View Full Version : West Nile Virus vs Liberalism

08-10-2002, 01:26 AM
Some may recall that back in '99 when WNV first arrived in NYC a TreeCo Owner/Freind/Customer of mine & I were the only conservative industry voices to be heard above the din of hug-a-tree liberals in NYC. Talk radio conservative on WABC 770AM even jumped on board the band wagon. I became a regular call-in guest of Curtis & Cooby as "Steve the Pesticide Salesman from Whitelondia CT".

No, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. This really happened.

You see, we knew the family of the first WNV fatality. I was plenty pleased the night I got sprayed with Malathion outside my old LESCO Service Center in White Plains. But not the NY press.

They jumped all over Rudy Gulliani & Gov George Pataki like files on corpses. And they didn't let up either. There were no pesticide related injuries, as I publicy predicted. And there have been more deaths now. As predicted.

If you live in an area that has been found to harbor mosquitoes that are vectoring WNV, please protect yourselves, your families, & your employees.

Check this attachment for what could be interesting news.


I thought you would find this commentary of interest. Permission to publish is granted. A Norton Anti-Virus protected attached text is also provided. -- Alan C.

Environmentalism Kills: West Nile Fever Spreads By Alan Caruba It has taken a scant three and a half years since West Nile Fever made its appearance in New York State and has spread to States west of the Mississippi River. It has killed five people in Louisiana and a state of emergency has been declared to fight it with widespread spraying of insecticide.

Centers for Disease Control director, Julie Gerberding, was reported by the Associated Press saying "officials should spray for mosquitoes as much as possible", noting that people shouldn't worry that pesticides being used to kill mosquitoes pose a health threat. "There are very, very few if any health consequences. Basically they're safe and the risks they present are outweighed by the benefits of reducing the mosquito population."

The one insecticide not available is DDT, banned on June 30, 1972 by then director William Ruckelshouse without a scintilla of scientific evidence to support its loss. Here's the scary part, behind closed doors, the American Mosquito Control Association fears this nation will lose virtually all of the insecticides still available to defend people against the new plague of West Nile Fever and the return of Malaria to the US. Will Yellow Fever return as well?

You can blame the environmentalists for this and you can lay the deaths from West Nile Fever at their doorstep. You can blame their icon, Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring", for misusing data to make her case against DDT.
She is personally responsible for the needless deaths of millions of people around the world.

You can blame the US Environmental Protection Agency that ignored the findings of hearings held in 1971-72 which concluded, after seven months and
9,000 pages of testimony, that "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man…DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to me…The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."

The Greens are never deterred by facts. Their goal is to reduce the Earth's human population in order to "protect" and "save" it.

How bad is the toll of Malaria in the world today? Harvard University's Amir Attaran offered the following comparison. "Imagine seven jumbo jets, each packed with women and children, crashing into the ground every day, day after day, year after year, adding up to more than two million deaths a year. Now imagine that many, if not most, of those deaths could have been prevented with limited use of DDT…" Malaria, spread by mosquitoes in the same fashion as West Nile Fever, is contracted by 300 to 500 million people very year.
And every year, at least two million die from it, mostly pregnant women and children under the age of five.

Now the question is this: how many more Americans will have to die from West Nile Fever before the EPA reverses its ban on DDT and permits its use to defend people against a new disease sweeping across the nation? The "unintended consequences" of environmentalism are killing people and will continue to do so until their lies are buried along with their victims.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the web site of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns.

Copyright, Alan Caruba, 2002
Permission to publish is granted.


The National Anxiety Center
9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040 (973) 763-6392 Alan Caruba, pundit, sage, and the scourge of environmentalists everywhere, will be a guest on the Rita Cosby show, Fox News Channel, Saturday, August
10th. The program is aired from 10PM to 11PM. The subject will be West Nile Fever and why the banning of DDT and loss of other major pesticides has needlessly been the cause of death for millions around the world and led to the rapid spread of WNF here in the US. Caruba's views will be opposed by some poor soul who will wish she had not accepted the invitation to appear with him. The show will be hosted by John Scott, sitting in for Rita.

National Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040 (973) 763-6392 PS. As is frequently the case in TV-land, I could be cancelled at any moment.

08-10-2002, 06:40 AM
I'm in total agreement with you Steve. Environmentalists have instilled such a fear over pesticides our society will prefer deaths due to mosquitoes rather than using chemicals controls.
Do you think available pesticides could control or contain the Asian Longhorned Beetle?

08-10-2002, 08:28 AM
Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) showed up on the Maples at one of my customers. Calvary Cemetery in Queens was losing trees to ALB 3 years ago. The feds were waffling on the subject when I approached Bayer. They had already been in contact with the feds.

My local rep worked with the grounds crew at Calvary to do soil injections in the fall 0f 2000. The feds weren't willing to take the time to view the results, but were willing to allow us to leave 6 previously infected trees standing to perform the test on. Despite the prior years damage, all the test subjects have remained clean since that time. Some careful pruning, watering, & fertilizing would bring 4 back into shape, 1 would live but is mishapen, & 1 has had bad crotches since prior to ALB & should now be removed even though it is alive.

I don't know where the political pressure came from, but the decision to treat ALL native hardwoods with Imidocloprid in the spring of 2001 involved direct trunk placement via Mauget capsules. Only 2 of the many Tree Co's solicited to bid actually did. The scope of the work was too large. I think it was 70,000 trees that had to be injected in only 30 days. The 2 biggest TreeCo's that offer Plant Health Care both declined to bid. Asplundh doesn't offer these services & didn't bid either. Lewis got the bid. To meet the spec's, they had to place "watchers" at regular intervals for the entire period of time the cap's were draining. Temporary labor agencies & auditorium style training facilitated the shear numbers. The work was postponed due to labor shortages during a dry period. By the time the injections were complete ( about 2 weeks late I think), street trees throughout the 5 bouroughs were allready under moisture stress. Results were poor. Not because the Merit doesn't work. But the dicey condition of trees growing in the urban jungle predisposes the injections to erradic results. The droughty condition & the poor timing made it worse. The window of application for trunk injections is barely 30 days. I would also question the skill level of auditorium trained applicators whether certified by Mauget & the state or not.

Soil injections of Merit would be more desirable given the wider window for treatment & the benefits had through the mechanical fracturing of the soil (aeration).

I've worked with some of my customers & Bayer to develope low volume placement, like the Kioritz Injector, using conventional spray equipment. The Kioritz Injector is fine for small scale use in soft soils like we see in containers & roof top gardens, but doesn't hold up long when engaged in real production in compacted street side soils. We haven't utilized this method for ALB, but perhaps others are. I would like to see more research here.

I've noticed the feds are trying to keep us an arms length away. Maybe they think we have too much to gain to remain unbiased. Maybe they're right, but nothing they've done so far for the trees has been.

I don't think there's enough data back yet to commit to a plan one way or the other. To date, Merit looks like the only hope. Only the delivery method is in debate. Some feel soil injections won't place the Imidocloprid in the cambium at the point where spring feeding is taking place. Yet they site spring injections, not fall. I don't think the feds have reviewed falled tests, but I could be wrong about this. Communication among the field agents with us hasn't been good at all. They only respond to requests to view & quarintine suspected infested tress. I understand this is an important part of their job. But I would prefer to save the trees than to simply find & remove them.

My observations favor fall soil treatment over all other methods that I'm currently aware of. Fall soil drench or injection has a wide window & can be accomplished without the use of tech grade materials in leaky little plastic capsules. The skill of the applicator needn't be as high. No one has to watch the trees after treatment either. Just post a pesticide sign & move on. There is also the reduced chance for secondary infections by wood decay pathogens gaining entrance through drill bit holes. Speed, efficacy, & safety. You just have to wonder.


08-10-2002, 08:53 AM
GOOD POST STEVE. here in n.j. they found more crows with the WNV.

08-12-2002, 11:09 PM
DDT was banned because of its persistence in the environment. It may be true that no one proved that it was carcinogenic, but that is not the only means by which we evaluate harm by chemicals. DDT was causing the gradual extinction of bald eagles (http://www.fws.gov/r5cbfo/baldeagl.htm) and Peregrine falcons (http://www.fws.gov/r5cbfo/Peregr.htm). It was found that the accumulation of DDT in the higher life forms in this food chain was causing them to lay eggs with shells so brittle that they could not survive to hatch. A half-truth is that DDT did not kill eagles and falcons, but the real truth is that it was eliminating the species.

It was decided by more intelligent minds that continuing to use something so persistent could lead to other problems later. Some small minds still hang onto the idea that we should use DDT, because no human harm was ever proved. The knowledgeable people in the pesticide arena recognize DDT, and its derivatives, as an important learning experience: we should not use persistent chemicals for anything, no matter how noble the cause today. The whole aim of the chemical research since the 60s is to produce functional chemicals that break down quickly when their job is done.

Sure, there are environmentalist wackos, but Alan Caruba is a wacko on the other side of the fence. There are many sincere people attending the Johannesburg conference on the environment, and all of us could learn from this important event. On his website, Mr. Caruba badmouths the conference before it has even opened. We don't need the input of radicals on either side of the fence, and many of the people going to Johannesburg are not radicals.

There are also people in the world who want to bring back Nazism. Heil, Mr. Caruba!

Tony Harrell
08-13-2002, 07:20 AM
Granted, persistant pesticides are dangerous. So are nuclear weapons. There are times and places for both. As it is now, the state can apply to the EPA for a FIFRA waiver under extreme conditions. But, they can't use a pesticide that has been banned. Just look at all of the foolishness in the last several years regarding organophosphates (on the way out). I have some pure zinc for rodent control but, I've only used it under extreme conditions and it was monitored on a daily basis and removed asap. Radioactive products are used in medicine all the time under controlled circumstances. If ALL pesticide applicators were LICENSED instead of merely certified, control would be much better. Residential companies are the worst offenders. I've known guys that took several years before they passed the certification exam, meanwhile they are continuing to service accounts. As a matter of fact, I am the only one certified in the company I work for to apply structural pesticides besides the owner (license holder) and the other guys have been on the job for years. The only reason someone would take the license exam as it is now would be if they were going into business for themselves. Sorry for the long rant.

08-13-2002, 09:50 AM

You'll never offend me with a long or short rant. This is a great forum for our industry to hold de bates in. As we debate amomgst ourselves, we hone our craft.

I agree that long residual pesticides (persistant) have a valueble place in our tool box. The problem came from applicators & DIY homeowners wanting to "keep it simple" & only stock & use 1 chemical for all the problems they encountered. So off they went hunting Squirrels with Elephant guns. And we pay for it even to this day.

For the record, I do not advocate the return to broadcast DDT treatments for mosquitoes. Not bacause of predator Birds. But because of the negative political impact it might have on our industry.

DDT did become a permanant fixture in the food chain. It's still there too. Debate will go on for years among scientists much more capable to discern the truth than me. On the surface, DDT hasn't had much direct negative impact on very many species. Some fish, but not birds. Read on.

DDT was used indiscriminantly on too much acreage. People no longer needed or used window screens. There were NO FLYING INSECTS. Issects are how birds get calcium & phosphorous. C & P are what make eggs shells strong enough to bear the weight of mama bird. No P & C, & all the eggs shells crack. There was DDT in mama OK. But it didn't matter. DDT had no impact on her or her eggs. Her inadequate diet is what caused the decline in egg shell integrity.

I know Avian breeders who constantly wrestle with their birds diets. Unless the breeder can purchase or raise the proper insects for the breeding mother, other sources must be found. Just like in our own diets, readilly absorbed P & C souces are not easily obtained. Oyster shells, Tums, Bone Meal, Calcium Citrate, Calcium carbonate, Coral Calcium, & others are all trying to help us live longer healthier lives. WHY? Because our diets are awful!

We won't eat bugs. And we don't eat anywhere near the dark-green leafy vegetables we should. So by middle age, our bones & teeth are failing. All beacuse the world is still sorely in need of a readilly available source of affordable calcium.

Should we eat bugs? Beats me. Birds should though.
So whatever we do, let's only kill the ones that threaten our own existence & leave the rest.


08-13-2002, 04:36 PM
There was DDT in mama OK. But it didn't matter. DDT had no impact on her or her eggs. Her inadequate diet is what caused the decline in egg shell integrity.

Great new information, Steve. For 40 years I've believed what the scientists say about the eagle and falcon eggs. Eagles and falcons are not insect eaters, they prey on other bird and animal species. And I don't ever remember in my 50 some years that


Could you share the references to this new idea of the problems with eagle and falcon eggs? Any .gov or .edu site would be nice, no ravings from some .com, please.

Tony Harrell
08-13-2002, 09:50 PM
My earlier post wasn't directed at anyone, merely how I see it. The food chain and human health is too important to ban something because someone may misuse it. If it has that kind of potential, it should be used in controlled circumstances. I don't know where I might be able to get radioactive isotopes, case in point. I hate the term "tree huggers" because I kinda likem myself. However, it does relate in one word the mentality of some people that would have us use fly swatters instead of growth regulators. I see them all the time. They live in jungles, complain about the bugs, and don't want any pesticides in their houses. I love taking their money most of all and I especially love to feed their anxieties whenever I can. "SAFE? Well, yes ma'am. Sorta safe like a loaded gun", or, "Safe as a car with good brakes". Those are the things I WISH I could say. I have to make my own fun, can you tell?

08-13-2002, 11:59 PM

Widespread DDT use began prior to WW2 & ended shortly thereafter. While mosquitoes weren't extinct, I can take you trough entire blocks of Brownstone in New Haven, CT where every building regardless of it's age, has window screens made in the same 2-3 year period. The 2-3 years after widespread DDT spraying was halted.

I can't remember this either, but then I wasn't born. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen. I've seen the evidence with my eyes, examined papers & photos, & talked with those who were alive at the time (in that area).

I'll look soon for online info regarding Hickey & Anderson's admittedley false claims at establishing the DDT/Eggshell link. But I doubt the .gov & .edu sites will be supporting me on this argument. The evidence makes some of them look really bad.

This isn't exactly a link, but rather a portion of a published paper I have in Word. It's by Dr. JG Edwards

It's late & I need some sleep, but for now, please review the following. I'll find more:


By: Dr. J Gordon Edwards

Bird eggshell data

Rachel Carson referred to ``Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments on quail and pheasants.'' She said, on page
120: ``Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs, but few of the eggs hatched.'' I read DeWitt's article (in {Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry,} 1956), and found that 75.7% of the eggs produced by DDT-fed birds hatched, compared with 83.9% of those produced by the ``controls'' (birds with no DDT). I thought 75.7% was more than ``a few'' eggs hatched, so I became even more suspicious of Carson's intentions. In his Table, DeWitt also reported that 80.6% of the eggs produced by his {pheasants} on the DDT diet hatched, compared with only 57.4% hatching of the eggs produced by the ``control'' birds. It was not surprising that Carson avoided mentioning how much {better} the DDT-fed pheasants did (despite her reference to ``DeWitt's classic experiments on quail {and pheasants.}'' The {San Francisco Chronicle,} on Feb. 14, 1969, reported that because of DDT, bird eggshells were becoming so thick that the young often could not get out of the eggs. Two months later, the same newspaper reported that because of DDT bird eggshells were becoming so {thin} that they could break under the weight of the incubating females. Neither allegation was true, but they indicated that in the {San Francisco Chronicle} there was already little hope for truthful reporting on the subject of DDT! (And it became worse, every year.)
A common misconception for many years was that DDT caused birds to produce thin-shelled or softer-shelled eggs. With so many studies proving that this charge was not true, it is amazing to see it still being repeated! ({No} confirming data are ever provided, but the naked statement is simply made, in the press, on radio, on television, and in environmental magazines!) The poultry and egg industries should have been the first place to seek the truth, but the environmentalists knew that that would destroy their eggshell propaganda. Likewise, environmental propagandists avoided the great 1949 book on the subject, by Romanoff and Romanoff, titled {The Avian Egg,} which contained all of the information needed to explain the ``thin eggshell'' problems. A
1967 book by the same authors was {The Avian Embryo,} which provided details regarding the amount of calcium drawn from the eggshell by the developing embryo. The propagandists never cited that book, either; however, they usually collected and measured eggs {after} the embryo had removed calcium from the eggshell, for bone development.
FWS biologists Tucker and Haegele ({Bull. Environ. Contam. & Toxicology} 5:191, 1971) fed different levels of calcium to different groups of quail. One group got 3% calcium and another group got only 1% calcium. None had any DDT or [the metabolite] DDE in their diet.
The shells produced by the 1% group were 9.3% thinner than those on the normal 3% calcium diet. Now, with those details available, how could a person design an experiment that would incriminate DDT as a cause of eggshell thinning? Simply feed the birds a reduced calcium diet, add DDT to their food, and then blame the thinner shells (that would certainly result from the calcium deficiency) on the DDT in the bird's diet! That is exactly what anti-DDT researchers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did.
Bitman and colleagues at Patuxent fed their quail only {half} as much calcium as the lowest amount Tucker's quail received. Tucker's birds had produced shells about 10% thinner when only 1% calcium was in their diet, so what would result from Bitman's feeding quail only
0.5% calcium? Their shells would be expected to be even thinner than 10% of normal. Bitman reported, however, that the shells were {not} that thin! His article was published in {Science} magazine, however, and was the most widely used reference to ``prove'' that DDT caused thin eggshells!
Actually, a great many other feeding experiments proved that shells are {not} thinned by the introduction of DDT into the diet of birds {if} there is adequate calcium in their diet, but such results were seldom mentioned in the media, and never mentioned in pseudo-environmental publications. To get thinner shells, the anti-DDT activists always had to do something else at the same time--something that was {known} to cause thinner eggshells all by itself. Things having that effect include noise, excitement, irritation, dimmed lights, shortage of water, presence of several kinds of chemicals, and ({especially}) a deficiency of calcium in the diet.
Every bird experiment that resulted in thin eggshells used one or more of those known causes in order to produce the desired effects, which were then blamed on DDT.
In Congressional testimony, I presented the data, and was critical of Bitman's work. The next year he repeated his experiment, but fed the birds adequate calcium in their diet. The DDT-fed and DDE-fed birds produced eggshells that were not thinned at all. The article was presented to {Science} magazine, again.
Unfortunately, the editor of {Science} magazine always refused to publish articles that were favorable to DDT, so he rejected Bitman's new article. It was published, instead, in {Poultry Science,} and poultrymen and unbiased scientists applauded the truthful results. Of course, the circulation of that journal was not nearly as great as {Science,} so relatively few scientists ever heard about the reversal of the allegation that DDT and DDE caused thinner eggshells.
Why did {Science} refuse such articles? The editor, Philip Abelson, had earlier informed Dr. Thomas Jukes that {Science} would never publish any article about DDT that was not antagonistic to that insecticide. He refused to even consider a manuscript written by the World Health Organization. As a result, the DDT articles in {Science} were mostly written by the same coterie, and ``peer review'' became a sham. The anti-DDT authors just kept citing each other and supporting each other's statements. No other views were accepted. Without that sheltered bias the case against DDT would have quickly folded!
M.L. Scott, J.R. Zimmerman, Susan Marinsky, P.A. Mullenhoff, G.L. Rumsley, and R.W. Rice spent years at Cornell testing various chemicals in the quail diet to determine the greatest causes of shell thinning. They reported that DDT, [metabolites] DDD, and DDE in the diets resulted in thicker shells, rather than thinner shells. The chemical that caused the greatest amount of shell thinning was methyl mercury ({Poultry Science,}
54:350-368, 1975). The results of years of reliable scientific work by these researchers also did not appear in {Science} magazine.
Tucker et al., in {Utah Science} (June 1971), published the results of careful experiments performed to determine serious dietary causes of eggshell thinning.
Some of the results are given in {{Table 1.}} Also, after water was withheld for 36 hours, the quail laid eggs with shells averaging -29.6% thinner than normal.

08-14-2002, 08:10 AM
As I suspected, there aren't too many major universities quoting the retractions of what was eventually branded "Junk Science".

Back in the early '70's, it was considered political suicide to suggest that DDT was safe. Even after the science community had "peer reviewed" the egg shell studies & found them to be false. DDT had an impact on calcium movement. It very slightly improved it! However unsettling & contradictory this sounds, the subject was too hot for polls & salaried researchers to bet their farms on.

I probably didn't include enough detail with respect to avian dietary needs. True enough, some of the birds that were impacted aren't insect feeders. But the birds of prey (like Falcons & Eagles) do feed on other insect feeders. But then they were also being hunted for sport up to that time. I know of one guide who still offers illegal eagle hunts. I don't get it, but someone must.

Very subtle changes in a captive birds diet can have serious implications with respect to phoshorous & calcium absorbtion rates. This anyone can find reference to. GOOGLE Search "poulty diet eggshell crack phosphorous calcium" & see how many .edus & .govs there are.

Based on what is now known, IT IS MY OPINION, that the reduction in insects in the "total food chain" led to the very small changes in the birds diets. Those very small changes make very large shell thickness alterations.

Also, here in America, there was plenty of newer Patented (read exclusive to one manufacturer) insecticides debutting in the wake of DDT. So don't think for a second that there would be an effort to halt the domestic death of DDT. Americans could easily afford to pay for these new insecticides. Malathion is the next cheapest insecticide. At this time, it's costs double what DDT does. Why then would anyone on the supply side argue with DDT's demise?

Here is a link that reference .edu's to the extent they can. But remember, .edu's get lots of money from & harbor quite a few Sierra Clubbers.



08-14-2002, 09:14 AM

I wasn't going to put this up because it looks a little sleazy, like a tabloid or something.

But the referances are all there & the ones I've checked seem ligit. I'll stick with checking ref's as time allows. But not today. My first appt is in 45 minutes.

Gotta Run



08-15-2002, 01:12 AM
Sorry, Steve. The junkscience.com info is just snippets of info. You can just make any idea seem real by just quoting a sentence or two. Best one I ever saw was in mid-50s, it was thought that President Eisenhower might have a brain tumor. Day after testing, our newspaper headline read "Test Shows Ike Has No Brain Tumor." One of the guys in school cut out that headline, so it read "Test Shows Ike Has No Brain." LOL! There it was in a newspaper headline!

And Dr. Edwards seems to be one of very few who try to sanctify DDT. He may refute one test, but how about the all the others? If the enemy has 100 soldiers, and you shoot one, did you win the battle?

Just did a Google for "eagle" & "DDT": 12,000 some hits. Don't really have time to read them all, but I would venture that all except a couple of dozen will affirm that DDT was a problem for eagle eggs. And of that couple dozen, they are probably mostly reference to Dr. Edwards arguements.

Besides that, you must look at history in perspective of the times in which it happened. Would be kind if silly to ask why the Romans didn't nuke the Huns, no? There were many discoveries of negative effects of commonly used chemicals and products happening in the 30s to the 60s. A number of chemicals used in manufacturing were found to be killing or deforming workers by building up in their bodies. Then there was mercury, chromium, asbestos, and others I can't think of right now. There was a very real concern for persistent chemicals, and when DDT (DDE) was found to be very persistent, it was only a matter of time before it and other organochlorines would be done away with.

The thinking was: even if we can't prove today that it is some drastic problem, what if we find it is a problem in the future when the earth is laden with millions or billions of tons of it. One of my customers has an asbestos roof - yep, asbestos shingles. If it had to be replaced today, it would cost 20-30 grand - most of that for safe removal & disposal of asbestos. That type of potential problem led to the demise of DDT. Some people may have fanagled data, probably on both sides of the fence. It's done with. To state today that "millions die because we can't use DDT" is just an emotional rant.

A teacher I had 15 years ago put it the best. After describing the lives saved during WWII in Italy by the Allies use of DDT on liberated Italian villagers, he asked "Was DDT bad to these people? Of course not. But, we must put it into perspective, and recognize DDT as an important human learning experience."

It's not about liberalism or reactionaries, it's just a little common sense.

08-16-2002, 10:09 AM

I am going to concede defeat.

Not because I believe the findings as they are most commonly presented. (against my theory) But because the studies themselves have not been done under controlled conditions. Neither the ones that support my theory, nor the ones that contradict me. I therefore am not comfortable sighting any of the sources in my own defense.

I feel the best studies are those done with caged birds that have been fed the same manufactured diet for several generations. The diet & the birds would then both be studied.
As I've previously indicated, I know avain breeders (parrots in one case, falcons the other). Both have trouble moderating dietary needs with respect to eggshell quality.

Other factors that bird specialists must be aware of include noise. Loud noises have a greater impact than diet in SOME SPECIES.

Not one of the DDT studies that I've reviewed included noise monitoring data nor significant diet data.

That's why I only believe the studies that came from the Poultry industry. Poultry farms don't move about into & out of established airline fight-plans like field researchers do.

I agree that JunkScience.com is rather tabloid like. That's why I hesitated to post. However, Steve Milloy includes his references. I think you referred to them as "snippets". Actually, they are ABSTRACTS. But like a politician, he only presents those abstracts that support his argument.

I've included abstracts below that are the accepted means of summarizing scientific research findings & then presenting them for peer review. Independant researchers use the titles & dates to obtain actual copies of the published material and attempt to duplicate the results.

I think the trouble with DDT research is both actual & political. Some researchers have used the best test equipment available & yet we no the gas chromatographer is not fool proof for detecting DDT. None of the field research has included a dietary standard because it is nearly impossible to control a wild birds diet.

I learned a lot researching this subject. I'm very glad that GOOGLE is available for free. I think that "Google Hits" reveal a lot about people. Check this out; if you type in the following words, google yeilds the following hits.

Rachel Carson..187,000
eggshell ddt.....1,770

My summary is that Racel made DDT (& GreenPeace) bigger than herself but she is fading slowly. People are more interested in fiction than they are truth.

The only factual points that I believe we can take home are the following:

1 DDT was removed from the market for political reasons more than scientific ones.
2 DDT does have an effect on calcium during egg formation. To which I was in error.
3 The calcium/egg/ddt relationship appears to vary by species from zero to significant. DDT may increase some captive birds eggshells thickness. Probably with little or no benefit or detriment.
4 Only the poultry industry was able to control dietary intake yet their findings were squelched.
5 DDT saved MILLIONS of Human Beings from infectious disease.
6 DDT may have reduced some populations of certain bird species during which time other flourished.
7 Rachel Carson changed the world in ways she may not have intended.
8 Early bird count studies might have been flawed, but on the surface, made Rachel look like the liar she was.
9 We probably shouldn't go back to DDT in this country since we're better of now than before.
10 A better/safer/cheaper Mosquito specific insecticide is sorely needed to reduce mortalitly in certain countries, especially those on the continent of Africa.
11 There may have been many other factors that affected certain bird populations but all were blamed on DDT because there was profit to be made on it's demise.

I've gotta run for now,


Scott ML

Source: Fed. Proc. Fed. Am. Soc. Exp. Biol. 36(6): 1888-1893; 1977.(9 references)


PESTAB. In well-controlled experiments using white leghorn chickens and Japanese
quail, dietary polychlorinated biphyenyls (PCBs), DDT and related compounds
produced no detrimental effects on eggshell quality. A drastic reduction in hatchability
of chicks occurred with 10-20 ppm PCBs, but no detrimental effects on eggshell quality,
egg production or hatachability were found with** Clipped for length** wever, at levels providing 10 or 20 mg Hg/kg of diet, severely affected all of these
parameters. Even though the present experiments demonstrate that neither DDT nor
PCBs has any effect on eggshell quality in chickens and Japanese quail, they may
cause thinning of eggshells in other species. Controlled experiments are lacking.
Eagles, ospreys and pelicans all consume fish which in many areas of the world are
known to contain methyl mercury. The thinning of eggshells in these species in the wild
may have been due, at least in part, to environmental contamination with
methylmercury rather than DDT, DDE or PCBs, as has been claimed. (Author abstract
by permission)



Lewin V
Switzer B C
Wolfe F

Source: Nature (London); 240(5377): 162-163; 1972 ; (REF:5)


HAPAB A Letter-to-the-Editor disputes the claim that eggshell thinning in brown
pelicans is directly related to DDE residues, (see Abstract no. 72-0972). The statistical
correlation used to show a cause and effect relationship was obtained by grouping
unrelated populations and subspecies, and no evidence was presented to eliminate the
many other factors which could explain the differences between species, times, and
populations. A bias may have been inherent in the museum and oologist collections in
the years before 1947, favoring larger, thicker, unfractured eggs. Evidence from earlier
experimental studies used to support the conclusion that DDE is responsible for
eggshell thinning is rejected since some control birds in the study under consideration
had thinner shells than the DDE-treated birds.

Entry Month: December, 1973


THIS IS INTERESTING. __________________________


Garrett RL

Source: Diss. Abstr. Int.34(10): 5254B; 1974


PESTAB Brown pelican (Pelicanus occidentalis) eggs collected from areas of high and
low levels of environmental DDT contamination (10. 5 ppm and LT 0. 02 ppm in prey
species) were examined for aberrations in eggshell structure using the scanning
electron microscope (SEM). Additionally, eggshells of coturnix quail (Coturnix coturnix)
exposed to three levels of DDT (5, 25, and 225 ppm technical DDT in diet) were
examined. Measurements of eggshell structure are reported. A comparison of brown
pelican and coturnix structure concluded with the following results: that brown pelican
and coturnix quail eggshells were shown to differ ordinally but in most characteristics
were strikingly similar; that ''normal'' eggshells of brown pelicans and coturnix quail
were shown to exhibit average shell layer thicknesses which were essentially constant
between eggs of the same speciesöin short, providing a potentially valuable
comparative basis for future studies; that brown pelicans and coturnix quail exposed to
similar levels of DDT in prey species and experimental diets produced eggshells with
similar structural aberrations; that premature termination of the egg was not the cause
of eggshell thinning in brown pelicans or coturnix quail; that DDT causes a disruption of
mucoprotein deposition in eggshell membranes; and that DDT disrupts the formation of
''foundation stones'' which are believed to control subsequent calcareous deposition in
avian species. (Author abstract by permission. Copies of the thesis are available from
University Microfilms, Order No. 74-8507. )




Kolaja GJ

Author Address: Comp. Pathol. Surg. Branch, Vet. Med. Div., Biomed Lab., Chem. Syst. Lab.,
Aberdeen Prov. Ground, MD

Source: J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 3(4): 699-704 1977 (23 References)


PESTAB. The effect of chronic exposure to DDT on the activity of eggshell gland
Ca-ATPase in vivo was studied, and the relation of changes in enzyme activity to
parameters of eggshell quality was determined. Adult mallard ducks were fed a diet
containing 50 ppm DDT for 6 months. This ingestion resulted in production of eggshells
that were significantly thinner and lighter than those of controls. Total calcium of
thinned eggshells was also reduced. However, calcium per gram of eggshell was not
changed, indicating that other eggshell constituents were not incorporated as well.
Calcium adenosine triphosphatase activity in the microsomal fraction of eggshell gland
epithelium was assayed in control and DDT-fed ducks. Enzyme activity in DDT-fed
ducks was reduced to 65% of control. Since Ca-ATPase is associated with calcium
transport, it is suggested that enzyme inhibition may be respo
clipped to fit--

08-17-2002, 12:30 AM
No, Steve, not defeat, just learning. Exposure to information. Expanding your perspective. Making Jim really think - that's an accomplishment.

Everyone should have to spend a year on a debate team. You go into a competition knowing the topic, but not which side you are to argue. Makes you learn all about the subject, and shut off your personal feelings. Great way to really learn a subject. And it's neat to win when you are arguing the side you oppose in your feelings.

The problem with research as it is done today is that someone sets out to prove his theory, and does a research project on it. And someone who believes the opposite will do a project to prove his ideas. So the projects are corrupted from the start, because the results are to meet the ideas of the researcher. Not too much done anywhere where people look at something with no bias to see what happens.

So decisions come down to what information is available to the decision maker, whether it is you today on a client's project, or Ruckelshaus on DDT in the 70s. And of course the decision can be swayed by the decision makers' feelings or politics. And it's not just the information, but how it is presented.

Always remember, what you see on a website, in a book, on TV, in the newspaper, in a police report, etc., is just information, not fact. Facts are hard to discern in today's world. I can pretty much say it is a fact that grass grows, and needs to be cut, but I'll bet you could find people to argue about that. LOL.

Ever want to learn more about a topic you really believe in? Get into a group of people who believe the same way, and argue against them!! Right, try to argue against your beliefs; can only do that if you really know & understand the cons against you. And when you take the opposite position in the group who are vehemently set, you will, almost always, learn something new to confirm your beliefs.

I was not trying to defeat you, just injecting more information for others who might be following the thread. And now, what does Jim really believe about DDT ? ? ?

Does it really matter to you? ;)

It shouldn't! You've got information from all over, Jim and tremor and others. You have to decide for yourself, based in the information you have. If it's not enough info, you can just forget about it, or search to be better informed.

08-17-2002, 09:47 AM

You bring up valid points.

Thus the so called "double blind study" was born to prevent researchers from letting their hypothosis from affecting the conclusion. Which is difficult to do. Most folks can't be trusted to check their opinion at the laboratory door. That discipline is too extreme.

I only debate to hone skills. It's also a semi competetive sport! This is the value in this website. If all we ever did was answer questions & agree with one another, we'd never move ahead intellectually.

It sounds like you were on the debate team. I was too, but not long enough. I didn't realize the value in debate until more recently. Debate is truely the best way to gain a better handle on any subject. The internet makes drilling down into the subject matter even easier than in the past. We used to need access to a serious library to get this information. In our field, usually more than one. At one point, I was visiting four! The key to internet research is to recognize that most of us have an agenda.

Networking with our peers used to take longer too. In the past we waited for trade shows or other events to access each other. There was the phone too, but that can be a hurried affair. This forum allows each of us to use our own "down-time" whether it matches someone elses or not.

Most LCO's are hesitant to share their successes with other local LCO's for fear that their hard gained knowlege will be used competetively against them in the field of business. Here we find several other folks that may be thousands of miles away from each other engaged in debate. That distance offers comfort.

DDT, because of it's economy, should be reexamined. Without the benefit of controlled studies by non-financially motivated parties, I feel the rearch has been of little use. Field studies could never have been consistant. Some watershed areas would have seen raptor food sources tainted with DDT in the fishes fat. Other areas would not have been as affected.

Regional distribution of prey & predator played a large roll, but was never mentioned.
Land terrain & topographical relief was ignored.
The noise issue was rarely addressed.
Records of DDT application rates, volume, & method of application probably don't exist for reference.
The method of testing for DDT & it's derivatives & like compounds are still very suspect in all but the best hands.
To this very day, the folks charged with the task of collecting field material & dispensing with tests are, in my opinion, suspect. College interns & overworked/underpaid public service employees are rarely motivated by anything more than sensationalizing an issue to gain a name for themselves. It's the rise to fame, glory, & wealth that many are concerned with. Controversy is a means of attachment to the politically influencial who are the able to assist in career furtherence.
The labs & equipment they use is usually old & inferior. The best equipment is owned by the large commercial entities. Like our own chemical vendors. Since DDT's patent is long gone, there would be no financial gain in proving or disproving it's safety.

I don't feel defeated. But my subject, in this case, is. And so is a portion of "the system".

Capitalism is a wonderful thing. Just so long as a patent keeps people/companies motivated enough to protect the tools of interest. But charity is too expensive in this case.

DDT has been in constant use for almost 60 years. In this country, it bears the mantle built by hunters, sulfurdioxide emissions from coal burning, mass population explosions, urban sprawl, the developement of the mass transit system including interstate highways, railroads, & the boon of commercial air traffic, & possibly the avdent of the automobile. The impact we have had on this country in the past century upset the ecosystem. Birds loss of native habitat has been extensive. But Americans don't like to wrestle with complex issues where every piece of a puzzle must be patiently found & fit. It is too hard to accept that our every move has an impact on the world. That every house was once home to someone else. In an effort to find the "quick fix", we have chosen DDT as one of our scapegoats. It will probably end this way because there is no reward for finding the truth. There is only reward in the discovery of new & better alternatives. And that's not a bad thing at all. It's just a shame that truth has to be lost on the way.

Our debate needn't end here. Perhaps someone else has more to offer on the subject. For the record, a pair of Peregrin Falcons is nesting on a building in downtown Bridgeport & another on the Aetna Insurance Bldg in Hartford.