Another health panic

The cloned meat health panic reminds me that the discovery of the anti-malarial effectiveness and persistence of DDT won Dr Paul Muller the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Its low cost and safety to humans made it by far the most important pesticide in human history saving some 500 million African children in the years before 1970. However, in 1962 Rachel Carson’s scientifically flawed book Silent Spring argued eloquently but erroneously that DDT was both a human carcinogen and killed birds. DDT’s enormous benefits to world health were brushed aside by environmentalists in what would become their trade mark frenzy of alarm and it was banned. The World Health Organisation has repeatedly called for environmentalists “to save African babies as well as nature” but their fundamentalist green creed remains intact.

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