Second Chain To Stop Buying Alar-treated Apples
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Giant Food said Friday it will stop buying apples treated with the chemical Alar, becoming the second big grocery chain to do so.
Alar, which has been associated with cancer, is used to delay ripening and make apples redder and firmer. It usually is applied in late summer in preparation for the fall picking season.
Safeway, the nation’s largest grocery chain, said Wednesday it would stop buying Alar-treated apples.
Giant Food, with 138 stores in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, ranks 12th nationally among grocery chains.
Giant waited to make a decision so it could check with suppliers because officials were worried about availability of the fruit, according to Giant spokeswoman Sue Challis.
″After checking with suppliers we decided not to accept any more apples that had been treated with Alar,″ Ms. Challis said. ″There shouldn’t be any shortage for consumers of their favorite apples.″
The chemical is used on about one quarter of the nation’s apple crop. About 40 percent of the popular Red and Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Stayman varieties are treated with Alar.