Belated, But Welcome, DDT Support

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This letter appeared in the Washington Times.

With regard to "U.S. takes new view on DDT in Africa" (Page 1, May 3): We Americans are fortunate, having eradicated malaria 50 years ago, thanks in large part to the insecticide DDT. Yet we continue to hear smug "environmentalists" continue to advocate for restrictions on the use of DDT to combat malaria in Africa, where millions die each year from this largely preventable scourge. When Kristin Schafer of the Pesticide Action Network calls for "healthy, safe alternatives for malaria control" I ask, "healthy for whom, exactly?"

Certainly not for the hundreds of millions who contract malaria and those who succumb to it. The article states, "Environmentalists liked things as they were previously" -- as it was when even more died, needlessly, because of unscientific fears of this lifesaving chemical? Let us applaud the U.S. Agency for International Development for its belated but welcome turnaround to support increased use of cheap and effective DDT to save African lives.

Medical Director
American Council on Science and Health
New York