Magazine article USA TODAY

Outlawing of DDT Proves Deadly

Magazine article USA TODAY

Outlawing of DDT Proves Deadly

Article excerpt

Although misguided environmentalists are attempting to eliminate the pesticide DDT worldwide, its effectiveness against malaria-carrying mosquitoes has been demonstrated dramatically in South Africa. That nation's ill-advised ban on the use of DDT increased infection and death rates. However, once the country reintroduced the pesticide, those rates dropped dramatically, underscoring the necessity of the insecticide in combating malaria throughout the entire continent, contend Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria, and Roger Bate, a visting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

They point out that, when countries bow to international pressure and stop using DDT, the effects can be disastrous in both human and economic terms. For example, after South Africa stopped using DDT in 1996, the number of malaria cases in KwaZulu Natal province rose from 8,000 to 42,000. By 2000, there had been an approximate 400% increase in malaria deaths.

"DDT has not only saved lives and prevented debilitating illness, it has laid a more stable foundation for development and wealth creation in the malarial areas of South Africa," Tren and Bate write in "South Africa's War against Malaria: Lessons for the Developing World. …

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