25 Years of Food Follies: 1987-2012

We're looking back at oddball food trends and nutritional nonsense. By: Jenny Everett

The great apple panic
Photo: Gently & Hyers

1989 | The great apple panic

The Natural Resources Defense Council publishes a report saying that Alar, a chemical used to extend apples' shelf life, could cause cancer. 60 Minutes does a show with a skull-and-crossbones icon. Although only 5% of apples in the market contain Alar, sales plummet nationwide. Washington state farmers alone lose at least $125 million. Alar is withdrawn. Was it that dangerous? Years later, that remains unclear.

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