Local rose tea brand contains DDT: gov’t

By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Public Health Bureau of Miaoli County yesterday revealed that the imported rose tea material for local English-themed soft drink chain Stornaway (�^����) contains 13 kinds of pesticides, including four kinds of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). According to Food Hygiene Division head Lin Yu-chen (�L�ɺ�), a consumer bought a ��Rose Petal Ice Tea�� from one of the beverage company’s Miaoli branches in March this year. After drinking her tea, the woman reportedly developed symptoms including dizziness and weakness in all four limbs. The woman reportedly assumed that she had caught the flu initially, and decided to purchase another cup of the same beverage the next day. After developing the same symptoms, she reported the problem to the local health bureau in Miaoli. After receiving the complaint, the department deployed agents to the branch in question to conduct an investigation. The department said that after asking to inspect the raw materials for the chain’s rose teas, the agents found that not only did the color of the dried roses look unnatural, the raw material also emitted a very strong scent. Officials later took away samples for further testing, and found that the dried roses contained 13 kinds of pesticide residues, including four kinds of DDT, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), carbendazim, dimethoate and cypermethrin.

Highly Toxic Chemicals Banned for 40 Years: Official Lin went on to say that all four kinds of DDT and DDE are pesticides with long toxicity periods, with toxicity levels comparable to that of dioxin. The chemicals have been banned for the last 40 years, and should not show up in test results, let alone contain a concentration level between 0.08 and 1,047 ppm. The bureau also stated that from two bags of samples retrieved from the branch, officials were able to determine that the origin of the raw materials was Germany. According to reports, Stornaway currently operates three franchise branches in Miaoli, all of which removed an accumulated 2,751 grams of the product in question on the day of the investigation as a precaution. Following the publication of the official findings on April 2, the case was transferred to the Tainan City Department of Health as the headquarters of the company is based in Tainan. The Tainan Health Department then interviewed various executive members of the company, including Stornaway’s Nutrition Manager Lin Ming-hung (�L����). In a statement, Lin said that the petals were purchased from Taipei-based Chou Chieh Enterprise (�w�ɶT�����q), who had provided Stornaway with proof of inspection stating that all petals imported from Germany and Iran do not contain any pesticide residues. Stornaway later said that they will return all of their products to the Taipei enterprise and seek compensation. The bureau later requested that the company remove all of the contaminated products in all of its 96 branches nationwide. Reportedly, after 5 days of work, around 70 kilograms have so far been recalled.

The Tainan Department of Health has also contacted the Taipei City Department of Health to investigate Chou Chieh Enterprise.