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Mosquitoes vs. cigarettes

British American Tobacco is spearheading a 52-company corporate drive in Uganda to counter the country’s anti-malaria campaign. BAT, which produces Kent, Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes, argues that without proper controls, the Ugandan government’s plan to use a weak DDT-based solution to spray houses could also damage agricultural crops (including, of course, tobacco), costing up to $400 million ...

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British American Tobacco is spearheading a 52-company corporate drive in Uganda to counter the country’s anti-malaria campaign. BAT, which produces Kent, Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes, argues that without proper controls, the Ugandan government’s plan to use a weak DDT-based solution to spray houses could also damage agricultural crops (including, of course, tobacco), costing up to $400 million in exports and 600,000 jobs. Anti-malaria groups are up in arms, arguing that DDT spraying programs have not hurt exports in other countries, including South Africa, Zambia, and Madagascar. 

Malaria kills more than 1 million people a year, according to the WHO, which supports the use of DDT to fight the disease. Tobacco related products kill nearly 5 million.  The makers of a lethal product fighting malaria prevention measures in Africa?  Le Carré couldn’t have written it any better.

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