Unless it’s organic, an apple a day does NOT keep the doctor away. I’m sure when the original saying was created, it was true. But with a current non-organic apple harvest a chemical fungicide is applied to these apples. This fungicide is called Diphenylamine (DPA). You have to ask yourself why is our country (United States) allowing these chemicals to be applied to our food, yet other countries ban these chemicals and ban our food with these chemicals on them?
In 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) began to question the use of DPA on fruit. DPA is supposed to stop the fruits ripening process and prevent storage scald. Storage scald is characterized by the skin turning brown when a fruit is stored for several months. During the EFSA’s investigation of DPA, they asked the companies involved with producing the chemical to prove that it was safe. What they discovered is that when DPA is broken down it produces a type of carcinogen known as nitrosamines. Information available says, “nitrosamines can cause cancers in a wide variety of animal species, a feature that suggests that they may also be carcinogenic in humans.” With the information found the EFSA chose to ban the use of DPA on apples and ban the import of apples with .1 parts per million.
With the ban and limitations on DPA in Europe, the United States apple growers became concerned. At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Trade Promotion Authority, Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association was quoted as saying “We won’t be able to go into the EU as long as that material has been used,”. “Only organic apples would not be affected by the change.” As a consumer in the United States, I have to be concerned whose interest these non-organic apple growers have at heart? I even have to question our own government’s’ interest as well. In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was passed by president Bill Clinton. This act was to standardize the way the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) managed the use of use of pesticides. This would appear to be a good act that was passed, but the FQPA benefited the people and companies that were pro DPA, because the Delaney clause would be removed. The Delaney clause was “an amendment of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, that banned all food that contained any trace amount of any pesticide that may cause cancer.” Even the CDC recognizes the harm in DPA, “Synonyms & Trade Names – Anilino Benzene, DPA, Phenylaniline, N-Phenylaniline, N-Phenyl Benzenamine [Note: The carcinogen 4-Aminobiphenyl may be present as an impurity in the commercial product.]
The next time you go to the supermarket and pick up a bag of apples, consider choosing organic apples. The only way these non-organic fruit growers are gong to understand the effects of the chemicals they put on the fruit is when it affects them financially. It’s important that we, as consumers, become aware of what we are buying and how it affects our health. I’ve heard many people say, “I can’t afford to eat organic” but can you afford to take the risk of developing cancer? You and the ones you love are worth the extra cost.