Taiwan's tainted tea woes ongoing as pesticides found in Da Yung's Tea

TAIPEI - Taiwan's tainted tea woes continued yesterday as test results from Da Yung's Tea were found to contain trace amounts of agricultural pesticides leading to inspections of twelve of the company's branch stores in Hsinchu and an immediate removal of its products from store shelves in other parts of country as well as more laboratory tests in Tainan where tea was sold.

Da Yung's Tea, based in Chunghua County, instigated the product safety test on its own initiative, finding 3.9 ppm of the insecticide Imidacloprid and 0.08 ppm of Tricyclazole, another pesticide in its "Pouchong Green Tea" product.

The company has since communicated to all its chain stores to stop selling the product and to remove it from store shelves. It has an expiry date of Jan. 5, 2017.

Health inspectors from Hsinchu County are inspecting the area's 12 chain stores.

Da Yung has already removed 34 kilograms of the tea both in loose leaf and tea bag form. Meanwhile the company's eight chain stores in Taipei have also removed the product from its shelves.

According to a company press release, Da Yung sent its tea products to a Tainan laboratory for inspection.

When the product was discovered to have failed to meet health regulations, the company notified the Chunghua County Public Health Bureau.

Da Yung is offering to refund customers. Company officials were "shocked" to discover the trace amounts of pesticides since they were grown in Taiwan, which has a reputation for high-quality tea products.

It maintains that the three remaining tea products of the Da Yung series were tested on April 30 and met SGS safety standards.

Inspections lead to Tainan

Later in the afternoon, the Tainan City Public Health Bureau called for laboratory tests for tea leaves sourced from Sheng-Ft Co. Ltd., from which the tainted Da Yung products originated.

It also recommended that Sheng-Ft temporarily stop sales of its 29 different tea types. According to the Bureau, the company possessed 3,868 kilograms of a mixture of two types of tea, for which 1,535 kilograms have been shipped. The remaining 2,333 kilograms in storage have been sealed by authorities.

An additional 25.39 kilograms of Da Yung Tea's products were removed from 22 chain stores in Tainan City.

As reported Tuesday, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration found pesticides in black tea leaves of the popular brand Ten Ren.

The large-scale investigation was launched nationwide by the agency after the Stornaway tea scandal broke out last month.