Monday, September 25, 2006

News Nibblets

I don't know that this is of general interest around here but tough shit, I write the blog and I think it's interesting.

The World Health Organization has recently given DDT the stamp o' approval for use in malaria control.

The last paragraph of the article says:

Each year, more than 500 million people suffer from acute malaria, resulting in more than 1 million deaths. At least 86 percent of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally an estimated 3,000 children and infants die from malaria every day and 10,000 pregnant women die from malaria in Africa every year. Malaria disproportionately affects poor people, with almost 60 percent of malaria cases occurring among the poorest 20 percent of the world'’s population.

Of course, malaria in North America was pretty well eliminated by coating just about everything with a nice thick layer of DDT back when it was as American as mom, baseball, and apple pie.

Then Silent Spring comes along and all of a sudden, we're all like "Shit, shit, oh shit! Indiscriminately spraying pesticides everywhere might not be the best idea in the world."

And since backlash is the American way, all of a sudden nobody's using DDT in the U.S. Convenient for us, since not only do we not have malaria but our bald eagle eggs aren't shattering like an 80 year old hip anymore either.

Then, in an uncharacteristically un-evil move, we also decided that it might not be such a good idea to manufacture DDT for the poor brown people to use, like we do with so many other illegal chemicals.

Meanwhile, mosquitoes and malarial plasmodium are becoming resistant to their respective poisons, and the newer malaria medication is unfeasible expensive for use in most countries where malaria is, you know, endemic.

More money gets poured into researching the things that kill rich, white people and Africa once again, gets screwed.

So, hats off to WHO I say.

1 comment:

Monticore said...

I thought everyone had to get a DDT injection before they enter school or maybe thats PDT, or DVT. I don't know