Health Agendas For The Birds

Published July 9, 2007

On June 27, the Benton Crier ran an Associated Press article by H. Josef Hebert (“U.S. bald eagle numbers making a recovery”) that extolled the virtues of the ban on DDT due to its role in allowing the birds to increase to 10,000 breeding pair in 2007. This increase caused the federal government to consider removing the eagle from the endangered species list.

In Congressional quarters, accolades are offered to Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring for its role in heightening the interest in environmentalism and conservation, and the resultant lobbying for the ban on DDT to save birds. Yet, the true silence comes from every American who fails to acknowledge the two generations of voiceless, faceless, African women and children who have perished from malaria because mosquitoes were allowed to fester.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.5 million people die of the disease each year in Africa, mostly children. Malaria is the second leading cause of death in Africa after AIDS, and is also the leading killer of children there–one child dies of malaria every 30 seconds. But American symbolism is alive and well. Ten thousand mating eagles remind us how important life is. Health strategies are, alas, for the birds.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager for The Heartland Institute.