STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 3

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44 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 3, 2015 (June/July) P By Gita Narrayani Zwirnerei a. d. Wutach GmbH P.O. Box 1163 79778 Stühlingen · Germany Phone +49/ 7744/ 9396-0 Fax +49/ 7744/ 9396-20 TEA BAG THREAD FOR ALL TYPES OF TEA-PACKING MACHINES esticide residue presents a formidable hurdle for every tea growing land with export ambitions. Since 2012 activists, led by Greenpeace, have focused media attention on the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, some of which have been banned for decades. The result is heightened concern in Europe, Japan, and North America, top export destinations that routinely turn away tons of tea imports that exceed maximum residue levels (MRLs). Last August Greenpeace India released an investigative research report titled "Trouble Brewing" that revealed widespread use of pesticides as evidenced by residues in tea sold in the domestic market. The report implicated 8 of 11 major players in branded tea. "During the period June 2013 through May 2014 Greenpeace sampled 49 branded packaged teas from 8 of the top 11 companies that market domestically. Many of these companies also export tea to Russia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States, and Canada. A total of 34 pesticides were found in 46 of the 49 samples and 29 of the total contained residues indicating a cocktail of more than 10 different pesticides. One sample contained residues of 20 different pesticides. Some of which are banned," reported World Tea News. The danger handling and ingesting these pesticides is well documented but harm resulting from contact with largely inactive and largely insoluble residue is less clear. A similar study published by Greenpeace in April 2012 revealing pesticide residues in Chinese tea–some from banned chemicals–led to quiet reform. Furious response India responded with a furor that threatens the very existence of Greenpeace in that country. In April the Indian government, citing violations of its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), found that the NGO has "prejudicially affected the public interests and economic interests of the country in violation" of FCRA. Use of the company's domestic bank accounts was blocked and penalties levied, placing in jeopardy the jobs of 340 employees and the cessation of its campaigns for sustainable development. Plant Protection and the Pesticide Problem The appeal of India's bountiful tea harvest, left, will diminish without compliance.

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