"Some anti-environmentalists" - hmmm, so questioning the wisdom in banning DDT amounts to anti-environmentalism - typical leftist hyperbole, so the author's credibility is already in question<quoted text>
Just following the links in that piece of Daily Kos crap...
Several anti-environmentalists have claimed that public concern over the effects of DDT after the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring led to a ban on the pesticide in some third world countries in the 1960s. This ban, it is claimed, led to a resurgence in malaria, resulting in thousands of deaths. But in accounts of the war on malaria, such as in Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague, it is clear that the suspension of spraying programs was unrelated to any environmental concerns. In fact, DDT continued to be the insecticide of choice in the battle against malaria as recently as 1994, some 30 years after the alleged ban, in areas where it was still effective (Curtis).
...There were suspensions in the spraying programs, but they were not the result of any "environmental hysteria". To understand what actually happened, it is necessary to learn about the realities of pesticide use. One of the major problems with using pesticides is that insect populations soon develop resistance to the chemicals. Insects resistant to DDT began appearing one year after its first public health use (Garrett, page 50). As new insecticides were introduced, resistance to them also developed. Much of Silent Spring is a cataloging of reports of resistance to insecticides.
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…. As early as 1967 it was clear that the effort had failed, and in 1972 the official policy shifted from eradication to control of malaria1967 it was clear that the effort had failed, and in 1972 the official policy shifted from eradication to control of mala.
"led to a resurgence resulting in thousands of deaths" - thousands?, try millions - as reported by the World Health Organization approx 1 million die from malaria a year. Another whack at the author's credibility.
If DDT use was already being scaled back due to "insect resistance", why was the Environmental Defense Fund founded in 1967 with the express purpose of banning DDT. I already noted the complete bias shown by the EPA director Ruskleshaus who himself was a member of the EDF - can anyone say "conflict of interest" when he overturned the judge who actually HEARD the testimony of experts and ruled the evidence was not there to support a ban of DDT. This same Ruskleshaus who solicited donations for the EDF.
Interesting that the author failed to mention another HUGE reason that DDT use was curtailed - donor organizations refused to contribute money for malaria prevention if DDT was used. So countries that were dependent upon donations and grants to PAY for malaria preventive measures had no choice but to use other, less effective means since they couldn't pay for DDT themselves.(i.e. USAID, UN Development Programme, NORAD, and SIDA - per Malaria World Internationale)
Finally, if environmentalists really had so little to do with the banning/scaling back of DDT, why do they consistently tout it as either a huge environmental victory or an ongoing struggle?(EDF, Sierra Club, WWF, and so on)