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Polluted Logic Taints WHO Reports on Children’s Health

May 3, 2017

Recent World Health Organization reports chemical and fossil fuel use kills 1.7 million children a year. These reports ignore the fact the use of chemicals and fossil fuels resulted in the greatest reduction in poverty and premature death in history.

Economic growth in recent decades has enabled millions of people around the globe to rise out of poverty, simultaneously reducing premature death and infant mortality. Unfortunately, the United Nations’ wwo recent World Health Organization (WHO) reports claim pollution kills 1.7 million children a year, from the use of modern chemicals and the burning of fossil fuels for energy. These recomment reducing the use of fossil fuels and chemicals. But these supposed solutions will do more harm than good because reducing poverty, not faux “pollution” will produce the biggest health gains and economic growth requires the continued and expanded use of fossil fuels and beneficial chemicals. According to the author:

"The two WHO reports seem more directed toward advancing policies that force private enterprise to take a back seat to government planning. Specifically, they define children’s health challenges as driven by 'environmental hazards' that involve 'increasing urbanization, industrialization, globalization, and climate change.' But urbanization, industrialization, and globalization are all necessary processes for development. As for climate change, creating wealth enables societies to better face whatever challenges it might present. The problem is not pollution. It’s poverty."

Angela Logomasini is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, focusing on environmental regulation, particularly chemical regulation.