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Medicated salt and toxic legacies: the failed efforts to control vector-borne illness through individual consumption

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Abstract:

This paper presents preliminary research into the environmental and political economic history of the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. AID chloroquine-enhanced salt programs to understand the expansion and convergence of U.S. foreign aid programs and business interests during a historical moment in which control of insect-borne disease shifted from macro-environments (of landscapes and ecosystems) to micro-environments (of bodies). In 2007, a National Geographic cover story famously implicated Rachel Carson, the modern environmental movement, and DDT bans with the persistence and extent of malaria worldwide. Yet, that storyline ignores prior failed attempts to control the disease through means other than pesticides. During the 1950s and 1960s, the WHO and U.S. AID distributed salt enhanced with chloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, to combat the disease in South America, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Africa. The turn to salt foregrounded the modern environmental movement’s concern with pesticides by seeking alternatives to vector control. However, medicated salt irrevocably changed microbial landscapes and has been implicated in drug resistant malaria strains in the affected regions that persist today. After less than a decade of use, the medicated salt programs were deemed a failure, and affected regions increased vector control through broad-spectrum pesticides. These programs have left a twin legacy of persistent disease and environmental toxins throughout the Global South. This paper addresses the U.S. interests in developing and promoting the medicated salt programs, particularly in relation to the expansion of the salt industry from American production sites, such as the San Francisco Bay, to newly-independent colonies in the Caribbean.
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Name: ASEH Conference – San Francisco
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http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680675_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Sedell, Jennifer. "Medicated salt and toxic legacies: the failed efforts to control vector-borne illness through individual consumption" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Conference – San Francisco, Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, San Francisco, California, <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680675_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sedell, J. K. "Medicated salt and toxic legacies: the failed efforts to control vector-borne illness through individual consumption" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Conference – San Francisco, Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, San Francisco, California <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680675_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: This paper presents preliminary research into the environmental and political economic history of the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. AID chloroquine-enhanced salt programs to understand the expansion and convergence of U.S. foreign aid programs and business interests during a historical moment in which control of insect-borne disease shifted from macro-environments (of landscapes and ecosystems) to micro-environments (of bodies). In 2007, a National Geographic cover story famously implicated Rachel Carson, the modern environmental movement, and DDT bans with the persistence and extent of malaria worldwide. Yet, that storyline ignores prior failed attempts to control the disease through means other than pesticides. During the 1950s and 1960s, the WHO and U.S. AID distributed salt enhanced with chloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, to combat the disease in South America, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Africa. The turn to salt foregrounded the modern environmental movement’s concern with pesticides by seeking alternatives to vector control. However, medicated salt irrevocably changed microbial landscapes and has been implicated in drug resistant malaria strains in the affected regions that persist today. After less than a decade of use, the medicated salt programs were deemed a failure, and affected regions increased vector control through broad-spectrum pesticides. These programs have left a twin legacy of persistent disease and environmental toxins throughout the Global South. This paper addresses the U.S. interests in developing and promoting the medicated salt programs, particularly in relation to the expansion of the salt industry from American production sites, such as the San Francisco Bay, to newly-independent colonies in the Caribbean.


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