WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) released a book with important new insights into the debate over environmentalism and DDT.
Co-authored by Donald Roberts, professor emeritus of public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and AFM Director Richard Tren, The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History, examines the academic research on the insecticide and chronicles how the environmental movement’s senseless drive to ban DDT has crippled efforts to eradicate malaria.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills almost one million people a year and inflicts fever and pain on some 500 million more across Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The Excellent Powder explains why DDT is so effective at curbing the disease — and how environmentalists have willfully misled the public into thinking that DDT is devastatingly harmful to wildlife and humans.
“We all know that DDT wiped out malaria in the United States and Europe,” said Tren. “And while poor countries can legally use it, environmental hysteria and targeted anti-insecticide campaigns stop them from using this chemical to combat the disease.
“The world commemorates World Malaria Day just a few days after Earth Day. There’s no small amount of irony in that. Global leaders must recognize the serious flaws in the conventional environmental wisdom regarding DDT and must act to undo the damaging legacy of anti-insecticide fear mongering that compromises disease control in poor countries today,” Tren said.
“Our book sets the record straight on DDT and provides a more complete picture of how the environmental movement’s campaign against DDT has affected public health,” added Dr. Roberts. “Malaria is still a major problem in the developing world. Defeating this disease will require global policymakers to make decisions based on sound science — not alarmism. The research is clear: Spraying DDT inside houses is the world’s best way of preventing malaria, and the threats to human and environmental health are basically non-existent.”
About Africa Fighting Malaria
Africa Fighting Malaria is a non-profit health advocacy group founded in 2000 and based in South Africa and the United States. Its mission is to make malaria control more transparent, responsive and effective.
The organization conducts research into the social and economic aspects of malaria and raises the profile of issues surrounding its control in the media.