How to help Africa

Founder's letter published in the Washington Times
July 7, 2005

How to help Africa

Rock concerts and President Bush's proposed $1.2 billion plan to fight malaria in Africa over the next five years are almost meaningless, not because the money is sure to be misspent, but because there has been, is and will be only one way to really combat and control the mosquito-borne killer: with DDT ("Live 8 concerts rock the globe for Africa," Page 1, Sunday).

How much more death and disease must Africa and other malaria-plagued areas endure from the decades-old environmental crusade against DDT and other pesticides?

Malaria was nearly under control as a result of widespread spraying of DDT in a worldwide anti-malaria campaign until the cancer-scare reactionary anti-DDT and anti-pesticide campaign effectively halted the use of DDT.

Since the use of DDT began more than 60 years ago, an abundance of scientific evidence has been accumulated that has shown no ill effects from human contact with DDT.

Yet the arrogance and irresponsibility of environmental zealots plus inept government have prevailed at a cost of more than 30 million lives since the 1972 ban on DDT was imposed in the United States and quickly spread throughout the world.

Indeed, must we wait until other mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus reach epidemic levels in America before the intelligent use of DDT is restored?

Adding insult to death and injury, environmental extremists have caused the ban of the most effective insecticides, such as chlordane, which was the best control for termites, ants and other crawling pests. Then lindane, which controlled tree borers. Then diazinon, which acted like chlordane but was much weaker. As a result, we have to endure invasions of relentless pests such as termites and Argentina ants and the loss of many trees.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center