on the world. You are overstating the ability of the environmentalists.
    > In this last line you depart from reasoned argument and launch into hyperbole. Like all political groups, they need a counterbalance to prevent their excesses.

  77. #77 d
    October 23, 2005

    Re 70 and subsequent Lambert posts:

    “You’ll have to explain Tim your reasons for asserting my claims are false, and which of my comments you are particularly referring to, as I’m am not aware of any that are as you assert. And Ill happily engage after I hear your explanation of DDT in South America ”

    Courtesy requires at least some comment from you about the main data against you assertions Tim.

  78. #78 Tim Lambert
    October 23, 2005

    d, I referred you to my post on South Africa many times. If you are determined to ignore my arguments, I’m not going to waste my time br repeating them.

  79. #79 d
    October 23, 2005

    Now we’ve established Tim that you have no critical comment about the South American malaria finds, and that you therefore you concede there is indeed cause and effect between withdrawal of DDT and increased malaria as argued by Roberts EID 1997, lets continue to discuss your South African comments. Yes Ive read through them, and and much of it is valuable (eg about Eritrea, but they suffer from the same defect as your India discussions, they leave out significant Caveats and recent findings

    Lets Start with this:
    Anopheles funestus resistant to pyrethroid insecticides in South Africa K. Hargreaves, L. L. Koekemoer*, B. D. Brooke*, R. H. Hunt , J. Mthembu and M. Coetzee*
    Summary
    Northern Kwazulu/Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa borders on southern Mozambique, between Swaziland and the Indian Ocean. To control malaria vectors in KZN, houses were sprayed annually with residual DDT 2 g/m2 until 1996 when the treatment changed to deltamethrin 20 25 mg/m2. At Ndumu (27°02′ S, 32°19′ E) the recorded malaria incidence increased more than six-fold between 1995 and 1999. Entomological surveys during late 1999 found mosquitoes of the Anopheles funestus group (Diptera: Culicidae) resting in sprayed houses in some sectors of Ndumu area. This very endophilic vector of malaria had been eliminated from South Africa by DDT spraying in the 1950s, leaving the less endophilic An. arabiensis Patton as the only vector of known importance in KZN. Deltamethrin-sprayed houses at Ndumu were checked for insecticide efficacy by bioassay using susceptible An. arabiensis (laboratory-reared) that demonstrated 100% mortality. Members of the An. funestus group from Ndumu houses (29 males, 116 females) were identified by the rDNA PCR method and four species were found: 74 An. funestus Giles sensu stricto, 34 An. parensis Gillies, seven An. rivulorum Leeson and one An. leesoni Evans. Among An. funestus s.s. females, 5.4% (4/74) were positive for Plasmodium falciparum by ELISA and PCR tests. To test for pyrethroid resistance, mosquito adults were exposed to permethrin discriminating dosage and mortality scored 24 h post-exposure: survival rates of wild-caught healthy males were 5/10 An. funestus, 1/9 An. rivulorum and 0/2 An. parensis; survival rates of laboratory-reared adult progeny from 19 An. funestus females averaged 14% (after 1 h exposure to 1% permethrin 25 : 75 cis : trans on papers in WHO test kits) and 27% (after 30 min in a bottle with 25 g permethrin 40 : 60 cis : trans). Anopheles funestus families showing > 20% survival in these two resistance test procedures numbered 5/19 and 12/19, respectively. Progeny from 15 of the families were tested on 4% DDT impregnated papers and gave 100% mortality. Finding these proportions of pyrethroid-resistant An. funestus, associated with a malaria upsurge at Ndumu, has serious implications for malaria vector control operations in southern Africa.
    Introduction
    Chemical insecticides have been used against Anopheles mosquitoes in malaria control programmes for over 60 years, with varying success ( Park Ross 1936; Harrison 1978). Pyrethrum extracted from flowers was sprayed in houses as a short-term knockdown insecticide ( De Meillon 1936) and was superseded by the more residual organochlorines (DDT, dieldrin, HCH) after the Second World War. Widespread effective use of organochlorine insecticides for agricultural purposes as well as antimalaria house-spraying ( Pampana 1969) resulted in the emergence of resistant strains of malaria vector mosquitoes ( Brown & Pal 1973) and, together with environmental concerns, this led to the withdrawal of some insecticides ( Brown 1986). Alternative insecticide classes (carbamates and organophosphates) were introduced for use against vectors and pests of public health importance ( Fontaine 1983). Most recently the development of photo-stable synthetic pyrethroids led to several of these products, such as deltamethrin ( Chavasse & Yap 1997), replacing DDT for house-spraying in some malaria control programmes during the 1990s. More importantly, pyrethroids are currently the only practical insecticides for impregnating bednets, a widely promoted vector control intervention ( Curtis 1990; Lengeler et al. 1996).
    Pyrethroid resistance or tolerance in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto has been reported from both west and east Africa ( Elissa et al. 1993; Vulule et al. 1994, 1996). Recent sampling in Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast ( Martinez-Torres et al. 1998; Chandre et al. 1999a,b,c) and Kenya ( Vulule et al. 1999; Ranson et al. 2000) revealed extensive pyrethroid resistance in wild populations of An. gambiae, involving at least three mechanisms (increased esterase and hydrolase metabolism, and knockdown resistance, kdr).
    Anopheles funestus Giles sensu stricto is a major vector of malaria, widespread in tropical Africa; being highly anthropophilic and endophilic, this species is amenable to control by house-spraying with residual insecticides ( Gillies & De Meillon 1968; Kouznetsov 1977). Anopheles funestus was eliminated from South Africa by DDT house-spraying in the 1950s ( Sharp & Le Sueur 1996), since when it has only once been reported again in this country ( De Meillon et al. 1977). However, An. funestus remains abundant nearby in southern Mozambique ( Charlwood et al. 1998), where it transmits malaria perennially ( Mendis et al. 2000). There have been only a few old reports of insecticide resistance in An. funestus: to dieldrin in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria ( Brown 1986), as well as to DDT, malathion and fenitrothion in Mali ( Touré 1982). There is no previous report of pyrethroid resistance in An. funestus and, despite long-term house-spraying, no signs of insecticide resistance have been detected previously in An. funestus from southern Africa.
    Anopheles funestus belongs to a group of at least nine morphologically similar species ( Gillies & De Meillon 1968; Gillies & Coetzee 1987). Four of these (An. brucei Service, An. confusus Evans & Leeson, An. leesoni Evans and An. rivulorum Leeson) can be identified from characters of the egg and larval morphology, one is known only in the adult stage (An. fuscivenosus Leeson) and four species comprising the An. funestus subgroup (An. aruni Sobti, An. funestus s.s., An. parensis Gillies and An. vaneedeni Gillies & Coetzee) are morphologically almost indistinguishable in all life stages ( Gillies & Coetzee 1987). Cytogenetic studies showed that banding arrangements of the polytene chromosomes could be used to separate these species ( Green & Hunt 1980; Green 1982) but, because of the time and skill needed to interpret chromosomal banding patterns, this method has never been used for applied field studies of the An. funestus group. Recently we developed molecular methods (see below and Koekemoer et al. 1999) to distinguish between all five members of the group known from South Africa, i.e. An. funestus s.s., An. leesoni, An. parensis, An. rivulorum and An. vaneedeni.
    In northern Kwazulu/Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa, bordering Mozambique between Swaziland and the Indian Ocean ( Fig. 1), malaria has increased over the past four years despite continued and efficient house spraying for malaria control. From 1995 to 1999 the numbers of malaria cases recorded annually for Kwazulu/Natal were 4117, 10535, 11425, 14575 and 27238, respectively (KZN Department of Health statistics). This paper presents evidence that An. funestus has reappeared in the Ndumu area of northern KZN, where this species now occurs inside sprayed houses, shows partial resistance to pyrethroid insecticides and is responsible for malaria transmission. Moreover, we determined that An. funestus s.s. is not the only member of the An. funestus group to be found resting inside houses at Ndumu.
    SNIP

    Discussion
    SNIP
    The most important issue is the implication that these findings have for malaria control in southern Africa. Countries in this subregion have malaria control programmes based on vector control in combination with rapid case detection and effective treatment. Although all components of the programme are important for control of the disease, overall success is dependent on the reduction of transmission brought about by the control of the vector mosquitoes. This in turn is dependent on the availability of effective and safe insecticides that can be used in close association with the human population at risk. For many years, the insecticide of choice was DDT, and in some countries DDT is still preferred. In South Africa, since 1996, the malaria control programme had shifted to pyrethroids, regarded as more environmentally acceptable, not being bioaccumulative, not staining walls and, in some instances, having less excito-repellancy effects than DDT.
    For anopheline mosquitoes, Malcolm (1988) concluded that physiological resistance to pyrethroids was not so widespread as had been suggested, and the risk of cross-resistance between pyrethroids and DDT may have been over-emphasized. Thereafter, it was reported that a single mutation in the S6 transmembrane segment of domain II in the sodium channel sequence is associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to both pyrethroids and DDT in the housefly, Musca domestica ( Williamson et al. 1996) and the cockroach Blattella germanica ( Miyazaki et al. 1996). This same mutation was detected in West African An. gambiae populations from Côte d’Ivoire that are resistant to pyrethroids ( Martinez-Torres et al. 1998; Fanello et al. 1999) and a different substitution of the same amino acid results in pyrethroid resistance in East African An. gambiae ( Ranson et al. 2000). Anopheles gambiae cross-resistance between DDT and several pyrethroids was demonstrated by Chandre et al. (1999b), apparently due to a kdr factor found in populations from six out of seven widely separated localities in West Africa. In our case, however, pyrethroid-resistant An. funestus remains fully susceptible to DDT, so a switch back to DDT would seem to be a solution to the present problem. If kdr-type cross-resistance is found in An. funestus, the choice of alternative insecticides for house spraying becomes very limited.
    The PCR assay that has been developed to detect the sodium channel kdr protein

  80. #80 d
    October 24, 2005

    You might want to also folow though on these measured comments to, Tim
    Biomedica. 2002 Dec;22(4):455-61. Related Articles, Links

    Should the use of DDT be revived for malaria vector control?

    Curtis CF.

    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdon.

    Indoor residual spraying with DDT was the principle method by which malaria transmission was eradicated or greatly reduced in many countries between the late 1940s and 1970s. Since then, decreasing use of DDT has been associated with a resurgence of malaria in India, Sri Lanka, former Soviet Central Asia, Zanzibar, Venezuela and several other Latin American countries. In India and Zanzibar, DDT resistance in vectors, as well as a decline in spray coverage, are probable causes of reduced effectiveness of DDT in recent decades. In southern Europe, eradication of malaria transmission was achieved by DDT spraying in the 1940s and 50s and eradication has been sustained by adequate treatment of imported human malaria cases. In the highlands of Madagascar and South Africa, recent reversion to DDT spraying has been successful in stemming resurgences of malaria. Continued use of DDT for vector control, but not for agriculture, is approved by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. DDE residues in breast milk have been associated with DDT anti-malaria spraying in South Africa, but it is not known whether this is harmful. A claimed association of DDE residues with breast cancer have not been substantiated. There is a recent report of association of DDE residues with probability of premature birth; the possible relevance of this to anti-malarial use of DDT should be investigated. In Colombia, testing of the DDT stockpile for suspensibility, DDT resistance in Anopheles darlingi and investigation of the present affordability of widespread spraying with DDT, compared with alternative chemicals, are recommended.

  81. #81 d
    October 24, 2005

    We have to consider quite a large range of history and different situations:
    eg
    Tropical Medicine & International Health Volume 9 Issue 8 Page 846 – August 2004
    Historical review of malarial control in southern African with emphasis on the use of indoor residual house-spraying
    Musawenkosi L. H. Mabaso1, Brian Sharp1 and Christian Lengeler2

    Table 2 summarizes the start of IRS programmes in the region and changes in residual insecticides applied over time. The first trial testing of the residual application of insecticides for malarial control in southern Africa was carried out in 1931 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and by 1932 a widespread residual house-spraying programme using pyrethrum was undertaken. In 1946, DDT replaced pyrethrum as the insecticide of choice (Sharp et al. 1988; le Sueur et al. 1993). In 1956, malaria became a notifiable disease, total coverage of all malarial areas was achieved for the first time in 1958, and by 1970 South Africa had a well-structured malarial control programme (Sharp & le Sueur 1996).

    >In 1996, the pyrethroid deltamethrin was introduced for IRS in line with international trends to replace DDT. Subsequently, A. funestus, which had disappeared since the 1950s re-emerged in 2000 and was shown to be pyrethroid-resistant (Hargreaves et al. 2000). As a result, national policy reverted to the use of DDT, and surveillance has since indicated that A. funestus has again disappeared (Ministry of Health 2003).

    In Swaziland, the malarial control programme was launched in 1945. Residual indoor spraying with DDT was initiated on a limited scale in 1947 (Mastbaum 1955). By 1950, coverage of all malarial areas was achieved. During the 1951 52 transmission season, BHC was introduced due to a shortage of DDT. From 1955 56, the efficacy of dieldrin vs. BHC was evaluated and no significant difference was found in the vector population density and number of malarial cases in areas sprayed with the two insecticides. However, dieldrin was discontinued due to higher cost (Mastbaum 1956, 1957a). Focal spraying, partly with BHC and partly with DDT, was carried out in the 1960s (Delfini 1969). From the 1980s, all inhabited structures in malarial areas were sprayed with DDT and later with synthetic pryrethroids (cyfluthrin) in houses with painted walls.
    In Botswana, the National Malaria Control Programme was initiated in 1974. However, malarial interventions including spraying of human habitations have been reported as far back as the mid-1940s (Mastbaum 1944). In the 1950s, indoor house-spraying with DDT became the main vector control method (Freedman 1953).
    >DDT remained the insecticide choice until 1971 when Fenitrothion was tried but abandoned again in 1972 because of low efficacy

    (Chayajabera et al. 1975). In 1973, residual spraying with DDT in the malarial districts of Ngamiland, Chobe and Francistown resumed, and in the 1980s a comprehensive vector control programme was organized which led to improved spraying coverage.
    >In 1998, Botswana stopped the use of DDT and introduced pyrethroids (deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) as alternative insecticides as a consequence of a lack of availability of good quality DDT (Ministry of Health 1999).

    In Namibia, residual spraying with DDT was first carried out in 1965. However, it was only in the 1970s that full coverage of the malarial regions (Ovambo, Kavango and Caprivi) was achieved (Hansford 1990). In 1991, a comprehensive malarial control programme was launched under the auspices of the NVDCP within the Ministry of Health and Social Services. To date residual spraying with DDT is being done in traditional housing, with carbamates (bendiocarb) applied only in western-type housing.
    In Zimbabwe, indoor house-spraying pilot projects with DDT began as far back as 1945. A large-scale house-spraying programme was initiated in 1949 (Alves & Blair 1953, 1955). Spraying operations were later extended to other parts of the country as part of a ‘barrier’ spraying programme to prevent epidemics and to limit the spread to malaria-free areas. These operations continued until the late 1970s and after 1980 the malarial control programme was reviewed with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality rather than only preventing epidemics (Taylor & Mutambu 1986).

    > In 1988, DDT was replaced by deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin due to the international lobby against persistent organic pollutants (Freeman 1995).

    In Mozambique, residual house-spraying with DDT and BHC was first introduced in 1946 in the southern part of the country in the semi-urban area of Maputo city and in the rural area of the Limpopo Valley (Soeiro 1956; Ferreira 1958). Between 1960 and 1969, residual spraying with DDT was carried out in southern Mozambique (Maputo region) as part of the malarial eradication experiment (Schwalbach & de la Maza 1985). The escalation of civil war in the late 1970s led to a complete breakdown of malarial control measures. Following the cessation of hostilities in the 1990s, IRS mostly with lambdacyhalothrin and partly with deltamethrin was re-introduced, but only in suburban areas of most provincial capitals (Barreto 1996). In 2000, IRS with carbamates (bendiocarb) was re-introduced in the rural parts of Maputo province as part of the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative (LSDI), a trilateral agreement among Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa aimed at protecting communities against malaria in the Lubombo region in order to create a suitable environment for economic development and promotion of eco-tourism (Sharp et al. 2001).

  82. #82 d
    October 24, 2005

    No 67
    Joseph
    Checked the Greenpeace website. No positive statements about IRS and DDT there that I can find.

  83. #83 Ian Gould
    October 24, 2005

    So, D.

    We’ve now moved from “the Greens killed millions by banning DDT” to “the Greens discouraged the use of DDT” to “the Greens fail to actively promote DDT.”

    I googled “DDT” and Greenpeace.

    First hit (ignoring the usual hyperbolic charges of mass murder):

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16803

    >Spokesmen for Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), activist environmental groups that have led the effort to ban worldwide use of the pesticide DDT, have admitted to the New York Times that DDT may be necessary and desirable after all.

    >Wanting to be fair, and seeking an alternative view from anti-DDT activists, Kristof called Greenpeace and the WWF for comment. Spokespersons admitted DDT should not be banned.

    >”South Africa was right to use DDT,” said WWF spokesperson Richard Liroff. “If the alternatives to DDT aren’t working, as they weren’t in South Africa, geez, you’ve got to use it. In South Africa it prevented tens of thousands of malaria cases and saved lots of lives.”

    >Greenpeace spokesperson Rick Hind agreed. “If there’s nothing else and it’s going to save lives, we’re all for it. Nobody’s dogmatic about it.”

  84. #84 d
    October 24, 2005

    84.
    The topic discussed in this thread may have passed through this sequence but the sequence you mention doesn’t describe a sequence opinions I have held or revisions of my position, so your rhetorical attempt to misrepresent my views doesn’t impress. For a start, the uncertainty about precisely how much harm has been caused by anti-DDT activism is something I have acknowledged from almost my first comment, if not the first, on this site.But there is no uncertainty that major harm did occur in South Africa and South America.
    Its good that Greenpeace have changed from absolute opposition, but they never should have taken their anti-stance in the first place. A late revision does not erase history of millions of cases of DDT in the 1990s caused by theirs and other similar activisms, nor does in obliterate was repeated evidence, especially that leading up to Joburg, that that activism promoted discontinuation of DDT usage.

  85. #85 z
    October 24, 2005

    “A late revision does not erase history of millions of cases of DDT in the 1990s caused by theirs and other similar activisms, nor does in obliterate was repeated evidence, especially that leading up to Joburg, that that activism promoted discontinuation of DDT usage.”

    Might one not note that the vastly higher overutilization of DDT for agricultural purposes and the vastly more rapid spread of DDT resistance did more to enhance the spread of malaria, and therefore the net effect of the anti-DDT groups, whether or not they temporarily “promoted discontinuation” of anti-disease use until proved otherwise, was undoubtedly positive?

  86. #86 d
    October 24, 2005

    Z
    My gut feeling, (left open to later considered revision) is that the NET actual effects of anti-DDT activism are indeed positive about malaria but that they went too far and are sub-optimal, and that those negative results that do exist are caused by slow learning and the carry over of misinformation that may have even been politically necessary for action. But the delays over many years in responding to known consequences, delays in correcting the public record on the state of science about DDT, confusion between political rhetoric and scientific evidence, and failure to try and get even better outcomes are not defensible.

  87. #87 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 25, 2005

    d you give thanks for civil discussion but then make some uncivil accusations.

    Political editorials are not peer reviewed scientific research. It is not my speculation that the graph you cite to in the Roberts Nature Medicine editorial would not be published as a scientific research paper. In depth analysis is a prerequisite for research papers and the graph is not supported by any substantive analysis.

    When the accusations about enviros stopping the use of DDT in South Africa were not corroborated, you say they are corroborated by events. What are the events that show that the environmentalists stopped the use of DDT?

    The NY Times article that shows that Greenpeace does not oppose the careful use of DDT is here http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/EnvChem/kristoff.2005.ddt.pdf
    I was not misleading anyone. The Greenpeace website does state that it does not oppose the careful use of DDT, even though you claimed otherwise. Its here http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/toxic-free-future-time-to-ac.pdf

    I was not misusing Robert’s testimony for political purposes. The testimony was this summer. Roberts was invited to speak by Sen. Inhofe who is a right-wing extremist, anti-environmental protection and even started an investigation to try and blame environmentalists for the disaster in New Orleans. Roberts started preaching about how DDT is incredibly useful and Sen. Feinstein asked him if the scientific community supported his position on the use of DDT, he said no. The scientific community does not support Roberts because he oversells the use of DDT and he has allowed his political views interfere with his professional judgment. A link to the testimony is on the Inhofe and DDT post.

    You claimed I “depart from reasoned argument and launch into hyperbole”. Well you wrote, “demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation” and “over the top activism that is inaccurate widely spread, used for political gains, never corrected, and whose consequences are repeatedly ignored, is covered up by straw man distractions, accompanied by emotional collectivist labels, repeated ad hominem abuse, and which is denied and avoided by cognitive dissonance”.

    You write that environmentalist, “like all political groups, they need a counterbalance to prevent their excesses”. Environmentalists have always been opposed but the opposition has lost in the political arena in a fair contest. Frustrated by their political losses, people and groups who oppose environmental and health protection have resorted to sleazy political tactics. The pro-DDT campaign is just a small part of this.

    In these civil discussions d I have noticed that you make the same claims that the right wing think tanks and columnists make, you just tone down the rhetoric. You continually cut and paste segments of articles that do not support your claims, or articles that have made comments about enviros banning DDT but do not provide support for these allegations.

    It seemed odd why you were doing this until I read the first sentence of #87. You are going by your “gut feeling” and are just using a lot of hand-waving to support your feelings.

  88. #88 d
    October 25, 2005

    Joseph, Again thanks for fair discussion.Ill be brief
    In depth analysis is a prerequisite for research papers and the graph is not supported by any substantive analysis.
    > Yes the discussion is brief, but the point is, is it valid, and does the earlier peer reviewed evidence and logic support the arguments.

    When the accusations about enviros stopping the use of DDT in South Africa were not corroborated, you say they are corroborated by events. What are the events that show that the environmentalists stopped the use of DDT?

    >I am not claiming that environmentalist influence is the only factor, but that their exaggerations make them accountable for adverse consequences and that they have not acted appropriately to promptly and fully curb those consequences, and that clearly they are not sensitive enough to these consequences because it is extraordinarily difficult to obtain a precautionary statement about the adverse effects of stopping DDT availability. This is from a movement that constantly uses the “Precautionary Principle”, but when it affects their own position the PP is nowhere to be seen. I cannot see an adequate advisory (precaution would be a very rhetorically dangerous word for Greenpeace to use about limiting DDT use) about the harms of blocking DDT in the Greenpeace document for example. I do not accept that the influence of environmental groups on blocking DDT is not corroborated. Because it has harmful consequences we cannot avoid facing it head on. It not pleasant I agree. At the moment we are seeing a similar series of events occurring with Golden Rice. Sadly, there is little or no public criticism of Greenpeace over their activities on vitamin A from within the broad environmental movement. That ant-Golden Rice propaganda is affecting government decisions in Asia , slowing down availability of Golden rice. This situation comes from the defensive stance and political nature of the movement in response to honest criticism and they need to behave more ethically. Probably about 2000 people a day are dying from this mode of behaviour, and for this reason I don’t resile one bit.

    >This DDT restriction is dangerous if only because the remaining pesticides can lose their effective ness as in Africa, but this aspect is not discussed by Tim. The data of Roberts et al 1997, peer reviewed EID, are enough to establish major harm was caused.The two recent epidemics in South Africa support this, but so far Tim only address the supporting evidence, not S America. There was indeed a major propaganda campaign started by Rachel Carson culminating in efforts the totally ban DDT. Hers, and similar claims about DDT and cancer about toxicity (except the bioaccumulation concept which is valid)have never been confirmed, and this has been obscured by lobby groups. The cessation of DDT in South America , Southern Africa, Sri Lanka all preceded huge increases in malaria, which were never intended, and it is morally wrong to continually argue about this evidence like a defence lawyer, avoiding all the awkward indicators, because we all need to learn from these mistakes by ensuring effective use of DDT occurs where it can do good and we need to highlight the mistakes to avoid future errors, including similar errors on different issues. There is a need to be pro-active but what I see is defensiveness.

    The Greenpeace website does state that it does not oppose the careful use of DDT, even though you claimed otherwise.

    > What I claimed is I could not find them and I have kept my search results from that site visit in case the site changes. In what you post I do not see any adequate treatment of the case for using DDT nor references to statements about toxicity, or any discussion of the harms of delaying DDT availability. I didn’t dispute that some concessions have been made in responses to questions by reporters.

    I was not misusing Robert’s testimony for political purposes.
    > I didn’t say YOU were, and didn’t think you were.

    The testimony was this summer. Roberts was invited to speak by Sen. Inhofe who is a right-wing extremist, anti-environmental protection and even started an investigation to try and blame environmentalists for the disaster in New Orleans. Roberts started preaching about how DDT is incredibly useful and Sen. Feinstein asked him if the scientific community supported his position on the use of DDT, he said no.
    > I note this is not falsification of particular claims or data in his peer reviewed paper, but seemingly his overall stance. It depends what the words “support” were taken to mean. It may even mean they agree with him but lack courage to take public abuse. That is certainly is why many scientists have shut up making certain types of public comments in Europe recently, in response to abuse by environmental zealots. This anti-freedom of speech aspect of the debate by public abuse recalls historical events in totalitarian countries that you would probably like to avoid discussing, but it reinforces my point that constant politicising this discussion is not fruitful (including both right and left). By way of contrast, the scientific community doesn’t accept Rachel Carson, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have some useful messages.

    You claimed I “depart from reasoned argument and launch into hyperbole”. Well you wrote, “demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation” and “over the top activism that is inaccurate widely spread, used for political gains, never corrected, and whose consequences are repeatedly ignored, is covered up by straw man distractions, accompanied by emotional collectivist labels, repeated ad hominem abuse, and which is denied and avoided by cognitive dissonance”.
    > Yes this is what I am concerned about, It was stated strongly. Certainly it doesn’t apply to every lobby group, but it highlights the problem is that too many with lobby groups do it, and the other members of these groups do not make public efforts to correct this behaviour, a king of solidarity. This shows moral confusion at least.

    >As far as “extreme-right wing” 50 million dead type pro-DDT statements, they are absurd and wrong, and the groups who promote them are doing great harm. That’s what I feel. But using condemnation of that extreme as a red-herring prevent honest evaluation of the dangers of excessive demonisation of DDT is also wrong.

    You write that environmentalist, “like all political groups, they need a counterbalance to prevent their excesses”. Environmentalists have always been opposed but the opposition has lost in the political arena in a fair contest. Frustrated by their political losses, people and groups who oppose environmental and health protection have resorted to sleazy political tactics. The pro-DDT campaign is just a small part of this.
    > This may be true. Be aware though there is sleaze on both sides of this debate. I have personally witnessed lies being said in front of me.

    You continually cut and paste segments of articles that do not support your claims, or articles that have made comments about enviros banning DDT but do not provide support for these allegations.
    > You may note that there are copyright limitations in posting whole articles. In any case, I’m trying to highlight the evidence Tim skips over.

    It seemed odd why you were doing this until I read the first sentence of #87. You are going by your “gut feeling” and are just using a lot of hand-waving to support your feelings.
    > Again you end with a weak point. I was mere quickly addressing the point put to me with an honest admission of its substance – yes stopping DDT has done NET good I conceded – that is a plus on the other side of the case that I have argued. I used the words “gut-feeling” to describe my judgement off the cuff without careful further review of the evidence. Maybe I should have searched for a better term, but I didnt want to delay addressing a point, as Tim has repeatedly done on South America.

  89. #89 d
    October 25, 2005

    Well you wrote, “demonising was part of a massive campaign by environmentalists groups to demonise DDT including much unproven speculation” and “over the top activism that is inaccurate widely spread, used for political gains, never corrected, and whose consequences are repeatedly ignored, is covered up by straw man distractions, accompanied by emotional collectivist labels, repeated ad hominem abuse, and which is denied and avoided by cognitive dissonance”.

    > OK, I demonstrated on this occasion that sometimes rhetoric is the only way to get peoples attention. I still hold those views by the way and am willing to discuss them.

    You write that environmentalists, “like all political groups, they need a counterbalance to prevent their excesses”. Environmentalists have always been opposed but the opposition has lost in the political arena in a fair contest.
    > Wait on , are you assuming every policy held and achieved by environmentalist is perfect? Beyond dissent?

    Frustrated by their political losses, people and groups who oppose environmental and health protection have resorted to sleazy political tactics. The pro-DDT campaign is just a small part of this.

    > This may be partly true, but you are using black and white portrayal to assume that all opposition to environmentalist policies is simply evil or cynical self interest. Why do you not admit the possibility that some opposition may be opposed because they think the environmentalists are wrong or cause harm, for example by delaying benefits to the poor as in Golden Rice?

    You continually cut and paste segments of articles that do not support your claims, or articles that have made comments about enviros banning DDT but do not provide support for these allegations.
    > There are limits imposed by copyright on posting of whole arguments, so I concentrate of those areas that Tim glosses over.

    It seemed odd why you were doing this until I read the first sentence of #87. You are going by your “gut feeling” and are just using a lot of hand-waving to support your feelings.

    > I was merely answering a question put to me directly, and didn’t want to avoid addressing points that might seem go against my main point (I think the point of the question put is valid, but that it doesn’t mean my point is not also valid). I assure you my criticisms are not based on “gut feelings”. I also can see that you are intelligent enough to recognise clumsiness in my writings, but I am a slow typist and don’t have unlimited time to fine tune every comment.

  90. #90 Tim Lambert
    October 26, 2005

    d, you claim:
    >the cessation of DDT in South America , Southern Africa, Sri Lanka all preceded huge increases in malaria

    South America: the data from PAHO show that malaria has decreased and deaths have plummeted. Are you going to create reduced use of DDT for the plummeting death rate? Thought not. Nor have you provided evidence that the all-powerful environmentalists were responsible.

    South Africa: discussed
    [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/09/ddt-use-in-south-africa.php).

    Sri Lanka: greatly reduced malaria by switching from DDT to malathion because the mosquitoes had developed resistance. I’ve mentioned this several times — how can you pretend to be ignorant of it?

  91. #91 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 26, 2005

    This has been an interesting discussion. d you keep repeating the same propaganda over and over. You quote articles that do not support your position (copyrights laws don’t have anything to do with this). You twist my statements to mean things that they don’t.

    You seem to be trying to turn the discussion away from facts to values. Refusing to acknowledge factually incorrect statements is not as you write “morally wrong”, speaking out when slurs are directed at you isn’t “totalitarian” or “anti-free speech”, exposing extremism is not a “red-herring”.

    You have adopted the false beliefs of the political opponents of environmentalists. You just put it in different language. They like to compare to enviros to Hitler and Stalin, while you seem to think enviros are like the villains in James Bond movies.

  92. #92 Dano
    October 27, 2005

    Interesting, Joseph. I lost the thread, but d did the same thing with a comment I made re Bt resistance – citing articles that didn’t mention resistance.

    I suspect this is a result of research performed on sites that pre-chew the information for the reader, which is solidified by your assertion in your last para.

    Best,

    D

  93. #93 z
    October 28, 2005

    Ironic thought which had been mulling deep in my brain and finally surfaced; the contrast between the frequent pro-DDT position regarding resistance not such a problem and variations thereof, versus the POV aired by none other than DDT spokesauthor Michael Crichton back in Jurassic Park, regarding the futility of trying to contain and control biological entities and Life’s tendency to bust the fences and spread out, figuratively and literally speaking.

  94. #94 cytochrome sea
    November 4, 2005

    Ouch. I said some words that were completely inappropriate, and for that I am tremendously sorry, and entirely embarrassed.

    In my only defense, I drink like a fish :) and have been subtly trying to get at a whole where IMO what has been presented, is less than even a half.

  95. #95 cytochrome sea
    November 4, 2005

    an aside, I’m quite upset about my country’s (US) IMO lame stance as far as allocating ~7billion USD to combat a disease that so far has hardly claimed any human lives. Certainly it has the possibility of becoming a problem, but the shear amount of money allocated would go SO far in SSA regions, especially in combating malaria; hell, a properly designed program with such a great financial backing might be able to reduce endemicity by half or more of an order of magnitude if developed and deployed rapidly enough. I apologize but it is very bothersome to me.