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Alar, which had been licensed for use on apples in 1968, is the brand name for daminozide, a

chemical produced by the Uniroyal Chemical Company, a unit of Avery, Incorporated Alar first
became an issue in 1986 when Ralph Nader and several consumer and environmental groups
urged the EPA to ban the chemical. In 1985, studies on animals had shown that daminozide and
a by-product, UDMH, might cause cancer. An EPA science advisory panel, however, advised the
agency to delay its decision in favor of additional study.

In response to the concerns raised by the activists, 15 food companies announced that they would
no longer use apples treated with Alar. Over the next 3 years, Alar use decreased to
approximately 55 million annually, with approximately half accounted for by exports. In 1989
the NRDC executed a carefully designed media strategy that alleged a health risk for children
who are apples treated with Alar. In its study of 23 chemicals and pesticides in the food they eat.
The NRDC estimated that the risk was 240 times the EPA’s acceptable level. Alar was cited by
the NRDC as one of the most hazardous of the 23 chemicals.

After the 60 minutes broadcast highlighting the NRDC’s allegations, the media leaped on the
issue. Thousands of parents protested to their representatives in Washington, and growers,
supermarkets, producers of apple-based foods, and the producer of Alar came under attack. Even
though the EPA estimated that in 1988 only 4 to 8 precent of apples were treated with Alar,
parents, politicians, and activists called apples to be removed from school cafetarias demanded
that they be banned altogether. Congress international hearings were held, and Meryl Streep testi
before a Scnate committee and also visited the White House to meet with an advisor to President
Bush.