When it comes to destroying pests, pesticides are extremely useful, but these substances can seriously damage people’s health. We are all desperately trying to avoid them by all means, but sometimes that seems quite impossible. It’s bad that they can be found almost everywhere: sprayed in school playgrounds and public parks, and even the produce we buy from grocery stores can be high in these toxic substances!

We all take some precautions and thoroughly wash our products before we consume them. Another thing we can all do to protect ourselves is to buy organic and homegrown fruits and vegetables. Pesticides can’t be avoided and they somehow always manage to creep into our homes. That was unfortunately confirmed by a recent discovery of extremely high levels of pesticides in several popular tea brands like Twinings, Lipton and Tetley! Can you imagine that your favorite tea is actually toxic?

Pesticides in Tea

Here are some of the major tea-producing companies that were included in a CBC News investigation on pesticide levels:

  • Twinings
  • Tetley
  • Red Rose
  • Lipton (Pure Green Tea and Yellow Label Black Tea)
  • King Cole
  • Signal
  • Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea)
  • No Name

The National Food Inspection Agency supported the method that the investigators from CBC carried out. They tested pesticide residue on the dry tea leaves in an accredited lab. According to the results, more than half of all the teas included in the testing contained pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Eight out of the ten teas tested were also found to contain multiple chemicals. One of these teas was found to contain over 22 different kinds of pesticides!

Two types of pesticides found in the teas tested were Endosulfan and monocrotophos. They are substances that threaten human health and the environment, so that’s why currently several countries demand that these chemicals be banned.

Which Are the Best and Worst Tea Brands?

Most of the tea brands tested had pesticide residues in them (except for one brand), but several brands were extremely high in pesticides. Others stayed below the permitted limits.  It’s certain that pesticide-free teas would be the best option, but here’s a list of the worst tea brands you should definitely avoid  regardless of how desperately you need a cup of tea:

Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea) – Can you imagine that this tea brand was found to contain over 20 different types of pesticides, including endosulfan!This particular substance is currently banned from many countries because it possesses damaging health and environmental effects. The consumption of endosulfan causes numerous side effects like for example tremors, but it also has other negative effects on the nervous system. Unfortunately, in some cases its consumption has also led to death.

No Name –The pesticide content of this tea brand cannot be compared to the one of Uncle Lee’s Green Tea, but it’s still dangerous because it includes over 10 different pesticides.

King Cole – This is a tea brand that doesn’t contain as many types of pesticides as the No Name brand, but, it does contain numerous different toxic substances, including monocrotophos, a chemical known to increase irregular heartbeat and involuntary defecation, as well as to induce comas.

The tea industry didn’t try to avoid the research about the heavily pesticide-laden tea brands. James O’ Young, the vice president of Uncle Lee’s Legends of China, the tea brand that was found to contain the highest level of pesticides, claimed that their tea is not the only one that contains pesticides and that there are actually pesticides in all teas. He said:

“If you drink tea, regular tea, I don’t care what brand is that, the fact of life, this agricultural product does have pesticides.”

Unfortunately, Mr. O’ Young has ignored the fact that one brand out of all 10 tea brands being tested in the investigation came back completely free of pesticides. That brand was Red Rose, the only brand that was completely pesticide-free and the one that restores our faith in safe and pesticide-free food.

These researches showed two positive things: it is actually possible to cultivate tea without any pesticide traces ending on it, and the representatives of some big corporations are impudently deceiving us about it.

So, the only thing you can do to help pesticide-free tea companies is to stay out of brands known to be heavily laden with pesticides, like Uncle Lee’s and No Name tea brands. Try to buy only from those brands known to contain little to no pesticides or buy teas from organically grown plants that are sold in your nearest herbalist’s!