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bravedave said

Dangerous Levels of Pesticides in Teavana Tea?

A market short seller has put out a report claiming Teavana teas have an unsafe level of pesticides. Here is a link to the report:

http://glaucusresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/11/GlaucusResearch-Teavana-TEA-Strong_Sell_November_20_2012.pdf

Anyone have any thoughts?

56 Replies
WtFGoD said

think that deals with any remaining teavana customers on this site

glad information like this even sees the light of day, that being said this is quite concerning but not really that shocking as the product is cheap and from china

would also serve as a reminder to us all that other beloved(or not) companies may have the same type of issues as i doubt this type of thing would be localized to teavana. i may have to be more careful about which types of teas i buy myself :( but as i dont know much about pesticides/risks involved i doubt i will avoid normal(non-organic) teas all-together.

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Shmiracles said

i never really trust any corporation. it’s just the nature of the beast.
i’m gonna go live on the side of a mountain now.
(as soon as i finish this cup of tea.)

bravedave said

haha, totally agree.

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darby select said

While I did read this, I question it coming out right before the holidays with them repeatedly stating Teavana should pull all teas before Black Friday Weekend. There have been many Teavana haters out there that would love to take them down. I’m sure Teavana will respond with a lawsuit against Glaucus for slander. It will probably take years before we know the real truth. I personally don’t have the funds to test all my teas.

chadao said

I wonder if other groups might file a suit against Teavana before Teavana takes action, seeing as Starbucks just bought it. There are thousands of witnesses out there, both former customers and former employees, who are willing to speak truthfully and eloquently on the subject. Nevertheless, you are right, darby, it will be quite a while before the truth emerges.

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momo said

This group supposedly would benefit financially if this is true, and honestly it would not surprise me.

If anyone wants a tl;dr story or something that’s not a PDF: http://www.ajc.com/news/business/starbucks-reviewing-research-firms-claim-of-tainte/nTBqJ/

I have always found it bizarre how they claim to meet EU standards when we’re clearly in the United States. The claim is that the EU is more stringent, and I would imagine most people are just like oh, okay and don’t look into it. I never did, but I was just thinking after this story how easy it’d be for them to say that because none of us actually would know.

http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Lab-PE111-Pesticide-Test/dp/B000DZHBH2 water test kits are $9.44 on amazon!

bravedave said

Hmm, for $9.44, I’m tempted to buy a test kit and play scientist.

momo said

Me too. It might be best to buy at least two, one to do a control on your water. They tested the tea itself and not a steeped cup but I’m sure this is probably the easiest way for those of us at home. I’d personally go with three, one control, one steeped like a normal cup of tea, and one where I leave the leaves in there for 24 hours.

bravedave said

I like your testing method.

Maybe teas should have their pesticide levels disclosed, sort of like how cell phones have Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) scores attached to them that test the amount of radio frequency that the body absorbs when using a handset.

I found it interesting in the report that Teavana was tested to have about 3x the pesticides relative to that of Starbucks’ Tazo.

Thanks for the link, just bought one. Transparency is needed SO BAD!

Cub said

Elyse, did you receive your testing kit & use it yet? I’m curious to know what you found out!

I didn’t receive it yet, I don’t know why shipping is taking too long. I will definitely post a blog with initial results once I do receive it.

nichollkap said

elyse! did you ever end up testing the teavana tea? I am very curious about this topic and heard about this after I had already purchased a ton of tea.

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Dustin said

Holy crap, that report is 59 pages long! It does bring up a bunch of good points on the company acting unethically, but I am skeptical at the same time. I’m curious to test their tea that I have. None of the teas I drink were listed in the report. Maybe one of these days I will be $9.44 curious.

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bravedave said

I personally never liked Teavana. I have always thought their teas are of low quality and are massively overpriced. Secondly, whenever I have talked to employees at their stores, they always seem very pushy trying to sell you tea.

In recent years, I have made a big shift toward buying primarily organic teas. I will continue to move in this direction and do my best to avoid most non-organic teas, especially after reading this report. I’d rather spend a few dollars more for organic, then potentially have my tea laced with pesticides.

Claire said

All good points, bravedave. I buy most of my food organic, and have to question why I don’t make a better effort to get more of my tea organic. I haven’t been a teavana customer in quite awhile, but if this report is true I certainly won’t be going back again.

chadao said

Your taste buds have led you to the truth, according to this study. Many of the teas tested to be of lower quality than tazo. I’m not surprised, because China Green Tips tastes much better than any green tea at Teavana (I’ve tried them all, I used to work at both Starbucks and Teavana.)

If you are looking to go organic, the next step might be fair trade, which supposedly takes care of social/economic, as well as environmental, sustainability. The next step after that is to search out tea companies who make direct relationships abroad with growers and producers. These companies usually step above and beyond any sort of “organic” or “fair trade” criteria, as defined by the FDA and other quality control parties.

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cuppaT said

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of tea maker Teavana, which Starbucks is in the process of acquiring, fell on Tuesday after a short-seller of its stock, Glaucus Research Group, said it found pesticide in its teas. Teavana responded that its teas are safe, and Glaucus stands to benefit by making claims that would hurt Teavana stock. A short seller makes money if a stock that it’s targeting drops in price…”

I don’t trust Glaucus any more than I trust Teavana. One would assume that Teavana was not exactly an impulse purchase by Starbucks; they would have done their homework before making a move like that. Just sayin’.

bravedave said

History is full of companies that do poor due diligence when making acquisitions. For a textbook example, look no further than today’s news with Hewlett-Packard. Today HP announced they are taking a huge $8.8 billion charge because of accounting fraud from their recent acquisition of Autonomy. They paid $11 billion for Autonomy in 2011. They did not do their homework:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/h-p-shares-blasted-by-autonomy-charge-2012-11-20

Did Starbucks test the pesticide levels in Teavana teas prior to making the bid? I have no clue. But, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they did not.

inguna said

" I don’t trust Glaucus any more than I trust Teavana" – my sentiments exactly.

Donna A said

I agree with your statement “I don’t trust Glaucus any more than I trust Teavana”. The timing of the statement is suspect. Even food purported to be organic is not always safe and has even caused deadly e. coli infections. A lot of tea companies that I like are purveyors of Chinese tea, ie Verdant and Teavivre. I don’t assume everything coming from China is tainted.

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Lynxiebrat said

Glad it’s not any of the tea that I drink. I hope that Teavana is smart and will pull that tea from the shelves and be more careful in the future about what they use on the tea plants.

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Best of luck with your pestitide tests! I cannot afford Teavana anyway, so that has not been an issue for me. Please publish your results here! I’d like to see what you come up with.

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CupofTree said

wow that’s kind of insane. the tea cup with the skulls on it was a nice touch haha. thanks for sharing and I would very much like to know the outcomes of the tests too!

cuppaT said

Personally, I think a teacup with skulls on it would be fun to flaunt.

Kamyria said

I love skulls.. tea cup with skulls would be fun to have :)

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