Celestial Seasoning Teas have a high amount of pesticide

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Variations of this, most the examiner story reposted elsewhere keep showing up on my wall.

http://www.examiner.com/article/dangerously-high-pesticide-levels-found-celestial-seasonings-teas

What I have found is CS's comment

http://www.celestialseasonings.com/safety-assurance[/ex]

I went tried to read this

https://glaucusresearch.com/wp-cont...nc-NasdaqHAIN-Strong_Sell_Febuary_21_2013.pdf


It is not real clear to me, It seems that different amounts of residues are allowed on different foods and I can not find one for herbal teas. The report doesn't even say what they are comparing them to.
In addition to that, Glaccus Research is a company that bought Hain, the parent company of Celestial Seasoning, short, just before they released their findings. It was to their financial advantage to have Hain's stock drop. Not only that but they have done it before.

https://glaucusresearch.com/wp-cont...ana_Follow-Up-TEA-Strong_Sell-Nov_28_2012.pdf
(That was just before Starbucks bought Teavana)

The fact that it was circulated by naturalnews and the examiner, neither of which vet their stories and the fact that NO major media outlet seems to have reported it and that no recall was ordered by the FDA makes me doubt the 'study results'. There doesn't seem to have been a recall after the Teavana report either.

It looks like pesticide residue is a problem on all types of teas and I cannot seem to find any tea recalls for pesticide residues.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Variations of this, most the examiner story reposted elsewhere keep showing up on my wall.

http://www.examiner.com/article/dangerously-high-pesticide-levels-found-celestial-seasonings-teas

What I have found is CS's comment

http://www.celestialseasonings.com/safety-assurance[/ex]

I went tried to read this

https://glaucusresearch.com/wp-cont...nc-NasdaqHAIN-Strong_Sell_Febuary_21_2013.pdf


It is not real clear to me, It seems that different amounts of residues are allowed on different foods and I can not find one for herbal teas. The report doesn't even say what they are comparing them to.
In addition to that, Glaccus Research is a company that bought Hain, the parent company of Celestial Seasoning, short, just before they released their findings. It was to their financial advantage to have Hain's stock drop. Not only that but they have done it before.

https://glaucusresearch.com/wp-cont...ana_Follow-Up-TEA-Strong_Sell-Nov_28_2012.pdf
(That was just before Starbucks bought Teavana)

The fact that it was circulated by naturalnews and the examiner, neither of which vet their stories and the fact that NO major media outlet seems to have reported it and that no recall was ordered by the FDA makes me doubt the 'study results'. There doesn't seem to have been a recall after the Teavana report either.

It looks like pesticide residue is a problem on all types of teas and I cannot seem to find any tea recalls for pesticide residues.

Pesticide tolerances do vary from plant to plant. I have not had time to read all the article but the EPA have a searchable database here. http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/regulating/part-180.html#general-name

Here are the EU standards
http://ec.europa.eu/sanco_pesticides/public/index.cfm?event=commodity.resultat

Their searchable database is here
http://ec.europa.eu/sanco_pesticide...B4213E0BFDC&jsessionid=24051a4bafc149445673TR


Edit. Link to tea limits is crap. You will have to search yourself. Sorry.
 

Elfenlied

Member
I tried to check some of the pesticides mentioned; http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40cfr180_main_02.tpl lists all pesticides with links to the EPA limits . ("Title 40: Protection of Environment : PART 180—TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD: Subpart C—Specific Tolerances") As I understand it, the EPA sets the limits, USDA and FDA enforce them.

The Nov 12 report mentions:
Buprofezin: results 0.1 ppm, MRL given is 0.05 ppm. 180.511 gives a value of 20 ppm for tea. Only nuts and meat products have a value of 0.05, milk has 0.01. The footnote for tea mentions: There are no U.S. registrations at this time.

Acetamiprid: results 1.18 ppm, MRL given 0.1 ppm. 180.578 gives a value for dried tea of 50 ppm. footnote: There are no U.S. registrations as of February 10, 2010, for the use of acetamiprid on dried tea.

Imidacloprid: results 0.28 ppm, MRL given 0.05 ppm. 180.472 doesn't list tea, it has values of 0.02 (eggs), 0.05 (poultry), 6.0 (tomato paste)...

Worth knowing: the EPA limits are based not only on possible health effects, but also on the actual levels of the pesticide that have been measured through food monitoring studies. In other words: values may reflect the occurence of a pesticide more than the risks it poses.

Regarding the EU standards: the EU developed more stringent pesticide MRL (maximum residue limit) standards for tea in 2012. Producers from China and India have complained that these are set too low and are de facto protectionist measures. Looking at for example buprofezin (http://ec.europa.eu/sanco_pesticides/public/index.cfm?event=substance.resultat&s=1#), there are good grounds for the assumption that health risks aren't the basis for the values given. It seems hardly justified to use the same limit of 0.05 mg/kg for dried tea and milk; going through the list, 90 to 95% of items listed have a limit of 0.05 mg/kg, but some exceptions stand out: dried hops (Germany being the world largest producer) and olives for oil production (Spain good for 45% of world production) have a value of 5 mg/kg; others that are significantly higher than 0.05: apples 3 mg/kg, cherries and plums 2 mg/kg, tomatoes 1 mg/kg, table olives 5 mg/kg, strawberries 3 mg/kg, herbs 4 mg/kg (but spices 0.05 mg/kg).

I haven't checked if the samples complied with the old EU standards. New standards aren't necessarily applied at the time they come into effect, provisions are made for food grown before that time (especially relevant for dried or canned goods that can remain in storage for extended periods). The UK's PRC for example used a transition period of 16 months for the 2008 changes in MRLs, and did not set any time limit for cases where producers can prove that produce were grown or treated before sept 2008.

As for the motivation of Glaucus Research, I doubt an investment firm's first priority is consumer protection.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
One of my thoughts was along the line of "how much of this product does one eat?" If I eat 2 cups of a fresh salad mix, I would get a LOT more pesticide residue than I would with an oz of tea that is steeped (are the pesticides water soluble?) I would like to see the residue in a cup of brewed tea, rather than what is on the dried product.
 

Elfenlied

Member
One of my thoughts was along the line of "how much of this product does one eat?" If I eat 2 cups of a fresh salad mix, I would get a LOT more pesticide residue than I would with an oz of tea that is steeped (are the pesticides water soluble?) I would like to see the residue in a cup of brewed tea, rather than what is on the dried product.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi202
Given that the added water would decrease the concentration considerably, maybe with a factor 100 (2 grams of tea for 200 ml water?), and the temperature and other substances in the water and the tea could increase solubility, I think at the levels found (a few ppm at most), all of them can be considered water soluble.

Buprofezin has a water solubility of 0.382 mg/L at 20° C, a higher concentration than found in the tea (0.1 mg/kg), so adding an equal amount of water to the dried tea would suffice. The two others I looked up are much more soluble, Acetamiprid solubility: 25 g/L in water. Imidacloprid has a water solubility of .61 g/L. (sources: first hits google gave me)

As you say, the intake from tea would be much less than what you get from foods containing the same concentrations. The EPA limits I found (not the MRLs mentioned in the report) seem to take that consideration into account, the EU limits don't.
 
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