DDT: UN Coverup?

“Malaria has killed more people over the centuries than all other diseases combined. Why is that so hard to get?”

Rich Kozlovich writes at Paradigms and Demographics:

…Should we think that the most corrupt organization the world has ever known; an organization that is filled with influential green NGO’s; would lie? I certainly do. For the last few years we keep hearing the greenie fellow travelers declaring that bed nets are doing the job. Everything is OK. We don’t need DDT to save people…

Read Kozlovich’s entire commentary.

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17 responses to “DDT: UN Coverup?

  1. Not hard at all but DDT was near the end of its utility since the mosquitoes were becoming immune to it. The fight against diseases and their vectors will always be an uphill battle. The evolution of life on this planet guarantees that an ultimate solution to any disease is unlikely. Only the newest and simplest diseases may be defeated, but it may be only a temporary victory. We thought Polio was defeated but it’s baaaack!

    • I’m afraid you’ve fallen for the standard misinformation GreggM. DDT resistance in malarial mosquitoes takes the form of excitation and avoidance, i.e., mosquitoes do not roost or feed in dwellings sprayed with DDT. It is this excitation and avoidance mechanism which makes DDT even more valuable for reducing malarial transmission since whole families can be protected more effectively and more cheaply than through the use of insecticide-treated bed nets. Remember that it is not necessary to kill vectors (and mosquito consumers obviously prefer that we do not), only to disrupt disease transmission.

      • Not totally, there is physical resistance that comes along with avoidance. They are repelled by a sublethal dose of it which guarantees accelerated survival of resistant individuals. If they’re not repelled, most of those will die but some will survive, and you have another route by which their resistance will also be accelerated.

    • Mosquitoes are not resistant to DDT. They did not ban it because mosquitoes were “becoming immune to it”. They banned it because Ms. Carson wrote a book saying that it was destroying the environment, and lo and behold, it was banned.

      Your perceptions of DDT and mosquitoes are wrong. Mosquitoes are not viruses or bacteria; they do not become resistant as quickly as you claim.

      • If a mosquito can sense a pesticide like DDT, that means it is being exposed to DDT molecules. Are you saying mosquitoes are psychic? That they have premonitions of danger so they stay away from DDT? And yes avoidance is tied to genetics, try an experiment yourself. Find an aquarium holding a rattlesnake, irritate it enough to make it strike and try to hold your hand against the glass when it strikes. 99% of the people will not be able to keep their hand against the glass. I tried it and could not keep my hand still even though I knew I was safe. My body would NOT stop reacting, it is programmed by genetics to protect me.

        Yep, DDT was banned after Carson’s book, especially as it was found to be concentrating up the food chain, destroying the ability of eagles, ospreys, brown pelicans to reproduce. It was also concentrating in peoples body fat to levels that were hazardous. I’m actually not against targeted uses of DDT like using it on mosquito nets and the like but no more spraying it across the landscape.

  2. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE

    Avoidance alone is worth the price, and last time I used
    DDT it killed the disease vectors it was supposed to kill quite nicely. Alternatives have proved to be quite toxic to animals and humans alike. and no where near as effective.

    My personal experience is exactly opposed to the “immunity” claim. Just another claim without foundation.

  3. GreggM.

    Your conclusions are all wrong. Contact is what generates genuine resistance. Resistance is a genetic phenomenon where-in a percentage of target pests have a resistant gene. As time goes by they are the only ones breeding in the environment.

    Avoidance is another thing entirely and the word resistance doesn’t really apply in spite of the fact this is how it is defined. The fact remains that non-contact will not produce genuine change in the level of resistance genes within a population; which is what allows them to survive a pesticide application.

    I have read and heard about this sub—lethal dose argument for years, but as a pesticide user I have found that it simply doesn’t seem to matter. Resistance is built in the system in all living things, whether it is in plants or animals. As for the replacement products such as pyrethroids; if anything will hasten resistance to DDT it is the use of pyrethroids. Pyrethroids draw the same kind of immune response that DDT does. It is called cross resistance and it works both ways.

    At this point we have to come right down the facts as to what is the most beneficial, cost effective, long lasting product that will deliver the best protection available. It is DDT. In spite of the lies by some anti-DDT groups, we aren’t against vaccines, we aren’t against bed nets, we aren’t against anything that works to save lives from malaria. Your argument about avoidance and resistance is meaningless and doesn’t seem to have any pattern of logic to it. If making them go away is what works then that is what should be done.

    This resistance argument is the largest red herring of them all. Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. In the real world those countries using DDT, along with all the other options, in and on their home have been able to save lives. Using the other options without DDT…people die unnecessarily.

  4. Jek Silberstein

    Avoidence can be enjoined with catching and irridating males, preventing future generations of mosquito. So I think that DDT should be added to sterile-mates and other techniques(citrus-oiled netting?). I have to ask those who might know. It used to be that the Anopheles-Quadrimaculata mosquito was THE insect vector for Malaria. Do other types of mosquitos now carry malaria? The Greens, world-wide, have adopted the thoughts of the German Nazi-era Greens, dropping, for now, an ethnic-racial cant. With their policies of devolving economies, ours especially, people WILL die. And the Greens DO think the Earth can’t “sustain” the numbers we have NOW, much less the 9 billion that will soon be here(–we CAN sustain. Greens SAY we can’t). So as they gain more power, the masks will come off, and they(greens) will dust-off their swastikas and hammers-and-Sickles, and encourage the FEMA camps and their clones on the Birkinau-model.

    • Jek,

      Your paranoia has gone on long enough. First of all, there is no such thing as FEMA camps. Second, the population will not peak at 9 billion. It is 8 billion now. You use Godwin’s Law far too much, as is expected of a conspiracy theorist. You speak high and mighty that it’s the end of the world, but it just shows what you are: a basement dweller. Why do you think people don’t take skeptics seriously? Stop being so paranoid and open your eyes to reality.

  5. Rich,

    Who the devil is spraying pyrethroids for mosquito control? The stuff causes symptoms in humans similar to Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s a neurotoxin!

  6. To the best of my knowledge the Anopheles is the only genus that transmits malaria to man and I am under the impression that particular species is dominant in the U.S. I don’t know about the rest of the world. Although I remember reading an article some time back that outlined the different species in Africa that are part of the problem. Someone else will have to fill in the details.

  7. Eric,

    What do you think deltamethrin, resmethrin and a host of other similar products are? As for being a neurotoxin….so what? By declaring that an accidental over exposure may mimic symptoms of other afflictions is a meaningless red herring. An overexposure also mimics the symptoms of the flu…so what? It’s the dose that makes the poison. Furthermore all the pyrethroids are broken down very quickly in the body. That is one of the reasons that they have little effect on birds. Their metabolism is so high that it is broken down and passes out of their bodies very quickly.

    Can there be serious overexposures to pyrethroids? Yes! Can people drive too fast and get killed on the highways? Yes! Everything has a risk attached to it. The mere fact that risks are attached to a product, whether it is pesticides or automobiles is meaningless depending on the level of impact that risk imparts. Twenty years ago we lost over fifty thousand people a year on the nation’s highways. Although that number has dropped significantly the risk is far higher than the risk that is attached to “all” pesticides. On the risk charts pesticides are at the very bottom…..way at the bottom. Why? Because people aren’t dying from pesticides and there are few accidents.

    We need to really get this. We live in a risk versus benefit world. Pesticides, those who manufacture them, those who sell them and those who apply them are world’s problem solvers and the true savers of human life on this planet because the risks are small and the benefits are enormous. Those who oppose them are irrational and misanthropic. And I wonder at their sanity!

    • True, these problem solvers have done a lot for humanity. We are now spread from pole to pole living in the harshest environments. We have also appropriated the vast majority of the Earths resources for our use and benefit while presiding over an extinction that is closely matching the one that took out the dinosaurs. All of these creatures are a part of the ecology of the planet, our life support system. If we continue to destroy the very system that supports us, which in fact created us, there will come a time when it does collapse. When it does collapse, it will be the end of modern civilization and the death of a huge portion of humanity, if it doesn’t take us to extinction. We are behaving like a spoiled child who thinks everything is ours to destroy, why not? That’s what all of our religions say, of course, they were all written by us so why wouldn’t they say that?

      The insane creature is the one who destroys the very system that it depends upon to survive!

  8. But Pyrethrin originally came from a pretty flower, so what could be more beatific?

  9. GreggM,
    GreggM,

    This so-called mass extinction you are talking about is myth. First of all well, over 95% of all the creatures that ever lived on this planet went extinct. Extinction is the rule, not the exception. Furthermore your argument is a non-sequitur….another logical fallacy. The only system that is being destroyed here is the system of lies and misinformation promoted by the modern environmental movement. Otherwise, the planet is more than capable of taking care of itself, and in point of fact that capability is intrinsic to the design. If that hadn’t been the case then all of these volcanic explosions over the centuries (which have been far more devastating the planet than anything that man has done) would have “done” us in.

    • Wow, your right! The planet can take care of itself and us too while it’s at it. Yep extinctions have happened before but this ones OUR fault.

  10. GreggM

    Nonsense! Species become extinct because they are biologically incompetent. When the Endangered Species Act was passed it did so without hardly any discussion because the Congress had the so-called “romantic” species in mind such as the buffalo, elk, bear, etc. The wanton slaughter of the buffalo and the passenger pigeon was at the heart of their thinking, thus it was passed with the intention of stopping this kind of behavior. It never occurred to them what was really behind this until the snail darter issue where a citizen could sue under ESA and stop a dam form being built. http://paradigmsanddemographics.blogspot.com/2008/09/esa-outrages-part-i.html

    The Supreme Court ruling on TVA vs. Hill the concept of “species first and people last” came into being…and at whatever the costs. Congress had to step in and pass legislation to stop this action on the Tennessee River. This idea that everything is ‘our fault’ is faulty reasoning based on incorrect understanding due to a lack of knowledge and an irrational bias against humanity. Once again….Species become extinct because they become biologically incompetent and they are replaced by species better suited to exist. That is why over 95% are extinct. Furthermore, based on history every species alive today will become extinct at some point. “And it’s all natural.” The only way many of them will continue to exist is because people will decide to perpetuate them. But if they didn’t survive the world would still exist, the sun would shine, the wind would blow, the rain would fall…well you get the point. Then again…maybe you don’t.

    This my last post to you. I will give you what it is that you really want. The last word!

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