The myth of DDT versus the reality of malaria in Africa

The United States has just assumed the largest burden of forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by 18 mostly African countries. It's no wonder these countries can't repay their debts when they suffer the enormous human and economic costs of malaria, says Phyllis Schlafly.

Malaria is a disease carried by mosquitoes, and the world knows how to kill the hated mosquitoes – it's to spray them with the insecticide called DDT. Yet, contrary to expert testimony that DDT was not harmful to humans, animals or the environment, in 1972 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned DDT, and it has continued to be banned in most of the world.

Despite the obvious value of DDT in saving lives, environmentalist campaigns continue to prevent its use:

  • Due to the large influx of illegal immigrants who are not tested for disease, mosquito-caused diseases are re-emerging as a U.S. health problem.

  • Malaria has popped up in Texas, and dengue fever, another mosquito-borne disease, had a virulent outbreak in a Texas county on the U.S. southern border.

  • Another mosquito-borne disease, West Nile virus, which was unheard of in the United States prior to 1998, has come to the U.S. from Africa; it now infects tens of thousands of people in 21 states, and many have died.

    The U.S. Agency for International Development and World Bank anti-DDT policy that saves mosquitoes instead of humans has stymied African countries' economic growth and is now forcing U.S. taxpayers to bail out a mountain of bad debt, says Schlafly.

    Source: Phyllis Schlafly, The myth of DDT versus the reality of malaria in Africa,, June 20, 2005.

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    For more on Environment/Agriculture: Pesticides:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 28 June 2005
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