Last Friday, my son’s ninth grade class was required to read a four page excerpt from “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson, a far leftwing environmentalist whack-o. This totally fictional book was one of the main reasons DDT was banned - - - and hundreds of millions of people around the world have died of malaria, typhus and several other diseases. I helped my son write a factual report about DDT and how the ban came about; if your child encounters the same propaganda in school as mine did, please feel free to use the report below in any way you like to clarify matters.
DDT: This compound was originally made in 1873 by an Austrian student, but did not receive much attention until it was developed in 1939 to protect U.S. soldiers from typhus and malaria during World War II. In 1948, Paul Hermann Müller received the Nobel Laureate in Medicine for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods, including plague carrying fleas. The bug-killer is also highly effective in killing mosquitoes and is largely responsible for wiping out malaria in the United States, Canada and Northern Europe.
In the fourteenth century, the Bubonic Plague, carried by fleas, killed one fourth of the people living in Europe and two thirds of the people in Great Brittan. Before DDT and the discovery that it was carried by mosquitoes, yellow fever killed millions and more than one hundred epidemics of typhus, a lethal fever spread by lice, have ravaged Europe and Asia with death rates as high as 70%! However, the biggest killer of all was malaria.
On July 2, 2001, Malcolm Gladwell wrote in the New Yorker: It is hard to overestimate the impact that DDT's early success had on the world of public health. In the nineteen-forties, there was still malaria in the American South. There was malaria throughout Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. In India alone, malaria killed eight hundred thousand people a year; now, —none there die of the disease.
Silent Spring: In 1962 environmentalist and extremist Rachel Carson published her book, “Silent Spring.” Even she claimed the book as fiction and stated that nothing in it really happened, but she was very much against all pesticides, DDT in particular, and structured her book to alarm the public falsely.
There was an article published in: 21st Century Science & Technology Magazine in 1992 titled: “The Lies of Rachel Carson” by Dr. J. Gordon Edwards — “A well-known entomologist documents some of the misstatements in Carson’s Silent Spring, the 1962 book that poisoned public opinion against DDT and other pesticides.” The author, Dr. Edwards, points out many ways in which Carson deliberately tries to deceive readers; here are some of his examples and comments:
As I neared the middle of the book, the feeling grew in my mind that Rachel Carson was really playing loose with the facts and was also deliberately wording many sentences in such a way as to make them imply certain things without actually saying them. She was carefully omitting everything that failed to support her thesis that pesticides were bad, that industry was bad, and that any scientists who did not support her views were bad.
Dedication: A Lie! In the front of the book, Carson dedicates Silent Spring as follows: “To Albert Schweitzer who said ‘Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the Earth.’”
This appears to indicate that the great man opposed the use of insecticides. However, in his autobiography Schweitzer writes on page 262: “How much labor and waste of time these wicked insects do cause us ... but a ray of hope, in the use of DDT, is now held out to us.” Upon reading his book, it is clear that Schweitzer was worried about nuclear warfare, —not about the hazards from DDT!
The implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse affects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result. The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1965 that “in a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million [human] deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.” The World Health Organization stated that DDT had “killed more insects and saved more people than any other substance.” A leading British scientist pointed out that “If the pressure groups had succeeded, if there had been a world ban on DDT, then Rachel Carson and Silent Spring would now be killing more people in a single year than Hitler killed in his whole holocaust.”
Extensive hearings on DDT before an EPA administrative law judge occurred during 1971-1972. The EPA hearing examiner, Judge Edmund Sweeney, concluded that "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man... DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man... The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."
Overruling the EPA hearing examiner, EPA administrator Ruckelshaus, a member of the Audubon Society, banned DDT in 1972. Ruckelshaus never attended a single hour of the seven months of EPA hearings on DDT. Ruckelshaus' aides reported he did not even read the transcript of the EPA hearings on DDT.
After reversing the EPA hearing examiner's decision, Ruckelshaus refused to release materials upon which his ban was based. Ruckelshaus rebuffed USDA efforts to obtain those materials through the Freedom of Information Act, claiming that they were just "internal memos." Scientists were therefore prevented from refuting the false allegations in the Ruckelshaus' "Opinion and Order on DDT." (Note: Ruckelshaus is a Registered Republican who endorsed Obama for the presidency.)
In 2002, The American Council on Science and Health announced that between three-hundred and five-hundred million people suffer from malaria each year, 90% are in Africa and it is the leading cause of death of African children.
In 2006, the World Health Organization reversed years of policy and backed the use of DDT to control malaria outbreaks.
Orlando, Florida Helped Save Countless U.S. Soldiers: In 1942, the J.R. Geigy company of Switzerland sent a hundred kilograms of DDT, the miracle powder, to its New York office. The package lay around, undisturbed, until a chemist, Victor Froelicher, happened to translate the extraordinary claims for DDT into English, and then passed on a sample to the Department of Agriculture, which then passed it on to its entomology research station, in Orlando, Florida. The Orlando laboratory had been charged by the Army to develop new pesticides, because the military, by this point in the war, was desperate for a better way to protect its troops against insect-borne disease. Typhus, —the lethal fever spread by lice had killed millions of people during and after the First World War and was still in the war zones. Worse, in almost every theatre of operations, malaria-carrying mosquitoes were causing illness. As Robert Rice said in this magazine almost fifty years ago, the First Marine Division had to be pulled from combat in 1942 and sent to Melbourne to recuperate because, out of seventeen thousand men, ten thousand were incapacitated with malarial headaches, fevers, and chills. Malaria hit 85% of the men holding onto Bataan. In fact, at any one time in the early stages of the war, according to General Douglas MacArthur, 2/3 of his troops in the South Pacific were sick with malaria. Thousands of candidate insecticides were tested at Orlando, and DDT was by far the best.
Liberty and Tyranny by Mark R. Levin,