However, it is worth noting that there is no accepted definition for the term "all natural" and that the term has been much abused by food companies to market products that are less than safe or nutritious.The tests conducted by Eurofins Scientific, an independent analytic testing company, determined that many varieties of Celestial Seasonings teas contained potentially dangerous levels of multiple pesticides.
A Celestial Seasonings spokesperson gave a mostly cut-and-paste response from the "values" page of their website about how they employ a "rigorous testing protocol" and that they are "confident that all Celestial Seasonings teas deliver on the high quality, safety, and taste that consumers have expected from the brand for over 40 years."
The tests were part of a larger report by investment company Glaucus Research, which is highly critical of Hain Celestial. Though Glaucus Research is an investment firm that specializes in short selling and one which stands to gain financially if Hain Celestial stocks go down, their report appears to be extremely well researched.
In their report, released February 21, 2013, Glaucus noted, "It is important to note that at no time did we take custody of, touch or handle any of the tea samples. Rather, we had the products shipped directly to Eurofins from the company's website and other online retailers."
Glaucus also said that it encourages others to repeat their tests and further stated that "The only way for consumers to make good food choices is if food producers are held accountable for the marketing and labeling of their products."Following is a list of the teas tested by Eurofins:
Green Tea Peach Blossom
Green Tea Raspberry Gardens
Authentic Green Tea
Antioxidant Max Dragon Fruit
Green Tea Honey Lemon Ginger
Antioxidant Max Blackberry Pomegranate
Antioxidant Max Blood Orange
Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape
Sleepytime Herb Teas
English Breakfast Black K-Cup
Rooibos Safari Spice
Of all the teas tested, only Rooibos Safari Spice had zero pesticides, and the rest exceeded federal safety and/or California safety limits:Consumers are sure to wonder: If you can't trust Celestial Seasonings, which teas can you trust? The answer appears to be Twinings, for one. A rankabrand.org report gives an A to Twinings teas, their highest rating for sustainability. Celestial Seasonings got an E, the lowest sustainability ranking.
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About the author:
"See more articles by Tony Isaacs"
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.
Mr. Isaacs also hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup group of over 2600 members and the The Best Years in Life Radio Show" on Wolf Spirit Radio.