If you are worried about GMO sugar beets, corn, or soy, you should think again when it comes to steeping your favorite cup of tea. Herbs like spearmint or peppermint are allowed 100 times higher the levels of glyphosate than some GM foods, and the first time pesticides are washed off of these herbs is often in your cup.
According to Peter Goggi, a spokesman for The Tea Association of the USA, the amount of commercial pesticide in your cup is “a very low amount,” but recent research into some samples taken of various tea brands says that is far from true.
For example, dangerously high levels of pesticides were recently found in Celestial Seasonings tea, and the company has refused to release a report about the pesticides they use to grow their teas. (Can you say boycott!?)
It isn’t just tea grown in the US, either. A recent report released by Greenpeace that tested tea from China and India found copious chemicals, too. In 49 Indian tea samples tested, nearly 60 percent contained at least one pesticide above the safety limits set by the European Union. China’s teas weren’t any better with nearly 67 percent of samples (18 total) containing pesticides that were previously banned under the Stockholm Convention.
One of the most well-known tea brands in the world, Lipton was at the top of the list for pesticide-containing tea. Wang Jing, Greenpeace food and agriculture campaigner said:
“As the world’s best-selling tea brand, Lipton is taking advantage of China’s loose pesticide control measures at the expense of its Chinese customers.”
Furthermore, the tea you’re drinking may contain concerning levels of fluoride. One study which analyzed inexpensive tea bags from supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, found that drinking the tea could push a person’s fluoride intake over the ‘daily recommended level’ and put them at a higher risk of bone and dental disease. The teas provided anywhere from 75-120% of the recommended daily intake.
It might be time to consider switching to organic for tea-time.
Ratetea.com shows a comprehensive list of organic teas to replace your pesticide in a cup, here.