A new documentary, "3 Billion and Counting," sets the record straight on DDT, malaria, bald eagles -- and America's current bedbug plague.We've already address the bedbugs here. But if you're in a hurry and don't have the time to sift through a Jack Kelly Sunday column, here's the upshot - DDT is ineffective against bedbugs. Has been for a few decades. Since before DDT was banned, in fact. From Newsweek (again):
The title refers to all the human lives ended by malaria, which annually kills 1.5 million and debilitates millions more -- needlessly, because banned DDT eradicates malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Producer and physician Rutledge Taylor's film connects the underlying dots of environmental fanaticism, misguided policies and disregard for science.
[L]ong before the United States banned most uses of it in 1972, DDT had lost its effectiveness against bedbugs—which, like many fast-breeding insects, are extremely adept at evolving resistance to pesticides. “Bloggers talk about bringing back DDT,” says Bob Rosenberg, director of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association, “but we had stopped using it even before 1972.”But let's move on to malaria as that's the largest concern of the editorial. The braintrust writes:
Nor is there any reason to think it would work better today; according to Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an urban entomologist at Cornell, among a wide variety of pesticides tested against bedbugs within the last two years, DDT performed the worst.
The title refers to all the human lives ended by malaria, which annually kills 1.5 million and debilitates millions more -- needlessly, because banned DDT eradicates malaria-carrying mosquitoes.Actually they get it right.
Inadvertantly and ironically, of course.
Look at that last line: banned DDT eradicates malaria-carrying mosquitoes. That's absolutely correct. Why do I write this? Because according to this report from the much-despised (by the Trib) UN (World Health Organization, actually), DDT is being used to eradicate malarlia-carrying mosquitoes:
[Indoor Residual Spraying] with WHO-approved chemicals (including DDT) remains one of the main interventions for reducing and interrupting malaria transmission by vector control in all epidemiological settings. In 2008, 44 countries, including 19 in the African Region, reported implementing IRS. (page ix)And:
DDT has comparatively long residual efficacy (≥ 6 months) against malaria vectors and plays an important role in the management of vector resistance. Countries can use DDT for IRS for as long as necessary and in the quantities needed, provided that the guidelines and recommendations of WHO and the Stockholm Convention are met and until locally appropriate, cost-effective alternatives are available for a sustainable transition from DDT. (page 4)Indeed, the title of this WHO Document is:
And section 2 of that document is titled:THE USE OF DDTIN MALARIA VECTOR CONTROL
Why is DDT still recommended?Still recommended??? But the braintrust said Ruckelshaus buckled under environmental fanaticism and banned DDT and that led to 3 billion deaths by malaria!
I guess the Scaife's braintrust gets yet another one wrong.