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8 Popular Tea Bag Companies That Contain Illegal Amounts of Deadly Pesticides

Pesticides have been found in certain tea bags. This is a hidden danger in consuming tea, especially over long periods of time.

Pesticide Residue Testing

The United States government tests imported and domestic agricultural foods for pesticide residue regularly. However, small amounts of pesticide residue may be allowed for certain foods.

The government also regulates the type of pesticide used as well. For example, paraquat is a harmful, toxic chemical. Many people use it to kill weeds and control grass growth. The U.S. government flags paraquat as a “restricted use” substance, meaning that only licensed applicators can use it. This chemical is very poisonous and can cause many adverse side effects upon consumption, including vomiting. Unfortunately, many green tea companies produce teas containing paraquat.

Overview of Tea Companies

Most of the growth and production of tea happens in India, Asia, and China. People in the US and Canada consume billions of cups of tea every year. Research shows that India ranks near the top of the list of tea-producing countries, roughly 11% of the tea. Studies show many tea companies in India are exposing people to pesticides by including residues in their tea. China also ranks highly on the list of countries that use large quantities of pesticides in herbal teas and foods.

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Tea Brands Found to Contain Heavy Metals and Pesticides

Back in 2013, the Glaucus Studies company assessed various tea brands and their pesticide levels. According to that study, 11 brands used tea leaves containing pesticides. Some of these companies have a bad reputation for not following government regulations.

The study was performed in an independent, highly reputable lab to ensure that no errors of bias would be made. The scientists who carried out the study specifically chose brands advertising 100% natural flavorings and health benefits.

One alarming find was that 90% of Celestial Seasonings tea products had violated government pesticide limit guidelines. There were even carcinogens in the popular tea company’s products, despite their claims of using only natural flavorings and products. The FDA has already sent multiple letters to Celestial Seasonings warning the company to start providing pesticide-free products or the government will take action against them.

The same study revealed 25 other teas with pesticides. Each tea product was meticulously tested for 365 illegal pesticides. The study included eight different tea brands from China and India that export their products all across the globe. While many countries no longer allow the sale of these particular tea brands, the US has yet to take similar action.

The brands and products that were found to contain illegal pesticides are:

  • Tetley: Long Leaf Green Tea and Pure Green Tea
  • Twinings: Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Classic Lady Grey, and Classic Assam Tea
  • Celestial Seasonings: Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal, Sleepytime Herbal Teas, Green Tea Raspberry Gardens, Green Tea Peach Blossom, Green Tea Honey Lemon Ginger, English Breakfast Black K-Cup, Antioxidant Max Dragon Fruit, Antioxidant Max Blood Orange, Antioxidant Max Blackberry Pomegranate, and Authentic Green Tea
  • Uncle Lee’s Legends of China: Jasmine Green Tea and Green Tea
  • No Name: Black Tea
  • Lipton: Yellow Label Black Tea, Pure Green Tea, Darjeeling Tea, and Clear Green Tea
  • Signal: Orange Pekoe
  • King Cole: Orange Pekoe

Have you been drinking any of these tea brands? If so, unfortunately, you may have already consumed a fair amount of tea bag pesticides. Now that you know which tea brands and products have tea pesticides, you can make an informed decision to avoid them.

Safe Tea Brands and Products

different kinds of tea

If you want to continue drinking tea, it is imperative to drink only tea brands or tea products that are safe. The best way to do this is to find organic tea products with no illegal herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.

Many tea brands are healthy and natural. Some of the organic tea brands that you might want to try that have no tea bag pesticides include the following:

  • Traditional Medicinals: Non-GMO Project Verified, Compostable Non-GMO Teabags, USDA Certified Organic, Certified Green Business, and Certified B-Corporation
  • Equal Exchange: Eco-friendly, Kosher, Fair Trade, and USDA Certified Organic
  • Numi: B-Corp, Fair Trade Certified, Non-GMO, and USDA Certified Organic
  • Yogi Tea: Rainforest Alliance Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, USDA Certified Organic, and Certified B-Corp
  • Stash Tea: Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic, Certified B-Corp, Kosher, and Non-GMO Verified
  • Pukka: Certified B-Corp, Organic Soil Association, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly, Certified Organic, Carbon Neutral, 1% of the Planet, and Fair for Life Certified
  • Tielka: Ethical Sourcing, Sustainable Business Practices, Plastic-Free Teabags, Loose-Leaf Teas, Fair Trade, and Australian Certified Organic
  • Art of Tea: Loose-Leaf Teas, Fair Trade, and Organic
  • The Tea Spot: Loose-Leaf Teas, 10% for Wellness, Organic, and Certified B-Corp
  • Mountain Rose Herbs: Loose-Leaf Teas, Responsible Packaging, Zero Waste Facility Certification, and USDA Certified Organic

Any products made by one of the tea brands listed above are guaranteed safe to consume.

Best Tips for Buying Healthy, Organic Tea Products

Don’t let the above list scare you into thinking that tea should be avoided altogether. Simply knowing which teas to drink and not to drink is an easy way to safeguard your health.

In addition, there are some general things to look for when buying healthy, organic tea products. The best way to avoid teas without tea bag pesticides is to remember the following tips:

  • Buy loose-leaf teas: These are not as wasteful as other tea products. They are usually less expensive, too. If you choose to use loose-leaf tea, getting a tea strainer can be helpful.
  • Choose variety packs from reputable tea brands: These allow you to try out many different flavors without buying an entire box of each, only to find out you don’t like it. You might even discover some new favorites along the way.
  • Don’t squeeze the tea bags: Many people squeeze their tea bags to get more tea from them. However, this often causes the tea to taste bitter, as squeezing releases for tannins from within the tea.

By following these tips, you can find the healthiest, most organic tea products. If you want more information about any tea brand, you can always look up studies or FDA regulations to see whether that brand’s products are within the legal limits of pesticide use.

If you are a tea drinker, it is essential to look into the tea brands and products you buy. Unfortunately, as we’ve discussed, many tea brands make products with tea bag pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Now that you know what some of those tea brands are, you can avoid buying them and drink your tea with confidence.

Even if you have consumed some of the offending products listed above, don’t panic. Just replace them with healthy, organic tea brands like the ones we recommend and you can feel better knowing you’re doing your body right. The most important thing to remember when buying tea is to purchase products that don’t have herbicides, heavy metals, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals in them. If you aren’t sure whether a tea is safe, it is best to avoid drinking it instead of taking a chance. You can also check with different governmental agencies, organizations that provide food-related studies, and other companies. All such places can help you find out which tea products are healthy.

Do you have questions about the tea products you have been drinking? Are you still concerned about possible endangerment to your health? If so, we want to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our law office today!




Principal & Founder
This article was written by Mark Sadaka, a seasoned trial lawyer in nationally significant cases. He fearlessly champions clients impacted by fatal or severe injuries caused by others or corporations. Renowned for his expertise in complex litigation, he's featured in books, sought after by media for interviews, and a highly sought speaker. Notably, he exclusively represents individuals facing life-changing injuries or substantial financial losses.

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