DDT and birth defects: South African television asks questions


Steven Milloy, Roger Bate, and Richard Tren hope you never see this television production — they hope you never even hear about it.  It’s one more indication that Rachel Carson was right.

They hope you never even hear about it.  It’s set for telecast in South Africa next Tuesday:

Special Assignment to broadcast episode on ‘Collateral Damage’

Published: 22 July 2010

This week, Special Assignment looks at those affected by the dangerous DDT chemical and also those who say it is a necessary evil to prevent many South Africans from dying.

“I have problems with my balls,” says ‘George’. “I was born without testicles,” adds ‘Joseph’, yet another man born in the Limpopo area. These two and many other young men in Venda share a common story.

Each year, South Africa sprays more than 90 tonnes of the toxic DDT chemical in homesteads in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo areas. Though DDT, a persistent organic chemical which can remain in the environment for as much as 40 years is banned across the world, South Africa still uses it to control malaria in the country. Recent studies have however showed that DDT is harmful to humans with hundreds of kids born in the Venda area showing signs of genital deformities. The chemical has also been associated with breast cancer; diabetes; and spontaneous abortion. Yet it remains South Africa’s best option for the prevention of malaria which kills millions of people each year across Africa. This week, Special Assignment looks at those affected by this chemical and also those who say it is a necessary evil to prevent many other South Africans from dying.

‘Collateral Damage’ will be broadcast on Special Assignment on Tuesday, 27 July, at 20:31 on SABC3.

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7 Responses to DDT and birth defects: South African television asks questions

  1. KIRSTEN GORFIL says:

    i am trying to get hold of someone in the kwazulu natal area who has been affected by ddt ??? please respond to this if you can help me in any way. my email address is kirstyg@iburst.co.za

    Like

  2. anon says:

    American soldiers were sprayed head to toe with DDT, it’s what they used to call “delousing”. The soldiers were exposed to more DDT than any modern usage yet no ill effects were recorded.

    Moreover, the tropical southern portion of the United States was blanketed with DDT, a critical part of the national plan to develop the area. No ill health effects were recorded there either.

    Keep up the DDT spraying and South Africa will look like America faster than you can imagine.

    Like

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    We eliminated malaria in the U.S. mostly before DDT was discovered to work as a pesticide.

    Sometimes disease control doesn’t require genius, but just honest, hard work.

    Like

  4. anon says:

    US and Europe seam to have less malaria related deaths than Africa. If only retards like you could stay away from the important things like disease control.

    Like

  5. [...] was dynamite in the short story form, but probably would have been boring if it were much longer. DDT has long been banned from use in the USA. Apparently, other parts of the world are not as [...]

    Like

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