Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Fisking is passé but PP boy Tobias Ziegler's stupidity begs to be exposed so lets take a look at a recent Ziegler comment in a PP open thread (this relates to my post here):
I notice that the Quadrant-published DDT expert has continued to run into problems with the integrity of his argument. THR wrote a second post related to the Quadrant essay, responding to the author’s hasty attempts to defend his flawed article.
There are no problems with my Quadrant article: it's 100% accurate. Both of THR's posts are exceedingly lame. (There's a new THR post, so it's now three lame posts – I'm flattered that all of his posts since 30 August are about me.)
So the next tactic is a quick attempt to move away from the original arguments and set up a new one based on this media report – this time claiming there are no studies to support the story’s suggestion of a link between DDT exposure and genital abnormalities or male fertility.
No change of focus: I stand by my Quadrant article. I blogged on the "media report" because it's an irresponsible and pathetic attempt at DDT scaremongering – people could die as a result of it. Studies may "suggest" a link between "DDT exposure and genital abnormalities [and] male fertility" but the cited studies are neither persuasive nor conclusive (more on that coming up).
The most cursory follow-up on the news story reveals that the lecture reported in the story is available online – complete with citations:

- Bornman, M.S., Delport, R., Becker, P., Risenga, S.S. & de Jager, C.P. 2005. Urogenital birth defects in neonates from a high-risk malaria area in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Epidemiology. (16)5. S126 – 127.

- Aneck-Hahn, Natalie H., Schulenburg, Gloria W., Bornman, Maria S., Farias, Paulina & de Jager, Christiaan. 2007. Impaired Semen Quality Associated with Environmental DDT Exposure in Young Men Living in a Malaria Area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Journal of Andrology, Vol. 28. No. 3: 423-434.
The cockily overconfident Ziegler – aka Toby Nutcracker – hasn't done his homework. The text of the first study amounts to only 370 words. Here are the results and conclusion in their entirety:

The maternal (n=42) mean, median and range for p,pDDE were 24.75, 3.19, 0.14 to 419.91 µg/g lipid respectively. In neonates (n=45) these values were 5.2, 1.14 and 0.03–29.82 µg/g lipid. In 2010 newborns (96.35%) no external urogenital birth defects were observed. However, in 76 (3.65%) babies abnormalities were found, of which ambiguous genitalia in 18 (0.86%) newborns raised particular concern.


The concordant high prevalence of urogenital birth defects and the DDE concentrations in cord blood in neonates from a DDT-sprayed area should be regarded as a matter of extreme international concern.
Another great moment in science. Exactly what constitutes "ambiguous genitalia" is not specified: a small penis or large clitoris might qualify. In any event, the Intersex Society of North America estimates that approximately 1% of babies are born with bodies that "differ from standard male or female" so .86% in Limpopo is somewhat below expectation.

The second study Ziegler cites is inconclusive. It refers to an earlier study on urogenital defects related to DDT exposure, the earlier study concluding:
For boys in the highest category of DDE exposure compared with those in the lowest, the odds ratios were consistent with an association of modest (cryptorchidism) or moderate (polythelia) size, but in no instance was the estimate precise. Although some findings suggested a modest association of DDE with hypospadias, this depended on how exposure was represented in the models. Overall, our results were inconclusive.
Ziegler ignores the inconclusive results, finishing off:
It looks like there’s a more recent publication about the urogenital defects (in this case, extra nipples) as well. That’s about 5 minutes with Google to track the information down. This is a(nother) poor reflection on the level of intellectual rigor that can be deemed acceptable for publication in Quadrant.
At 283 words total this "study" is shorter than many abstracts. It's not scientific and provides no meaningful results, period. Ziegler has made a complete fool of himself by referring to "studies" that prove nothing. Or maybe he knows they prove nothing and was counting on no one reading them.

Quadrant might well have shown a low "level of intellectual rigor" in publishing my DDT article but Quadrant's rigor level is well above that of Crikey which allows the PP-boyz to keep getting it wrong. Another fuck-up? Just delete it.

By the way, if Ziegler wants to argue DDT, I'm happy to oblige. Come on puss, let's have a go.

Update: Numbers are usually Tim Lambert's strong point but here his arithmetic lets him down:
In his piece Beck is only able to come up with two alleged lies by Carson.
Nope, I cited one lie and two misrepresentations. This Carson lie, ignored by Lambert, on its own discredits the whole of Silent Spring:
For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.
Eat an oleander leaf to see how dangerous natural chemicals are. Lambert first.

Update II: DDT is one of the most studied chemicals ever. The science deniers – serial liar Tim Lambert, Ed "water is carcinogenic" Darrell, email account hacker THR, PP boy Toby Nutcracker and whoever else wants to have a go – should cite some of the real studies showing conclusively that DDT is, in the quantities likely to be encountered by humans, detrimental to health. If that task is too difficult, cite some of the studies conclusively linking DDT to the decline in raptor numbers.

By the way, his repeated links to the super-popular Darryl Mason prove Nutcracker's not quite right in the head.

Update III: THR links to a BBC article and two at Lancet as his proof DDT is harmful to humans.

The BBC article shows that more DDT results in improved mental performance:
Children exposed to the pesticide DDT while in the womb experience development problems, researchers say.

The team also found that the longer babies were breastfed for, the better they scored on the developmental tests - even though they would have been exposed to DDT through the milk.
Lancet one looks at long term occupational exposure and is irrelevant to everyone not working in the manufacturing of DDT. In any event the results presented in the abstract are nonspecific.

Lancet two says DDT might be harmful and should be studied further.

Update IV: A smear job from John Quiggin –everyone not regarding Rachel Carson as a saint has been deluded by the "second-hand propaganda of a nut group [Lyndon LaRouche], recycled by the tobacco industry." Quiggin attempts to discredit J Gordon Edwards' 5,300 word fisking of Silent Spring not by addressing the content but rather by attacking the site of publication, a Lyndon LaRouche affiliate.

Quiggin should do the right thing by his readers in pointing out where Edwards is wrong about Silent Spring.

What is it with the left and this ongoing denial of science?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaah Toby nutcracker

Out of all the lefties Toby Nutcracker is the most infuriating bald, bearded, stupid little bastard around.

Given the chance I'd love to get him in a head lock and run my knuckles up and down his rotten little head until it was read raw with him screaming.

As a child I'm sure he was justifiably bullied at school.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the chance I'd love to get him in a head lock and run my knuckles up and down his rotten little head until it was read raw with him screaming.

Ah name calling and threats of violence, classic Beck.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That petulant, whining anonymous above at 10:22 sounds exactly like Damien (Doyle, isn't that his last name?)

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep digging and smearing Beck, eventually you'll appear truthier than your opponents.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who references THR (a committed revolutionary who is unable to see that the revolution came when the Berlin Wall fell and he was on the wrong side of history) and Darryl Mason should be ashamed of themselves. LC

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Leaping Avenger said...

Who or what the F is Toby Nutcracker?

11:01 AM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

Don't worry lefties, no one is going to noogie you to death. So stop fretting and start finding those DDT research studies.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Leaping Avenger said...

according to google Toby Ziegler is a character on West Wing. I guess that's ironic in a way.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About as embarrassing as ant rogenous, john surname or chuck a spear (the most racist username I've ever seen - some allege it's inadvertant, but I can't see it) or THR is to your side. Never heard of the guy before now, that I can remember. LC

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh comments deleted when one of Becks violent stalkers is named, yet the threats of violence stay. More double standards at JF Beck!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does a certain name keep disappearing when all the threats of violence stay?

2:39 PM  

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