[back] Polio and DDT

U.N. Pushing DDT on Africa


Published 2006-09-18 16:18 (KST)   

2006 OhmyNews

Dr. Arata Kochi was the head of the World Health Organization to eradicate tuberculosis. It has been widely reported that his erratic behavior and domineering influence caused many problems in the organization before he was forced out.

Some people say that because while he was there the number of TB cases fell is evidence that he did a good job. However, the decrease may be more attributable to the increased effectiveness of new drugs, the improved distribution network, and education. The increased involvement of those most at risk, improved infrastructure, and the general rise in lifestyle also contributed to the drop in TB cases. Moreover, as the organization Kochi led broke up, correct statistics were no longer kept.

In a controversial move, Kochi has reappeared as head of the malaria project that is being sponsored by the World Health Organization. In this position, he is forcefully advocating the increased use of DDT in third world countries to kill mosquitoes. Even though other pesticides would be more appropriate to control the mosquito populations, Kochi is determined to use DDT.

DDT is a very dangerous chemical. It kills all insects and impacts the entire food chain. Fish, birds and animals lose a major part of their diet. People that need game to live will starve. It causes cancer in humans. It causes mothers to have premature births and to spontaneously abort babies. It causes babies to be born with horrible birth defects. It is know as a mutagen. The word mutagen means "monster-maker."

DDT is manufactured in India and China, and although it is not used in the United States it can be and is manufactured there for sale elsewhere. It is cheap to make and is a very profitable product.

India, China, and the United States are in favor of Kochi's idea regarding DDT. They support the World Health Organization in forcing the idea on poor nations to use DDT.

Malaria kills a great many people each year. A common number given is that 800,000 African children die from it each year. Kochi has been quoted as saying that he does not want to fail. It seems he is willing to spray a chemical that kills insects, birds, animals, and humans in order to fulfill his goal.

Many nations that are suffering from this scourge are also at war. They are using guns and ammunition that has been manufactured in China, the United States, Russia, and Europe. These wars are being fought over natural resources. The reason there is fighting over the natural resources is because China, the United States, Russia, and Europe are paying a lot of money to take the natural resources.

It has become impossible to hide the misery that these wars and this exploitation has caused. There is a general hysteria to do something about it. Stopping the sale of weapons from so-called rich nations to poor nations would alleviate much of the suffering. Paying honest prices for the natural resources that are being taken -- like oil from Nigeria, gold from the Congo and other items, including fish and agricultural products -- would also alleviate much of the suffering. The local governments could then do more to ensure that the people are living in safe and clean environments.

Spraying DDT may bring short-term relief, but as was discovered in the United States and Italy, it will bring long-term misery. The mosquitoes also will become resistant to the chemical, as they have already done in many locations.

The mosquitoes that DDT is most effective against on an ongoing basis are not the ones that carry malaria. DDT is no longer used in Sri Lanka because the mosquitoes and other insects there have already mutated into forms that it will not effect. But DDT still harms humans in Sri Lanka along with animals that live there, both domestic and wild.

The United States has recently taken a stand against the United Nations and up to now has apparently resisted the activities of the World Health Organization. Now a man is in place who looks like he could destroy the reputation of the World Health Organization completely and possibly pollute large swaths of the earth.

The World Health Organization is giving unfair advantage to chemical companies that manufacture DDT and the DDT impregnated netting. China and the United States stand to profit from this irresponsible behavior. The short-term economic gain provided by spraying for DDT will cause a massive number of birth defects. It is possible to eradicate mosquitoes using other chemicals.