Im­porter says Stor­n­away tea comes from Iran

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA, ) will soon launch a com­pre­hen­sive in­spec­tion of bev­er­age chains to ad­dress con­sumers’ con­cerns about the pres­ence of pes­ti­cide residues in their drinks, the agency an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

Bev­er­age chains will be fined be­tween NT$60,000 and NT$200 mil­lion ( US$1,920-US$6.4 mil­lion) and brought to jus­tice if they are found to have vi­o­lated the Stan­dards for Pes­ti­cide Residue Lim­its in Foods, FDA Direc­tor-Gen­eral Chi­ang Yu-mei ( ) told re­porters be­fore a hear­ing of the Leg- is­la­ture’s en­vi­ron­men­tal hy­giene com­mit­tee.

FDA South­ern Cen­ter Deputy Direc­tor Liu Fang-ming said the ad­min­is­tra­tion in­spected 7,231 agri­cul­tural prod­ucts on the mar­ket over the last three years, in­clud­ing 363 herbal teas, but none of them were found to con­tain the in­sec­ti­cide DDT.

The move was an­nounced af­ter a rose tea drink sold at a well-known tea store chain was with­drawn when the tea was found to con­tain traces of DDT, an in­sec­ti­cide long­banned be­cause of the dam­age it causes to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Stor­n­away ( ), a Tainan City-based chain that sells what it calls English black tea, apol­o­gized on Tues­day and said the batch of 70 kilo­grams of rose tea had been re­moved from the shelves of its 96 out­lets around Tai­wan fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of toxic in­sec­ti­cide.

Health of­fi­cials in Miaoli County took sam­ples of the rose tea leaves from the chain’s Miaoli out­let for tests last week af­ter a con­sumer com­plained of feel­ing dizzy af­ter drink­ing it. The tests re­vealed traces of var­i­ous agri­cul­tural chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing DDT.

The FDA said Wed­nes­day that the chain’s rose tea was bought from Taipei-based herb im­porter Chou Jae Trad­ing Co. ( ), which sourced the tea from Kaoh­si­ung-based Yuen Yeeh En­ter­prise Co. ( ).

The Kaoh­si­ung com­pany said the tea came from a batch of 4,500 kilo­grams of rose tea im­ported from Iran on Aug. 7, 2014, but the la­bel on the tea’s pack­ag­ing showed it as be­ing im­ported from Ger­many rather than Iran, the coun­try of ori­gin on the prod­uct’s cus­toms dec­la­ra­tion, the FDA said.

The agency said Kaoh­si­ung’s mu­nic­i­pal health depart­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the is­sue to find out which com­pany changed the la­bel­ing.

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