Sunday, April 01, 2007


Computer guy Tim Lambert insists DDT was never banned. Here's his reaction to my claim the ban is real:
JF Troll, it is dishonest for you to claim that there is a de facto ban on DDT when it is used in countries containing billions of people.
Lambert also refuses to accept the ban evidence offered by the World Malaria Programme's Dr. Arata Kochi, Nature Medicine's Apoorva Mandavilli and the World Health Organization.

As it turns out -- it's amazing the interesting things you can stumble onto when looking for something else -- clear-headed environmentalists were well aware of the ban and the dangers it posed. The following excerpts are from a letter from Environmental Defense's John M. Balbus, MD, MPH to the U.S. Agency for International Development:
As the organization that led the successful campaign to ban use of DDT in the United States in the early 1970’s, we have read with concern recent reports that US AID is unwilling to consider even limited use of DDT in anti-malaria programs in developing countries. According to the New York Times Magazine, you recently stated that part of the reason US AID “doesn't finance DDT is that doing so would require a battle for public opinion. 'You'd have to explain to everybody why this is really O.K. and safe every time you do it.’ ” (“What the World Needs Now Is DDT,” April 11, 2004)
While Environmental Defense sees absolutely no justification for re-introducing use of DDT in the US, we believe that indoor spraying of small quantities of DDT in developing countries areas where malaria is spread by indoor-dwelling mosquitoes is an important tool given the limited alternatives now available.
We urge US AID not to forego consideration of indoor spraying of small quantities of DDT in developing countries areas where malaria is spread by indoor-dwelling mosquitoes. At the same time, we urge US AID to support rebuilding the public-health system in developing countries, and efforts to find better alternatives to DDT use. For example, it appears that indoor use of DDT may function primarily by repelling mosquitoes rather than killing them (see e.g., Grieco et al., J Vector Ecol. 2000 Jun;25(1):62-73). Development of less-toxic repellents should thus be a priority.
Interestingly, self-appointed DDT expert Lambert reckons DDT's mosquito repellent property makes it less effective.

Lambert must know the DDT ban, only now being lifted, was real; the evidence is overwhelming. He maintains his denialist stance because it gets him lots of attention from fellow lefties -- his shonky DDT Ban Myth Bingo even gets a link at Wikipedia (this does not speak well of Wikipedia's credibility).

Lambert is not an accurate source of information on DDT's use in the fight against malaria. Hell, let's be honest here, the guy's a liar.

Update: My thanks to Tim Blair for linking.

The very first link in this post doesn't work because Lambert continues to bounce my links to his old blog -- copy and paste


Post a Comment

<< Home