Lift DDT ban

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Ayman Fadel (“DDT no solution to malaria,” May 31) is wrong about Walter Williams, DDT and Rachel Carson.

“The scientific literature does not contain even one peer-reviewed, independently replicated study linking DDT exposures to any adverse health outcome [in humans],” said Dr. Amir Attaran, a malaria expert formerly with the World Health Organization and now with Harvard University’s Center for International Development.

“Carson and those who joined her in the crusade against DDT have contributed to millions of preventable deaths. Used responsibly, DDT can be quite safe for man and the environment,” said former surgeon general and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dr. Harold M. Koenig.

“The ban on DDT, founded on erroneous or fraudulent reports and imposed by one powerful bureaucrat, has caused millions of deaths, while sapping the strength and productivity of countless human beings in underdeveloped countries. It is time for an honest appraisal and for immediate deployment of the best currently available means to control insect-borne diseases. This means DDT,” wrote J. Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., professor emeritus of entomology at San Jose State University.

Thomas “Woody” Highsmith

Evans

(The writer is retired from the Georgia Department of Agriculture Entomology & Pesticides division, was a Department of Defense pest control contractor in Afghanistan from 2006-2009, and is currently facilities pest controller at the Carl Vinson Veterans Medical Center in Dublin, Ga.)

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deestafford
31991
Points
deestafford 06/09/13 - 04:55 am
4
3
The letter writer is so right

The banning of DDT was just another example of emotionally feel goodism not back up by facts on the part of liberals.
Unfortunately, unlike many of their actions, this one has cost more lives than either Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or Pol Pot and they still continue to fail to see the error of their ways.
Rather than eradicate malaria with DDT as was almost done they continue to promote band-aid approaches such as giving mosquito nets thinking they are really doing something.

Dixieman
17430
Points
Dixieman 06/09/13 - 06:44 am
4
3
But they felt better

Liberals judge issues by how it makes them feel to be on the "correct" side. Subjective feelings.
Conservatives judge issues by whether they really work and how effective they are. Objective reality.
Then liberals accuse conservatives of being anti-science.

RMSHEFF
18749
Points
RMSHEFF 06/09/13 - 06:45 am
5
3
Good letter. The DDT ban and

Good letter. The DDT ban and man made global warming claims are not based on sound science but on a left wing political agenda. Sadly some scientist lend their name to the lie, most likely for monetary gain and position.

Bodhisattva
7212
Points
Bodhisattva 06/09/13 - 08:19 am
6
3
DDT is still used around the

DDT is still used around the world in malarial control. Some limit its use in agricultural sectors. There are other methods (such as fungal) which are proving just as effective, especially since they are seeing an increase in DDT resistant strains of mosquitos. They have learned to use only the amount that is effective, not to spray as much as you can. that in itself limits side effects. Only a fool would say that spraying poison across wide areas on people, food crops, and into the water supply wouldn't have adverse effects on some level. Agent Orange did a pretty good job of killing weeds too.

Darby
29318
Points
Darby 06/09/13 - 09:50 am
3
2
“The ban on DDT, founded on erroneous or

fraudulent reports and imposed by one powerful bureaucrat, has caused millions of deaths, while sapping the strength and productivity of countless human beings in underdeveloped countries."

I would agree but would (not to nit-pick) change the word "caused" to "allowed".

Darby
29318
Points
Darby 06/09/13 - 09:55 am
4
3
"Agent Orange did a pretty good job of

killing weeds too."

.

Agent Orange was used to defoliate the hiding places of Vietcong who killed thousands of American and South Vietnamese soldiers. No study was done on it's safety and it was not used outside the war zone.

Where is the objectivity here???

Talk about comparing apples and (Agent) oranges....

dwb619
104282
Points
dwb619 06/09/13 - 10:39 am
3
0
power line right of ways

For several years in the 70's and 8o's the power line right of ways were sprayed by aerial applicators. I have seen this practice kill red oak saplings two inches in diameter in one week.
In the mid to late 80's the utilities reverted to mowing the right of ways,saying that the liability insurance for spraying was too expensive.
I have always been curious as to what the "spray" was.
Within two years the quail and rabbit population increased dramatically along the right of ways.

Darby
29318
Points
Darby 06/09/13 - 10:35 am
4
2
"Within two years the quail and rabbit

population increased dramatically along the right of ways."

.
That could be because of the cessation of spraying.....

Or it might be due to the infrequent mowing of a much smaller area, allowing their natural breeding areas to develop.

Nothing to prove anything there. Not unlike the fact that at some point, anyone who eats white grapes will die.

dwb619
104282
Points
dwb619 06/09/13 - 09:06 pm
3
1
Area

The area mowed is the same as the area sprayed. The spraying was not done each year,as the herbicide keep the growth down for several years.
FYI, I am talking about the right of ways belonging to Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric and gas in Edgefield county. Only the large transmission lines with 100 foot right of ways. I have never seen the smaller distribution lines sprayed.
Still curious as to what the herbicide was.

Bizkit
35632
Points
Bizkit 06/09/13 - 12:30 pm
5
0
DDT can last for decades and

DDT can last for decades and it does directly affect marine organisms like crayfish and protists. It did have published effects on egg shell thickness and it was correlated with the decline of the American bald eagle. It is a well know endocrine disruptor and there is a significant literature on its effects on fertility, pre-term labor, etc and reproduction biology. I believe there are studies in countries where it is still in use that have reported a decline in human male fertility. In countries like Africa-the costs of malaria out weighs the costs and risks of DDT use-but in our country the risks don't and there are other safer means. The problem with DDT was its over use-much like antibiotics.

Dixieman
17430
Points
Dixieman 06/09/13 - 12:37 pm
3
3
Agent Orange

has never been scientifically proven to cause any birth defects or human illness. In the 1980's and 1990's the companies that made it got tired of fighting plaintiff's lawyers and agreed to pay compensation because it was cheaper than litigating. That, however, is not "proof" it causes harm to people. The Operation Ranch Hand USAF pilots and crews who handled and sprayed this stuff had to drink a gallon of it as an initiation measure when they joined the unit (!!) and none of them got sick. (Source: Stolen Valor book by J. G. Burkett and sources cited therein). I would have gladly sprayed this stuff all over to save one American soldier's life.
(BTW, for those of you who share my cynical and twisted sense of humor, the USAF unit's unofficial motto was "Only You Can Prevent Forests"!)

Jake
34096
Points
Jake 06/09/13 - 03:08 pm
3
0
Sarge

Sarge is in bad shape because of the effects of Agent Orange. To say that this agent is not harmful is about as naive as saying nicotine is not harmful.

Little Lamb
49124
Points
Little Lamb 06/09/13 - 08:11 pm
1
0
DDT

Thank you for your letter, Mr. Highsmith.

The current practice of spraying (or even safer, painting) DDT solution inside homes in tropical areas (most notably India) has resulted in a dramatic decrease in malaria cases. The mosquitos come into the houses, light on the walls, and die. The people inside the houses have practically no contact with the DDT. Likewise, pond and stream organisms have no contact with the DDT.

Darby
29318
Points
Darby 06/10/13 - 09:25 am
1
2
"Sarge is in bad shape because of the

effects of Agent Orange."

.
Maybe he is, and maybe he isn't. He is in bad shape. No argument there.

A lot of folks were exposed to Agent Orange who were not affected. I was operating in the Iron Triangle when it was sprayed. Except for my perverted sense of humor and some really bad arthritis I'm feeling no different from most folks my age.

Agent Orange became the go-to bad guy following Vietnam. I know it made of lot of rich lawyers.

afadel
547
Points
afadel 01/08/14 - 12:02 pm
0
0
Letter Never Addresses Link Between DDT & Mosquito Resistance

Mr. Highsmith never addressed my point that DDT is not a public health solution for malaria because the mosquitoes which transmit the malaria parasite develop resistance to the pesticide. Here is some discussion about some of the people Mr. Highsmith quoted:

http://aymplaying.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/advocate-of-ddt-says-it-is-ef...

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