The New Antioxidants of China’s Tea: Toxic Poison

Giving long-term damage sip by sip….Image

Illegal toxic pesticides are found in almost 70% of China’s tea, according to a Greenpeace study.  Banned globally due to their long-term harmful effects, these pesticides can cause infertility, genetic damage and death.

Twelve out of eighteen tea products that Greenpeace purchased randomly in Beijing contained at least one toxic pesticide.  These include methomyl and endosulfan, the latter is banned globally under the Stockholm Convention due to its toxic properties.  The former, methomyl is classified “highly hazardous” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The toxic tea is produced by seven of China’s top 10 tea sellers, according to  Greenpeace.  They included green, jasmine oolong tea.

Seventeen different types of pesticides were found in one sample, Richun’s Tieguanyin 803 tea.  Eleven of the samples including Tenfu’s Bi Luo Chun tea and jasmine tea produced by Zhang Yiyuan and Wuyutai contained methomyl and endosulfan.  These pesticides that are banned for on tea leaves by China’s Ministry of Agriculture.

One of the teas’ toxins, endosulfan, causes headaches, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and death. The EPA classifies this pesticide in its most extreme toxicity category (highly acutely toxic), because small doses prove to be lethal.  Endosulfan made thirty-seven farmers dying in Benin, two boys die in South Africa, poison flower workers in Colombia, villagers in Philippines and India, according to studies.

For more information, download Greenpeace’s report.


4 thoughts on “The New Antioxidants of China’s Tea: Toxic Poison

  1. That is absolutely sickening. You really have a knack for sniffing out environmental savagery in China.

    Further proof that libertarian ideology – merely letting the chips fall as they may, without regard for consequence – doesn’t work. I’ve often considered China a strange economic paradox, that is, it’s an example where the worst of repressive government overreach, and libertarian ideology co-exist.

    On government overreach we have:

    – Wanton human right abuses; censorship.

    – CCP officials cozy with developers forcing people from their homes to build pet projects, that enrich both.

    – SOEs’ stifling impact on the economy, their hording of assets and profit, their dictation of economic matter, their laggard innovation (also note: the CCP still anoints executives to some large private companies that are ex-SOEs.)

    – The dictation of government policy through the PBOC, the rampant lending that ensues, the potential for waves of NPLs.

    I also read somewhere that roughly 90% of China’s billionaires are connected to the CCP.

    On the libertarian front we have:

    – A willingness to pollute without regard to consequence, without conscience to people’s lives; gluttonous water usage that’s actually causing land levels to RECEDE in places like Chongqing.

    – Food safety that’s a century behind the West.

    – A mad dash to slap together poorly constructed buildings & projects, with little regard of long-term impact.

    – Laggard worker safety in some instances.

    A libertarian slide continues in the US. For instance, some politicians have made effort to scale back the USDA. This makes absolutely no sense, the quality of US meat continues to degrade as is; antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, is becoming more prevalent.

    Continue this slide and undoubtedly, a young latter-day Upton Sinclair somewhere will compose a modern day “the Jungle.”

    • It’s all pretty depressing, but what I’m really surprised about is the fact that Lipton’s Tea, the world’s number one selling tea, is one of the culprits, see However, there are people trying to fight it as I do discuss, as China is giving people the legal rights to sue companies for faulty or harmful products. This guy, Sun Anmin has filed over 700 lawsuits for these products! It just shows that China is moving towards a better path – although it may be slight (700 products out of millions) – at least it is something.

      • It’s not surprising Lipton is behind this. Roughly a century ago, many established US brands poisoned American citizens with cheap, rancid food stemming from unsanitary conditions; it wasn’t until citizenry action demanded stricter enforcement of food safety, and agencies like the USDA were created. What it comes down to is when companies’ – large ones in particular – chief goal is to make money, to satiate (considered unsatisfiable) shareholders. Unless government, often prodded by citizenry, rises up to enforce adequate food safety standards, large corporations may opt for short-sighted profit gains over people’s health.

        Among Edwards Deming’s “Seven Deadly Diseases” of doing business is an “emphasis on short-term profits.”

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