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DDT ban disheartening

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It is disheartening. We are at war with terrorists and environmentalists. But little is said about the latter.

"The Seeds of Malaria" by Ben Harder, Science News 160, Pages 296-298, Nov. 10, opens with this statement: "The statistics are grim. The parasites that cause malaria infect 300 to 500 million people annually. As many as 3 million of these will die of the disease this year, making it humanity's deadliest infection."

Even more disheartening is the fact that the solution to the problem was not mentioned. Oh, there was a plea for someone to make a vaccine to be used throughout the tropics where malaria is rampant. But no mention was made of DDT. Omitted also is the fact that most of the deaths are children — one death every 12 seconds.

The National Academy of Sciences estimated that DDT saved 500 million lives from malaria until its use was banned. Even though a Nobel Prize was awarded for its development — probably the greatest single medical accomplishment in human history — its use was banned.

Even though modern data shows that the mosquitoes that spread malaria are not significantly resistant to DDT, which retains its ability to eradicate malaria in any geographical area in which it is used, the EPA banned is use and persuaded most of the world to do likewise.

Why is it not used? Environmentalist persuasion.

If the terrorist killed that many people, the world would be in a real rage, but no one mentions the environmentalists' ban on DDT and the slaughter that continues.

It is disheartening.

Robert W. English

Salt Lake City