John D'Aloia Jr.
John D' Aloia Jr. is a retired navy captain and submarine commander. He is a columnist for several newspapers in Kansas.
Readers know what I think of the UN. Do not think that I have gone over the edge, but I want to give an atta-boy to the World Health Organization for supporting the use of DDT to control the malaria epidemic that claims the lives of millions each year. In September Arata Kochi, director of the WHO Global Malaria Program, stated that:
We must take a position based on the science and the data. One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.
Another WHO official said: "Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of [malaria] infections . . . and DDT presents no health risk when used properly."
Some environmentalists still call for the complete ban of DDT, period. For those who inhabit these groups, human life is a cancer on the earth; malaria helps to reduce the number of humans. Banning DDT keeps the process working and saves the lives of countless mosquitoes. The Congress of Racial Equality has been working for years to get the use of DDT reinstated as a means of reducing human suffering and its economic impacts. Paul Driessen, a Senior Fellow at CORE, was quoted in an article in the December Environmental & Climate News on the impacts of malaria:
In addition to the needless deaths (100,000 people die of malaria each year in Uganda), countless millions are too sick to go to work or school. Other millions must stay home to care for sick family members. Is it any wonder that Sub-Sahara Africa is, and remains, one of the poorest regions on Earth?
The U.S. government, which initiated the worldwide ban on the use of DDT in spite of the scientific evidence that it was not the end-of-the-world disaster claimed by Rachel Carson, is changing its policy. Steven Milloy in a Fox News article reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development has endorsed and will fund the use of DDT for indoor spraying in Africa. The European Union is not so enlightened. Milloy also reported that the EU has threatened Uganda with a complete ban on its agricultural exports if it goes ahead with indoor DDT spraying. Milloy ended his article with "Let's forget the myths about DDT--it's time to stop malaria now." *
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." -James Madison