PANNA: DDT Controversy & more



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DDT Controversy & more
April 11, 2006

U.S. Right Wing Pushing DDT on Africa – Debate Stirs Controversy. PAN Guest Essay
Editor’s Note: The United Nations will open the second meeting of the Stockholm Convention–the treaty to eliminate worldwide a class of chemicals called persistent organic pollutants (POPs)–May 1st in Geneva. DDT is one of the twelve initial POPs targeted for elimination, with limited exemptions allowed for those countries that continue to rely on DDT for malaria control. A handful of strident conservative voices in the U.S. are promoting a dramatic increase in the use of DDT for malaria control, particularly in Africa. New York Times editor Tina Rosenberg recently wrote an article embracing the message from the fringes of the right wing that DDT is the only way to combat malaria in Africa. Sonia Shah sheds some light on this complex issue and the right’s ongoing misinformation campaign in the following article, reprinted with permission from The Nation.

“Don’t Blame the Environmentalists for Malaria.”
Tina Rosenberg’s long opinion piece on the New York Times website brings much-needed attention to the plight of “poor people’s diseases,” from sleeping sickness to tuberculosis (“The Scandal of ‘Poor People’s Diseases,'” Times Select, March 29). But her argument about malaria–that more DDT would vanquish the disease–is all wrong. (Read More)

India: Pesticide Lobby Launches Offensive On Environmental Groups.
The Pesticide Industry has now gone on an all out war cry, not against the pests … but against public science, concerns of health and the ensuing public opinion that is growing against their products. Umendra Dutt reports from Counter

Brazil: Supplying Organic Products to U.S. Pays Off.
Defying “advice” from family and business associates, an organic farmer is profiting from exporting his sugar to eager U.S. markets. Chicago Tribune reporters tell the success story of Leontino Balbo.

PAN Stands in Solidarity with the Immigrant Workers.
Many workers are at risk in dangerous jobs, particularly in agriculture, where toxic exposure to pesticides is common. Deep-seated health issues plague immigrant workers, and Stanford students investigate dangerous conditions for farmworkers and the need for education and outreach.

Los Angeles Unified School District Celebrates Pesticide Protection Policies.
In 1998, school children were accidentally sprayed with pesticide in the Sherman Oaks elementary school. This week the community celebrated the school district’s model program, with a public health focused policy on pesticides. A message from the organization that made it happen, California Safe Schools, describes the significance of working for this crucial public health policy change.

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