...American apples that is.
Much ado about probably nothing.Back in 2008, European Food Safety Authority began pressing the chemical industry to provide safety information on a substance called diphenylamine, or DPA. Widely applied to apples after harvest, DPA prevents "storage scald"brown spots that "becomes a concern when fruit is stored for several months," according to Washington State University, reporting from the heartland of industrial-scale apple production.
What does that have to do with the US-grown apples now gleaming, spot-free, on supermarket shelves? According to EWG, in 2010, when the US Department of Agriculture last looked for DPA residues on US-grown apples, it found them on 80 percent of samples. Average reading: 0.42 ppm, or about four times the new European limit. In other words, the apple on your countertop would likely be deemed unsafe by European authorities.
So what's our own Environmental Protection Agency's take on DPA-coated apples? It green-lights residues of up to 10 ppm100 times the new European normand hasn't reconsidered its position on the chemical since 1998, EWG reports. Nor does it have plans to do so in the future. Here's EWG:
Earlier this year three scientists in the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticides, which is tasked with pesticide safety reviews, told EWG they were unaware of the new European ban and import restrictions. They said the agency had no plans to reassess DPA safety in light of the European actions.