More chains found us­ing tainted leaves

Of­fi­cials claim over 7,000kg of tainted leaves al­ready con­sumed


Fol­low­ing the tainted tea scare orig­i­nat­ing with bev­er­age chain Stor­n­away ( ), tea chain “50 Lan” ( ) yes­ter­day was ac­cused of hav­ing sold over 7,000 kilo­grams of pes­ti­cide-tainted tea leaves by the Taichung Depart­ment of Health.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced that it would be testing all im­ported tea in Tai­wan, af­ter four bev­er­age chains were found to be sell­ing tainted teas yes­ter­day.

The Tainan Depart­ment

of Health headed to the chain stores’ head­quar­ters in Tainan af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip-off from the Taichung Depart­ment of Health yes­ter­day, and said that an es­ti­mated 7,568 kilo­grams of tea leaves have been used to make tea that is al­ready be­ing con­sumed by cus­tomers.

Ac­cord­ing to the Taichung Depart­ment of Health, 50 Lan’s popular “Four Sea­son Spring Tea” was found to con­tain 0.003ppm of the pes­ti­cide fipronil, which is more than the stan­dard amount of 0.002ppm.

The batch of tainted tea leaves had been pur­chased from Sanch­ing Tea Man­u­fac­turer ( ) in Tainan on March 18, said the Tainan Depart­ment of Health.

How­ever, the 50 Lan staff pro­vided an SGS test re­port Sanch­ing de­liv­ered on March 2, claim­ing that the batch of tea leaves was found to con­tain only 0.002ppm of fipronil.

Tea Leaves Con­fis­cated

De­spite the com­pany’s claims, the health depart­ment pro­ceeded to con­fis­cate an­other batch of Four Sea­son Spring tea weigh­ing 1,581 kilo­grams yes­ter­day and or­dered the com­pany to stop sell­ing bev­er­ages made from the leaves. The other in­gre­di­ents used by 50 Lan will be tested as well.

The said type of tea was from Nan­tou.

The health depart­ment of­fi­cials also headed to Sanch­ing’s head­quar­ters yes­ter­day, and in­spected all the tea leaves in its stock and con­fis­cated all that did not come with a test re­port.

The Taipei Depart­ment of Health also gath­ered sam­ples of tea leaves from 50 Lan chain stores in Taipei yes­ter­day, and said the re­sults would be an­nounced in three weeks.

The 50 Lan fran­chises through­out Tai­wan all an­swer to a spe­cific fran­chise head­quar­ters in a dif­fer­ent area. The New Taipei Depart­ment of Health said yes­ter­day that it would be in­ves­ti­gat­ing on the source of New Taipei tea leaves and the amount of pes­ti­cide in the in­gre­di­ents.

Shen­geng Tea Com­pany,

the com­pany in charge of all 50 Lan stores in Taipei, said yes­ter­day that it did not un­der­stand why the tea in Taichung stores con­tained more traces of pes­ti­cide when all of the stores’ prod­ucts passed na­tional tests.

The com­pany has dif­fer­ent fran­chise head­quar­ters in Taipei, Taoyuan/Miaoli, Taichung, Tainan and Kaoh­si­ung; the orig­i­nal HQ in Yonghe Dis­trict has moved to Taipei.

Four Bev­er­age Chains Sus­pi­cious: Taichung Health


The Taichung Health Depart­ment said yes­ter­day that af­ter a ran­dom in­spec­tion of 20 bev­er­age chains, four were found sell­ing teas that al­legedly con­tained more pes­ti­cide than al­lowed, in­clud­ing 50 Lan.

As re­lated laws reg­u­lat­ing the ac­cept­able amount of pes­ti­cides in teas were amended re­cently, the health depart­ment is still try­ing to find out the man­u­fac­tur­ing dates of the tainted teas.

The laws were amended in July last year, chang­ing the max­i­mum fipronil amount from 0.005ppm to 0.002ppm.

An­other one of the bev­er­age chains sell­ing tainted teas is the Tainan-based A Tea. The Tainan Depart­ment of Health con­fis­cated 179 kilo­grams of tainted teas af­ter search­ing the A Tea head­quar­ters yes­ter­day, while the Taichung-based Tea Shop was said to have in stock As­sam black tea con­tain­ing too much fipronil as well.


Two cups of 50 Lan’s fa­mous Four Sea­son spring tea is shown in this photo. The bev­er­age chain was yes­ter­day dis­cov­ered to be sell­ing tainted teas.

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