Cup of tea

The environmental organization Greenpeace has released a report showing high levels of illegal pesticides in several of China’s most popular teas. According to the report, “some well-known tea companies are ignoring national laws and either turning a blind eye or being complicit with their suppliers’ illegal conduct.”

The report, titled “Pesticides: Hidden Ingredients in Chinese Tea,” revealed the use of pesticides including Endosulfan, which has been banned around the planet under the Stockholm Convention due to its highly toxic properties. It is an endocrine disruptor with severe negative effects on male reproductive development.

According to the report, every sample contained at least three different kinds of pesticides with one containing 17 different pesticides. Twenty-nine pesticides in total were found on the tea samples including those specifically banned for use on tea plants and leaves.

Among the other harmful pesticides found on the tea samples were carbendazim, benomyl2 and myclobutanil3, which have been identified by the European Union as connected to genetic damage and fertility issues including harm to unborn children.

The report states that “China is the world’s biggest producer of tea, and it is also the world’s biggest user of pesticides. The country’s unconstrained use of pesticides is holding back many aspects of the development of China’s tea industry.”

Greenpeace’s report urges China to “ensure a drastic reduction in pesticide application,” and, ” Establish an effective traceability and supply chain control systems that ensure compliance with use reduction and the law by preventing the use of banned pesticides.”

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Image: Saucy Salad