August 25, 1989 |
It was a springtime of remarkable consensus for the American media, an institution that has traditionally (if not always justifiably) prided itself on its independence, iconoclasm and diversity. First came the Alar scare: Read all about it, everywhere--Apples Cause Cancer.
August 5, 1989 |
The government, acting under a program designed to reduce the apple surplus caused by the Alar scare, awarded $9.5 million to growers to compensate them for giving away 57.5 million pounds of apples Friday. The apples will go to 56 "non-traditional" outlets, such as ethanol distillers and livestock feeders, in Connecticut, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington state. The Agriculture Department stressed that the apples would not be put into the school lunch program.
July 8, 1989 |
The Department of Agriculture will purchase $15 million worth of apples to help reduce a huge surplus created when consumers stopped buying amid fears over use of the chemical Alar, the department said Friday. The industry has estimated that 5 million to 7 million boxes of apples from last year's crop, valued at between $40 million and $56 million, remain unsold.
April 6, 1989 |
"Our Food Supply Is Safe" was the headline of a full-page advertisement that ran in three major newspapers Wednesday. Signed by 65 scientists, it went on: "There is no scientific merit to charges that pesticide residues in our produce cause cancer in human beings." The paid statement was the latest effort of a little-known but frequently quoted science group that has been waging a high-profile crusade to counteract environmental groups' concerns about food safety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 1989 |
Growers who supplied Alar-treated apples to a Southern California grocery chain said Thursday they did not knowingly deceive the supermarket into believing the fruit was free of the chemical. On Wednesday, Hughes Market decided to test its apples for Alar after a laboratory examination for The Times found traces of the potentially hazardous chemical in some Hughes apples.
March 30, 1989 |
Apples in two Los Angeles County supermarkets were found in independent tests to contain residues of Alar, a potentially hazardous chemical that the stores' suppliers had claimed was no longer used. The tests, conducted for The Times by a private San Francisco laboratory, found traces of Alar on apples sold at a Hughes market in Monterey Park and a Lucky store in Bell. Officers of both stores said their growers had pledged in letters not to use the chemical.
March 29, 1989 |
They have been called "toxic terrorists" and "fear mongers." Their reputation as scientists has been assailed on the front pages of the nation's newspapers and their ethics and responsibility challenged. So why do they seem elated? To the authors of the report that ignited a recent furor over a chemical used on apples, the results could not be better.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 1989 |
The much-maligned apple--banned from school menus last week because of fears of chemical contamination--started to reappear in some Los Angeles Unified School District cafeterias Monday, an occasion students greeted with approval, indifference and downright dismay. Schools were notified that they could resume serving the fruit and some related products this week after Supt. Leonard Britton, announcing the results of laboratory tests, gave the district's apple supply a clean bill of health.
March 18, 1989 |
The federal government's decision to temporarily ban imported Chilean fruit after the discovery of two cyanide-laced grapes was widely supported by the American public, according to a Times Poll. The survey asked 1,158 adults nationwide to evaluate the Food and Drug Administration's response to the tainted grapes found in a shipment in Philadelphia: Did it overreact or was the move a prudent exercise of caution? Sixty-eight percent of those questioned thought the government had acted prudently.
March 18, 1989 |
Federal officials on Friday strongly defended the method they have chosen to ensure that fruit imported from Chile is safe, saying that a random sampling of 5% of the grapes and berries should be enough to detect any poison. But many of the details of the inspection system must still be worked out and the fact remains that, even when the system finally is in place, 95% of the fruit will not be looked at by inspectors.