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From: Eddie Fernandes <e.fernandes@ucl.ac.uk>
Subject: <nettime> Goa, Fred Noronha: CM's stand on Deltametrin 
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Subject: CM's stand on Deltametrin draws questions

>From Frederick Noronha
Goa, Oct 18: Chief minister Pratapsing Rane's penchant for hi-
tech and computers got him into unexpected trouble, when the 
medical fraternity here challenged his wisdom of taking crucial 
policy decisions based on what the Internet says.

Panaji doctor Pramod D Dukle publicly challenged the chief 
minister over his claims that he had got information from the 
Internet to support the decision to spray the chemical 
Deltamethrin in this state capital of 44,000 residents, which is 
among the areas in Goa plagued by malaria.

Rane has strongly backed the controversial idea of spraying 
this Hoechst and Schering's product in the Goan capital, amidst 
allegations that well-connected relatives of politicians had a 
stake in this multi-million rupee deal.

Chief minister Rane's son, Vishwajeet Rane, was himself 
reported as having phoned local newspapers, to deny he had any 
business links with the firm selling the chemical for Rs 3.5 million.

Goa's health minister and deputy chief minister Dr. Wilfred 
de Souza, a known Rane-opponent, has distanced himself from the 
deal, which has serious implications since the spraying of 
chemicals could inadvertently raise resistance among mosquitos, 
and proper Central clearances are needed before such spraying. 

Malaria has caused panic in this touristic state in recent 
years, and popular beach areas like Cavelossim and Candolim which 
have seen a high level of construction activity are among the 
worst-hit by malaria.

But medicos challenged Rane's wisdom in treating the 
information superhighway as an omniscient fount of wisdom, 
pointing out that "when it comes to medical information, the 
Internet too often resembles a cocktail conversation rather than 
a tool for effective healthcare communication and decision-making".

Dr Dukle, who is associated with a medical-ethics journal, 
also questioned Mr Rane's claim that he himself is regularly 
spraying Deltamethrin at both his private and official residences.

"By doing so, he may have not only already harmed the bio-
ecology of his own immediate surroundings, but also may be 
responsible for raising a new generation of mosquitoes which may 
be resistant to Deltamethrin, and may now freely migrate to 
surrounding areas," said the medico.

After realising the problems with DDT (Dichloro Diphenyl 
Trichloroethane) and BHC (Benzene Hexachloride), now Deltamethrin 
is being promoted for vector control along with other synthetic 
Pyrethoids. Deltamethrin is effective at far lower doses than DDT. 

But Deltamethrin is very toxic to aquatic organisms, 
particularly fish, and effluents containing Deltamethrin should 
not be discharged in waterbodies and control of runoff is very 
important with this insecticide, according to international 
researchers whose findings was made available here. 

Deltamethrin is also suspected to be a hormone disruptor. As 
a synthetic pyrethroid, Deltamethrin is designated in the US as 
an endocrine disruptor. In lab studies it blocks the androgen 
receptor and displaces testosterone from sex hormone binding 
globulin to carrier protein for steroid sex hormones in the 

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