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[afro-nets] AFM's response to the Berkeley study on DDT (4)

AFM's response to the Berkeley study on DDT (4)

Dear Colleagues

I think we should try to be as accurate as possible ... the DDT debate is full 
of almost correct information, and inaccuracies do not serve anyone well.

The AFM essay really did not respond to a Berkeley study on DDT, but responded 
to a newspaper article in the LA Times about the Berkeley study and other media 
stories picking up on the LA Times story, including the BBC. I have spoken to 
one of the researchers earlier this week, and he certainly did not characterize 
their conclusions as an endorsement of the "no DDT for anything" agenda, and he 
told me that the lead researcher had actually gone out of her way to explain 
that the findings did not automatically lead to the idea that DDT should not be 
used in circumstances where it could do good and not be otherwise seriously 
detrimental to the environment.

Marla Cone who wrote the LA Times article is an advocate for the environmental 
agenda ... which is OK, but her journalism belongs in the opinion pages and not 
in the news area of the paper. (I think I have the name correct)

The experience in South Africa using interior residual spraying and DDT since 
2000 is well worth reflecting on ... in the area in the year 2000, some 40,000 
malaria cases ... a year later just over 20,000 ... again a year later around 
2,000 and it is keeping on going down. This is pretty impressive. Meanwhile 
almost everywhere else in Africa malaria is on the increase in spite WHO's Roll 
Back Malaria initiative which appears to have consumed money, but not delivered 
any tangible results.

The issue of resistance is important ... but again broad generalizations are 
not very helpful. The practices of 50 years ago and not being recommended as 
the best practice for today ... but the use of DDT in conjunction with other 
insecticides is a good starting point and with responsible use the problem of 
resistance can be managed. Perhaps a more critical resistance is the resistance 
to anti-malaria drugs for human consumption which are creating resistance in 
large part because the re-infection is never ending and use of drugs is not 
just once in a while but almost for ever.

With regards

Peter Burgess
Transparency and Accountability Network
New York

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