Friday, February 26, 2010

Alar (daminozide)

A chemical formerly used to improve the color, yield, and storage qualities of APPLES. It is not a PESTICIDE. Until the late 1980s, Alar was used on an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of the American apple crop. It was also used on CHERRIES and PEANUTS. Alar is a systemic pollutant, meaning it is distributed throughout the plant and cannot be washed off. Because alar has caused CANCER in experimental animals, experts worried
that because young children drink more apple juice for their body weight than do adults, they are more susceptible to the potential risk.
In 1989 Alar was withdrawn by the manufacturer, Uniroyal Chemical Company. The following year it was formally banned by the EPA. Alar is still sold abroad, however. About 50 percent of apple concentrates for apple juice comes from foreign countries where Alar is widely used, and imports may be contaminated by Alar.