Consumers Union

John Podesta, campaign manager and a close advisor to Hillary Clinton, believes the government has not divulged everything it knows about UFOs and Area 51. Given his predilection for conspiratorial beliefs, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that he has a fear of biotechnology.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Alar apple scare, in which many American consumers were driven into a panic following the release of a report by an environmental organization claiming that apples containing the chemical Alar posed a serious health threat to preschoolers. The report was disseminated through a PR campaign and bypassed any legitimate form of scientific peer review. Introduced to the American public by CBS' ''60 Minutes,'' the unsubstantiated claims in the report led some school districts to remove apples from their school lunch programs and unduly frightened conscientious parents trying to develop good eating habits for their children.
To the Editor: The warning issued by Consumers Union concerning the dangers of pesticide residues on American-grown produce confuses real risks with hypothetical ones (news article, Feb. 19). The report will inspire needless fear, despite the group's protestations to the contrary. Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables now to receive the many well-known health benefits of the well-rounded diet recommended by all reputable experts in nutrltion. No child (or adult) has ever been harmed by eating any amount of fruits and vegetables produced using approved, regulated pesticides.