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DDT

Basis of rating

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
Recognition received: This comprised awards won and the number of scientific publications. Although the dte-cse award is aimed at highlighting unrecognised work, the credibility of the work undertaken and number of awards won was considered important. In terms of publications, the number of papers as well as citations of the work were considered.

Quality of Research: Only a fig leaf

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
I n 1996-97, the government of India claims that it spent Rs 333.8 crore on protection and sustainable use of the environment. Our research shows that in 1998-99, the government spent some Rs 474.81 crore. These may be inadequate sums of money, but by themselves they are not small. How well is this money being spent to protect the health of our ecosystems, the country's biodiversity and human beings?

Problem

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
Malaria kills 3,000 people every day across the world, over one million people each year. Three out of four victims are children. Over 275 million cases occur each year. The disease is a serious public health problem in India -- over three million cases are reported each year. Unofficial figures claim the number is several times the official figures as thousands of cases aren't reported. In most parts of the country, periodic epidemics of malaria occur every five to seven years.

EXPERTSPEAK

Ecological Security is all pervasive, all encompassing. It is not merely the flora, fauna, air, water and land. It is whole economics. One cannot separate Financial Security and Ecological Security. But we need to paraphrase the term. It should not be used as the other abused word -- sustainable. Everybody talks about it but no one knows what it means. Hardly any efforts are made to achieve Ecological Security in India. It is the apathy of the government. The government has the funds. But It's just not interested. The quality of space research is very good.

Payback time

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2001
four us chemical companies will pay a compensation of us $73 million to clean up ddt-contaminated waste near California's Santa Catalina Island. This amount is the largest compensation ever paid for an environmental clean up, other than oil. The companies include Montrose Chemical Corporation, Aventis SA, Chris-Craft Industries Incorporation and Atkemix Thirty Seven Incorporation.

Playing safe

Issue Date: Jan 15, 2001
the case for using the 'precautionary principle' to protect human health has received a boost through recent negotiations for a global treaty to control toxic chemicals. Action can now be taken against toxic 'persistent organic pollutants' ( pops) as long as there is scientific evidence that they pose a risk to human health and environment even without complete certainty.

Playing with poison

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1999
why haven't we banned ddt as yet. There are reasons enough to do so. Therefore, it is indeed surprising that the 115 nations that sat down to negotiate a ban on pesticides failed to ban ddt (dichloro diphynel trichloroethane). Perhaps, it is because ddt is used to fight malaria, a poor man's disease. Does this reflect a lack of concern on the part of the rich for the poor?

FOLLOW UP

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1999
It is known for its ability to render birds sterile, enter the food chain, persist in its original form without degrading for a long period of time, disrupt the reproductive system and is suspected to have carcinogenic properties. But it seems that dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) will not be banned. Recently, at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, 115 nations convened to negotiate on the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), as such substances are called. But they failed to put in place a moratorium on its use.

Pact on pollutants

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1999
representatives from 115 nations signed a draft agreement to ban eight highly toxic pesticides and other chemicals, that are among the "dirty dozen" persistent organic pollutants ( pop s), which are compounds that accumulate in the food chain. However, there was no consensus on ddt ( dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane) , which is used for eradicating mosquitoes, that transmit malaria.

Back like a bad penny

Author(s): Mario
Issue Date: Oct 15, 1999
It seems that ddt will not be banned. Over 115 nations which met to negotiate a convention on persistant organic pollutants (pops ) have agreed not to do so. The excuse, perhaps rather lame, is that the substance is needed to combat malaria. Popularly known by its acronym ddt , it was the villain of the piece in the late 50s and shook the world out of its complacency towards pesticides.
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