Thursday, May 05, 2005

A little late, but not outdated

The Flag of the World has this great post suggesting Earth Day reading material. As many as 2.7 million people a year, most of them young children, die from malaria. Together, we can eliminate these needless deaths.

And I'd appreciate any info folks can give me on this item on the's 100 things you should know about DDT:
Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, "Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing." [Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]

Whoa! I know population controllers aren't known for any great love of children, but this is pushing the envelope.


At 7:00 PM, Blogger z said...

Given the work the WHO has done in fighting malaria, this seems doubtful.
Particularly given the lack of any work the DDT fans who all of a sudden weep over the billions of deaths from malaria have ever done fighting malaria.
It also might be a good time to note that DDT is not and never was banned for disease fighting, just for agricultural use, which represented almost all of its market, leading to the DDT resistance in mosquitos which is the reason why it isn't much use in places like Ceylon etc. these days, where one single cotton plantation used to use more DDT than the malaria program for the whole country in the good old days that these folks seem to pine for. Of course, nowadays we have insecticide treated bed nets which are simple for folks to use and last 10 years, instead of having to do precise mixing and spraying of every house every year, so it's a moot point.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger z said...

Oh, by the way, it wasn't too hard to find the book and see that in fact, what Desowitz says is

"He also said IN EFFECT, on behalf of AID, "better dead than alive and riotously reproducing". (emphasis mine)

Those two words kind of make a lot of difference in terms of just who is coldbloodedly making use of children's deaths for their own agenda.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Thank you.

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