DDT a problem of 30-50 years ago?

Jeffrey A. Caldwell ecosys at pacbell.net
Fri Aug 4 17:00:42 EDT 2000

Thanks, again, Neil!  This was going to be my question: what page in Silent Spring is
junkscience quoting?  Because I didn't remember any such thing, though it's been a
long time since I read it.

Neil Jones wrote:

> In article <b5b097e20002100496f9@[]>
>            dyanega at pop.ucr.edu "Doug Yanega" writes:
> > Pat Foley wrote:
> >
> > >    But the main reason DDT is an environmental problem is its effects on bird
> > >reproduction. Does Paul Cherubini wish to argue that bird populations are
> > >unaffected by DDT exposure?
> >
> > Actually, he just posted evidence roughly to that effect, regarding the
> > original DeWitt study on quail. This leaves those among us who are anti-DDT
> > to come up with equal or superior citations (presumably with an opposite
> > conclusion) if we are to persist in defense of our position.
> Actually this is not the only approach. The other logical position is
> to show that DeWitt and Rachel Carson were actually misquoted on
> junkscience.com.
> (I will do this below.)
> This isn't handwaving nor an ad-hominem attack. It is vitally important
> if people are to use the web as a source of information that they validate
> the source. For example you would if you were looking for medical information
> trust what was said on the web site of a prestigious hospital you might
> be more sceptical of an unusual remedy being sold on a rather poorly
> presented website.
> Junkscience.com is NOT a scientific web site. It is a political one. Now
> everyone has their own view of politics and we can agree to differ, but
> a site set up to promote a particular political point of view is not
> the best place to find scientific information.
> I have been aware of Junkscience.com and its main author, Steven Milloy
> for some time.
> He is a known corporate lobbist for the pesticide, mining, chemical
> and tobbaco industries and the web site is notorious for misquoting
> science in order to give a misleading view. He is using "sound bites"
> to misquote people rather like Prof. Gochfeld was recently misrepresented
> here. (Not an ad-hominem attack but doing the ethical thing by warning people
> of a problem with a source of information.)
> Now to the facts:-
> First of all they attack Rachel Carson by accusing her of misquoting the
> research. This is quite simply not true.
> There are TWO papers which DeWitt wrote.
> DeWitt, James, "Effects of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Insecticides upon Quail
> and Pheasants," Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Vol. 3, 1955,
> DeWitt, James, "Chronic Toxicity to Quail and Pheasants of Some Chlorinated
> Insecticides," Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Vol 4, 1956,
> Rachel Carson used the research from BOTH  papers in her work.
> The authors of the Junkscience website have very conveniently missed this.
> The first of these papers says
> "Hatchability of fertile eggs was appreciably below that of eggs from the
> control group, and the difference approached significance (P = 0.08).
>  Many embryos appeared to develop normally during the early stages of
> incubation, but died during the hatching period.  Mortality among
> chicks from this group was extremely high, and more than 50% died within
> the first 5 days after hatching."
> This is NOT how Junkscience presents it. It is clear that Rachel Carson
> did have evidence for the toxicity of DDT.
> --
> Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.nwjones.demon.co.uk/
> "At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
> butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
> National Nature Reserve

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