EUROPEAN UNION & BAYER KILLING AFRICAN CHILDREN:
A NEWS RELEASE FROM AFRICA FIGHTING MALARIA
By Richard Tren, Roger Bate, & Paul K. Driessen
Now a leading manufacturer of other insecticides, which are far more expensive and far less effective than DDT, has issued his own hostile and unconscionable statements, proclaiming that his company proudly supports the EU position. Anyone who thought Europe’s colonialist past was bad enough should read the September 28, 2005, news release from Africa Fighting Malaria, a news release which tells the world about what the EU and Bayer are doing to some of the most diseased and impoverished people on our planet.
European countries and companies must get the message that these immoral threats will no longer go unchallenged or be tolerated. They violate the most fundamental human rights of all -- the right to health and to life. Paul K. Driessen
Ninety-three percent of Uganda’s population is at risk from malaria, with millions of cases and thousands of deaths annually. But Senior Management within the German chemical giant, Bayer Crop Sciences, is putting commercial profit above the lives of Uganda’s children, by denying them use of the life-saving insecticide DDT.
“It’s utterly disgraceful for a powerful company like Bayer not only to put commercial interests above human life, but also to lie in the process,” says Richard Tren, South African Director of Africa Fighting Malaria, a health advocacy group. Tren testifies on DDT to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) hearing today.
Many poor countries with malaria use DDT to control the mosquitoes that carry the parasites. DDT is sprayed in tiny amounts on the inside walls of dwellings, in carefully controlled programs that save countless thousands of lives, mainly children, every year.
But Bayer sees things differently. “We fully support [the EU’s decision] to ban imports of agricultural products coming from countries using DDT,” Bayer Vector Control Manager Gerhard Hesse proudly proclaimed in an email exchange with malaria scientists. Admitting that “DDT use is, for us, a commercial threat,” Dr. Hesse went on to expound a series of half-truths and outright falsehoods, mostly denigrating the use of DDT.
Bayer Crop Sciences reported sales of over US$7 billion in 2004, and Bayer’s Dr. Hesse sits on the board of the World Health Organization’s Roll Back Malaria (RBM) coalition, as do other commercial contractors to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It has been rumored that these potentially conflicting interests are undermining RBM, which was charged in 1998 with halving malaria rates by 2010. Instead, RBM has overseen an increase in disease and death rates, due to in part to policies that shun DDT. RBM has been characterized as “a failing public health program” by the leading British Medical Journal.
Until now, Uganda has bowed to outside pressure. However, Ugandan Health Minister, Jim Muhwezi, is determined to use DDT. Speaking at a World Malaria Day commemoration in April, 2005, Muhwezi noted that “DDT has been proven, over and over again, to be the most effective and least expensive method of fighting malaria."
Many malarial countries rely on international aid to fund their programs and are therefore forced to adopt policies that aid agencies and the European Union prefer, but which are not necessarily what the countries need.
Britain’s leading malaria specialist, Professor Chris Curtis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says of the threatened EU ban:
Don Roberts, Professor of Tropical Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, said:
Richard Tren & Roger Bate
Africa Fighting Malaria
P.O. Box 782492
Sandton, 2146, South Africa
Africa South of the Sahara -- Black Africa
Paul K. Driessen is Senior Policy Advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality, the Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow, and the
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, which can be
obtained at www.Eco-Imperialism.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org --- Telephone:
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