Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands


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Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby TokyoB » Apr 15th, '12, 19:02

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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby infinite333 » Apr 15th, '12, 21:54

That was eye opening, thanks for posting that. The most startling part for me was the price point of some of the teas studied (~$1 / serving). I think a nice comparison would be with the "organic" teas and teas from other sources such as Japan.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby Chip » Apr 15th, '12, 22:02

Oddly ... coincidentally lead and pesticide contamination of tea from China have been primary concerns of tea from China for me personally for years. And seperate topics on each were created today under Green Tea of TeaChat.

Openess and discussion on the subjects can hopefully shed light and spur change. But it is a tough row to hoe.

More testing and accountability are what is needed most (or is this just treating the symptoms so to speak, but how to hold China accountable ... :?:

Education, maybe ... this would be addressing the "illness." But how ...
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby Chip » Apr 15th, '12, 22:03

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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby Alex » Apr 16th, '12, 10:57

I stopped drinking Chinese oolong a couple of months ago. I was getting headaches and after heavy weeks was not feeling great shortly after sessions. I thought it may be the caffeine but I drink strong black tea so suspected something else. I had no idea about this sort of thing and I'm not saying its related. But I just drink Organic Sencha now and feel amazing! :mrgreen:
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby teaisme » Apr 16th, '12, 15:06

well thank you greenpeace for giving the ball a little push.

This was not really surprising to me. The styles of teas that they tested were in my mind the kinds that often get pesticides.

I would be more interested in tests with dancongs, wuyis , yunnan reds of higher elevation, puerh from older plantations but not arbor, and higher grown greens etc. They tested everything I don't usually drink!

Again even more reason to go organic, at least you get that extra line of defense against shadiness.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby teaisme » Apr 16th, '12, 15:27

Chip wrote:but how to hold China accountable ... :?:

Education, maybe ... this would be addressing the "illness." But how ...


A few rounds of bad press from bigger papers and news sites should get the ball rolling

I know a lot of views are that china has lots of 'sketchy' issues, but I have good faith that in a few decades they will be one of the few countries leading the green revolution truely forward
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby Alex » Apr 17th, '12, 03:19

Can someone chime in on what they think about how something like a clay vessel would handle pesticides. Like would there be any sort of build up or "seasoning" if you will?
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 18th, '12, 17:21

No doubt pesticide is a big concern on tea as well as many other food.
But generally speaking, tea is safer than a lot of other food. This is not to say pesticide shouldn't be further minimized on tea, but more so on other food, globally.

The Green Peace report didn't give any information about regulation limit of these pesticides. I suppose some of the residue amounts are above EU standards. But according to Chinese Tea Association, most of the products (except one) have pesticide residue well below the Chinese regulation standards. I didn't spend time to look up all the data, but I guess many of them are well below US regulation standards for most foods as well, as EU standards for tea are generally much higher than other countries, and much higher than EU standards for many other foods - but I only looked up a few of the pesticides in the report. Those who are interested may look up some pesticides in the report about their standards on USDA database:
http://www.mrldatabase.com/default.cfm?selectedcommoditygroup=438

Most of the products claimed to have banned pesticide has methomyl, which was banned in China in 2011, and is still allowed in many other countries for fruits. (Currently the companies involved claim that residue is not from usage after the ban.)

For example, methoyl maximum allowed amount for peach:
(I picked peach because it has no pod or shell, and therefore I suppose it should reflect a relatively "safer"/strict standard. But oh well, I do agree pesticides are not safe...)

US: 5ppm
EU: 0.02-0.01ppm
Canada: 0.1ppm
Japan: 0.01ppm
New Zealand: 0.1ppm
China: banned

(Notice that producing countries tend to have looser regulation limits than importing countries.)

Those found in the products in the report: 0.02-1.1ppm - also consider tea is not completely eaten up as peach. This is not to say we should be happy that tea contains pesticides, but I guess we should be even more unhappy about peaches, and many, many other foods from various countries.

Another example is imidacloprid (the second pesticide in the data table. I didn't find the first one in the database). Again for peach, maximum amount of residue allowed:
US: 3ppm
EU: 0.5-0.01ppm
Canada: 0.1ppm
Japan: 0.01ppm
New Zealand: 0.1ppm
China: no standard yet

Products in the report contain 0.02-1.4ppm. 1.4ppm sounds really bad to me, but still, not as bad as peaches.

I only took a quick look (because this data mining is exhausting, should have been done by author of the report, not a reader like me... unless Green Peace pay me to do it :wink: ), so please correct me if there are errors.

The above numbers are not personal opinion, but straight data.

I know many people tend to judge words not by contents but by who said it. But besides everything else that I am, I'm also a biologist. On science, I hold equal status with Green Peace. :wink:
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby gasninja » Apr 25th, '12, 08:56

Wow Ginko if those stats are accurate I'm not eating any more non organic peaches. It isn't surprising given the amount of influence big Agra business has with are government that the US allows five times the amount of these pesticides on our food than other countries.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby yanom » Apr 25th, '12, 09:23

For specific comparisons with China, "banned" in China doesn't necessarily mean something isn't commonly and heavily used.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 25th, '12, 10:30

gasninja wrote:Wow Ginko if those stats are accurate I'm not eating any more non organic peaches. It isn't surprising given the amount of influence big Agra business has with are government that the US allows five times the amount of these pesticides on our food than other countries.

As I mentioned earlier, it's not that US standards are looser, it's a difference between producing countries and importing countries. I'm sure we can find something US doesn't produce and the standard is very tight.

I have bad feelings about peaches now :| But I'm sorry to tell you that I searched for global standards of endosulfan (a pesticide banned globally but whose residue is still found on various food globally, of low amount, hopefully). Guess what's the allowed level in apple, cucumber, celery, lettuce and many others, compared with the amount found in 3 of the teas in green peace report? The 3 teas are already the worst, but the legal amounts allowed in other foods... :shock: EU is much tighter on endosulfan than US, Canada and New Zealand. But I guess it's because EU doesn't has as much agriculture to begin with.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby brose » Apr 25th, '12, 15:50

Maybe I missed where the information was given, but this Greenpeace report shows a lack of disclosing information and attempting to sensationalize what they found. They should have disclosed the lab and techniques used to analyze contents. Anyone who has taken a chemistry course should know that reporting numbers without giving the errors and detection limits of the instruments is absolutely essential to validate results. For example in Annex 2 Zhang Yiyuan Jasmine Cloud Tea has 0.07 mg/kg of Chlorfenapyr if the error is +/- 0.14 the number really dosen't mean that much (hopefully any self respecting analytical company would have better standards, but the report leaves you guessing). Ideally there would be no contamination, but for me the question is not IF something is present, it is in what concentration is it present. An example of this is arsenic in drinking water: it does not pose much of a health risk, as long as its concentration is sufficiently small (in the ppb or less range). All of this is in addition to the complete lack of comparison to the regulated limits for other countries mentioned above. Shame on Greenpeace. Good intentions, terrible execution.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby beecrofter » Apr 25th, '12, 20:39

Just the same there should be no detectable presence of banned pesticides in tea. If the pesticide is not approved for use on tea then none should be present in any quantity.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby AdamMY » Apr 25th, '12, 20:43

beecrofter wrote:Just the same there should be no detectable presence of banned pesticides in tea. If the pesticide is not approved for use on tea then none should be present in any quantity.



While I most certainly agree, I think part of the comment about instrument sensitivities, had to deal with, if 0 was in the margin of error for the machine from its final reading it could most certainly be a false positive. But take this comment with a grain of salt, I am a Mathematician not a Lab Scientist.
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