My Way of Thinking: People should die to save the environment
Rich Keller As the West Nile virus became a major problem across the U.S. in August, cities and states realized they needed to react by controlling mosquitoes potentially carrying the virus. Activists against pesticide control of the mosquitoes were many of the same people against biotechnology.
The estimate was that tens of thousands of people were being bitten by the carrier mosquitoes, even though only around a thousand were confirmed to be sickened and the number of deaths was climbing toward 100. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained, only a small percentage of people become sick from a single bite, but the old and children are the most susceptible to become sick or die.
So, aerial spraying of a pesticide became the logical quick counter measure to the mosquitoes; Dallas was one of the first large metropolitan areas to conduct aerial spraying. What ensued was activists complaining that their health was being compromised by pesticides being released into the environment. Additionally, those against any synthetic pesticide being released into the environment complained the loudest.
One author reacted with an article titled “Organic activists endanger your health” and started the article off by writing, “Are organic activists preventing the effective control of mosquitoes in your area? Maybe it’s time to stand up to them because mosquitoes are more than a mere nuisance; they can be deadly!”
The author Mischa Popoff continued, “Dying from preventable diseases like West Nile virus and malaria is ‘natural,’ according to leaders of the organic movement. Better to let people die rather than resort to the use of synthetic substances to control mosquitoes.”
Popoff is described as a former organic farmer and an advanced organic farm and process inspector and author of the book “Is it Organic?” In his article, he notes that organic farmers are more worried about their land and crops being decertified as organic if an insecticide or larvicide lands on their property, even though Popoff claims that shouldn’t be the case.
The scientific solution to protect people from dying isn’t accepted by activists. This West Nile virus is a strong example, and another example just as relevant, in my way of thinking, is activists trying to keep Third World countries from growing or importing biotech food. The activists would rather the poor people of undeveloped countries die rather than improve their food supply from biotech cropping.