Controversy on DDT ban fed by a new documentary
On September 17, a new documentary
3 Billion and Counting, directed, written and produced by D. Rutledge Taylor, MD, which explores the devastating death toll caused by malaria since the ban on DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), premieres in New York City.
The film's site explains, "the greatest ecological genocide in the known history of man is laid bare - the 1972 ban of an extraordinary life-protecting chemical DDT," and the subsequent rise of malaria-related deaths.
Elizabeth M. Whelan, ScD, MPH, the president of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) said "Dr. Taylor not only educates us, but he also sparks outrage about the unforeseen consequences of a scientifically ignorant chemical witchhunt, one that has caused untold human suffering and billions of deaths, primarily among children," according to a September 15 ACSH announcement.
In the making of the malaria project documentary "the EPA [US Environmental Protection Agency], Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, and Sierra [Club] refused interviews."
The film's Facebook page highlights things you should know about DDT, including:
- PCBs have the same gas chromatogram signature as DDT and that PCBs, not DDT, are very toxic.
- The Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Ruckelshaus convened a scientific panel, which held six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective and should not be banned.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists DDT as "possibly carcinogenic" - right up there with coffee and pickles.
- Experiments with mice fed DDT got 26% fewer cancers than control mice.
However health and environmental sites (HealthyChild.org's Chemical Encyclopedia, EPA, Enviroblog.org) explain spraying with DDT is not the path to preventing malaria-related deaths and more likely will cause "genetic resistance" to malaria, increased risk of breast cancer as it is a "probable carcinogen" and "highly toxic if absorbed through skin or swallowed."
3 Billion and Counting is airing in New York City at The Quad Cinema, September 17-23 and from the 24-30 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle's Sunset 5.
And, September 20-22, the world's leaders come together at the United Nation's headquarters in New York City for the Millennium Development Goals Summit to address global health targets where ten years of progress with malaria is a key concern. http://www.un-ngls.org/spip.php?page=amdg10&id_article=2233
For more about the film, go to: http://www.3billionandcounting.com/ and http://twitter.com/3billionand
EPA's DDT Regulatory History: http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/02.htm
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