Indian tea safe to drink: Southern planters

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Coimbatore: Terming Indian teas as safe to drink, United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) Thursday said tea producers adhere to very high standards in production of tea ensuring that they are well within the residue level laid down under various statutes.

Responding to reports about toxic pesticide residues in tea, UPASI President Peter Mathias said that most of the plantations in South India are also certified by various agencies such as Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, UTZ, which ensured that they follow best manufacturing practices safeguarding the consumers' interest.

South India tea planters strictly followed the guidelines given by UPASI Tea Research Foundation for the usage of pesticide and fungicides, he said in a release.

As part of quality upgradation programme, UPASI had analysed more than 1,000 tea samples last year for FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) parameters on pesticide residues and heavy metal, from tea estates in South India and none of the samples failed the parameter and also the residue prescribed by the European Union, he said.

They also conducted survey on pesticide residues of tea of different tea growing regions of Southern India last year and found that South Indian teas were free from any toxic pesticides and all samples analysed were well within the maximum residue limit prescribed by EU and FSSAI, Mathias added. 

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