Wednesday, April 27

Brownback's Attempt To Reverse the Terrible Legacy of Rachel Carson

Sen. Sam Brownback (KS) is to introduce legislation, The Eliminate Neglected Diseases Act, to prevent malaria in Africa. The bill requires for the majority of funding to go to life-saving interventions -- effective medicines, insecticide spraying and distribution of bed nets. Of all the world-wide deaths caused by malaria, 90% who die are children in Africa.

Sen. Brownback says "African children are just as precious as European and American children" and calls for reform in the programs that administer this kind of aid. The Act requires performance so that taxpayers know their money gets results and saves lives.

There's no excuse for anyone today to die of malaria.

DDT (aka 1, 1, 1-trichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethane)was the first, best and most remarkable of modern pesticides. It came into use after the second World War and was banned as a result of a book, based on poor research and skewed information published by Rachel Carson in the early 1970s.

Proof of DDT's effectiveness lies in statistics exemplified by the situation in Sri Lanka in mid-twentieth-century. In 1948, before the use of DDT, there were 2.8 million cases of malaria. After its use, by 1963, there were only 17.

Interestingly, in 1970, of two billion people living in malarial areas (the southern US is included in that), 79% were protected and health officials expected that malaria would be eliminated for good. Still, anti-DDT activism, prompted by Carson's book, led to hearings before an EPA administrative law judge during 1971-72. Six years after the US banned DDT, there were 800 million cases of malaria and 8.2 billion deaths per year.

At that hearing in the early 1970s the judge listened to 7 months of testimony and plowed through 9,000 pages of testimony. In his decision he said, "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man... DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man... The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."

But we all know the hysteria of the uninformed, so then-EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus banned DDT anyway, giving in to pressure from mislead, misinformed "environmental" groups.

Rachel Carson's prize winning book, The Silent Spring, turned out to be full of intentionally mis-interpreted research and downright, outright lies. As a direct result of that book, millions -- billions -- more have died of malaria. What a legacy!

Can Senator Brownback turn the tide of death and save the lives of millions of African children? Can the people of the USA rescue a generation where the Roll Back Malaria partnership, the WHO and other multilateral organization have failed?

Since the UN declared an initiative to cut malaria rates in half by 2010, those rates have increased.

"The world community conquered smallpox," says Brownback, "We have recently conquered polio and guinea worm. When we acted in concert, we stopped SARS in its tracks a few years ago. . .To those who have been given much, much is expected. We will be held responsible for how we respond to this."

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