Miracle insecticide that almost completely wiped out malaria and similar diseases in the US and the third world.
Rachel Carson published a poorly-researched paper in the 60s, reporting that DDT causes birds to produce thinner eggshells and possibly cancer. This launched a major public overreaction in the US, and DDT was banned due to public pressure. It largely triggered the envronmentalist movement in the US. Seperate studies have shown however that DDT has little or no impact on bird shells, let alone cancer. DDT has been blamed falsely for declining populations in bald eagles, peregrine falcons and brown pelicans all without scientific basis. Concentration in humans doesn't even come close to causing adverse effects. Apes have been fed 30 000X more DDT than people are normally exposed with no harmful effects whatsoever. Furthermore, following the ban on DDT, more dangerous and less effective insecticides became commonplace.
It was later concluded in a 1972 public hearing that "there is no scientific basis for the ban on DDT". However, this ruling was vetoed by the EPA administrator without even reviewing a transcript.
Banning DDT killed more people than Adolph Hitler. Estimates range that 2 to 90 million people have died senselessly.
Prices shown in USD.