Modern Apple Crops Are Safer, but Beware of Chemical Residue

by Cecilia Gonzales, age 15

Around two decades ago, apple sales declined when a 1989 TV report led to widespread fear that apples were coated with a cancer-causing chemical called Alar. Alar was used to improve the color and crunch of apples. Now, the chemical, Alar, is being applied to plants that are non-edible, like flowers.
Many researchers agree that apple crops are much safer now, but many apples still have pesticide residue. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 98 percent of the apples they tested had pesticide residues. Red Delicious apples used to make up about 70 percent of the apples that were planted. Now they only make up 30 percent because more treatment is needed for them than other types of apples.
More treatment for apples means that people would have to consume more chemicals. As a solution, growers now grow plants that don’t need much chemical treatment.

[Source: USA Today]

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