Does Africa Fighting Malaria actually fight malaria?

This spring’s publication of a book, The Excellent Powder, by Richard Tren and Donald Roberts, repeating most of the false claims about malaria and DDT, got me wondering. Their organization, Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM):

Does AFM do anything to fight malaria? At its own website it makes some astoundingly grandiose claims:

In its seven years of operation, AFM has helped transform malaria control by taking on and turning around failing public health institutions, donor agencies and governments.

Offhand I can’t think of any public health institution AFM has even been involved with, other than its undeserved criticism of the World Health Organization — and if anyone knows of any donor agency or government AFM has “turned around,” the history books await your telling the story.

Africa Fighting Malaria springs to life every year around World Malaria Day, April 25, with editorials claiming environmentalists have killed millions. AFM seems to be one of the sources of the bizarre and false claim that Rachel Carson is a “mass murderer.” AFM makes noise whenever there is difficulty getting a DDT spraying campaign underway in any part of Africa, for any reason, quick to lay the blame on environmentalists, even though the blame generally rests in other places. AFM is quick on the draw to try to discredit all research into DDT that suggests it poses any health threat, though so far as I can tell AFM has published no counter research, nor has it conducted any research of its own.

In its 2009 Annual Report, AFM proudly states “AFM is the only advocacy group that routinely supports IRS [Indoor Residual Spraying] and through its advocacy work defends the use of DDT for malaria control.”

Cleverly, and tellingly, they do not reveal that IRS in integrated vector (pest) management is what Rachel Carson advocated in 1962, nor do they mention that it is also supported by the much larger WHO, several nations in Africa, and the Gates Foundation, all of whom probably do more to fight malaria when they sneeze that AFM does intentionally.

Google and Bing searches turn up no projects the organization actually conducts to provide bed nets, or DDT, or anything else, to anyone working against malaria. I can’t find any place anyone other than AFM describes any activities of the group.

AFM has impressive video ads urging contributions, but the videos fail to mention that nothing in the ad is paid for by AFM, including especially the guy carrying the pesticide sprayer.

Looking at the IRS Form 990s for the organization from 2003 through 2008 (which is organized in both the U.S. and South Africa), it seems to me that the major purpose of AFM is to pay Roger Bate about $100,000 a year for part of the time, and pay Richard Tren more than $80,000 a year for the rest of the time.

Can anyone tell me, what has Africa Fighting Malaria ever done to seriously fight malaria? One could make the argument that if you sent $10 to Nothing But Nets, you’ve saved more lives than the last $1 million invested in AFM, and more to save lives than AFM in its existence.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Pharyngula and, even though AFM wasn’t what they were targeting.

Update: Tim Lambert at Deltoid sent some traffic this way, which caught the attention of Eli Rabett, which reminded me that there really is more to this story about Africa Fighting Malaria, and you ought to read it at Deltoid and Rabett’s warren.

Formatting issues More (updated September 24, 2013):

50 Responses to Does Africa Fighting Malaria actually fight malaria?

  1. […] Burge urged people to speak out for more DDT, and to donate money to Africa Fighting Malaria.  Readers of my blog may recall that AFM is the astro-turf organization founded by Roger Bate years ago, from all appearance to pay Roger Bate to say nasty things about […]


  2. […] is a great step in the direction of getting the truth; but the hoaxsters, like Stephen Milloy and the pseudo-charity group Africa Fighting Malaria, are still at […]


  3. […] to filter into the public sphere, especially with interest groups, lobbyists and Astro-Turf groups working hard to fuzz up the […]


  4. […] cost $500,000 in 1962, when that book was published.  Souder’s book fights propaganda from Astro-turf™ organizations like Africa Fighting Malaria, a pro-DDT group that collects money from chemical manufacturers and anti-environmental political […]


  5. […] money helps to connect cigarettes, lobbyists, anti-environmentalism, and an astroturf group called Africa Fighting Malaria.  Why didn’t Dunning pick up on those red flags? I don’t […]


  6. Ed Darrell says:

    DDT poisoning at the Vancouver Sun, eh?

    If you follow the news even lightly, you’ll know that bedbugs — flat-bodied bloodsuckers that can hide in all kinds of small crevices and live up to a year without eating — are making a horror-movie-like resurgence everywhere.

    Pest control experts say the infestation already constitutes a global pandemic.

    Nice. So are we going back to the bad old days when, to fight this resilient vermin, people regularly poured oil or boiling water into floor crevices and traced kerosene around bed mattresses?

    The French writer Simone de Beauvoir attributed no small part of the Parisian cafe culture to the bedbug. Such was its infestation of hotels and dwellings that, to converse and write, everybody sought refuge in cafes.

    My pioneer grandmother told of similar scourges here in Canada — how visitors’ coats tossed onto a bed might well transfer bedbugs and how households would, at regular intervals, boil a chemical brew on the stove (of what exactly, I know not) so as to fumigate the house against the pests.

    But in 1939, after four years of work, Swiss chemist Paul Muller developed a synthetic insecticide — DDT — which was basically safe for humans but deadly against malaria-causing mosquitoes, typhus-causing lice, plague-spreading fleas … and bedbugs.

    Actually, Muller simply tested DDT, which had been synthesized more than 40 years earlier, and found it deadly against insects. DDT’s neuro-toxin properties were incidental, accidental almost. Yes, it was fantastic against lice, it used to kill mosquitoes well, and for a brief time it was also effective against bedbugs.

    But insects and arachnids evolve quickly, and DDT is no longer the wonder insect-killer it once was. It remains a neurotoxin, however.

    For preventing the deaths of tens of millions of people, Muller was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

    But after Rachel Carson’s 1962 anti-chemical blockbuster Silent Spring, in which she distorted scientific data to suit her purpose, chemophobic zealots began lobbying for a ban on the wonder insecticide.

    That’s patently false. Carson distorted no science at all. There was a $500,000 ad campaign by the chemical industry making that claim, but panels of experts, including Kennedy’s President’s Science Advisory Council, studied the book and determined it was deadly accurate.

    It still is. Out of the 53 pages of scientific references, none have ever been called into question by any later research. Especially the research on DDT and its deadly effects on non-target species stands up to scrutiny. In 2007, Discover Magazine noted more than a thousand peer-reviewed science studies had been done on the damage DDT does to birds and small animals, all confirming what Ms. Carson only suspected. There is not one contrary study, not one.

    The lack of studies contradicting Carson has not stopped some radical poisonists from falsely claiming there are such studies, nor from distorting the studies out there. DDT is completely ineffective against the lies told by supporters of poisoning.

    In June 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S., despite considerable evidence of its safety, outlawed DDT.

    Under U.S. law, no such action could be taken without evidence. The writers obviously are not lawyers.

    In 1972, after nine months of hearings that established DDT is an uncontrollable poison in the wild that kills birds, fish, and mammals indiscriminately, PLUS under court order from two different federal courts who had stayed a complete ban on DDT pending EPA’s study and action, EPA banned the use of DDT on agricultural crops, leaving DDT manufacture for export and use to fight pests in health emergencies on the table.

    The World Health Organization had had to abandon its noble effort to eradicate malaria in 1965, because overuse of DDT on agricultural crops had left mosquitoes around the world resistant and immune to the stuff. EPA’s action was a desperate, too-late attempt to do what Rachel Carson had asked a decade earlier — keep DDT viable for use against killer diseases.

    After seven months of testimony, the EPA’s own administrative law expert declared that the insecticide “is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man” and its proper use “does not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.”

    It’s a complex legal issue, but Judge Edmund Sweeney’s ruling applied to DDT as used under the label proposed by the DDT manufacturers to keep the stuff on the market — which label restricted DDT use from all agricultural use, but would have left the stuff for sale for anyone who wished to abuse it, despite thousands of pages of testimony that such abuse ravaged ecosystems and killed domestic animals. In short, Sweeney thought he lacked the legal authority to ban DDT, so long as the manufacturers proposed essentially such a ban in labeling (enforcement would have been left to a non-existent group of federal agents).

    Sweeney did indeed find that DDT didn’t pose much of a threat to humans as a poison.

    DDT was banned because it is uncontrollable in the wild, not because it harms humans.

    See here:

    Judge Sweeney did not find that DDT is harmless. Quite to the contrary, Sweeney wrote in the findings of the hearing:

    20. DDT can have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish and estuarine organisms when directly applied to the water.

    21. DDT is used as a rodenticide. [DDT was used to kill bats in homes and office buildings; this was so effective that, coupled with accidental dosing of bats from their eating insects carrying DDT, it actually threatened to wipe out some species of bat in the southwest U.S.]

    22. DDT can have an adverse effect on beneficial animals.

    23. DDT is concentrated in organisms and can be transferred through food chains.

    DDT use in the U.S. had dropped from a 1959 high of 79 million pounds, to just 12 million pounds by 1972. Hazards from DDT use prompted federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior to severely restrict or stop use of the stuff prior to 1963. Seeing the writing on the wall, manufacturers tried to keep DDT on the market by labeling it very restrictively. That would allow people to buy it legally, and then use it illegally, but such misuse can almost never be prosecuted.

    Since then, we have quite definitive evidence that DDT is carcinogenic — weakly so in humans directly exposed, fortunately, but it appears to hit children of women exposed to DDT, many years later.

    DDT was banned because it kills beneficial life other than humans. The most famous example is the bald eagle, the national symbol of the U.S. Its recovery from the endangered species list proceeded exactly as residual DDT in adult bird tissues declined.

    The Vancouver Sun rambles on:

    But those who apparently find no problem in the consequent deaths of millions who die from malaria and other insect-caused illnesses — or who would rather put up with the bedbug affliction than acknowledge the wonderful efficacy of DDT — still celebrate that 1972 ban as a great victory.

    Malaria death totals are much less than a third of what they were when DDT was used indiscriminately, and half what they were in 1972 when the U.S. banned DDT use in the USA, on cotton, but left the manufacturing available to export the poison to Africa. DDT didn’t eradicate malaria in Africa because it can’t, not because it wasn’t available. DDT has always been available in Africa, has never been banned by any of dozens of African governments, and is still in use today across the continent.

    Instead of returning to a procedure that has proven its worth, we’re left with prescriptions for fighting bedbugs that are lame and laughable.

    Proven its worth? Bedbugs became immune to DDT in the 1950s. That’s why DDT use against them was stopped before Rachel Carson published.

    Do they have any fact checkers at the Vancouver Sun, or do they make all this stuff up?

    Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death (2003), writes contemptuously of how New York City’s bedbug advisory board recommends that people dealing with the problem “use blow-dryers to flush out (maybe five per cent of) the bugs, then throw away (thousands of dollars worth of) infested clothing, bedding, carpeting, and furniture. Hire (expensive) professionals who have insecticides that (may) eradicate the pests — and hope you don’t get scammed.” (The parentheses are Driessen’s, not the board’s.)

    Why does Paul Driessen show such an astounding lack of respect to science? His misleading claims are those which should be derided. Why does he advocate use of DDT, when DDT is known not to work?

    In 2006, the World Health Organization finally acknowledged that DDT is an unrivalled insecticide that ought not be banned. But in 2009, the United Nations Environmental Program nevertheless announced its intention to rid the world of DDT by 2020.

    WHO put out a press release reiterating its policy of using DDT under extremely controlled circumstances, where it might still be effective — but WHO was still frustrated by the fact that DDT is ineffective in far too many places because it had been overused, earlier. UNEP is an arm of WHO, by the way — the 2001 treaty calling for the ban of DDT comes from the same people who use it, and know it well, and know it is not a magic powder, but a deadly toxin.

    If only the millions who are vulnerable to the ravages of malaria — and now the trauma of experiencing bedbugs — could have a say on the matter.
    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

    Actually, they do have a say on the matter. They say cure malaria and stop trying to poison them instead with DDT.


  7. Steve L says:

    So, I bought the Folio Society version of Silent Spring (2000) in hardcover. I still haven’t had time to open it. I wish I had, because here’s Rachel Carson being attacked in the local (for me) Vancouver Sun:
    by this person:
    I’d really like to write a letter in response. But what exactly are the worst misconceptions promoted by this article? I’m gonna go and ask bug girl about the bed bug angle.


  8. […] Fighting Malaria claims to be fighting malaria In response to earlier analysis here, that Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) does not appear to do much to fight malari…, Richard Tren wrote a comment to a post at […]


  9. […] of DDT: Malawi ponders DDT use against malaria Here’s a news story that Richard Tren and Donald North hope neither you nor anyone else will read.  It says that Malawi is pondering whether to use DDT […]


  10. Dale Husband says:

    If the subject matter wasn’t so serious, I’d be dying of laughter at the delusional screaming of graemebird. He is the sort of person the word “idiot” would have been coined for.


  11. Ed Darrell says:

    You want the black kids dead there is no doubt about this.

    You want the black kids dead.


    Its as simple as that.

    Mr. Bird. Get a grip. Go take a walk, get some fresh air. You’re seeing things that aren’t there, and failing to see things that are.

    Nets completely prevent the mosquito from coming in contact with the person or persons under the net. Is that distance between them three feet? Good. No mosquito has a proboscis that long. Malaria prevented.

    DDT, on the other hand, functions by killing the mosquito after it has already had a blood meal, and it pauses on the wall of the home before flying off to rest. DDT puts no distance between the people and the mosquito.

    So if three feet is bad, zero is worse.

    If preventing malaria makes us genocidal, make the most of it (no one knows a useful purpose for the malaria parasite). Such a genocide saves Africans’ lives, regardless their color.

    Quit being obnoxious.


  12. graemebird says:

    Why do you want them to die? I don’t them to die? Why do you want them to die?

    They are not a burden to you or this planet.

    They have never stolen money off me.

    They are not the burden YOU ARE THE BURDEN. And they have never been the burden YOU have always been the burden.

    So stop trying to murder these kids. Because I don’t consider them a burden. I consider YOU a burden. Just leave them alone….. PLEASE …. I’ll get down on my knees and plead with you not to murder the black kids no more.

    I would want you people to stop being such parasites off people like me.

    But if you give me the choice, I’ll settle for you not murdering the black kids.


  13. graemebird says:

    You want the black kids dead there is no doubt about this.

    You want the black kids dead.


    Its as simple as that.


  14. graemebird says:

    “Graeme, no one has said anything about bed nets only.”

    You are lying Ed. And anyone can currently scroll down to see that this is indeed the basis of all your eugenicist arguments.

    From the start I advocated multiple layers of defense. From the start you advocated blatant population control through malaria.

    Nothing could be more certain.

    Outside you pitiful circle the rest of us see through you.


  15. graemebird says:

    Chris you are lying. Thats exactly what the policy is. And they want black kids dead. This is manifest.

    Dale you are a fake. Does you religious handicap stop you from admitting your anti-patriotic bias?


  16. Chris S. says:

    I see nowhere where I, or anyone else advocated a ‘nets only’ policy perhaps the good Mr. Bird may want to read through the thread again this time with understanding.

    Better than spraying:


  17. Dale Husband says:

    Graemebird is as stupid as he is arrogant. DDT could have been replaced by other pesticides that were less harmful to birds and other insect eaters. And we could have come up with direct treatments for malaria instead of killing off mosquitos with DDT. Also, it is well known that insects develop resistance to pesticides, including DDT, making them useless after they are used for a few decades. But nets can prevent mosquitos from biting people and giving them malaria no matter how many pesticides they may become resistant to.


  18. BirdLab says:

    Is it too soon to arrange an emergency intervention, do you think?

    Or perhaps compulsory detention in a psychiatric facility might be more appropriate.


  19. Ed Darrell says:

    Graeme, no one has said anything about bed nets only. I am firmly convinced that you don’t know your burro from a burrow.

    Ed you are genocidal scum. There is nothing clearer than that. To advocate bringing the mosquito to within three feet of the black babies brain is genocidal.

    And yet you think it’s just dandy to let the mosquitoes bite the kids. As I noted before, you clearly don’t know how DDT works in Indoor Residual Spraying, the only way DDT is used these days, and you don’t know much about how malaria is transmitted, nor do you know much about malaria in general, and you’re nasty, unBritish and short besides.

    If you’ve figured out what the difference is between your burro and a burrow yet, then you know you owe apologies to the gentle readers here.

    You know exactly whats going to happen. Under this policy it is only a matter of time until each of these children are murdered. This is the outcome. This is what you are after.

    Under a policy of bednets, limited IRS, improved diagnoses, prompt treatment, complete treatment, research for new pharmaceuticals, and education to show people how to avoid getting bitten, especially how to drain mosquito breeding areas within 25 yards of their homes, malaria death rates now are as low as they ever have been, less than half what they were when DDT use was at its acme. Infection rates are dropping in some places. In several places across Africa, bednet use cut malaria infection by 50% to 85%

    And yet, you mischaracterize these dramatic improvements in fighting malaria as “genocide.”

    I’ll take your mention of murder as your threat against African children, and note that you’re bordering on criminally insane.

    You owe those kids an apology, too. Show us your genuine regret, and genuine learning, by providing us with the image of the receipt you get when you make your $100 donation to Nothing But Nets, thereby saving 100 lives.

    Only one really, really, really obnoxious guy who refused to discuss issues has ever gotten banned here, Bird. You really don’t want to be #2.


  20. BirdLab says:

    Graeme, it’s pretty clear that you are a Malaria Control bedwetter.

    Now go back to the pie-shop, you uneducated, unemployable, Kiwi tub of lard. You have the IQ of a slug.


  21. yilloslime says:

    Great post Ed. I’ve always loved your DDT posts. I also often wondered what AFM actually does to fight malaria. Their annual reports talk about all the OpEds, LTEs, and articles they place and the conferences they go to, but there’s next to nothing about doing actual malaria control work, which is odd considering their name is “Africa Fighting Malaria.”

    (I say “next to nothing” b/c their 2009 annual report does talk about their “March of Washingtons” campaign to provide antimalarial drugs to East Africa. So far they raised $83,307 and distributed $30,000 worth of drugs. Of course, their 2008 990 shows them taking in 318,000 in revenue, so it’s a net negative– they spent more than $300K to raise less than $100 for actual malaria control)

    I too am suspicious of their motive in their drug work. Certainly, counterfeit and expired drugs are a big problem, but given their motivations for promoting DDT (as documented by Ed, John Quiggin, Tim Lambert, and others) I can’t help but suspect that this latest pet issue if theirs is really designed to breed suspicion of generic drug producers so as to strengthen position of Big Pharma. The financial disclosures on some of AFM’s academic papers indicate contributes from big drug companies.

    And if you look at AFM’s papers on drug quality, you’ll note that they don’t compare drugs to US Pharmacopoeia standards or other accepted standards. In fact it’s unclear what standards they are using to say “this is a good sample”/”this is a bad sample”, and they don’t compare samples collected in the field to bona fide samples known be “real”.* So whether the “fake” drugs they identify really are any worse than “real” (i.e. brand name) drugs isn’t clear.

    *Actually, let me clarify: it’s clear what standards they use to decide whether an individual pill is good or bad, but drug quality is not about individual pills, it’s about batches. USP and other drug standards allow individual pills to fail while “passing” a production batch, so long as a certain percentage of pills in the batch are good. So for a production batch, if something 90% of the sampled pills have between 75% and 125% of the labeled amount of active ingredient, then the batch passes. And this where it’s unclear what standard AFM is using.


  22. graemebird says:

    Ed you are genocidal scum. There is nothing clearer than that. To advocate bringing the mosquito to within three feet of the black babies brain is genocidal. You know exactly whats going to happen. Under this policy it is only a matter of time until each of these children are murdered. This is the outcome. This is what you are after.


  23. graemebird says:

    You morons. You still haven’t got it to where you can understand the difference between a bednets policy and a bednets alone policy.


  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Steve Reuland said:

    So yeah, it appears that they do nothing to actually fight malaria. But if they have a good explanation for how this money is spent, I’d like to hear it.

    You know, I hope AFM has a good explanation that involves something that actually fights malaria, as opposed to something that tries to denigrate WHO or Rachel Carson. But I do not believe they do. I’m a cynic from much experience.


  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Mr. Bird said:

    DDT kills the mosquito you moron DDT, and other pesticides are just part of the picture.

    DDT kills the mosquito, if it kills at all, after the mosquito has bitten its victim. We hope to get the mosquito within two weeks of its first having bitten, so that would be before it could transmit malaria (which it must get from a human victim first; it takes about two weeks for the malaria parasite to develop to the next stage, able to re-infect humans).

    Nets stop the bite altogether.

    On the basis of your “close to the baby” criterion early in this thread, Mr. Bird, nets are much more efficacious, and much more effective.


  26. Steve L says:

    Thanks Ed. I’ll go a-looking for a copy, and I’ll follow your bug-girl links.


  27. On a superficial level after reading the 2009 report, it seems like their work on drug efficacy and drug counterfeiting is actually useful, as opposed to their DDT nonsense.

    My suspicion is that they’re carrying water for big pharma by opposing the use of generic drugs. Maybe there is a problem with some generics being of poor quality, but it seems more like a way to rationalize getting poor Africans to pay 10 times as much for the same thing.


  28. Interesting work, Ed. I looked at the 990s for 2008 and 2007. In 2008, they spent about $100k on “malaria education”, which I sort of doubt means that they went around to African villages telling the locals how to avoid malaria. I suspect it was spent on videos and promotional material. The other 2/3rds of their money went to salaries and overhead.

    In 2007, they spent no money at all on education or any other charitable function that I can see. They spent a whopping $155k on “consulting fees”, which is highly suspicious.

    So yeah, it appears that they do nothing to actually fight malaria. But if they have a good explanation for how this money is spent, I’d like to hear it.


  29. graemebird says:

    Alright. Since you people are insane we have to break it down to small steps.

    Do you people understand the difference between a Bednets policy and a Bednets-only policy?

    Do you intellectually handicapped people understand the difference between a DDT-only policy and DDT as part of the policy.

    Do you black-baby-haters understand the difference between a steelcaps industrial safety policy and a steelcaps-only safety policy.

    If yes go to step 2. Which is to re-read the last post by Chris and appreciate the enormity of of the blood-lust and stupidity involved.


  30. graemebird says:

    You idiot Chris. The argument isn’t DDT-only versus Bednets only.

    What is it that makes you people so stupid? It is leftist meddling that has lead to the insane policy of DDT INSIDE the house.

    DDT INSIDE the house is all about bringing the mosquito closer to the house. It never used to be about DDT inside the house. DDT inside the house is something that has been brought to us by leftist morons.

    You guys are quite literally insane. You cannot understand safety concepts even after they are explained to you.

    You cannot understand the concept of it not being about ONE MEASURE ONLY even after its been pointed out to you.


  31. graemebird says:

    DDT kills the mosquito you moron DDT, and other pesticides are just part of the picture. Just in the same way as steel-caps and hearing protection is only one part of industrial safety.

    Bednets are only part of the formula. You are not a believer in bednets. You are a believer in BEDNETS ONLY. Which means of course that you are an eugenicist.

    I’ve explained the situation to you. You still don’t get it. This is because you want black kids dead.


  32. Chris S. says:

    Ed: “DDT, on the other hand, leaves no barrier between the child and the mosquito. In fact, DDT is intended to kill mosquitoes after they have already bitten a human and taken blood.”

    On that front you may want to check out this link:

    Note in particular the following points:

    10. There is no evidence of mosquitos succumbing to the effects of DDT in kerosene inside the hut. Nearly all the Anopheles feeding in such huts leave after feeding and show no appreciable mortality in the following 48 hours.

    11. The DDT in kerosene has a marked residual irritant effect on Anopheles, driving them out of the house after they have fed, and preventing mosquitos resting long enough on treated surfaces to absorb a lethal dose of DDT.

    12. The few days complete protection from biting mosquitos which follows spraying inside the house with DDT in kerosene, is shown to be due mainly, if not entirely, to the repellent effect of the heavy dose of kerosene which accompanies the DDT.

    13. Treatment of all rooms in an isolated village reduced the day catch to nil during 5 weeks after treatment. In outside resting places beside the village, bloodfed and gravid Anopheles, of which 2 per cent. had sporozoites in the salivary glands, Were taken regularly during this period.

    14. The apparent elimination of mosquitos from houses following treatment of rooms with DDT in kerosene is due to a complete shift from inside to outside resting places, on account of the residual irritant, but not lethal, effect of DDT-in-kerosene treated surfaces.

    That is in addition to the well know resistance problems of DDT and other insecticides e.g.:

    “Using WHO diagnostic doses, all populations from Burkina Faso and Chad and two of the four populations from Sudan were classified as resistant to permethrin and/or deltamethrin. Very high frequencies of DDT resistance were found in urban areas in Burkina Faso … In the cotton-growing region of Soumousso in Burkina Faso, the vector population is resistant to all four classes of insecticide available for malaria control.”


  33. Ed Darrell says:

    Brian Schmidt said:

    On a superficial level after reading the 2009 report, it seems like their work on drug efficacy and drug counterfeiting is actually useful, as opposed to their DDT nonsense. Who knows though – some of their citations are pretty vague. It might be a good homework project for someone to follow up and see if they’ve really published where they’ve claimed to have published.

    That would be a great follow up — looking for real publication as opposed to op-eds in which they blame environmentalists fighting malaria for spreading malaria.

    As a tool to fight malaria, DDT is over. There are better pesticides, which are more effective and cheaper to apply. Fighting malaria has always required improved medical care, improved housing, and education about how to avoid mosquito contact (draining rain gutters, barrels, potholes and other breeding places around homes, especially). With DDT, all the other stuff still has to be done. Almost no one advocates outdoor use of DDT anymore.

    So the argument is really this: Should we keep blaming Rachel Carson, falsely, or should we spend our resources fighting malaria? AFM chooses the former, and it’s wrong.

    AFM spends about $200,000 a year according to the reports. In most years, about 50% of that spending goes to salaries for Roger Bate or Richard Tren. That leaves about $100,000 for good research. But read the 990s, and it doesn’t look like they are making grants to research agencies, to me.

    The high school kids taking bake sale proceeds and sending $10 to Nothing But Nets is doing more to fight malaria than AFM, one can easily argue.


  34. Ed Darrell says:

    Graeme, can you explain why it is you think we should use DDT, which allows the mosquitoes to bite kids first, instead of the nest, which prevent the bites?

    DDT is sprayed on the walls of homes. The idea is that some mosquito species fly to the wall of the home to rest after biting their victim and taking a blood meal. If the wall has DDT on it, the mosquitoes, if they are not resistant to DDT, will get a dose and die before they can bite again.

    But this is a heckuva gamble. We’re hoping we get the mosquito on its first or second bite, before it’s had two weeks for the malaria parasite to grow in the mosquito to the next stage of its life cycle, which is to reinfect the next human bitten. That human then will be bitten by other mosquitoes, and they will get the malaria parasite then, to spread farther.

    Nets cut that cycle off completely. Why not use nets? Why use children of Africa as bait to get mosquitoes into DDT traps?


  35. graemebird says:

    Here is a bit of a truncated version of how hazards are dealt with under industrial safety. The bednets dogma, would be roughly equivalent to a reliance on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) alone:

    Elimination (including substitution): remove the hazard from the workplace.

    Engineering Controls: includes designs or modifications to plants, equipment, ventilation systems, and processes that reduce the source of exposure.

    Administrative Controls: controls that alter the way the work is done, including timing of work, policies and other rules, and work practices such as standards and operating procedures (including training, housekeeping, and equipment maintenance, and personal hygiene practices).

    Personal Protective Equipment: equipment worn by individuals to reduce exposure such as contact with chemicals or exposure to noise.

    These control measures, as presented here, are in their correct order. The PPE is always the last resort. In the end we all wind up with steel-capped boots and hearing protection, since there is no way to make your feet safe through prior controls mentioned, and since having quietly running heavy machinery would be prohibitively expensive. But to rely on PPE alone would be just a disaster.

    So there is a real science to this sort of thing. Leftists in the public sector, who have lived all their life in the big city may delude themselves that they are right about this. It would probably be easier to shoot them then to talk sense to them. They are totally wrong. And there is a whole body of knowledge built up in analogous fields to show they are wrong. And the empirical evidence makes clear they are wrong, since look at all the kids their meddling has murdered!!!!

    You never fight on the defensive. You never have one line of defense alone. You never rely on protective equipment only.

    I don’t suppose there is any use persuading committed irrationalists. We’ve just got to try and stop you people somehow.


  36. graemebird says:

    Listen to the anti-black holocaust-denial:

    “……as opposed to their DDT nonsense.”

    What DDT nonsense would that be Schmidt? Would you like to spell it out? How many Jews are you claiming the third reich murdered while you are about it? Just a few thousand was it?


  37. graemebird says:

    “Nets may allow mosquitoes to come within a few feet of a kid under the net, protecting the child all the time.”

    No you are just being a moron Ed. Don’t be applying for jobs to do with occupational health and safety. This is about you wanting black kids dead.


  38. On a superficial level after reading the 2009 report, it seems like their work on drug efficacy and drug counterfeiting is actually useful, as opposed to their DDT nonsense. Who knows though – some of their citations are pretty vague. It might be a good homework project for someone to follow up and see if they’ve really published where they’ve claimed to have published.


  39. Ed Darrell says:

    Steve L,

    See the last chapter of Silent Spring, “The Other Road,” starting on page 277 of the 40th Anniversary Edition. Also be sure to read the forward and the essays by Linda Lear, Carson’s biographer, and by the great biologist Edward O. Wilson.


  40. Ed Darrell says:

    Steve L,

    ::wondering where I put my copy of Silent Spring when we moved the office . . .::

    Bug Girl has some of the best, hard-science reporting on this issue. I urge you to get a copy of Silent Spring and read what Carson actually wrote.

    In the meantime, check out Bug Girl:

  41. “DDT, junk science, malaria, and the attack on Rachel Carson”
  42. “Setting the record straight on Rachel Carson” (This has the most direct quotes, though the links to the USFWS site have expired.) (But also see the USFWS flyer, “Rachel Carson, a conservation legacy.”)
  43. “DDT, junk science, malaria and insecticide resistance” (Probably the best, quick summary of what integrated pest management (IPM) really is.)
  44. Hope that helps.


  • Steve L says:

    Congratulations — your bit of research in looking-up form 990s will probably save more lives than AFM ever will, since now people like Ellie can be more certain that their contributions support something relatively worthwhile. Shame on AFM. I hope this web page is viewed widely, and I hope people will look up form 990s for the organizations they do support.

    Question: I don’t know Rachel Carson very well. Do you have a link for her supporting Indoor Residual Spraying? Actually, the whole paragraph on AFM’s lie (in its 2009 Annual Report) might be improved by better documentation of other groups’ support of it.

    Thanks again.


  • Jim Stanley says:


    Hi again! Regarding this statement of yours…

    “Environmentalists have murdered tens of millions with the centralization of malaria control. This is a fact of history”

    Could you kindly provide some source material? I’d be interested in seeing what scholarly journals, medical professionals or UN officials have to say. If you’re right, this should be a grave concern.

    Thanks so much!



  • Ed Darrell says:

    Bird, here’s my earlier rebuttal to that silly, inaccurate and shameful videoright to label it “shame” — that is what you meant, right?):

    Some of these people appear to be incredibly ill-informed. DDT doesn’t kill the malaria parasite. It only treats one vector in one part of the parasites’ life cycle.

    Mueller toured consuming DDT? That’s a bizarre claim. Gordon Edwards did — but Mueller? Got a citation for that?

    DDT harmless? There is no study that indicates that’s true for humans. DDT is regularly used as a poison in suicides in India. The toxicity studies cite several human deaths from DDT. It’s not powerfully acutely toxic to humans, but no study claims it is safe for humans. It is listed as a probable human carcinogen by every cancer-fighting agency on Earth — are these people calling the American Cancer Society liars?

    DDT has been available for use freely in Africa for decades. Where it was used heavily, use was stopped when it stopped being effective. Is there some pixie dust that makes it work again?

    And, would you look at this video? The malaria-fighting experts who are actually in Africa, as opposed to a London TV studio, think nets work well:



  • Ed Darrell says:

    Bird, you’re still divorced from reality, I see.

    Nets may allow mosquitoes to come within a few feet of a kid under the net, protecting the child all the time.

    DDT, on the other hand, leaves no barrier between the child and the mosquito. In fact, DDT is intended to kill mosquitoes after they have already bitten a human and taken blood.

    If you’re paying attention, this would explain why nets are so much more effective than DDT. Nets stop almost all mosquitoes; DDT doesn’t stop any, but we hope it kills enough that none survive the two weeks or so required for malaria parasites to mature to that stage in their life cycle that they can reinfect humans. Alas for fighting DDT, that’s not always the case.

    Nets alone are about 50% to 85% effective; DDT alone is 25% to 50% effective.

    Following the lines of illogic you used on Ellie’s comment, we might wonder: Why do you hate children so, Mr. Bird? And what is your special distaste for Africa and Asia?

    Ellie: You can’t reason a man out of a position he didn’t get to by reason. You can’t change any of Graeme Bird’s views.


  • Ellie says:

    graemebird wrote, “Ellie, your insistence on the use of nets alone is an attempt to bring malaria-infected mosquitos within three feet of someone elses beautiful little baby.”

    Goodness! There must be something going on in cyberspace to which I am not privvy, adding words to my comment that I am unable to see! I have reread my comment several times, and nowhere that I can I find “insistence on the use of nets alone.” Would you mind pointing it out to me? Thank you in advance for your help.

    BTW, I can’t find that AFM has actually contributed anything material to the fight against malaria, but they do seem to be highly successful at raising money and paying themselves. Perhaps you could help me there, also? By “material,” I mean something other than papers, articles and expensive videos.


  • graemebird says:

    Ellie, your insistence on the use of nets alone is an attempt to bring malaria-infected mosquitos within three feet of someone elses beautiful little baby.




  • graemebird says:

    Environmentalists have murdered tens of millions with the centralization of malaria control. This is a fact of history. Anyone saying otherwise is a holocaust denier. Its a confession to being a eugenicist and an anti-black racist.


  • Ellie says:

    I guess since I send more than $10 a year to my church’s world charity organization (Episcopal Relief and Development) to purchase nets, I’ve already saved more people than AFM has saved or will save anytime in the near future.

    Anything to make a buck. Way to go, Roger.


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