Focus Point - DDT

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Some environmentalists seem to prefer banning man-made chemicals on the theory that they must automatically be bad. A recent story ought to give them pause.

Delegates met in Stockholm to sign a legally binding treaty banning or restricting 12 chemicals.

But according to a new study from London's Institute of Economic Affairs, efforts to get rid of DDT have needlessly killed millions of people already.

You see DDT controls malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Malaria kills up to 3 million people every year. The treaty lets signatory countries exempt DDT for control of disease carriers, but the reporting requirements are so taxing they will reduce its use anyway.

There's some first world arrogance here. According to the report, DDT spraying programs eradicated malaria in wealthy countries. How poor countries are pressured by health agencies and environmentalists to discontinue DDT spraying. Problem is, no scientific peer-reviewed study has ever shown any human health impacts from DDT. Malaria, on the other hand, is doing fine, thank you.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, finding energy.