Editor's Note:  All too often we will read articles which will make comments regarding the detrimental effect that DDT has had on the environment and society. It has been known that this information is false since Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring. The links on this page are designed to dispel all of those falsehoods.

100 things you should know about DDT

Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion.

Bald-Eagle/DDT Lies Still Flying High

Pennsylvania officials just announced success with their program to re-establish the state's bald eagle population. But it's a shame that such welcome news is being tainted by oft-repeated myths about the great bird's near extinction. In its July 4 article reporting that the number of bald eagle pairs in Pennsylvania had increased from 3 in 1983 to 100 for the first time in over a century, the Associated Press reached into its file of bald eagle folklore and reported, "DDT poisoned the birds, killing some adults and making the eggs of those that survived thin. The thin eggs dramatically reduced the chances of eaglets surviving to adulthood. DDT was banned in 1972. The next year, the Endangered Species Act passed and the bald eagles began their dramatic recovery”.

The Spring is Silent on DDT
Let there be no doubt that the war on malaria has failed. It is estimated that 800,000 children in Africa die from the disease every year, and as many as three million people altogether every year.”

Pesticides and the West Nile Virus: An Examination of Environmentalist Claims

Ever since the mosquito-transmitted West Nile Virus appeared in New York City during 1999, environmental activists have been fighting efforts to keep the disease under control. Not only have they battled against any spraying for adult mosquitoes, they have also fought methods to manage mosquito larvae. These groups maintain that the control methods are more dangerous than the diseases they seek to control. In the case of spraying, activists say that the chemicals imperil public health and can kill or harm wildlife. These groups claim further that other methods, such as the use of biological agents to kill mosquito larvae, disrupt the balance of nature and thereby threaten non-target species. Finally, while maintaining that spraying can devastate non-target organisms such as butterflies and aquatic life, many groups claim that mosquito control efforts have little or no impact on mosquito populations."

What do the people who face this disaster think about DDT?
Here is the heart breaking reality!

Mr President, DDT will end malaria

DEAR Mr President, in recent days the business community has written to you and even taken out newspaper ads opposing your carefully considered decision to fight malaria using indoor residual spraying with DDT. We are deeply concerned that this could undo years of hard work, undermine new USAID policies and programs, and result in needless deaths.

Killing Malarial Mosquitos Now!

by Paul Driessen
Not long ago, most Americans thought malaria had disappeared from Planet Earth. Few remembered that it had killed thousands every year in the United States, into the 1940s – or that it was once prevalent in New Jersey, Ohio, California and the South, as well as in Europe and even Siberia. All but a handful knew this preventable disease was killing an African child every 30 seconds – a million every year. Almost none realized malaria was still a global problem largely because of strident environmentalist opposition to insecticides and DDT to control mosquitoes that spread the disease.

DDT - Scientist who warned against DDT ban dies

By Steven Milloy
Millions in the third world die from malaria every year in large part because of a virtual ban on the controversial insecticide DDT; the removal of the unwarranted stigma from DDT and the saving of many future lives is now nearer at hand than it has been in the last 30 years thanks to the efforts of Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, who passed away on July 19 at the age of 85.

Though Dr. Edwards is best known to the general public as the author of the now-classic 1961 book "A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park," his work as an entomologist and professor at San Jose State University may prove to be his most important legacy.

Dr. Edwards led the opposition to environmental extremist efforts to ban DDT in the wake of Rachel Carson's infamous 1962 book "Silent Spring." The testimony of Dr. Edwards and others during Environmental Protection Agency hearings in 1971 on whether to ban the insecticide led to an EPA administrative law judge ruling that, "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man. The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.

Sick and Deadly Disease Control Programs
By Paul Driessen

Too many of them perpetuate disease and cost lives. If an accident kills wildlife or people, punishment is meted out and restitution made. A host of regulators, lawyers, judges, activists, journalists, and politicians help bring the wrongdoers to justice.

But when it comes to policies and programs that sicken and kill millions of parents and children a year, these ethics cops and eco warriors are not just silent. They refuse to hold government agencies and activist groups to the same honesty and accountability standards they apply to for-profit companies. They even oppose programs that would reduce disease and save lives.

More than two billion people worldwide are at risk of getting malaria, and 350-500 million contract it every year, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease kills up to a million African children annually, making it the continent's greatest executioner of children under age five.In Uganda alone, a nation of 30 million people, 60 million cases of malaria caused 110,000 deaths in 2005. In its Apac District, a person is likely to be bitten 1,560 times a year by mosquitoes infected with malaria parasites. The disease also perpetuates poverty (sick people can't work) and increases deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

US Scientist Says Banning DDT Unwise

A US scientist last week warned that malaria rates are rising in developing countries that have eliminated the use of DDT. Many developing countries have been pressured to cease using the pesticide because of environmental concerns.  Tropical disease expert Donald Roberts is also part of the Save Children from Malaria Campaign, which promotes use of DDT to control malaria in developing countries. He said the chemical can be used safely if sprayed in small amounts inside homes to repel mosquitoes which carry the disease.

DDT : Myths And Realities

Zelder received a Ph.D degree from University of Strassburg for the synthesis of DDT, Muller was awarded the 1948 Nobel prize for discovering its insecticidal properties. Dr. Kenneth Mellanby, former Director, Monks Wood Experimental Station, UK, in his lecture during golden jubilee year of DDT discovery celebration concluded; “There is one major use for which, there is at present, no alternative chemical for killing adult mosquitoes placing a residual deposit of DDT on the inside walls of house. This causes minimum or no environmental contamination with the maximum effect on the mosquito population. I hope that this use will be continued and extended.”

This next article is a must read article

The Rise, Fall, Rise, and Imminent Fall of DDT
by Roger Bate

DDT is probably the single most valuable chemical ever synthesized to prevent disease. It has been used continually in public health programs over the past sixty years and has saved millions from diseases like malaria, typhus, and yellow fever. Despite a public backlash in the 1960s, mainstream scientific and public health communities continue to recognize its utility and safety. DDT's delisting for various uses in the United States in 1972 was a political, not a scientific, judgment. After decades of extensive study and use, DDT has not been proven to be harmful to humans. But by 1997, its future looked bleak. Environmentalists were pushing for it to be banned worldwide, and its most articulate champion, the South African Department of Health, stopped using it. Surprisingly, DDT recovered its reputation, and in 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) championed it again. But celebrations have been short-lived. The momentum to increase DDT use has stalled for lack of increased political and financial support.

The Lies of Rachel Carson
by Dr. J. Gordon Edwards

A well-known entomologist documents some of the misstatements in Carson’s Silent Spring, the 1962 book that poisoned public opinion against DDT and other pesticides.

In 1962, when Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring, I was delighted. I belonged to several environmental-type organizations, had no feelings of respect for industry or big business, had one of my own books published by the Sierra Club, and I had written articles for The Indiana Waltonian, Audubon Magazine, and other environmental magazines….I eagerly read the condensed version of Silent Spring in the New Yorker magazine and bought a copy of the book as soon as I could find it in the stores. As I read the first several chapters I noticed many statements that I realized were false; however, one can overlook such things when they are produced by one’s cohorts, and I did just that.

As I neared the middle of the book, the feeling grew in my mind that Rachel Carson was really playing loose with the facts and was also deliberately wording many sentences in such a way as to make them imply certain things without actually saying them. She was carefully omitting everything that failed to support her thesis that pesticides were bad, that industry was bad, and that any scientists who did not support her views were bad. I then took notice of her bibliography and realized that it was filled with references from very unscientific sources. Also, each reference was cited separately each time it appeared in the book, thus producing an impressive array of “references” even though not many different sources were actually cited. I began to lose confidence in Rachel Carson, even though I thought that as an environmentalist I really should continue to support her.

An Invaluable Insecticide
By Roger Bate

DDT has come under fire from large corporations and environmentalists. But it is saving lives in Southern Africa. Uganda’s High Court recently ordered the health ministry to stop spraying the insecticide DDT in the northern part of the country. Until there is a final ruling on a lawsuit brought by nine companies (including those supplying British American Tobacco), no life-saving DDT can be sprayed. The companies allege that their exports of organic produce, including tobacco, might be harmed if they became contaminated with traces of DDT. Given that more than 300 Ugandan children die each day from malaria, delaying the indoor spraying of DDT will surely cost lives.

In part, the Court’s decision reflects environmentalist hostility to DDT, which has made many African officials unduly skittish about using the chemical. European governments have issued mixed messages, privately advising against DDT use and publicly saying they will boycott produce imports if traces of the chemical are too high. Only those governments and companies courageous and rich enough to ignore Western environmental pressure—notably those of Southern Africa—are using significant and useful amounts of DDT.

The Killer Elite
By Paul Driessen
Anti-pesticide activists perpetuate diseases that kill millions
Summary: Malaria is a disease that kills three times more African children than AIDS. Hundreds of millions are infected and up to two million die annually. But as the body count continues to mount, environmental activists and international aid agencies continue a deadly campaign against DDT.

Bring Back DDT, and Science With It
by Marjorie Mazel Hecht

The 1972 U.S. ban on DDT is responsible for a genocide 10 times larger than that for which we sent Nazis to the gallows at Nuremberg. It is also responsible for a menticide which has already condemned one entire generation to a dark age of anti-science ignorance, and is now infecting a new one.

Sixty million people have died needlessly of malaria, since the imposition of the 1972 ban on DDT, and hundreds of millions more have suffered from this debilitating disease. The majority of those affected are children. Of the 300 to 500 million new cases of malaria each year, 200 to 300 million are children, and malaria now kills one child every 30 seconds. Ninety percent of the reported cases of malaria are in Africa, and 40 percent of the world’s population, inhabitants of tropical countries, are threatened by the increasing incidence of malaria.

Malaria atonement and forgiveness
By Paul Driessen

Anti-DDT, anti-energy groups have much to atone for. During the Days of Repentance, Jews ponder their sins of the past year. Today, Yom Kippur, is their final opportunity to make amends and alter the judgment that God will enter in his books, as the sun sets. This Day of Atonement, however, can assure forgiveness only for sins between people and God. To atone for sins against other persons, we must first seek reconciliation with those we have wronged, demonstrate repentance, and right the wrongs or make restitution.

In this politicized age, many people have their own lists of folks who "ought to be seeking forgiveness." I'm on several – including Greenpeace's roster of "climate criminals.

DDT: Behind the Scare Stories
By Michael R. Fox Ph.D.

On Aug. 21, 2007, in the Hawaii Reporter, a Mr. Todd Shelly took issue -- When Ideology Trumps Science: Michael R. Fox Takes on DDT and Birds with earlier materials I’d written about DDT and related subjects. Curiously and inappropriately, he applies his personal template of politics to his versions of me and the issues of DDT.

It is a simplistic template that requires the belief that Democrats are good; Republicans are bad, end of story. His template failed him immediately since in the case of DDT, one of the major players supporting the DDT ban was William D. Ruckelshaus, the first Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a liberal Republican. He also was appointed by President Nixon. Scientific fraud is not limited to the political left, although Ruckelshaus was a member of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and showed great deference to them......

By Paul Driessen Sunday, October 5, 2008
Not long ago, most Americans thought malaria had disappeared from Planet Earth. Few remembered that it had killed thousands every year in the United States, into the 1940s – or that it was once prevalent in New Jersey, Ohio, California and the South, as well as in Europe and even Siberia.

All but a handful knew this preventable disease was killing an African child every 30 seconds – a million every year. Almost none realized malaria was still a global problem largely because of strident environmentalist opposition to insecticides and DDT to control mosquitoes that spread the disease.

While billions were being spent on cancer and HIV/AIDS, the 2003 US Agency for International Development budget for fighting malaria was $30 million – and almost 90% of it was being spent in the Washington, DC area, on contractors, conferences, educational materials and “capacity building.”

Monday, December 29, 2008 - By Harry Katz 3/1/1998

A lie becomes the truth if it is repeated often enough. This has happened, I believe, with the boomer generation that grew up weaned on the Myth Conception that DDT is carcinogenic. According to Carrol Weil, past president of the Toxicology Society, there have never been any valid scientific tests that prove DDT can cause cancer in test animals or in humans.

Numerous tests were made on animals, mostly mice that were bred to be supersensitive to chemical stress. The mice were given massive doses of DDT long periods of time. Tumors did develop, but they did not metastasize into cancer cells. Many of the mice that were not fed DDT also developed tumors.

This didn’t matter to the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA regulations consider a benign tumor to be a cancer that justifies cancellation of registration. It should be noted that according to EPA regulations, a single positive test by one researcher takes precedence over the negative test results of 100 researchers.

LOW VS. GROSS DOSE. One of the Myth Conceptions that plagues the mindset of the general public, as well as various regulatory communities, is that a low dose of a toxicant is just as bad as a gross dose that can cause a tumor. If this were true, according to Dr. Bruce Ames from the University of California-Berkeley, we should not eat carrots, celery, parsley, mushrooms, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, orange and grapefruit juices, pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, raspberry and pineapple. All these foods contain natural toxicants that cause cancer in rats or mice when they are tested at the same gross levels that are used to test pesticides. Ames further claims that the natural level of toxicants in these foods is far higher than the trace residues on treated foods…..

For more links to articles dealing with all the issues surrounding the ban on DDT, please go to the Ohio Pest Management Association’s web site page, Insight on the Issues, or Steve Milloy’s Debunk-O-Saurus DDT page


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