Wednesday, April 25, 2007


In a CNN exclusive actress Ashley Judd notes Americans' ignorance of malaria:
In a recent Gallup poll, only 30 percent of Americans identified malaria as a "very serious" problem, yet the numbers on the ground tell a different story. Forty percent of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. There are between 350 and 500 million diagnosed cases each year, resulting in more than 1 million deaths annually.
That could be because Americans often hear about malaria in stories emphasizing the dangers of DDT, stressing that the chemical is found in everyone's body. They're also inundated with stories about rebounding populations of bald eagles and peregrine falcons, the stories invariably crediting DDT's banning with the birds' resurgence. So Americans are understandably more concerned with DDT's threat to them than they are with some disease foreigners get.

Judd proposes bed nets and cost effective drugs as the malaria solutions. Insecticides don't get a mention. Well, good on Judd for asking people to donate for bed nets but she's more than a little naive if she thinks they're a totally effective substitute for insecticides -- including DDT -- in all situations. Celebrities are unreliable sources of information and should be ignored.


Anonymous Toaf said...

JF, out of interest, do you know of an insect-borne parasitic disease that has been effectively tackled using insecticides?

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Toaf said...

True enough, sadly.

10:22 AM  

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