Cup of tea anyone?
An investigation by Greenpeace has found that pesticides banned for use on tea have been used to grow products marketed by some of China’s top tea companies. Some of the firms, which include China Tea, Tenfu Tea and China Tea King, export tea products to Japan, the US and Europe. (Apparently we’re safe.)
Greenpeace (may the Gods bless the sneaky rascals) bought 18 tea products—including green tea, oolong tea and jasmine tea— manufactured by nine different companies in December 2011 and January 2012.
As stated by Wang Jing, Greenpeace’s Food and Agriculture campaigner, on the Greenpeace website, “Seven of those firms are among China’s Top 10 tea sellers, and they are all selling tea tainted with banned pesticides. It’s a huge embarrassment for China’s tea industry.”
Testing that was carried out independently by an accredited lab found that 12 of the 18 samples contained at least one pesticide banned for use on tea, such as methomyl and endosulfan (1).
“These companies have failed both their domestic and international consumers,” added Wang Jing. “You don’t know how many people – and for how long – have unknowingly been drinking toxic pesticides in their tea.”
“Greenpeace demands China’s tea companies stop the use of highly toxic pesticides altogether, drastically reduce the use of pesticides, and establish an effective traceability and supply chain control system that ensures the reduction of pesticide use and its compliance with the law.”
You can read the full report Pesticides: Hidden ingredients in Chinese Tea here.
I prefer organic brands (international or Australian grown). My favourites are Aldi’s Just Organic brand (and it’s certified organic) Green tea; Nature’s Cuppa Ceylon Tea (also certified), which I buy online here. Just add organic honey!
(1) Methomyl and endosulfan are banned for use on tea according to Announcement No.1586 issued by China’s Ministry of Agriculture on June 15, 2011.
Toxic Tea leaves Greenpeace sickened ~ The Age