Paul Offit slips on a pesticide peel - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 89 Old 02-11-2017, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Paul Offit slips on a pesticide peel

Another one of those bits that reinforce the lack of scientific care among certain vaccine pushers.

http://endocriminal.blogspot.co.uk/2...ews-about.html

Paul Offit attacked Rachel Carson. Got his facts wrong. Some skeptics (not everyone, Gorski didn't go for it) retweeted it as though it were correct.

Let us always remember that PO was very wrong about the need for aluminum during pregnancy.

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Imagine my surprise to see that it was from the well known champion of public health, Paul A. Offit. Paul is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania according to his bio. This is a man who is promoted frequently in the media as an expert, and he's a huge fan favorite of the Skeptic crowd as well. I've personally read his book Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases about Maurice Hilleman, and taken his vaccine course online so he is someone I am familiar with. I expect a lot of things from Paul, but this piece in the Daily Beast was not among them.

The opinion piece contained zero citations, and even a simple Google search can show you how many of the claims made are flat out false. Like, in regards to India, Sri Lanka and South Africa for example.
Very sad. I don't think very well of PO, but this is really dumb on his part. Ouch!
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#2 of 89 Old 02-11-2017, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Another one of those bits that reinforce the lack of scientific care among certain vaccine pushers.

http://endocriminal.blogspot.co.uk/2...ews-about.html
This is a fun blog and well worth a look-around (particularly for the vaccine critical).
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#3 of 89 Old 02-11-2017, 04:43 PM
 
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@Deborah , that blog is not at all clear. Why don't you tell us what exactly Offit said that is so allegedly embarrassingly wrong with the actual quote from his article of him saying it?

For example, just looking at the first two they try and claim Offit was wrong about are not even things he said:

Quote:
a) Carson did not call for the complete ban of DDT when it could save people’s lives,
b) The U.S. ban on DDT in 1972 did not include other nations, where malaria was actually killing people, many of which never did ban DDT
A) Offit did not say she called for a complete ban. He said she called for regulations and that the EPA called for the ban 10 years later "In May 1963, Rachel Carson appeared before the Department of Commerce and asked for a “Pesticide Commission” to regulate the untethered use of DDT. Ten years later, Carson’s “Pesticide Commission” became the Environmental Protection Agency, which immediately banned DDT. "

B) "The U.S. ban on DDT in 1972 did not include other nations..."

He never said the US banned it in other countries. He said that many countries followed suit after we did so.

"Following America’s lead, support for international use of DDT quickly dried up."

So far... not impressed with this so-called debunking of Offit's piece.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...eir-lives.html

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Paul Offit slips on a pesticide peel

I don't have anything profound to say. I just love the title of this topic.
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#5 of 89 Old 02-12-2017, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
@Deborah , that blog is not at all clear. Why don't you tell us what exactly Offit said that is so allegedly embarrassingly wrong with the actual quote from his article of him saying it?

For example, just looking at the first two they try and claim Offit was wrong about are not even things he said:

A) Offit did not say she called for a complete ban. He said she called for regulations and that the EPA called for the ban 10 years later "In May 1963, Rachel Carson appeared before the Department of Commerce and asked for a “Pesticide Commission” to regulate the untethered use of DDT. Ten years later, Carson’s “Pesticide Commission” became the Environmental Protection Agency, which immediately banned DDT. "

B) "The U.S. ban on DDT in 1972 did not include other nations..."

He never said the US banned it in other countries. He said that many countries followed suit after we did so.

"Following America’s lead, support for international use of DDT quickly dried up."

So far... not impressed with this so-called debunking of Offit's piece.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...eir-lives.html
The title does it for me. Rachel Carson did not cost millions of people their lives.
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#6 of 89 Old 02-12-2017, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
This is a fun blog and well worth a look-around (particularly for the vaccine critical).
You've got that right!

I looked at the two blog articles published in January. One is on the role of "useful idiots" in defending stuff like GMOs, and other industries. The other analyzes a meme (quite similar in tone to some of the pro-vaccine memes we used to see in this forum) which claims that organic farming uses some really dangerous stuff which hasn't been properly tested, unlike pesticides...turns out the meme is full of distortions and misinformation.

Who cranks that sort of stuff out? Useful idiots or paid misinformation troops?
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#7 of 89 Old 02-12-2017, 08:22 PM
 
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The title does it for me. Rachel Carson did not cost millions of people their lives.
I disagree. I do not think it is a radical opinion at all to conclude that an extremely well known, well liked, influential and respected author who had several books listed as national best sellers who wrote that DDT caused (then) virtually 100% fatal cancers and whose appearance before the Department of Commerce created the EPA which banned DDT was very influential in the drop of use of the pesticide.

It does not look like whoever wrote that rambling blog post you linked even bothered reading Offit's piece.

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@Deborah I read The Silent Spring in college and appreciate the reminder to pick it up again. I overall love that blog that you linked but think there are better take-downs of Carson's critics. It's pretty ironic, for example, to see a scientism-loving guy like Offit get lumped in with other science deniers.

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#9 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
@Deborah I read The Silent Spring in college and appreciate the reminder to pick it up again. I overall love that blog that you linked but think there are better take-downs of Carson's critics. It's pretty ironic, for example, to see a scientism-loving guy like Offit get lumped in with other science deniers.
Yes, that is a much better analysis. Here is a quote from your link.
Quote:
So, as with the global warming debate today, politics trumps science. In the byzantine mindset of right-wing think tanks, concerns about environmental health reflect a godless, anti-business, anti-American mind-set. These critics never mention the fact that DDT was banned in the U. S. and some other countries, but globally is still available; nor that, even when Silent Spring first appeared, DDT’s importance against malaria had been greatly diminished because mosquitoes were evolving resistance to the chemical; nor that alternative pesticides, as well as drugs that attack the malaria parasite and bug nets, are more feasible than using DDT. Ironically, many of Carson’s bitterest critics are creationists, who deny the existence of the same evolution that shapes those insects and makes them pesticide resistant.
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#10 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
I disagree. I do not think it is a radical opinion at all to conclude that an extremely well known, well liked, influential and respected author who had several books listed as national best sellers who wrote that DDT caused (then) virtually 100% fatal cancers and whose appearance before the Department of Commerce created the EPA which banned DDT was very influential in the drop of use of the pesticide.

It does not look like whoever wrote that rambling blog post you linked even bothered reading Offit's piece.
Teacozy, I'm delighted to see you taking this position. Hang in there!
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#11 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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So here we have Paul moving into the area of pesticides.

Next time people go on about RK jr or someone else not having the expertise to talk about vaccines ...
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Yes, that is a much better analysis. Here is a quote from your link.
Quote:
Ironically, many of Carson’s bitterest critics are creationists, who deny the existence of the same evolution that shapes those insects and makes them pesticide resistant.
Actually, we believe that Almighty God shaped the insects, including mosquitoes, but no amount of resistance to any pesticide turns a mosquito into a flying squirrel.
There is only variation within a kind - no upward changes into any other creature.
Actually, the word creature means a created being.
Mosquitoes will always be mosquitoes; squirrels will always be squirrels etc.
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http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/02/17/ddt3/

This article gives a more detailed analysis of the situation in Sri Lanka

Quote:
The anti-environmentalist version of what happened is a hoax. That doesn’t mean that all the writers above were being deliberately misleading: they might be just repeating what another anti-environmentalist wrote and be unaware of the true story. AEI scholar Roger Bate, however, coauthored an entire book on DDT and Malaria which relies very heavily on Harrison’s history, citing him over twenty times. They conspicuously fail to mention that Sri Lanka resumed DDT spraying and that it failed because of resistance...
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#14 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 01:27 PM
 
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Yes, that is a much better analysis. Here is a quote from your link.
That is way too simplistic. SOME (not all) mosquitos developed a resistance to DDT. But DDT works in another way - it is also a repellant and that is how it is primarily used today. Walls are sprayed to repel the mosquitos. The mass spraying of crops is no longer recommended but DDT is still used, with support from organizations like the WHO, even today in many countries. It is still considered one of the best methods of preventing malaria and the WHO cautions against eliminating DDT too soon in countries with high transmission in their position statement (like what happened after the EPA totally banned it in the 70s...).

From the WHO:

Quote:
For instance, in South Africa the switch from DDT to pyrethroids in 1997 soon resulted in the reappearance of Anopheles funestus, a major malaria vector, eliminated from the country for
decades and found to be resistant to pyrethroids. This reappearance resulted in severe malaria outbreaks, which justified reintroduction of DDT in 2000. This situation raised awareness of the risks associated with insecticide resistance and potential danger of eliminating DDT too early. Subsequently, several countries in Africa have introduced, or are planning to reintroduce, DDT in IRS operations.
The WHO concludes:

Quote:
DDT is still needed and used for disease vector control simply because there is
no alternative of both equivalent efficacy and operational feasibility, especially
for high-transmission areas.
The reduction and ultimate elimination of the use
of DDT for public health must be supported technically and financially. It is
essential that adequate resources and technical support are rapidly allocated
to countries so that they can adopt appropriate measures for sound management
of pesticides in general and of DDT in particular.
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/1...P_2011_eng.pdf

This National Geographic article on the issue is also a good one:

Quote:
The suggested technique for indoor antimalarial use today would be a far cry from the crop-dusting methods of DDT's heyday in the 1950s, experts say.

Very small amounts would be used to treat only house walls, so the probability of human and environmental contamination would be low.

"For duration of activity there is no [competitive] chemical that even comes close to DDT, and of course the duration is a big factor in overall cost," Roberts, of Uniformed Services University, said.

DDT also packs a dual-threat capability: It not only kills mosquitoes outright, but it also works as a repellent.

"[Treating house walls] is a perimeter treatment," Roberts explained. "The people you're trying to protect are on the inside of the perimeter, so mosquitoes will come up to that wall, detect the DDT in the vapor phase, and move away from it," Roberts said.

Environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club have acknowledged the chemical's usefulness in saving human life.

"We have not opposed the use of DDT to fight malaria in developing countries," said Ed Hopkins, director of the Sierra Club's environmental quality program.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...malaria_2.html

So yes, the complete stop of use of DDT in many countries for sometimes decades that resulted in large part because of Carson DID kill millions of people. Even in the late 90s we saw enormous amounts of deaths from malaria when DDT was completely stopped in South Africa as the WHO explained above.

So in conclusion, DDT is FAR from useless especially since it can still work as a repellant even if some mosquitos develop a resistance to its ability to kill them outright. Suggesting otherwise is simply ignorant.

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So yes, the complete stop of use of DDT in many countries for sometimes decades that resulted in large part because of Carson DID kill millions of people. Even in the late 90s we saw enormous amounts of deaths from malaria when DDT was completely stopped in South Africa as the WHO explained above.

So in conclusion, DDT is FAR from useless especially since it can still work as a repellant even if some mosquitos develop a resistance to its ability to kill them outright. Suggesting otherwise is simply ignorant.
Countries that stopped using DDT are responsible for that decision - not Carson. Period.
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Countries that stopped using DDT are responsible for that decision - not Carson. Period.
No one said she did it maliciously or directly, but the fact of the matter is she spread a lot of (sometimes) unfounded fear about DDT and conditions like fatal cancers which resulted in the drop of use of DDT which DID kill millions of people as a result.

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No one said she did it maliciously or directly, but the fact of the matter is she spread a lot of (sometimes) unfounded fear about DDT and conditions like fatal cancers which resulted in the drop of use of DDT which DID kill millions of people as a result.
I don't buy that. No country should look at one persons opinion on a topic and make policy based on it.

If other countries had malaria issues that could only be addressed by DDT (note I am saying if, i know little about this topic and have no dog in this fight), then they are responsible for discontinuing its use in their country, not Carson. Let's not pass the buck.
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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/u...port.html?_r=0

Quote:
It’s worth considering the many errors in this argument both because malaria remains an epidemic problem in much of the developing world and also because groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, backed by corporate interests, have latched onto DDT as a case study for undermining all environmental regulation.
The first thing worth remembering is that it wasn’t Rachel Carson who banned DDT. It was the very Republican Nixon Administration, in 1972. Moreover, the ban applied only in the United States, and even there it made an exception for public health uses. The ban was intended to prevent the imminent extinction of ospreys, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles, our national bird, among other species; they were vulnerable because DDT caused a fatal thinning of eggshells, which collapsed under the weight of the parent incubating them. But the ban did nothing to stop the manufacture or export of DDT. William Ruckelshaus, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, explicitly declared that his agency would not (indeed could not) “presume to regulate the felt necessities of other countries.”
https://earthwiseradio.org/2012/09/a...isinformation/

Quote:
For decades, certain camps have saddled Carson with millions of malaria deaths. Her reputation has been kicked by a conservative think-tank, a southern senator, and a science fiction writer. It goes something like this … Carson sounded the alarm on DDT, the U.S. enacted a ban, other nations followed suit, and the war on malaria lost its most effective weapon.
It’s important to remember that Silent Spring was a reaction against excessive agricultural pesticide use. In 1959, a few years before the book was published, 79 million pounds of DDT was applied to U.S. crops. A cheap and effective bug killer, the manmade chemical was found in reproductively compromised bald eagles and human breast milk.
Carson was not opposed to insecticides; she just called for their independent environmental review. When the EPA banned DDT in 1972, its ruling was based on numerous scientific studies and increased insect resistance. Similar resistance was seen globally, in areas where DDT spraying was widespread for malaria.
DDT has never been banned for malarial uses. It is used to fight the disease in more than 10 countries, mainly in Africa. Today, along with bed nets, many malaria control programs use DDT in the type of targeted applications that Carson advocated for.
https://www.newscientist.com/article...ions-to-death/
Quote:
Rachel Carson never called for the banning of pesticides. She made this clear in every public pronouncement, repeated it in an hour-long television documentary about Silent Spring, and even testified to that effect before the US Senate. Carson never denied that there were beneficial uses of pesticides, notably in combating human diseases transmitted by insects, where she said they had not only been proven effective but were morally “necessary”.
“It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”
Many agreed. Editorialising shortly after The New Yorker articles appeared, the New York Times wrote that Carson had struck the right balance: “Miss Carson does not argue that chemical pesticides must never be used,” the Times said, “but she warns of the dangers of misuse and overuse by a public that has become mesmerised by the notion that chemists are the possessors of divine wisdom and that nothing but benefits can emerge from their test tubes.”
http://fair.org/extra/rachel-carson-mass-murderer/ this is where, I think, we see the similarity to the vaccine "solution" to death and disease in developing countries.

Quote:
At one level, these articles send a comforting message to the developed world: Saving African children is easy. We don’t need to build large aid programs or fund major health initiatives, let alone develop Third World infrastructure or think about larger issues of fairness. No, to save African lives from malaria, we just need to put our wallets away and work to stop the evil environmentalists.
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy.
For one thing, there is no global DDT ban. DDT is indeed banned in the U.S., but malaria isn’t exactly a pressing issue here. If it ever were, the ban contains an exception for matters of public health. Meanwhile, it’s perfectly legal—and indeed, used—in many other countries: 10 out of the 17 African nations that currently conduct indoor spraying use DDT (New York Times, 9/16/06).
DDT use has decreased enormously, but not because of a ban. The real reason is simple, although not one conservatives are particularly fond of: evolution. Mosquito populations rapidly develop resistance to DDT, creating enzymes to detoxify it, modifying their nervous systems to avoid its effects, and avoiding areas where DDT is sprayed — and recent research finds that that resistance continues to spread even after DDT spraying has stopped, lowering the effectiveness not only of DDT but also other pesticides (Current Biology, 8/9/05).
Evil environmentalists and evil anti-vaxers are the problem, not poverty, environmental degradation, arms sales or any of the other horrific problems that make life impossible for millions of people around the globe.

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Teacozy quoting from the WHO:

Quote:
For instance, in South Africa the switch from DDT to pyrethroids in 1997 soon resulted in the reappearance of Anopheles funestus, a major malaria vector, eliminated from the country for
decades and found to be resistant to pyrethroids. This reappearance resulted in severe malaria outbreaks, which justified reintroduction of DDT in 2000. This situation raised awareness of the risks associated with insecticide resistance and potential danger of eliminating DDT too early. Subsequently, several countries in Africa have introduced, or are planning to reintroduce, DDT in IRS operations.
In recent years the death rate, in South Africa, from malaria has been more or less about 100 per year.

One needs to see things in prospective, i.e. a person has a much greater chance of being murdered in South Africa, than dying from malaria:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7224176.html
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To sum up, the people blaming Rachel Carson for millions of deaths have an agenda and that agenda is undermining people who are trying to protect the environment.

Paul Offit is, therefore, suffering from guilt by association. He must be one of those conservative anti-environmental fanatics. Or else just careless.
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It's as ridiculous as them blaming Dr. Wakefield for outbreaks of measles, when all he recommended was separate shots.
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#22 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Tweety_Bird View Post
It's as ridiculous as them blaming Dr. Wakefield for outbreaks of measles, when all he recommended was separate shots.
Yes, although Wakefield was never a household name like Rachel Carson. In some ways, blackening her reputation is an uphill battle, but these people are determined and it isn't hard to find suckers who think glyphosate is yummy and DDT is essential.
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#23 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 06:34 PM
 
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@Deborah , did you even read Offit's piece? A lot of that is addressed. He even used her same quote that the blog you linked used!

The world is not black and white. People can and do indirectly harm and kill people by their words or actions. She was a very respected and influential author - arguably the best-known science writer in the world as @Turquesa 's link pointed out- and she fear mongered about DDT without sufficient evidence to support it. She didn't even hypothesize about these harms in her book - she claimed DDT had caused these issues as a matter of fact. Even the author from Turquesa's link concedes her book was influential in banning DDT.

As Offit said:

Quote:
According to Carson, children suffered sudden death, aplastic anemia, birth defects, liver disease, chromosomal abnormalities, and leukemia—all caused by DDT. And women suffered infertility and uterine cancer.
Carson made it clear that she wasn’t talking about something that might happen—she was talking about something that had happened.

Carson’s supporters argued that, had she lived longer, she would never have promoted a ban on DDT for the control of malaria. Indeed, in Silent Spring, Carson wrote, “It is not my contention that chemical pesticides never be used.” But it was her contention that DDT caused leukemia, liver disease, birth defects, premature births, and a whole range of chronic illnesses. An influential author can’t, on the one hand, claim that DDT causes leukemia (which, in 1962, was a death sentence) and then, on the other hand, expect that anything less than that a total ban of the chemical would result.

"...Studies in Europe, Canada, and the United States have since shown that DDT didn’t cause the human diseases Carson had claimed. Indeed, the only type of cancer that had increased in the United States during the DDT era was lung cancer, which was caused by cigarette smoking.

In 2006, the World Health Organization reinstated DDT as part of its effort to eradicate malaria. But not before millions of people had died needlessly from the disease.
DDT did and has continued to save millions of lives. Some mosquitos building resistance =/= DDT is useless for the reasons I have already outlined previously. It is still one of the most effective ways of preventing malaria and continues to be used today in many countries.

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#24 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just in case the New York Times and New Scientist didn't make the cut @teacozy , I checked to see if Snopes had pronounced on this one, but alas, they have not.

Here we go, Rational Wiki! http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/DDT

Quote:
Horrifically stupid wingnuts and experts for hire will sometimes imply that a supposed worldwide ban on DDT has killed millions of people by giving them malaria or some other mosquito-borne disease, and that Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring was responsible for the alleged ban. The myth seems to have originated from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and from libertarian Roger Bate (and is promoted by his organization Africa Fighting Malaria).
is Paul Offit a wingnut or an expert for hire...?

Slate is good with people who trust vaccines, so perhaps this article from slate on the DDT malaria myths will be acceptable?
http://www.slate.com/articles/health...l_carson_.html

Quote:
he claim that Rachel Carson is responsible for the devastations of malaria, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has gained renewed traction in recent years. The American Enterprise Institute and other free-market conservatives have defended the safety and efficacy of DDT—and the claim of Carson’s “guilt” in the deaths of millions of Africans is routinely parroted by people who are clueless about the content of Silent Spring or the sources of the attacks now made against it. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a limited-government, free-enterprise think tank, maintains the website rachelwaswrong.org, which details Carson’s complicity in the continuing plague of malaria. In 2004, the late writer Michael Crichton offered a bite-sized and easy-to-remember indictment of Carson’s crime: “Banning DDT,” Crichton wrote, “killed more people than Hitler.” This was dialogue in a novel, but in interviews Crichton made it clear this was what he believed.
Perhaps the Daily Kos will be acceptable?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/8/30/378223/-

Quote:
However, the phasing out of DDT use in cotton in the US spread to cotton growers around the world, with a positive benefit to public health pest control programs. As Easter says:
The 1972 DDT ban did nothing to restrict the chemical’s use against malaria, but had the effect of eliminating the single most intense source of selection pressure for insecticide resistance in mosquitos. As the rest of the world followed suit in restricting agricultural use of DDT, the spread of resistance was slowed dramatically or stopped.
By this single action, William Ruckelshaus — and, credit where it’s due, Rachel Carson — may well have saved millions of lives.
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Since when are rationalwiki, etc considered scientific evidence that is more reliable than the WHO and others?

I'll also note the irony of you posting a link poking fun at Michael Crichton's opinion on the matter since members here quote him all the time as a scientific authority figure when quoting his position on scientific consensus, lol. So which is it?

Again, to conclude she didn't play a role in millions of deaths you would have to believe that her book and subsequent appearance before the Department of Commerce which created the EPA which in turn banned DDT (the link you and turquesa praised earlier in the thread concede she was influential in banning it - is that author now suddenly a crackpot too?) played no role in the banning of DDT and that DDT doesn't work at preventing malaria in countries with high transmission.

I don't believe that, and neither do organizations like the WHO.

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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
Since when are rationalwiki, etc considered scientific evidence that is more reliable than the WHO and others?

I'll also note the irony of you posting a link poking fun at Michael Crichton's opinion on the matter since members here quote him all the time as a scientific authority figure when quoting his position on scientific consensus, lol. So which is it?

Again, to conclude she didn't play a role in millions of deaths you would have to believe that her book and subsequent appearance before the Department of Commerce which created the EPA which in turn banned DDT (the link you and turquesa praised earlier in the thread concede she was influential in banning it - is that author now suddenly a crackpot too?) played no role in the banning of DDT and that DDT doesn't work at preventing malaria in countries with high transmission.

I don't believe that, and neither do organizations like the WHO.
I don't quote Michael Crichton and I don't admire him.

You are obviously not carefully reading the articles that have been shared. But I'm quite happy to see you going for misinformation and trying to defend Paul Offit falling for misinformation. Anything that works to undermine the pro-vaccine folks is good with me.
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#27 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 07:37 PM
 
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Lol. Rationalwiki, Daily Kos, and random bloggers vs the WHO and National Geographic. I am going to disagree that you're the one carefully evaluating the evidence. The evidence that DDT works to prevent malaria - and saves millions of lives as a result - is incontrovertible.

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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
Lol. Rationalwiki, Daily Kos, and random bloggers vs the WHO and National Geographic. I am going to disagree that you're the one carefully evaluating the evidence. The evidence that DDT works to prevent malaria - and saves millions of lives as a result - is incontrovertible.
Oh, I just went and dug up the nut sites after you disregarded the New York Times and New Scientist.

For a giggle.

The articles I found do talk about using DDT appropriately against malaria.

Where you are missing the mark, to put it gently, is blaming Rachel Carson. If DDT had continued to be misused as an agricultural chemical it would have become totally useless against mosquitoes. Rachel Carson and the EPA SAVED DDT for use against malaria.

Please slow down and read the actual material thoughtfully.

Did the WHO actually say that Rachel Carson caused millions of deaths? I don't think so.

I'm pretty sure that National Geographic didn't blame Rachel Carson either.

You are taking the word of the wingnuts that she actually played a specific role in malaria battle failures in various countries...after she died...quite the achievement.

Keep up the good work.
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#29 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 07:59 PM
 
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Here are some more articles for you to read about DDT:

This one points out the many problems with nets - they break easily and which rendered them essentially useless - and studies note that even when they are provided free of charge, less than 56% of children sleep under them.

It continues:

Quote:
Fortunately, there are highly effective alternatives. The only problem with this method is that it is politically unpopular in the developed world, and, most dismaying, it is shunned on environmental grounds that have no relationship to usage in malaria control.

The best method of protection against malaria, in use for 50 years, is indoor residual spraying (IRS), which consists simply of spraying insecticide on the interior walls of houses. And the most effective, safest, cheapest, longest-lasting insecticide for this job is DDT–it crucially deters mosquitoes from entering a building where it has been sprayed. DDT eradicated malaria from the U.S. and Europe and its careful use led to dramatic declines in many other parts of the world. But over the last four decades environmental activists have persuaded public health professionals against using insecticide sprays, especially DDT.

Where this dubious advice has been followed, malaria rates have risen proportionately to the reduction in spraying. But fortunately, those countries that did not have to rely on foreign funding for malaria protection–and could therefore afford to make their own public health decisions–went back to using DDT. A private initiative by a mining company in Zambia, covering over 360,000 of its workers, their families, and surrounding villages, reduced malaria incidence by 50 percent in just one year. [5] After South Africa suffered its worst ever malaria outbreak, it decided to risk Western displeasure and revert to the old methods. In one year, incidence of malaria was reduced by 80 percent. [6]
https://www.aei.org/publication/ddt-...ainst-malaria/

And since you quoted the NY Times above here is an article from them on the issue as well:
Quote:
If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia -- not to mention other poor countries in Africa -- there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries.

One reason is that the U.S. and other rich countries are siding with the mosquitoes against the world's poor -- by opposing the use of DDT.

"It's a colossal tragedy," says Donald Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. "And it's embroiled in environmental politics and incompetent bureaucracies."

The poor countries that were able to keep malaria in check tend to be the same few that continued to use DDT, like Ecuador. Similarly, in Mexico, malaria rose and fell with the use of DDT. South Africa brought back DDT in 2000, after a switch to other pesticides had led to a surge in malaria, and now the disease is under control again. The evidence is overwhelming: DDT saves lives.

But most Western aid agencies will not pay for anti-malarial programs that use DDT, and that pretty much ensures that DDT won't be used. Instead, the U.N. and Western donors encourage use of insecticide-treated bed nets and medicine to cure malaria.

Bed nets and medicines are critical tools in fighting malaria, but they're not enough. The existing anti-malaria strategy is an underfinanced failure, with malaria probably killing 2 million or 3 million people each year.
It goes on to say that it doesn't always work perfectly, for example it is hard to apply in areas with remote villages, but continues:
Quote:
But overall, one of the best ways to protect people is to spray the inside of a hut, about once a year, with DDT. This uses tiny amounts of DDT -- 450,000 people can be protected with the same amount that was applied in the 1960's to a single 1,000-acre American cotton farm.

There is some research suggesting that it could lead to premature births, but humans are far better off exposed to DDT than exposed to malaria.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/08/op...spray-ddt.html

So again, just because some mosquitos build a resistance does not mean DDT stops working to prevent malaria, as some of the links you quoted suggested. As the link posted above points out, the few poor countries that continued to use it despite the US ban in the 70s have mostly managed to keep malaria at bay. Malaria outbreaks rise and fall with the use of DTT - in other words the evidence is overwhelming that it works- and nets and medication are often not enough to prevent death.

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#30 of 89 Old 02-13-2017, 08:05 PM
 
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No, the WHO agrees that eliminating DDT in areas with high transmission, like what happened in the 70s as a result of Carson's fearmongering about DDT causing leukemia and other issues, causes massive outbreaks and death and warns against it.

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