Tea bags sold in France found to contain ‘up to 17 types of pesticides’
Tea bags sold in France have been found to contain up to 17 kinds of pesticide, as well as potentially harmful metals and toxins, according to a new survey. But should tea and tisane drinkers be worried?
Published: 8 November 2017 11:15 CET
Photo: The Local
Nearly two thirds of French people drink tea on a regular basis and much of the tea consumed is the highly popular herbal tisane variety seen everywhere in France.
So the news that tea bags sold in France could contain up to 17 varieties of pesticide is sure to come as a worry to many.
The survey by French consumer magazine 60 Millions de consommateurs (60 Million Consumers) looked at 26 brands of tea, including major names like Liptons, Kusmi Tea and Auchan.
And results showed that most bags, including black, green and organic teas, contained traces of pesticides, with some including up to as many as 17 different kinds.
Out of the 26 brands, nine contained “barely quantifiable traces” of pesticides, said author of the article Patricia Chairopoulos, a journalist with 60 million consumers.
Four brands, however, were labelled as having “very inadequate” results meaning that they contain traces of pesticides exceeding the regulatory limits, or display a significant number of pesticide residues, explains the journalist.
Among those was black tea by Dammann Frères which had traces of up to 17 different types of pesticides.
The survey also found that Bio Village tea contained “nearly four times the authorized limit” of a pesticide called anthraquinone.
The two types of pesticides which came up the most often were folpet, a fungicide, and anthraquinone, a bird repellent, Chairopoulos told franceinfo.
But while it may sound alarming, Benjamin Douriez editor of 60 Millions de consommateurs put the matter in perspective.
“These are small amounts of pesticides, which are mostly below the authorized limits,” he told Europe 1.
But why are they there at all?
Apparently, if tea isn't sorted properly weeds which have been coated in carcinogenic pesticides can end up being mixed in with the leaves, said Chairopoulos.
France crowns its favourite store (but have you heard of it?)
The French have selected their favourite store and it's a supermarket that many readers might not have heard of, but our readers have voted it the best in France.
Published: 17 October 2018 09:35 CEST
France's 2018 store of choice is a supermarket known for selling regional products sold by local, independent businesses, in a market setting.
This year, the title of France's favourite store went to Grand Frais, a French supermarket with 216 stores around the country, as it dethroned sporting goods retailer Decathlon in the annual ranking by consultancy firm OC&C.
Decathlon dropped to second place followed by cultural goods shop Cultura, frozen foods store Picard and Fnac, a French retail chain selling cultural and electronic products, making up the top five spots.
Another supermarket that made the top ten was Leclerc which came 8th while Swedish furniture giant Ikea came tenth.
And, according to OC&C, this year's survey highlights an interesting consumer trend.
Sarah Ashley who runs the Cooking in France Together group on Facebook said her favourite supermarket in France was “Grand Frais by a mile. It's a shame there aren't more of them.
“[It has] the freshest fruit and veg, more exotic choices and friendly, helpful staff. I love how they sell things you just don't get in other supermarkets, like beautiful chilies, almonds still in their green skin and veggies so exotic I have never heard of them before. It is always well stocked and sparkling clean.”
Another fan of Grand Frais, Jiouxleigh Kos also highlighted the wide selection available there.
“Grand Frais has the best selection of fresh and more exotic food,” she said.
However, due to the fact that there are relatively few branches of Grand Frais, some of those who chose it as their favourite supermarket in France also pointed out that it was often somewhere they went as a treat or “to find something out of the ordinary”.
With just 216 Grand Frais supermarkets in France (and one in Belgium), there's some luck involved in whether there's one conveniently located near where you live (see map above).
For those living in Paris, there is no Grand Frais in the French capital however there is one in Fresnes in the southern suburbs.
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