The Right Coast

April 10, 2004
By Mike Rappaport

The refusal of the US to fund DDT in developing nations is truly one of the worst things that the US does. DDT is the most effective means of addressing malaria, which "kills two million people a year, mainly children under 5 and 90 percent of them in Africa." Think about it. It is as if the US had a cheap cure for AIDs, but refused to use it because of relatively minor environmental concerns. While this has been known for years, the New York Times magazine has the story.

Here is an excerpt:
    But more important to DDT's demise has been pressure from the international malaria establishment. Sometimes it is direct. Mexico gave up DDT, for example, because the North American Free Trade Agreement obligated it to. Donald Roberts, who was working in Belize in the early 1990's, said that Usaid told the country to stop using DDT or it would lose foreign assistance. (Belize did, and malaria rates soared.)
It is ironic that antiglobalists, who believe that the US harms the Third World, probably support the US's failure to fund DDT, even though it is one of the clearest ways that the US harms developing nations.