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Your reporter states that 'Scientists discovered compelling evidence that the pesticide DDT may in fact be as great a menace as malaria itself' (American gene scientists seek a cure for malaria' - June 2001). The article goes on to state that the release of DDT into the environment could have potentially catastrophic implications for future generations and that there are certain potential health impacts, such as its purported effect on sex hormones and then states that DDT is a carcinogen. These are opinions dressed up as facts.

DDT was first used in agriculture and malaria control shortly after the Second World War. In the nearly 60 years that DDT has been used and present in the environment, there have been many allegations made about its impact on human health, but not none have stood up to replication and reporting in the Scientific peer review literature. Countless studies have looked into the effects of DDT and all that they have been able to do is produce potential and theoretical harms.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer rates DDT as a possible human carcinogen (a far lower ranking than nutmeg, orange juice, coffee and many pharmaceutical drugs). Again, not one case controlled study of DDT's human carcinogenicity has been affirmatively replicated. Therefore, the...

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