Plenty of bugs in EPA priorities

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As the bed bug epidemic continues to spread through New York City and elsewhere, the EPA is now planning to commence research aimed at developing pesticide alternatives, especially genetic-based solutions, rather than allow DDT to be used. PBS NewsHour reported Monday that chemically-based anti-bed bug methods, particularly DDT, are “noxious but effective” and highlight the growing resistance of bed-bugs to more commonly employed pesticides.

“DDT is not noxious. DDT is one of the most well-studied chemicals, and there’s very clear evidence that it poses no health risk to humans. The reason we can’t use DDT to eradicate bed bugs is based upon the long-debunked fear generated by Rachel Carson,” says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “This baseless fear of pesticides is also the prime cause of the spread of West Nile virus around the country, an epidemic which could have been prevented in 1999 had the city been able to use sufficient amounts of pesticides without the interference of ‘environmental groups.’”

ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom, however, predicts this fear will disappear quickly once the Upper West Side gets infested. “The dilettante environmentalists will be climbing all over each other at Home Depot to get to the most toxic pesticides available,” he quips. “It will make the Rodney King riots look like tea time at Buckingham Palace.”