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Treating the Symptoms

The next great globalist scam to steal your money and make you feel good about it has to do with fighting malaria in Africa.

President Bush is part of the plot — as are Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Steven Phillips, medical director of Exxon Mobil Corp., Ann Veneman, head of UNICEF, and my old buddy Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church.

First of all, on two things we all agree: Africa has a serious malaria problem, and malaria can be beaten. Every minute, two African children die of the mosquito-borne plague. It doesn’t have to be this way.

"It is possible to eliminate malaria," Bush said at the White House Summit on Malaria. "We know exactly what it will take to prevent and treat the disease … It is not going to require a miracle. It requires smart, sustained effort."

Again, I agree. But the approach being adopted to defeat malaria is not smart, not cost-effective and not strong enough.

While Bush has already spent $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars on his ill-conceived scheme, he knows it’s not enough. In fact, with his approach, there will never be enough money spent to eliminate the disease. So he’s coming back for more in a massive public relations blitz called "Malaria No More."

Over the next few years, while African children continue to die by the minute, you will be asked, cajoled and browbeaten into voluntarily contributing more of your hard-earned cash to another war that will never be won.

Specifically, what you will be asked to do is to buy a $10 bed net treated with insecticide to prevent mosquitoes from biting some poor African at night. That’s the plan, baby. That’s the whole program.

By the way, the $10 nets only cost about $5. So what’s the rest of the dough for? Your guess is as good as.

Now, there are a few obvious problems with this campaign:

— Just buying Africans nets doesn’t ensure they will be used.

— Mosquitoes bite while people are awake and active, not just when they are asleep.

— Relying on bed nets to stop malaria is like relying on condoms to prevent AIDS.

— There are more cost-effective ways to keep people from being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes — killing the bugs and their larvae.

So, what’s the better solution?

You’re not going to like hearing this. The answer is three letters that have been demonized by the same kind of do-gooders who want to buy every African a bed net. It’s called DDT. The very name of this pesticide conjures fears among people too young to remember exactly what a miracle wonder this pesticide was through the 1960s.

Up until the 1960s, malaria was perhaps the biggest killer in the world. Tens of millions of people would die every year.

What happened? The disease was virtually wiped out in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. How?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, credit goes to the draining of vast wetland areas, usually to make room for housing developments, and extensive DDT spraying.

But malaria is indeed rearing its ugly head again around the world. Millions are dying because of the bans and restrictions placed on the production and use of DDT.

You want to conquer malaria? Don’t fight with one hand tied behind your back. Nuke the suckers that cause it with DDT. It actually works and costs less than hundreds of millions of bed nets. DDT is one of the greatest chemical accomplishments in the history of mankind.

You’ve been conditioned to think of DDT as an abhorrent toxic agent that caused cancer and nearly wiped out the bald eagle. Nonsense. Junk science. Hysteria.

DDT saved lives and reduced human suffering. It could do so again, if only people would wake up and stop believing propaganda spoon-fed to them by those whose only goal must be to reduce the world’s human population by any means necessary.

Here’s what the National Academy of Sciences had to say about the chemical as late as 1970: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT … In a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable."

What about cancer? I knew one of the scientists responsible for creating DDT. His name was Dr. Joseph Jacobs. Late in his 80s, he told me stories about falling into a vat of DDT and emerging unscathed.

The truth is that population-control advocates decided in the late 1960s that overpopulation must be prevented. The best way, they determined, was to let children in poor nations die of malaria by the millions.

Extensive hearings were held on DDT before an Environmental Protection Agency administrative law judge, Edmund Sweeney, who concluded in 1972, "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man … DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man … the uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."

But the EPA hearing examiner was overruled by EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus — a lawyer and politician, not a scientist. He reportedly did not attend a single hour of the seven months of hearings, nor did he read any of the transcripts, according to aides.

The latest scientific study on DDT, published in 1985, found no correlation between DDT and cancer. A 1972 study actually found it reduced tumors in animals.

I don’t expect Bush to read this column and have an epiphany. But I thought you would like to know the truth about malaria and DDT. Because any day now someone will come knocking on your door asking you to buy a bed net for an African child.

While I know this is the feel-good season and everyone wants to believe they can help solve every problem in the world, save your money. This is not the solution. This is part of the problem.

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Written By

Mr. Farah is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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