Shots fired: in a move to protect the health of its citizens, Europe has ostensibly banned American apples from ever making it to their grocery store shelves. Following regulations by the European Food Safety Authority, our apples, which are too high in residues of DPA, won't make it across the ocean.

As was reported in Mother Jones, the ban on American apples comes from a new regulation that says any apple with a higher DPA (or diphenylamine) count of 0.1 parts per million is potentially harmful.

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.

American apples more than exceed the European regulation.

According to EWG, in 2010, when the US Department of Agriculture last looked for DPA residues on US-grown apples, it found them on 80 percent of samples.

In typical American food protection style (or, perhaps, lack thereof), the EPA Office of Pesticides said they'd make no move to changing regulations, as they aren't sure yet what the problem is. The EPA currently allows up to 10 ppm DPA residues for homegrown apples, which is 100 times that of Europe's regulation.

And what is it exactly that DPA does? It prevents a brown "scald" from affecting fruit that have been stored for long periods of time. Though it is not confirmed if high doses of DPA are detrimental, Europe isn't taking any chances—with their apples or ours.

[Image via AP]