CASTER SEMENYA, DDT VICTIM?
A very scary prediction:
South Africa's use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control in the Limpopo River basin is likely to lead to an increase in babies being born with deformed sex organs or being born with both male and female genitalia.Caster Semenya was born and raised in Limpopo province. More from Turton:
This is the view of former CSIR scientist Anthony Turton, who delivered a lecture on the "Crisis in our Rivers" when he was awarded the Habitat Council's Conservation Award in the city on Saturday.
We know from published peer-reviewed research that a high correlation exists between the application of DDT as a (malarial) control measure and the birth of babies with deformed genitalia, either being born with both male and female organs, or with abnormalities associated with what we can broadly call gender-defining organs, and we also know this is affecting male fertility.Turton's scientific specialty? Political science. So here we have an environmentalist in the Rachel Carson mold using bogus science in hope of creating an hysterical anti-DDT backlash – there is no better way to scare parents than to make them think having thier houses sprayed for mosquitoes will wreck their babies' genitals, obliquely using Caster Semenya as an example. It's both irresponsible and pathetic.
The common denominator is the Limpopo area and abnormalities associated with gender arising from endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as the use of DDT to control malaria ... This means a national propensity to androgyny for future generations, specifically if they were conceived in areas of high risk such as the Limpopo River basin.
Update: I can find no studies linking DDT exposure to androgyny: anyone finding such a study should post the information in comments so I can update. Studies linking DDT to genital malformations are contradictory so the juries still out on that.
Anyway, I'm reasonably aware of alleged DDT related health issues and can't recall anyone other than Turton linking DDT to androgyny. Just coincidentally Caster Semenya's apparently indeterminate gender recently got lots of play in the media, especially in South Africa. Semenya was born and raised in Limpopo province.
Now we have Turton specifying that Limpopoans are especially vulnerable to DDT induced androgyny. Whereas he doesn't refer to Semenya by name, he's obviously trying to create a mental link between Semenya's apparently indeterminate sexuality and DDT's alleged ability to cause androgynous defects in babies.