This letter is
with regard to your editorial on (date) calling upon environmental and health groups.
Given your concern about factual accuracy, here are some facts to correct the inaccurate
assertion of your opening sentence, which refers to "the discredited campaign to
terrify the public about Alar and apples."
It appears as
if like many others in the media, your newspaper has fallen for the expensive, highly
effective disinformation campaign waged by the agricultural chemicals industry for the
past five years. For your kind information, I would like to give you an account of what
happened since the Natural Resources Defense Council released its report about Alar and
cancer risks to children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after a thorough
review of all available data reaffirmed that Alar and its metabolite UDMH were properly
classified as human carcinogens. It reiterated that the use of Alar on food crops
presented an "unreasonable" risk to human health, and that its use should remain
prohibited.The same conclusion was reached by a scientific peer review committee convened
by EPA to examine the issue.
Recently, the Academy of Sciences also released a report which reaffirmed the basic
premise of the report, namely that infants and young children are more susceptible to
cancer causing agents in food. I trust that these facts are authoritative enough for your
newspaper to set the record straight as to which side of the Alar issue is