Letters: Defending DDT
“I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I have disagreed with you, but your DDT piece is DEFINITELY one instance where I must respectfully, but strongly, disagree.”
–C.M. via e-mail
WCD: I appreciate your opinion, but I’m sticking to my guns: There is no proof that DDT causes birth defects, cancer, or any other health problem. The cold hard facts are that millions of children have died from the lack of DDT protection.
Just a few days after I read your letter, I came across more evidence that banning DDT is causing way more problems than it could ever hope to solve. According to research from Canada’s Fraser Institute “many tropical countries now face widespread malaria epidemics as a result of the ban on DDT... Last year alone, malaria epidemics infected over 300 million people and killed 2 million, mostly in Africa Kenyan researcher Davy Koech estimates that DDT could reduce malaria deaths by 80 percent.”
I know my stance on DDT isn’t a popular one, but facts are facts, and in 30 years, I haven’t seen a single study that makes me doubt this life-saving substance.
“Bringing Back DDT to Fight Malaria,” Daily Policy Digest, Environmental Issues/Human Health Risks (National Center for Policy Analysis, www.ncpa.org), 6/27/03
“Kenyan environmental ethics: The DDT story,” Fraser Forum (Fraser Institute, www.fraserinstitute.ca), 5/03