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April 25, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Lipton teas named in pesticides scandal

LIPTON tea, a worldwide brand, has become embroiled in an ongoing scandal of banned pesticide residue found in the popular drink.

Greenpeace, an environmental protection organization, said yesterday that three types of Lipton tea bags were found to contain banned pesticide residue that could prove harmful to the human endocrine system or male reproduction.

The organization tested four types of Lipton tea bags bought at random in Beijing: black tea, jasmine tea, green tea and "tieguanyin" oolong tea, and sent samples to a third-party certified laboratory for tests.

Only the black tea was free of pesticide. The other three contained methomyl, a pesticide banned from use in tea growing. The tieguanyin oolong tea and green tea samples were also found to contain another two types of banned pesticide residue.

Greenpeace said 17 types of pesticide were found in the samples, several of which had not been approved by the European Union because they affected the male reproductive system and could harm the health of unborn babies.

Greenpeace said such products wouldn't be allowed to be sold in Europe, yet Lipton sold them to Chinese consumers who wouldn't be aware of the European standards.

"Lipton always promises that they use approved pesticides and the least amount of chemicals on the products," said Wang Jing, a Greenpeace official. "But the facts show that the promise is only some empty talk."

However, Shanghai Unilever Co Ltd, Lipton's owner, yesterday dismissed the accusations. It issued a statement saying that all their products had passed the authorities' "quality tests."

"Lipton products are in accord with the Chinese standard on pesticide residue," the statement said. "The products are qualified and safe."

Unilever said their green tea, jasmine tea and tieguanyin oolong tea bags are sent to authorized institutions for tests on a regular basis to guarantee their quality.

Earlier this month, tea produced by some of China's top companies was also found by Greenpeace to contain residue of banned pesticides. The environmental organization tested nine brands of 18 types of tea sold in Beijing, Sichuan and Hainan, including green tea, oolong tea and jasmine tea.


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