Environmental policy makes it nearly impossible to combat Zika virus

Environmental policy makes it nearly impossible to combat Zika virus
The Zika-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti, no longer on a solo mission in the Western hemisphere. (Image via News Independent)

It is arguable that in the history of the world there has been no greater killer plague than malaria. The numbers are staggering. Today over three billion people somehow find the strength to cope with its debilitating effects. Those people are largely in the impoverished South.

You see, malaria was eliminated in the West and North because of the invention, and use, of the miracle pesticide DDT. DDT could stop Zika, just as it stopped malaria. For that matter, it could also stop mosquito-borne dengue fever in Hawaii, which just declared a state of emergency due to the largest outbreak since the 1940s.

Environmental policy makes that not just unlikely, but impossible.

Soon after the first Earth Day in 1970, as eco-hysteria drove public policy, DDT was banned in the United States. Thanks to the EPA, the most effective tool against disease-ridden mosquitos is still not politically correct, and at just the moment that Zika has zoomed into our attention.

DDT is not without its detriments. But, in the absence of effective and affordable alternatives, when one weighs the costs of the use of DDT versus the benefits of the elimination of disease-ridden mosquitos, it is a small price to pay.

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