Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban ‘Neonic’ Insecticides, Imperiling Global Health

March 17, 2014

From: Forbes

By Richard Tren

Some of history’s greatest advances in public health – especially in regions plagued by insect borne diseases – have come from the judicious use of pesticides to kill or repel the insect vector before it can infect human populations.  Because the market for public health pesticides is relatively small, however, most of these vital chemistries were developed for larger agricultural uses. Unfortunately, that source of new products is increasingly under threat from shortsighted environmentalism and the European embrace of “precautionary” regulation.

As unpleasant as this cold winter is, at least those annoying mosquitoes have disappeared and won’t be back for several months. Not so in many tropical countries, where mosquitoes are far more deadly than in the US, transmitting crippling and often fatal diseases such as malaria and dengue.

Global distribution of Malaria risk.Global distribution of Malaria risk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two recent pesticide bans in the EU – one fully in effect, the other in the process of being phased in – could create massive new disincentives for further development in this area. Both bans were politically motivated and instituted over the objection of independent scientists, and similar bans are now being pushed by activists in the U.S. Should the EPA cave to political pressure, the long-term effect on global public health could be devastating.

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