Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Banned Pesticides Found in Popular Chinese Tea Brands

Banned Pesticides Found in Popular Chinese Tea Brands

Greenpeace East Asia

A Greenpeace investigation has found pesticides banned for use on tea in the 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 U.S. and Europe.

In December 2011 and January 2012, Greenpeace bought 18 tea products from nine tea companies in China. The tea products, including green tea, oolong tea and jasmine tea, were purchased from stores located in Beijing, Chengdu and Haikou. The prices were between RMB120 (about 19 U.S. Dollars) and RMB2000 (about 318 U.S. Dollars) per kilogram.

"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," said Wang Jing, Greenpeace Food and Agriculture campaigner.

Independent testing conducted 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."

The testing also found that all 18 tea samples contained at least three pesticides, with 17 pesticides found in the worst sample. A total of 14 samples were found to have pesticides that may affect fertility, harm an unborn child or cause heritable genetic damage.

China is the world's biggest producer of tea, and it is also the world's biggest user of pesticides. China's Ministry of Agriculture says it aims to reduce nationwide pesticide use in 2015 by 20 percent2, and has expanded its coverage of green pest management of vegetables, fruits and tea.

"Large tea producers have every reason to take action immediately and reduce pesticide use substantially," added Wang Jing. "They know how to solve this problem, but they must take action now."

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.

  • Read the full report, Pesticides: Hidden Ingredients in Chinese Tea, by clicking here.

For more information, click here.

—————

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.

Reindeers at their winter location in northern Sweden on Feb. 4, 2020, near Ornskoldsvik. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan, experienced some of their warmest temperatures on record in the summer of 2020. Ken Ilio / Moment / Getty Images

Heatwaves are not just distinct to the land. A recent study found lakes are susceptible to temperature rise too, causing "lake heatwaves," The Independent reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Starfish might appear simple creatures, but the way these animals' distinctive biology evolved was, until recently, unknown. FangXiaNuo / Getty Images

By Aaron W Hunter

A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.

Read More Show Less
U.S. President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office as he signs a series of orders at the White House in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2021. Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

President Joe Biden officially took office Wednesday, and immediately set to work reversing some of former President Donald Trump's environmental policies.

Read More Show Less
Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

In many schools, the study of climate change is limited to the science. But at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, students in one class also learn how to take climate action.

Read More Show Less