Har­rods’ tea from In­dia found with twelve-times ac­cepted pes­ti­cide lev­els


Tea lovers may want to think twice be­fore pur­chas­ing costly tea bags from renowned brands, with the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( FDA, ) re­veal­ing yes­ter­day that Har­rods’ tea from Shin Kong Mit­sukoshi ( ) was found to con­tain pes­ti­cide residues 12-times in ex­cess of al­low­able lim­its.

The FDA has been col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal health bu­reaus since the tea scare broke out ear­lier in April. As of June 10, in­spec­tors had tested al­most 1,000 tea prod­ucts around the coun­try, and are con­tin­u­ing to col­lect sam­ples. Re­port­edly, 8.06 per­cent of the tested sam­ples have failed to meet reg­u­la­tory stan­dards, of­fi­cials said.

Har­rods’ tea is one of the na­tion’s most popular bagged teas. The FDA of­fi­cials re­vealed yes­ter­day that three of the com­pany’s prod­ucts, namely Af­ter­noon Cey­lon Loose Leaf Tea, English Break­fast Tea and Af­ter­noon Loose Leaf Tea, con­tained thi­a­clo­prid residue at 0.65ppm, 0.3ppm and 0.37ppm, re­spec­tively, all of which ex­ceed the legally al­low­able amount of thi­a­clor­pid residue in tea leaves, which stands at 0.05ppm.

Thi­a­clor­pid is a type of pes­ti­cide that can be toxic to hu­mans, caus­ing re­s­pi­ra­tory paral­y­sis, meta­bolic aci­do­sis, acute kid­ney in­jury and ul­ti­mately giv­ing rise to re­frac­tory shock and death.

Of­fi­cials said that tea leaves of the three types of Har­rods’ tea were im­ported from In­dia in April, weigh­ing 310 kilo­grams in to­tal.

In ad­di­tion, an­other fa­mous tea chain, Af­ter­noon Tea, was re­port­edly found to have pes­ti­cide residues in its In­dian Milk Tea car­tons.

None of the batches of tea leaves for Har­rods’ tea or Af­ter­noon Tea have been sold to con­sumers, and all will be re­turned to the ex­port­ing coun­tries or de­stroyed on site.

Fresh Fruits, Con­tain­ers In­ter­cepted at


Be­sides tea leaves, sev­eral im­ported fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles were also in­ter­cepted at cus­toms due to ex­ces­sive pes­ti­cide residues. The prod­ucts in ques­tion in­clude Meiko’s or­anges and man­goes, Yaji Co. Ltd.’s tan­ger­ines, and Long De Trade Co. Ltd.’s celeries from Ja­pan, as well as Agre­max In­ter­na­tional LLC and Stan­dard Fruits Inc.’s cher­ries from the U.S.

Fur­ther­more, in­spec­tors are con­tin­u­ing to ex­am­ine im­ported food con­tain­ers, dis­cov­er­ing that many fail heat-re­sis­tance tests. All prob­lem­atic prod­ucts are be­ing held by cus­toms au­thor­i­ties. Of­fi­cials said that most of the heat-re­sis­tant con­tain­ers in­ter­cepted are pro­duced by Daiso ( ) and Ni­tori ( ).

Ac­cord­ing to the FDA, all prod­ucts that fail to meet reg­u­la­tions will be shipped back to their coun­tries of ori­gin or will be de­stroyed on site. Please check the FDA web­site, http://www.fda.gov.tw/TC/in­dex. aspx, for more in­for­ma­tion.

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