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Lipton accused of buying 'rough' tea

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

10:58, May 01, 2012

Lipton has been buying cheap and rough-quality tea leaves for years from Chinese growers who admit using powerful pesticides on their crops.

The revelation by a Xinhua news agency report is the latest episode in a pesticide scandal involving the world-famous brand and a slap in the face for some agriculture ministry officials who had defended the company, claiming that pesticide residue found in the tea could have been blown by the wind from other crops nearby.

Xinhua also accused Lipton of hiding problems from Chinese consumers as its investigation showed it had been warned by the national quality watchdog about tea bags containing excessive levels of a harmful metal last August. But Lipton deliberately held off announcing the result to the public for three months, Xinhua reported.

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