Most of us do everything we can do avoid contact with these pesticides, from washing the fruits and vegratbles before we eat them to buying organic and even growing our own fruits and vegetables at home. Yet, somehow Pesticides always manage to make a way into our kitchen and thus, in our stomach.
One of the examples of this includes the discovery of incredibly high levels of pesticides in some of the world’s most popular tea brands including Lipton, Tetley and Twinings.
It is a very concerning news considering the fact that Tea is India’s most popular drink – the country consumes over 837,000 tonnes of it every year.
Sometime back, CBC News conducted an investigation on the pesticide levels of some of the major tea-producing companies. The investigations were done on:
- Lipton (Pure Green Tea and Yellow Label Black Tea)
- Red Rose
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea)
- King Cole
Using an accredited lab, CBC investigators used the same testing method employed by the national Food Inspection Agency to test the pesticide residue on the dry tea leaves. The investigators found that more than half of all the teas tested had pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Eight out of the 10 teas tested also contained multiple chemicals, with one brand of tea containing over 22 different types of pesticides.
In another study undertaken by environmental NGO Greenpeace, has allegedly found the presence of harmful pesticide residues including toxic dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) in tea sold by leading brands across India.
“We had carried out a study across many cities in India over the past one year to check the quality of tea leaves sold in cities. Our study has revealed the presence of residues of chemical pesticides in a majority of brands,” Neha Sehgal, senior campaigner of Greenpeace told reporters here.
She claimed that out of 49 samples tested by the non-profit organization, around 34 (94 per cent) contained residues of at least one pesticide and 29 (59 per cent) of the samples contained a cocktail of more than 10 different pesticides in them.