Malaria, DDT, and Affluence

American and European agencies that regulate “organic” food, obviously, require said crops to be DDT-free. This makes a lot of sense.

There’s a big fight out in Uganda now between organic farmers making tons of cash on European supply chains and the real humanitarians that want to get rid of malaria (which decreases, as Jeffrey Sachs has demonstrated, GDP by 30% controlling for all other factors).

There are many ways to treat rid of malaria (bed nets being a prime example), however DDT is remarkably cost-effective. The organic farmers in Uganda have pretty much put a stop to all activities that would cripple malaria, thereby subjecting their countrymen to another generation of poverty, disease, and malnourishment – in hopes of meeting American and European standards.

This is just another example of how the well-intentioned crusaders for an all organic world ignore that for anyone that isn’t rich, organic food is irrelevant, and probably harmful (with second-order effects).

I’d bet every dollar of foreign aid (which is a mess by itself) that goes towards malaria relief has been counteracted by Greenpeace spreading exaggerations across the world. You don’t have to give any money to help those afflicted, just stop giving to various, “eco” groups that make the situation far worse than it is.

 

Addendum: I have nothing against real, substantive environmental policy. I’m a fan of high carbon tax rates, higher efficiency standards on air travel, awareness of depleting fossil fuels, etc. I’m just allergic to much of the crap that dominates “eco-talk”, like Greenpeace asserting Google and Cloud computing are a threat to the environment when video-cons reduce the need for carbon-intensive executives to be in Australia in the morn and DC in the eve. 

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1 comment
  1. AnonymousAshokFan said:

    Woah… did not even know about this situation. Thanks for the post, Ashok.

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