I had a Buddhist teacher once who ate meat. When a student challenged him on that he said, "We're all in it up to here (eyebrows). Where will you go?"
Anyone who thinks that the US has some corner on food purity (or any sort of sane attitude about food) needs to watch Food Inc. I think everyone just has to find their own comfort zone in a very impure world and be mindful that on one end is your shining, organic, locally produced and expensive 1st world carrot and on the other a zillion hungry kids who would kill for your Hungry Man frozen dinner. It's all pretty crazy, everywhere. In the larger picture tea dirt seems like esoterica to me, though I deeply support every effort towards healthier production.
I was assembling granola way back in 1968 (olllld) and have watched the evolution of the 'pure food' thing closely all of my life. I don't expect my tea (or the bulk of my food) to be reliably organic/ethically produced, it's a crap shoot, and you guys are correct that it's a drop in the bucket of increasingly compromised stuff that we all consume, breathe and swim in. I don't figure that pu is toxic, I didn't mean that. It's the purely subjective ick factor and the happily morbid boyish brags about the gross things that have been found in it.
Doesn't help that the only pu I've tasted was truly, how can I say... vehement-new-cow-flop-with-moldy-hay flavored. I enjoy all sorts of funky (by western standards) food, love stinky moldy cheese, but that one sort of did me in. I know, it was a poor pu. Later, maybe.
So anyway, I usually rinse teas that stand up to it well, if I remember to - partly because it 'opens up' a lot of them. But it's a psychological thing, mostly, don't you think?
Yikes, too long a post. I surely have too much time on my hands.