The other day I linked to a Tim Lambert anti-DDT post linking to an interview with entomologist May Berenbaum featuring an online discussion. Lambert understudy Ed Darrell challenged me to become directly involved:
Got any guts? Why not go ask a question?Taking the dare I lodged this for Berenbaum (edited to correct a spelling error):
It appears that you are not an authority on DDT, malaria and mosquitoes. Why then do you think PRI [Public Radio International] chose to interview you for a "reality check" on the need for, and dangers of, DDT, rather than someone with actual expertise in such matters, Donald Roberts, for example?My comment has been in moderation for over five hours. Will it be posted? Stay tuned.
In his introduction the PRI interviewer says that environmental activists are worried that DDT use in Uganda will kill people. Are you aware of any human deaths directly attributable to DDT? How likely is DDT IRS to kill people or even make them ill, in your opinion?
Your 2005 Washington Post essay says that indoor DDT spraying led "to the evolution of resistance 40 years ago and will almost certainly lead to it again in many places unless resistance monitoring and management strategies are put into place." Please cite some of the many examples of DDT resistance, and elaborate on the magnitude of the problem of resistance, resulting from indoor spraying of DDT.
Can you think of anyone likely to influence malaria policy either at a national of international level who advocates DDT spraying for malaria to the exclusion of all other insecticides and methods (for example, bed-nets)?
On a separate but related topic, is it correct to regard yellow fever control strategies implemented in Panama associated with the construction of the canal as the first well-documentent example of integrated pest management?
Update: My comment still hasn't appeared almost 24 hours after posting. It could be that comments are moderated, like at the Prime Minister's blog, during business hours. Stay tuned.