Supermarkets and other grocery outlets in Hong Kong have stopped selling Kusmi Tea following news that Taiwan’s food safety watchdog has found excessive pesticide residue in some products.
Global Food Consulting, the agent for Kusmi Tea in Hong Kong, said it is not known whether the products sold in Hong Kong were from the same batch as the affected items in Taiwan, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration revealed that “Boost” and “Imperial Label” tea had Mepronil (滅普寧) levels that were 7 times and 2.4 times higher respectively than the normal standard.
Meanwhile, tea sold under “English Breakfast Tea” and “Green Tea Sampler Pack” labels recorded Thiacloprid (噻蟲啉) levels that were four times higher than the standard.
French patisserie Paul Lafayet, which has 11 outlets in Hong Kong, sells a cup of Kusmi Tea for HK$25 and charges HK$100 for a can of tea leaves.
Wong Chun-ho, manager of the sales & marketing team of the group, said the importer of Kusmi Tea in Hong Kong is different from that in Taiwan.
Paul Lafayet wasn’t offering the four types of tea that were identified as problematic by Taiwan authorities, Wong said.
However, he added that his firm will check whether there are sales of other products from the same source.
For safety reason, the group has stopped selling Kusmi Tea at all its outlets since Tuesday.
Supermarkets Jasons Food & Living, ThreeSixty and Oliver’s the Delicatessen under Wellcome group, which sell Kusmi Tea, have taken down all Kusmi Tea products from their shelves.
Chan King-ming, associate professor in the department of Biochemistry and Environmental Science Program of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said research has shown that mice developed thyroid cancer after taking in Thiacloprid.
However, humans face a risk only if they consume the substance in heavy doses over a long period of time, he said.
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