Dangerous Levels of Pesticides in Teavana Tea?

57 Replies
sreoch said

I’m going to guess we all should think twice about where we get our tea. Scary stuff. I pay a few bucks more to get those veggies known to be pesticide sponges. Now, I suppose that it is time to do that with tea.

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Zeks said

O_o I find it hard to believe this report. It’s way too long and unnecessarily detailed. Stresses the point too much and, obviously, the fact that teavana, apparently, tried hard to acquire the most pesticide-rich teas is rather unlikely…

momo said

LOL I find it difficult to believe because it isn’t detailed enough.

Zeks said

too detailed for generic consumer, maybe not s much for a specalist. And a time they selected to release this a bit fishy :)

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http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/11/20/teavana-denies-glaucus-claims-of.html

According to this article, Teavana does deny the allegations, and claims that the “investigator”/Glaucus Research could gain financially from the information. A former ethics employee, I find fault with Glaucus Research for pointing the finger and not looking at themselves first. (Although they do admit they are biased.)

But the issue of pesticides should still be addressed. Teavana denies it. Pesticides can be linked to cancer. Maybe an independent could investigate? If I knew what to do, I would do it myself.

Dustin said

Teavana claims that all their tea is tested by a third party. They could easily dispel Glaucus’s claim by releasing the results of those many many tests they say have been done.

That would totally clear this up. Yet no response. Wonder if we’ll ever see any of their “results?” I’ll hold my breath. ;)

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Bubbles said

The word organic is thrown around a lot with companies these days. Most consumers aren’t informed enough to/don’t have the time to/don’t want to research every single purchase they make. It’s not just Teavana.

I also can’t sit here and say “DIE TEAVANA!” after reading this. For one, I am SURE that if I tested the teas in my cupboard, they wouldn’t be the only offender (if they did come up with insane amounts of pesticides…). I also can’t freak out knowing that next to my tea cupboard, there sits at least one bottle of soda and one processed food item. I do the best I can with what I put into my body, but I know full well that I am not perfect. I drink tap water, you know?

There seems to be a ton of Teavana hate out there, and this report seems to have been written by just another one of the haters.

I guess this whole messed up post is just to say that I can’t freak out over every little thing. My husband doesn’t drink Teavana tea, and got cancer anyway. I just can’t spend every second of my life on the “what ifs?”. I just go into it figuring that the tea is better than that soda, and do the best I can, you know?

Colbize said

Well said.

Lala said

I agree. I think teavana is a very large company so there is a lot of criticism. A lot of people benefit if teavana fails. I think you need to take a look at each company you buy from big or small. I would be interested to know if similar testing has been done on any other tea companies, and to know the results.

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Donna A said

Bubbles, your view pretty much sums up mine.

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chadao said

Here is a little more information on Teavana and their shady business practices:

I am periodically in contact with Austin Hodge, owner of Seven Cups and recently named one of the 10 most influential people in China, as well as Doug Palas, tea buyer for Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. They both give me insights into buying practices among many different tea buyers.

Austin recently pointed out that Teavana has made several mistakes in trying to buy tea. At one point, they tried to drive the price of a tea from Fujian province to such a low amount that the producers told them to walk away. In my opinion, this lends a window in what Teavana tries to do. It seems that they buy at the lowest price possible, regardless of any sort of justice to the environment, producer, or customer. For me, it is wise to stay away from a company that cares little, if at all, or the welfare of people, and Glaucus, despite their agenda, brings some astoundingly compelling evidence to the table in these matters.

On the upside, Starbucks has Charles Cain on their side, former executive of Adagio teas. Furthermore, Starbucks has more experience doing business with the Chinese, in a Chinese way, which makes the quality of product better. I truly believe that if Teavana can survive these accusations in the coming months, the quality of the teas will increase, simply because of the business savvy of Starbucks, as well as the refined palate of Charles Cain.

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Crap. I just discovered this thread after placing a big Teavana order yesterday due to their 75% off sale. I purchased three of the most pesticide-laden teas, according to that report (Gyokuro Imperial, Black Dragon Pearls and Golden Monkey). Teavana’s site says sale merchandise is not refundable. I wonder if I should try to cancel the order.

Alphakitty said

I wouldn’t if I were you. If the pesticides were crazy dangerous, I think it’s safe to say that people would have gotten sick from them already. As stated, it’s likely that a lot of (possibly the majority of) teas have traces of pesticides. Plus it’s been claimed that the company doing the research has a lot to gain from Teavana’s loss so it is certainly not 100% proven information.

momo said

The thing that makes it hard to believe for me is that not that much was said in the full report about HOW they tested it. I’m assuming it was not like that pesticide test kit posted earlier, but on the leaves themselves, which is why if I had the money for 3 of those kits, I’d see how much actually ends up in a cup.

Also Teavana should be in trouble with several federal organizations like the FDA and SEC, along with even crossing continents and being in trouble with the EU and nothing has come of that. I’m actually kind of surprised nothing has come of that, because up until this report came out they most definitely tried to claim pesticide free and are now covering themselves on that one.

Dustin said

I wonder if the report had any influence on what teas they put on sale. Like if they are trying to dump all the old stock of the tea in those reports so they can start fresh.

Dr Jim said

I also purchased some of the discounted teas, but when I read the details of the report, it didn’t look all that bad. For example, in the case of the black dragon pearls (page 58 of the report), which we both bought, the only pesticides above the European level were Acetamiprid (QuLC), which was 0.11 mg/kg over the limit of 0.10 mg/kg, Buprofezin (QuLC), which was .06 vs the .05 limit, and Fipronil (Summe) (QuLC), which was .017 vs the .05 limit. The first two are over the limit by considerably less than the 50% uncertainty the report cites. I’m willing to take my chances on the third. The total amount is about 17 parts per billion.

These limits are generally made very low since the science behind them is very sketchy. In Europe the regulators tend to say better safe than sorry and favor lower limits.

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nichollkap said

has anybody else tested teavana tea?

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Kamyria said

Wow… The only Teavana tea I have at the moment is Silver Needle which appears the lowest on the offender list… I sure want to find out more…

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Lala said

Something that always bothers me when people talk about foods or product being organic, is that “organic” does not necessarily mean organic. Different countries, and different states/provinces within countries have different regulations on what is considered organic. For example in Canada, if a product is equal to or greater than 95% organically grown/produced, it can be called organic. Now if a product has multiple ingredients, the definition is different depending on what percentage of the ingredients in the product is organic. I know the definitions in the USA are different as well.

Also if a farmer is organic, that does not mean his neighbours are. So if the neighbouring crops are being crop dusted with pesticides, it will inevitably affect the organic crop, but it still can be called organic.

So I think we all need to be aware when you are buying products, what the definitions mean, and what area that product originated from. You can’t always trust labelling or advertising.

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