Saturday, June 14, 2008


Self-styled malaria expert and Rachel Carson defender John Quiggin on South Africa's decision to stop using DDT:
... the main factor behind the decision was the unpleasant look and small of DDT sprayed on hut walls, which often led to repainting or replastering.
The UN sees it differently:
DDT had been used in South Africa since 1946 and virtually eradicated malaria over the following decades. Nevertheless, the post-apartheid government succumbed to international pressure against the use of the long-lasting chemical in 1996 and replaced it with pyrethroids, which are effective for a shorter span.

However, after 4 years the health department reintroduced DDT into its anti-malaria programme after pyrethroid-resistant mosquitoes caused a localised malaria epidemic that led to 64,662 infections and 458 deaths in 2000.
Quiggin also offers a more subtle manipulation of the truth:
British American Tobacco has now switched sides and is arguing against DDT use in Uganda.
As far as I know, British American Tobacco has not argued for DDT use in Uganda. Not only that, Quiggin is wrong about British American Tobacco now arguing against DDT use in Uganda. Here's the source Quiggin links to:
Uganda’s High Court recently ordered the health ministry to stop spraying the insecticide DDT in the northern part of the country. Until there is a final ruling on a lawsuit brought by nine companies (including those supplying British American Tobacco), no life-saving DDT can be sprayed.
As expected Quiggin's post links to and highly recommends his partner in misinformation, Tim Lambert.


Anonymous J F Beck said...

How does legal action taken by companies that supply BAT tell us anything about BAT's position much less indicate that BAT has changed position when it's original position has not been established.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

That should be "its original position".

10:11 PM  

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