The Instigator
foxmulder
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
Kasemei
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

DDT is an effective way to combate malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,742 times Debate No: 1870
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (14)

 

foxmulder

Pro

To start I will say that I am debating whether or not DDT is an effective way to combat malaria. Not whether or not the United States should be giving foreign aid.

First I will show you the harm that malaria causes to Sub-Saharan Africa.

1. Malaria is one of the world's most devastating diseases, resulting in hundreds of millions of cases, and millions of deaths.

According to Barry Mason, who has a graduate degree is zoology and biochemistry
http://www.wsws.org...

- The statistics associated with the disease are staggering. Of the 300-500 million cases per year in the world, 90 percent of them occur in sub-Saharan Africa
- Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds and remains one of the most important threats to the health of pregnant women and their newborns.
- The disease reportedly kills 71,000 to 190,000 infants in Africa annually. It can leave victims cognitively disabled.

2. The immense death toll of Malaria also creates severe economic ramifications for Africa, reducing the productivity and GDP of states and keeping many citizens trapped in conditions of poverty.

According to the United Nations IRIN
http://www.worldpress.org...

- Economically, malaria drains the wealth of nations and costs Africa alone $12 billion a year.
- In countries where this disease is endemic, it grinds down the per capita economic growth rate by 1.3 percent yearly.
- Poor households can spend up to 34 percent of their total income fighting malaria

3. And, because of the increasing urbanization of Africa, over 200 million people live in constant risk of contracting the disease. Many of them will.

According to Jennifer Keiser who is a population researcher at Princeton University
http://www.ajtmh.org...

- Using the latest United Nations figures on urbanization, it is estimated that 200 million people currently live in urban settings where they are at risk of contracting the disease.
- Considering plausible scenarios, it is estimated there is an annual incidence of 24.8–103.2 million cases of clinical malaria attacks among urban dwellers in Africa.

Next, I will show you that DDT is bar-none the most powerful preventive measure.

1. DDT has once again been recognized as the most potent malaria deterrent available. If the U.S. amends policy, other countries will follow suit.

As Same Zaramba, the director of Health Services for Uganda said

- The U.S. banned DDT in 1972, spurred on by environmentalist Rachel Carson's 1962 book "Silent Spring." Many countries in Europe and around the world followed suit. But after decades of exhaustive scientific review, DDT has been shown to not only be safe for humans and the environment, but also the single most effective anti-malarial agent ever invented. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO) has once again recommended using DDT wherever possible against malaria.

2. I recognize that as a result of poorly done 70's pseudoscience, DDT is considered to be a highly dangerous chemical. However, new science has shown in fact the opposite. DDT is a necessary chemical in the fight against malaria.

As Kevin Freking, a writer for the associated press wrote.

- Expanded indoor use of the pesticide DDT won't harm people or the environment and is critical in the fight against malaria, the World Health Organization said
- Health officials said that there is a distinct difference when it comes to using DDT for agricultural purposes and using it to coat once or twice a year the inside walls of mud huts or other dwellings.
- "The dosage is completely different than when the U.S. used DDT. One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying.
There is no credible evidence that DDT is harmful to human health," said Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria. "We must take a position based on the science and the data".

Today malaria kills approximately one million people a year, mostly children, and sickens hundreds of millions more. This tragedy is most pronounced among the poor in underdeveloped countries with warm climates, where mosquitoes breed readily and there are few resources to combat the problem. There is presently no vaccine for malaria, only costly treatments to reduce the effects that most of malaria's victims cannot afford. These deaths and illnesses are almost entirely preventable through an inexpensive generic chemical which, when used properly, has almost no environmental side effects. Spraying this chemical on the walls of residences can inexpensively and effectively control the spread of disease-bearing mosquitoes and some other insects. Used in this manner, the evidence from decades of use is that the chemical has no ill effects on humans Applied once every six months, the mosquito problem is greatly reduced. Millions of lives can be saved and hundreds of millions could suffer less.
Kasemei

Con

Are you a policy debater? Just wondering. Also, as a warning, I'm not quoting anything in this. It's faster for me.

Anyway onto Malaria.

If DDT had no bad side effects, it would be implemented right now in the status quo. However, it's not. There has been evidence given that DDT has harmful side effects not only on the environment, but the people around it as well. There was a reason why the United States stopped using DDT, and that reason must still stand today.

Also, Malaria is a disease which lingers in the water. This is also a huge problem, because often the mosquitoes get the disease from the water, then transmit. This causes a huge problem. Without water purification, there is no way to solve for the Malaria problem. I believe that water purification is the best way to go in the idea of stopping the spread of Malaria, as well as eradicating the disease.
Debate Round No. 1
foxmulder

Pro

First, you are saying the United States sets the standard for what is good and bad. Well, using your standard I guess DDT is good since it actually IS being sprayed by the United States. The United States federal government is spraying DDT in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia. DDT is also being sprayed in South Africa and Swaziland. Uganda and other African countries are preparing to add DDT to indoor-spraying programs. In countries where DDT has been sprayed, deaths as a result of malaria have decreased by astonishing numbers.

You then claimed that DTT harmed people and the environment.

I will first show that DDT is safe for humans.

DDT has been around for decades. Millions have been exposed, and health issues are extremely rare. Since the discovery of DDT countless millions of people have been exposed to DDT in one way or another. In the 1940s many people were deliberately exposed to high concentrations of DDT through dusting programs or impregnation of clothes, without any apparent ill effect. Thousands of tons have been produced and distributed throughout the world and millions of people have come into direct contact with DDT. A plethora of studies were conducted with regards to DDT's safety for humans. Indeed if the huge amounts of DDT used are taken into account, the safety record for human beings is extremely good.

Next I will show DDT does not harm the environment.

Indoor residual spraying of DDT is not used in high enough concentrations to cause adverse ecological effects. DDT became emblematic of the toxics movement because of its effects on the non-human environment. The fault for this lies in the massive agricultural use of DDT. Dusting a single cotton field, for example, can require more than 1,100 kg of DDT over 4 weeks. In contrast, DDT spraying for malaria control is less intensive, less frequent and far more contained. The current practice is to spray the interior surfaces only of houses at risk. Half a kilogram can treat a large house and protect all its inhabitants. The dosage of DDT applied for indoor residual spraying is completely different and has no environmental side effects. In fact bird populations have increased since DDT has been sprayed.

Finally you said that water purification was the solution to solving the problem. What you are saying is that if you cannot solve the malaria problem completely then nothing should be done. Sure, indoor residual spraying of DDT will not completely eradicate malaria, but it will save millions of lives every year with no bad side effects. You are just advocating an all or nothing situation.
Kasemei

Con

I'm basically going to put your points in quotes, and then put my points in after yours.

"First, you are saying the United States sets the standard for what is good and bad. Well, using your standard I guess DDT is good since it actually IS being sprayed by the United States. The United States federal government is spraying DDT in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia. DDT is also being sprayed in South Africa and Swaziland. Uganda and other African countries are preparing to add DDT to indoor-spraying programs. In countries where DDT has been sprayed, deaths as a result of malaria have decreased by astonishing numbers."

You talk about how DDT is being sprayed in these countries which are in South Africa. However, malaria rates are increasing in the area. From the Independent Online, malaria rates are expected to increase in countries including Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Madagascar. If you claim that DDT is solving, and eradicating the disease, why don't we see decreased prevalence of the disease in the countries that you claim DDT is being sprayed in? The fact is, DDT is NOT causing Malaria to decrease. It's not doing anything. Why should the United States, while they're in their huge debt right now, spend money on something that is not working to send to Africa, only to cause worse effects? The answer? It shouldn't.

"DDT has been around for decades. Millions have been exposed, and health issues are extremely rare. Since the discovery of DDT countless millions of people have been exposed to DDT in one way or another. In the 1940s many people were deliberately exposed to high concentrations of DDT through dusting programs or impregnation of clothes, without any apparent ill effect. Thousands of tons have been produced and distributed throughout the world and millions of people have come into direct contact with DDT. A plethora of studies were conducted with regards to DDT's safety for humans. Indeed if the huge amounts of DDT used are taken into account, the safety record for human beings is extremely good."

For one, what's the source that you get this from? How credible can it be? Where are the plethora of studies that you refer to? According to Fox News, they say that Chlorine Bleach is extremely deadly, not only to fish. It's harmful to everyone. Going down the article, it talks about what DDT is made of. Guess what's one of the ingredients to make this pesticide? Bleach.

"Next I will show DDT does not harm the environment.

Indoor residual spraying of DDT is not used in high enough concentrations to cause adverse ecological effects. DDT became emblematic of the toxics movement because of its effects on the non-human environment. The fault for this lies in the massive agricultural use of DDT. Dusting a single cotton field, for example, can require more than 1,100 kg of DDT over 4 weeks. In contrast, DDT spraying for malaria control is less intensive, less frequent and far more contained. The current practice is to spray the interior surfaces only of houses at risk. Half a kilogram can treat a large house and protect all its inhabitants. The dosage of DDT applied for indoor residual spraying is completely different and has no environmental side effects. In fact bird populations have increased since DDT has been sprayed."

Again, where is the proof on this? Also, you can cross-apply my response to the DDT not harmful to humans. It's relatively the exact same point.

"Finally you said that water purification was the solution to solving the problem. What you are saying is that if you cannot solve the malaria problem completely then nothing should be done. Sure, indoor residual spraying of DDT will not completely eradicate malaria, but it will save millions of lives every year with no bad side effects. You are just advocating an all or nothing situation."

That is not true. I'm saying that Water purification is a better solution. It's also an alternative cause to the increase of malaria to your solution. Alternative cause means that there's a reason that malaria is spreading, and that DDT will not stop it. As I have already proven, DDT is not stopping the Malaria rates. Why spend more money on something that is known not to work and is know to be harmful to the environment, causing more problems? The water sanitation route would be the best way to go. From a card cut from a debate handbook, the source can be given to you later if you want it (because the card right now is in my car, which my mom drove to get groceries), it specifically states that 2 billion is needed to solve to water Sanitation in Sub Saharan Africa to meet the Millenium Development goals. Malaria is known to be spread through brackish water, according to the World Health Organization. Therefore, we should drop your plan, which is not going to work, and go for something that will.
Debate Round No. 2
foxmulder

Pro

First of all, don't go attacking my sources when you have just about zero yourself. In fact you say "Also, as a warning, I'm not quoting anything in this. It's faster for me."

Also, I made a mistake by not referencing my sources, so I will list them and there qualifications. My paragraph about how DDT has been around for decades and there have no bad side effects was written by Richard Tren who is the director of Africa Fighting Malaria, Jason Urbach who is a primary field researcher for Enterprise Africa, Jennifer Zambone who is the DC director of Africa Fighting Malaria, and Roger Bate who is a malaria researcher and wrote "Is DDT Safe? Considering Its Use for Malaria Control. Obviously these people are accomplished professionals who have spent years researching malaria and DDT and are way more reliable then some online tabloid that you semi-quoted. My next part about how the concentrations of DDT used are not enough to harm people was written by the same authors.

http://www.fiuc.org...

You talk about how malaria rates are rising in Africa. Where the heck did you get this information? It's a total lie. According to the World Health Organization (who you used as evidence but actually supports the use of DDT), USAID, the United Nations, and Africa Fighting Malaria, deaths as a result of malaria have DECREASED where DDT is sprayed. DDT is saving millions of lives and will help these countries economies.

You then talk about how water purification is so great. Water purification will not work for malaria because mosquitoes don't always drink out of the purified water. They will drink out of the water that is just sitting around in the middle of the jungle that is not purified. DDT will kill or repel these mosquitoes whenever they comes close to people therefore saving millions of lives. Also you talk about how the United States cannot afford spraying DDT. However you even say water purification will cost 2 billion dollars while Indoor Residual Spraying of DDT by the US federal government will only cost 348 million dollars.

Also, all of your information about how DDT harms people pertains to when DDT was sprayed agriculturally. The dosage when used for IRS is completely different and therefore safe.
Kasemei

Con

"First of all, don't go attacking my sources when you have just about zero yourself. In fact you say "Also, as a warning, I'm not quoting anything in this. It's faster for me." "

That was said for the first opening. That only pertained to the first argument, not the second nor the third.

"Also, I made a mistake by not referencing my sources, so I will list them and there qualifications. My paragraph about how DDT has been around for decades and there have no bad side effects was written by Richard Tren who is the director of Africa Fighting Malaria, Jason Urbach who is a primary field researcher for Enterprise Africa, Jennifer Zambone who is the DC director of Africa Fighting Malaria, and Roger Bate who is a malaria researcher and wrote "Is DDT Safe? Considering Its Use for Malaria Control. Obviously these people are accomplished professionals who have spent years researching malaria and DDT."

Actually, what you fail to list is that Africa Fighting Malaria is a Non-Governmental Organization who tries to promote DDT, but their organization has been called into question. From the Natural Resources Defense Council Magazine. Bate says, "DDT may be today's target, but it's not going to be long before chemicals that the industry cares about are added to the POPs Convention and other chemicals regulations," implying that his real motivation in promoting DDT is to advance an anti-regulation agenda.[2]

Documents in the Legacy Tobacco Document Archive [2] show that Bate sought the support of the tobacco industry to establish Africa Fighting Malaria as part of a strategy to divert resources from efforts by the World Health Organization to reduce smoking.

Also, Roger Bate has the following qualifications, as reported by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. -Director, Africa Fighting Malaria (U.S. and South Africa)
-Fellow, International Policy Network, 2003; Director, 2001-2003
-Fellow, Institute of Economic Affairs, 2000-present; Founder and Director, IEA Environmental Unit, 1993-2003

No where in there does it say that he does work researching DDT. There is no proof that he is a 'accomplished professional' in the field of DDT. Sure, in Policies and Economic Affairs maybe, but not DDT Research.

Also, you talk about Richard Tren and how he supports DDT. However, from Sourcewatch.org, he supports both DDT AND Water.

Another point about Richard Tren is the fact that you talk about how he's the Director of Africa Against Malaria, but that doesn't mean anything in the form of qualification. It just means that he owns an organization that's trying to fend off Malaria in Africa. That does not mean he's a specialist in the form of DDT. Same goes for Jennifer Zambone.

Now onto Jasson Urbach. You say he's a researcher for Enterprise Africa, but you fail to mention that that's not his qualification. His qualifications lay in Masters Degree in economics, which does not lead to research on DDT. He has no scientific qualifications whatsoever.

The fact is, none of your sources have any scientific qualifications whatsoever, and I've proven that some even have ulterior motives for promoting DDT.

"You talk about how malaria rates are rising in Africa. Where the heck did you get this information? It's a total lie."

No, it's not. You forget that I continue to talk about the brackish water, and how it causes this disease to spread because of the mosquitoes. However, because of the massive flooding in Africa lately, and to come, this water will go in more places. Not only will people drink this dirty water, but it makes it extremely more accessible to mosquitoes, who can easily transfer it more easily.

"DDT is saving millions of lives and will help these countries economies."

You claim DDT is working in those countries you mentioned earlier in this debate, but no one sees any benefit or increase in those countries' economies. There is no impact. DDT does not link to the economy. You still can't even prove that DDT will work without harmful side effects, given by a credible source.

I'd like to point out that DDT was BANNED by the United States. If the United States didn't believe that there was a legitimate reason for banning it, why would they? Think about it. They wouldn't. There was obviously some harm to using DDT, which means that they shouldn't.

Also, make sure to look over my point from the last argument I made about how POISONOUS BLEACH is used to make DDT. This was untouched by the opponent. The fact is, by sending DDT over, you make a much greater risk of people dying. Period.

"You then talk about how water purification is so great. Water purification will not work for malaria because mosquitoes don't always drink out of the purified water. They will drink out of the water that is just sitting around in the middle of the jungle that is not purified. DDT will kill or repel these mosquitoes whenever they comes close to people therefore saving millions of lives. Also you talk about how the United States cannot afford spraying DDT. However you even say water purification will cost 2 billion dollars while Indoor Residual Spraying of DDT by the US federal government will only cost 348 million dollars."

There is no way in the world that 348 Million dollars will cover DDT Spraying to all of Sub Saharan Africa. You need to pay for the pesticide to get there, then you need all the people to go and spray it. It's hard to get to many of the people as it is. We attempt to get bednets to all the Africans, but we can't because there is no road infrastructure to take us anywhere. To be able to spray DDT and get to everyone will take time and money. A lot more money than what you're trying to advocate.

You also talk about how the mosquitoes will drink water from the unpurified water that lies in the jungles. For one, can you even get people over there to spray the DDT? For two, the water purification plan, using 2 Billion Dollars, will be able to provide water sanitation to ALL of Sub Saharan Africa to meet Millenium Development Goal requirements. Not only will the mosquitoes not have dirty water to drink from, but now the African people will have clean water to cook with, bathe with, drink from, etc. This makes it extremely better for the African Lifestyle, which makes it loads better than the DDT, which has been proven to be POISONOUS to humans. Take the 2 billion dollars, and you have a surefire way to stop Malaria AND benefit the African lifestyle as it is now.

"Also, all of your information about how DDT harms people pertains to when DDT was sprayed agriculturally. The dosage when used for IRS is completely different and therefore safe."

The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service. This doesn't even apply, because the IRS doesn't even regulate DDT. Also, you can't prove that, because I've already proven that poisonous chemicals exist in DDT, and regardless of dosage, is harmful to humans and the environment.

Thanks for an interesting round.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
congratulations on this debate foxmulder, you knew your stuff.

I see you are against the Global Warming Theory, I have a first come debate out on that so if you wanna debate it please do :).
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
I should have put more time into the args, but I didn't. Oh well.
Posted by foxmulder 9 years ago
foxmulder
Just to clarify, when I said IRS I meant Indoor Residual Spraying. This is the of spraying method I was advocating. I think I might have defined it earlier but this is just to be clear.
Posted by ellyphant 9 years ago
ellyphant
While both of you provided solid and well supported arguments; however, I think Kasemei (con) did a much better job of refuting opposing arguments. Foxmulder, I would have found your argument more credible if you hadn't attacked Kasemei's debate style quite so much in the latter arguments--it detracted from your main point.
Posted by hjones02 9 years ago
hjones02
I disagree. Im totally against DDT but foxmulder really destroyed kasemei. Her arguements were weak.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
DDT is an effective way to combat malaria in Africa. However Con's arguments were better. So I voted Con.

DDT was banned because biological magnification was tearing apart the peaks of the food chain. It weakens birds of prey egg shells and messed them up pretty badly. Africa doesn't have that many birds of prey. Abusing the stuff is certainly not good it does cause more health problems than are reported especially when it's overused or people are exposed to large concentrations.
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
Wow, didn't even know WHO started endorsing DDT.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
WHO's recent ENDORSEMENT of DDT as a means for eliminating malaria outbreaks in Africa is the ONLY reason I need to be in support of it. The status quo is changing.
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
Jeeze..didn't know I wrote that much for the 3rd round...>.<
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
It was an interesting round, that's for sure. Man, I so prefer vocal debate though. Written debate is just...so annoying. >.<

Anyway, I'm just going to say I hate DDT Affs under the Policy Topic. They're extremely redundant, and I warn you that if you do run that case, there are extreme numbers of case files around that could annhilate it. Again, because I was pressed for time I didn't go into as much detail into it as I could have, and I probably should have done more to show the flaws, but, seeing as it's 11PM now, I'm not going to. If you want me to talk to you about it, I will.
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