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Nationwide recall issued after traces of concerning chemical found in popular tea product: 'How does this even happen?'

"I don't trust any of their tea now."

"I don't trust any of their tea now."

Photo Credit: iStock

A popular tea brand has recalled more than 54,000 boxes after traces of pesticides were found in one of its products. 

What's happening?

As detailed by Newsweek, East West Tea Company is the manufacturer behind the Organic Yogi Echinacea Immune Support products, which are distributed nationwide.

The Food and Drug Administration said, "Organic Yogi Echinacea Immune Support product is recalled because pesticide residues were detected above action levels," per Newsweek. More than 877,000 individual bags were deemed unsuitable for consumption, noted the outlet. 

The recall was only a Class III, which the FDA defines as "not likely to cause adverse health consequences," but it's still alarming for consumers who regularly drink the teas.

News outlets such as USA Today reported ongoing investigations as of late May.

A statement from Yogi suggested that the contamination may have happened due to drifting pesticides from nearby farms, not from its own suppliers.

"We are working with all ingredient vendors to ensure full compliance with our supplier expectations and testing requirements," the company stated. 

Why is this recall concerning?

MasterControl found that recalls have risen 118% since 2018, encompassing everything from salad kits to dried fruit, pet food, cream cheese, and more. 

And while this tea case is fairly mild, they're often much more severe. Recalls are common, and contaminants from listeria to salmonella, E. Coli, and toxic chemicals are all concerns, as are undeclared allergens and unnamed foreign contaminants. 

For shoppers, the potential threats lurking in grocery aisles are highly concerning. 

Late last year, parents were horrified to learn that a popular kids' applesauce packet brand had been recalled for elevated levels of lead. Last fall, consumers were baffled to find plastic embedded in their Kraft cheese slices. In May, testing revealed harmful chemicals in 13 olive oil brands

People vented their frustrations about the Yogi tea recall on Reddit. "How does this even happen with organic tea?" one person said, bewildered. "I don't trust any of their tea now."

Pesticide exposure has been linked to a number of harmful health effects, including the risk of lung disease and certain cancers. Further, pesticides have been linked to additional greenhouse gas pollution and can have unintended consequences on the wider environment.

What can be done to avoid food contamination?

MasterControl notes that certain software can greatly reduce errors that may lead to quality control issues. Meanwhile, consumers who have purchased East West Tea Company products should consult the FDA's link for the entire list of recalled products. 

USA Today had further directions to throw away or return the product and how consumers could address their questions about the recall.

Additionally, if you want to know exactly where your food is coming from, you can't do better than growing your own food. Gardening also comes with a slew of mental and physical health benefits. 

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