DDT debate continues

02 Nov 2009
Africa Fighting Malaria
On Thursday October 29th, AFM Director Richard Tren had an article published in South Africa's leading daily newspaper, Business Day,discussing new research from University of Pretoria scientists on DDTand human health. Tren's piece makes the point that the research isvery weak, and there are several serious concerns with the methodologyand analysis that the researchers follow. Despite these weaknesses, theresearchers claim that DDT indoor residual spraying will increase thechance that a boy is born with a urogenital birth defect by 33%. Thisdata is being used by anti-DDT campaigners around the world to campaignagainst this vitally important insecticide. In response to Tren'spiece, a Ugandan commentator, identified as Muyambi, criticizes Trenand promotes the myth that malaria control can be conductedsuccessfully through pharmacosuppression. In turn, Prof. Donald Robertsresponds to Muyambi here,below Tren's article. There are some that are ideologically opposed toDDT and will not be swayed by the arguments that Tren or Roberts make,but we urge all others to consider these issues with an open mind.