Contaminant-free teas and infusions: Natural Origins' reply

Author: Claire Alcais
Published On:
May 10, 2022
Published In:
Teas & Herbal Infusions

The Common belief is that teas and infusions are ingredients beneficial for health; in particular for encouraging rest, relaxation and sleep. However, in a recent issue of “60 million consumers” published in March 2022, the reference association warns consumers with the front page headlines: "Teas, herbal teas: too much dirt!" Considering that two out or every three French people drink tea regularly, making it the second most consumed beverage after water [1], this survey points out a major public health issue.


Indeed, among the most purchased references in France, 48 teas and herbal teas in bags, the magazine makes an alarming assessment of 4 families of products analysed. Black and green teas, mint tea, detox and verbena based infusions, organic and conventional grade, were examined closely. The results of this study demonstrate the presence of problematic substances and foreign bodies such as residues of insects, plastic, rodent hairs and even more worrisome toxic alkaloids, pesticides and heavy metals.



Pesticides : sixteen contaminants

Pesticide residues found in bags include glyphosate, acetamiprid, chlorfenapyr[2] along with thiaclopride[3]. These insecticides belong to the neonicotinoid family and are made up of seven molecules: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, nitenpyram and thiacloprid.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, acetamiprid is currently being renewed for the third time (AIR3) of the implementing regulation (EU) 844/2012 of the European Commission[4]. Glyphosate was found in 30 % of black teas reviewed, while this weedkiller was classified as «probably cancerous» in 2015[5] by the International Centre on Cancer Research[6] and its banning is foreseen.

A study very recently published in the review Environmental Science and Pollution Research confirms that almost all urine samples analysed are contaminated with glyphosate[7].

Using the neonicotinoids, acetamiprid and thiacloprid, in the manufacturing of plant protection products and seed treatment is forbidden since 1 September 2018 [8]!

Chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin are also forbidden insecticides. However, in eight samples of conventional teas, substances forbidden in France and in Europe can be found.


60 millions consos


Heavy metals


Arsenic, cadmium and lead, highly toxic heavy metals are also found in certain teas in infusions as trace elements. These heavy metals can however promote the onset of chronic diseases, immune deficiencies and even cancers[9].


The only metal that is completely forbidden is mercury[10]&[11]. At Natural Origins, we analyse two additional heavy metals, cadmium and lead.


In August 2021, the maximum contents established previously were modified for food in the European Union[12] given the carcinogenic potential of lead and its environmental contamination by air, water, the soil and fertilisers[13]. A new regulation also concerns cadmium, however teas and infusions are not listed in any of these regulations.




It is green mint teas which contain the most contaminants. All total, over half of the samples analysed, all green and black teas along with the large part of verbena based infusions contained stony fragments and plastic. Surprisingly the best rated detox infusions are not all derived from organic farming. "Only organic teas ensure zero pesticides: and therefore preferred", recommends the magazine.

All these teas and infusions are supposed to be healthy and natural beverages still contain too many toxic substances and undesirable residues damaging consumer health.

Today consumers wish to know the origin and list of ingredients in the product they buy, particularly to ensure food safety. Teas and infusions are no exceptions to the rule. Natural Origins has also developed an approach privileging the safety and naturalness of ingredients based on optimal traceability and different controls. This quality and food safety approach is fully applied to botanical ingredients used in teas and infusions. Indeed, at Natural Origins, we are committed to guaranteeing exceptional products in terms of their taste value and the selected composition of plants.



How Natural Origins avoids all risks of contaminants in its teas and infusions sourcing


Our supply chains' clarity and transparency


Most suppliers of teas and infusions mix batches from different regions and sell products without a clearly mentioned or traced origin. At Natural Origins, we tell you everything about our sustainable supply chains in addition to techniques used to obtain our certifications. We also supply you with clearly mentioned and traced origin batches.

Download the communication kit on supply chain marketing


Our 100% transparent and traceable supply chains allow you to choose ingredients for your teas and infusions with a clear conscious and confidence. Moreover, by managing the entire production chain at Natural Origins (aromatisation, cuts, blending) and our 100% homemade blends, we reinforce our guarantee of transparency and exhaustive traceability.


Systematic controls and analyses


Natural Origins moreover devotes 1.5% in 2020 and 2.5% of its turnover in 2021 to carrying out analyses. Every year, all analyses combined, approximately 1800 samples are sent to laboritories. In 2021, over 745 samples, that being 43% of all testings carried out, were sent out for contaminant analyses. This includes pesticides, heavy metals (Lead, Cadmium and Mercury) along with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Approximately 900 samples were also microbiology tested in search mainly of E coli and Salmonella pathogens.


At Natural Origins we are committed to carrying out systematic analyses for every botanical ingredient of our product range, reflected by those carried out for our green tea in Rwanda as shown with the below example:

organic green tea rwanda


These extensive biochemical analyses allow us to guarantee the conformity of our products in terms of contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals, PAH, …) and also in microbiology. As such, these analyses guarantee the compliance to European regulations in force and food safety.

At Natural Origins, you chose requirements, reliability and quality through or rigorously controlled by analyses products from the origin, receipt of stocks up until the end of production.



Our botanical ingredients for your teas and infusions



Our vocation at Natural Origins is to provide consumers with really healthy products. Our botanical ingredients are an ideal choice in due respect with your specifications, oftentimes very precise, for your teas and infusions, particularly for our organic products (Organic certifications, Fair Trade, Fair for Life).


Infographics: How to enhance the development of your teas & infusions?


The concern on the impact of products on health involves healthy teas and infusions, analysed in due respect with regulations in force. Reassuring consumers when they drink tea or an infusion goes through, as such, producing ingredients limiting the use of chemical products. In order to offer you an irreproachable quality of tea and infusions, we make available our expertise and the precision of results.

While our plants’ sourcing is a fundamental step for finding exceptional teas, choosing our Rwanda product reference or our certified high altitude organically farmed teas are the guarantee to privileging healthy products.



Regulatory controls of our organic ingredients with our partners and in the field


Prior to collaborating with a producer, Natural Origins checks the proof of its organic certification. This documentary checking has a dual purpose: ensure that the botanical ingredient is in compliance with all criteria of organic farming quality and check that controls are carried out regularly by a certifying body. This constitutes the first step of our sourcing approach for our organic botanical ingredients.


Download our ebook on organic ingredients


The second step involves our team analysing a sample, then the first batch of ingredients to guarantee being in compliance with organic farming specifications. Besides this controlling of regulatory provisions, our team is committed, on a daily basis in the field, particularly through observing crop conditions while having a trusting relationship with partners in every supply chain.

What makes us stand out in our demanding quality control is the care we use in verifying all our ingredients, whether organic or conventional. Indeed, at Natural Origins we wish to guarantee an obligation to produce results, in other words, by us systematically checking the results of our analyses.

This regular monitoring is part of our continuous improvement approach and enables us to collaborate close to producers by optimising certain steps and by resolving local and specific problems.

As such, at every step of the chain, we do our utmost to guarantee rigorous organic farming standards while building trust between the different production stakeholders.




Please feel free to contact us.

To see our entire product range, check out our online catalogue available 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK.

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Sources :


[2] Journal officiel de l’Union européenneRÈGLEMENT (UE) 2020/856 DE LA COMMISSION du 9 juin 2020


[4] Déclaration sur la substance active acétamipride
Groupe scientifique de l'EFSA sur les produits phytopharmaceutiques et leurs résidus (PPR


[6] Evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides

[7] Grau, D., Grau, N., Gascuel, Q. et al. Quantifiable urine glyphosate levels detected in 99% of the French population, with higher values in men, in younger people, and in farmers. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2022).






[13] Règlement (UE) 2021/1317 

Teas & Herbal Infusions

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Claire Alcais

Claire Alcais

Copywriter - Author

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