World Health Organization Backs Expanded Use of Media-Overlooked DDT

     A million or more people die each year from malaria, which can be best fought with the pesticide DDT. But DDT was banned 30 years ago and the mainstream U.S. media have ignored it, preferring to focus on left-wing philanthropists and their expensive plans to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

     Now the media can’t ignore it any longer. On September 15, the U.N.’s World Health Organization endorsed the cheaper, more effective approach when it green-lighted indoor use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control in poor nations. 

     The September 13 “ABC World News” fit the old template. It featured gifts from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and billionaire George Soros to the Millennium Village project. Headed by economist Jeffrey Sachs, the project uses bed nets in an attempt to ward off mosquitoes. The Business & Media Institute has previously covered Sachs and his economic analysis, which includes blaming world poverty on the United States and campaigning for more taxpayer-funded foreign aid.

     ABC’s Martin Seemungal said in the first Millennium Village in Kenya, “malaria has dropped 60 percent in 18 months simply because families now have $7 mosquito nets.” The September 13 New York Times also highlighted George Soros’ contribution of $50 million to Sachs’ efforts, noting the emphasis on bed nets.

     But the pesticide DDT, banned in the 1970s after environmentalist protests, has almost eradicated malaria from several countries that used it, including the United States and Singapore.

     There are others besides the big-name left-wing donors out there with money and ideas, and The Wall Street Journal has been covering them. For example, hedge fund manager Lance Laifer is helping to fund anti-malaria initiatives in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya and has plans to expand. Jason Riley of the Journal’s editorial board wrote about Laifer’s efforts on August 21.

     “It’s the best thing in our arsenal,” Laifer was quoted saying. “We have a prodigious supply, it’s cheap and we know it works. Our world leaders need to legalize DDT, and people in America need to get mad about this.”     

     Richard Tren and Roger Bate, both of whom work for the non-profit Africa Fighting Malaria, wrote in 2004 that “when countries bow to international pressure and stop using DDT, the effects can be disastrous.”

     “If this trend continues, many efforts to roll back malaria will be fruitless,” they added in “South Africa’s War against Malaria: Lessons for the Developing World.”

For more information:

World Health Organization: DDT Given Green Light for Indoor Use to Fight Malaria

Africa Fighting Malaria

BMI: Media Add to Celebrity Push for U.N. Aid Mandate

BMI: TIME Embraces Bad Economics that Blame America for World Poverty

South Africa’s War against Malaria: Lessons for the Developing World