Chemical banned in Europe is probably on your apple


A dose of diphenylamine a day won’t keep the doctor away.

The pesticide is sprayed on American apples after they’re harvested so they can be stored for months on end and shipped around the world without turning too ugly for grocery store shoppers. Federal tests in 2010 found the chemical on 80 percent of apples in the U.S. Unless you only buy organic, the DPA is also in your apple juice, in your applesauce, and maybe on your pears and in your pear baby food.

The chemical was banned in Europe because of health concerns in 2012. So the nonprofit Environmental Working Group would like to know why it remains in widespread use in the U.S.

Of particular concern to the European authorities was the fact that DPA is thought to combine with nitrogen on the surface of apples to produce nitrosamines, a cancer-causing group of chemical compounds. “While it is not yet clear that DPA is risky to public health, European Commission officials…

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