Advancing a Free Society

DDT can stymie malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Haiti

Friday, April 30, 2010

This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Miami Herald.

In The Population Bomb, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich disparaged DDT for being too effective at reducing death rates and thereby contributing to ``overpopulation.'' Ecologist Garrett Hardin condemned spraying pesticides in the Third World because ``every life saved this year in a poor country diminishes the quality of life for subsequent generations.'' Malaria was nature's way of limiting population growth, and anything that prevented the disease interfered with nature's plan.

Poor tropical countries like Haiti where malaria is endemic desperately need cheap, effective control of mosquitoes. Instead of continuing the politically correct stigmatization of DDT, United Nations agencies and NGOs such as the Red Cross should be rushing supplies of it to Haiti.