HEALTH : Chicago Joins L.A. and N.Y. in Ban on Apples in School Cafeterias

From Times wire services

Chicago joined Los Angeles and New York in banning apples and apple products from public school cafeterias until questions are answered about Alar, an allegedly cancer-causing pesticide used on the fruit. In an average week schools in the country’s third-largest city serve up to 300,000 apples to 410,000 students.

Washington growers and state officials said bans on apples and apple products by school districts around the nation are “unfortunate” overreactions to reports about the chemical.

Tree Top Inc., the nation’s largest apple processor, today reassured consumers that Tree Top products have not used Alar-treated apples since 1986, and its president, Dennis Colleran, went on record endorsing the Processed Apples Institute’s call for Uniroyal Chemical Co. to withdraw Alar from the market, pending further testing by the Environmental Protection Agency.