Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 25th, '12, 22:32

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.


There should be none, in an ideal world. As I mentioned earlier, endosulfan is banned globally, and it's allowed to be detected in food globally. So are some other pesticides. It's not something that I like, but it's the reality. As demonstrated by USDA database, It's not a tea-only issue, it's a global pesticide issue. One can restrict herself to pesticide-free tea as well as pesticide-free other food, as long as one can afford it. But if I want to avoid pesticide, I would start with peaches, blueberries, lettuce and many other things that have hundreds of times higher risk than tea :| And too bad organic produces sometimes are even less affordable than organic teas.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby chrl42 » Apr 25th, '12, 22:44

I love this kind of thread

While tea might contain a similar amount of pesticides as other plants, they are not easily removable as other plants' could be by wipping with water. All we can trust is rinsing boiling water..eh

When I visited Hangzhou, finding spider webs and bugs on tea leaves aren't that so difficult, maybe because that was summer and altitude wasn't the summit.

Saying that, teas that aren't early-spring, high-mountains are very easy to be attacked I guess - TGY, super-market Longjing, Puerh Shu etc.. :(
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 25th, '12, 22:46

brose wrote: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.


When reading the report, I decided to believe all the data have proper confidence intervals, mainly because there are industry standards of the pesticide inspection and it's not that hard to do a good job on it. Since a lot of government standards I saw from USDS database are accurate to 0.01 level, I guess it's because that's the level technology could accurately detect.

But I fully agree with your last three sentences in your comments - lack of valid comparison, no valid conclusion. Good intentions, terrible outcomes. I feel even a well-trained science major sophomore could do a better data analysis and report. And I don't think it's because of the incompetency of Green Peace - it's a big organization with respectable human resources. What disturbs me is the seemingly arrogance behind such unscientific attitude. It's almost like saying, "This is from The Green Peace, take my data, have faith in my words and don't question my methods."
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby mbanu » Apr 26th, '12, 01:35

Chip wrote: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 ...


I feel this is really a case of holding Lipton and certain suppliers accountable. Chinese authorities noticed Lipton selling unsafe tea last year.
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Re: Banned pesticides found in popular Chinese tea brands

Postby beecrofter » Apr 26th, '12, 11:18

I would have to agree that the sensitivity of modern lab equipment presents a problem in detecting quantities that may not matter.

But when a pesticide is banned because it bioaccumulates like for example organophosphates, or proves to be teratogenic , or mutagenic then a problem exists. Cancer begins as a single cell, how many molecules of a carcinogen then are acceptable ?
The consumer of tea can drive this boat and if it costs twice as much to produce a clean product there will be a market.
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