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July 20, 2000


DDT: Three articles and an editorial in The Lancet


There are three articles and an editorial in the current issue of the
British medical journal, The Lancet that are essential reading for
members of this news group. The Lancet, Vol 356 Issue 9226)

One is on the human cost in death and illness from malaria from the
restrictions on the use of DDT and the even greater cost of a global
ban. One is on the toxicity (or lack of it) for DDT particularly in
relation to more toxic alternatives. One is on the problem of
finding effective protection against malaria (using Thailand as a
case). Toping them off is an editorial on the articles dealing with
the restrictions and attempted ban on DDT and the precautionary
principle and its potential harmful effects. Reference is made to
the GM food controversy which is important because those areas
(Africa in particular) which suffer most from the restrictions on DDT
are the ones that will suffer most form the opposition to GM foods.

The articles are essential since DDT is frequently used by the
anti-GM food people as an example of a technology that was seemingly
benign but had long-term devastating consequences. Quite the
opposite is the case, as DDT has saved more lives than any man-made
chemical and as the articles show, it is still the safest, cheapest,
least toxic way to save lives from the scourge of malaria. May I
also recommend my posted piece, DDT Saves Lives (click onto my home
page http://www.uh.edu/~trdegreg), an expanded and updated version of
which will appear in a forthcoming book of mine along with an
expanded and updated posted piece (IEA webpage, link to it from mine)
on GM foods. I also have on my webpage a link to article of mine,
'Let Us Spray' that was posted on DRKoop and ACSH webpages, which
deals with another important article on DDT and Africa in the BMJ
(British Medical Journal).

Check these out for the next time someone wants to use DDT as an
argument against GM foods.

The Lancet website (http://www.thelancet.com/) : Controlling malaria
with drugs and insecticide
This week's Contents at a glance URL is: http://www.thelancet.com/glance

Journal: The Lancet Volume : 356 Issue : 9226 Date : 22-Jul-2000

Visit the journal at http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/jnlnr/09900
pp 265
Editorial: Caution required with the precautionary principle
The Lancet

pp 267
Commentary: How toxic is DDT?
A G Smith

pp 297
Article: Effects of artesunate-mefloquine combination on incidence of
Plasmodium falciparum malaria and mefloquine resistance in western
Thailand: a prospective study
F Nosten, M van Vugt, R Price, et al

pp 330
Viewpoint: Viewpoint: DDT house spraying and re-emerging malaria
D R Roberts, S Manguin, J Mouchet

Tom DeGregori

Thomas R. DeGregori, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5882
Ph. 001 - 1 - 713 743-3838
Fax 001 - 1 - 713 743-3798
Email trdegreg@uh.edu
Web homepage http://www.uh.edu/~trdegreg