Forty years of perverse “social responsibility” (Paul Driessen, April 2, 2007, Enter Stage Right)
Forty years ago, Environmental Defense (ED) was launched to secure a ban on DDT and, in the words of co-founder Charles Wurster, “achieve a level of authority” that environmentalists never had before. Its high-pressure campaign persuaded EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus to ignore the findings of his own scientific panel and ban DDT in the US in 1972.
The panel had concluded that DDT is not harmful to people, birds or the environment. That’s especially true when small quantities are sprayed on walls to repel mosquitoes and prevent malaria. However, ED and allied groups continued their misinformation campaign, until the chemical (and other insecticides) were banished even from most global healthcare programs.
Thankfully, DDT had already helped eradicate malaria in the United States and Europe. But the disease still sickens 500 million people a year and kills 2 million, mostly African women and children. Since 1972, tens of millions have died who might well have lived if their countries had been able to keep DDT in their disease control arsenals.
A year ago – after an extensive public education effort by the Congress of Racial Equality, Africa Fighting Malaria, Kill Malarial Mosquitoes NOW Coalition and other health and human rights groups- the USAID and World Health Organization finally began supporting DDT use once again. But ED, Pesticide Action Network and other agitators still promote ridiculous anti-DDT themes on their websites, claiming it is “associated with” low birth weights in babies and shortened lactation in nursing mothers.
Even if these assertions were true, notes Uganda’s Fiona Kobusingye, such risks “are nothing compared to the constant danger of losing more babies and mothers to malaria.” She has had malaria at least 20 times and lost her son, two sisters and five nephews to the disease. “How can US environmentalists tell us we should be more worried about insecticides than about malaria?” she asks. “Their attitudes are immoral eco-imperialism – a crime against humanity.”
None of these anti-insecticide pressure groups has ever apologized for their disingenuous campaigns or atoned in any way for the misery and death they helped perpetuate – much less been held accountable. Instead, they blame today’s horrendous malaria rates on global warming.
-AUDIO/VIDEO: Redefining Sovereignty: Paul Driessen, Senior Fellow, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (Heritage Foundation, July 20, 2006)