Skip to main content

Millions Have Died Because of DDT Ban

by | Saturday, 1st May 2010
The Excellent Powder: DDT's Political And Scientific History is the title of a long awaited book by Dr. Donald Roberts, entomologist whose malaria research determined that the pesticide DDT works chiefly by repelling mosquitoes, which was launched at a Washington DC press conference on the 21st April.

Along side co-author Richard Tren, an economist from South Africa and chairman of Africa Fighting Malaria, Roberts stated that "millions have died" and "severe and greivous harm" because of the irrational attacks on DDT. He emphasised that anti-DDT groups have to be held accountable for the harm, that we have to recind the World Health Organisation resolution that stopped DDT use in 1997, and we have to remove authority over public health malaria decisions from organizations that prioritise "environmental" protection over protecting public health.

A reporter from 21st Century Science and Technology magazine asked Dr. Roberts to elaborate on why environmentalists campaigned against DDT. In reply, he stressed that the motivation was population control. "Studies were done that showed that where DDT was introduced for malaria control, the effects were dramatic as malaria death rates declined, and survival went up," he said. "There was great alarm that the malaria control programs using DDT were contributing far too much population growth, and that this was a bad thing."

Both Roberts and Tren railed against the usual scare stories about DDT: DDT did not wipe out robins, eagles, or peregrine falcons; it has never been shown to cause human harm; and it works even if mosquitoes are resistant to DDT. They stressed that enormous funding has gone into fighting DDT, but that there has been almost no funding for research to come up with new weapons to fight malaria.

The Excellent Powder is available at $25 from Africa Fighting Malaria. For more background on DDT, see

Help the UK Column by becoming a member: