Coffee, tea, or DDT?

| Sat Aug. 5, 2000 3:00 AM EDT

What do you take with your tea? Milk? Sugar? DDT?

Like it or not, you may very well be taking it with just a dash of the banned pesticide. IN THESE TIMES reports that some brands of green tea -- popular with breast cancer patients and survivors because of low breast cancer rates in Japan, where the drink is nearly universal -- contains trace amounts of the chemical.

It's not surprising when you consider that DDT, though banned in this country since 1972, is still manufactured in India and China and in use in much of the Third World.

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The United Nations and environmental organizations are pushing for a treaty to ban DDT worldwide. But many developing countries are resisting, saying the cheap and effective pesticide is needed to help restrict transmission of malaria, which in many parts of the world poses a much more immediate threat to health than DDT.

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