Of Apples and Alar (Cont'd)

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
Letter to the editor
Washington Post (February 4, 1998)

In their Jan. 13 letter, David Rall and Philip Landrigan callously make misstatements about Alar's toxicology that must be corrected.

The active ingredient of Alar has been thoroughly evaluated, and in the most modern, most scientifically complete evaluation in rodents, it was shown to be noncarcinogenic. Dimethyl hydrazine, a metabolite of Alar, was shown to be a rodent carcinogen only at exaggerated doses -- doses exceeding the maximum dose that can be tolerated by the test animal during its lifetime, a dose equivalent to humans drinking 4,000 gallons of apple juice per day for life.

The other referenced product, dimethyl nitrosamine, is not an ingredient in Alar, not an intermediate, not a metabolite, not a degradation product and, in fact, has never been related to Alar in any way.

The authors further imply that the courts have ruled on the health threats of Alar in consideration of apple growers vs. the CBS network. The courts addressed only the question of whether CBS knowingly broadcast false information.

After all data were reviewed, the World Health Organization cleared Alar for reinstatement on food crops.

J. A. LACADIE, Middlebury, Conn. The writer is director of crop protection research and development for Uniroyal Chemical Co. Inc, which produced Alar.

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