Pesticide fears spur China tea recall

AFP-JIJI

Food maker Ito En on Tuesday issued a huge recall of Chinese-grown tea after some of it was found to contain illegal levels of pesticide residue.

The firm said it was recalling about 400,000 packages of oolong tea after spot testing revealed pesticide residue levels above Japanese food safety limits.

Ito En said it started testing the tea from Fujian Province after another Japanese tea maker announced last month it had found similarly high pesticide levels in its China-sourced tea.

“We found the higher levels of pesticide residue after conducting voluntary tests following another company’s announcement about oolong tea bags,” an Ito En spokesman said.

But he insisted the findings were not an imminent health risk, adding that the firm had not received any complaints from customers. The spokesman said the tea passed sample testing performed in China.