If you practice eating an apple daily without washing it (or with washing it; chemicals are tricksy), it’s probably safe to begin planning your own funeral. Europe has effectively banned the import of American apples, because the amount of DPA (diphenylamine) residue on them exceeds their limits of 0.1 parts per million.
By comparison, the EPA allows up to 10 ppm DPA. And the last time the US Department of Agriculture looked for DPA residues on American apples, it found an average reading of 0.42 ppm on 80% of samples. That’s over four times European allowances. The chemical itself prevents fruit from browning, which is useful when it sits in barrels for 9 months before hitting grocery store shelves, but will also apparently cause families of cancer.
DPA isn’t believed to be harmful on its own. But it has the potential to break down into a family of carcinogens called nitrosamines — not something you want to find on your daily apple.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org