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"WISO" finds carcinogenic substances in pregnancy and breastfeeding teas
The ZDF consumer magazine "WISO" has had various pregnancy and breastfeeding teas tested. Carcinogenic substances were detected in almost half of the products. The magazine recently reported that organic herbal baby teas were contaminated with so-called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).
Carcinogenic substances detected in teas
Many pregnancy and breastfeeding teas are contaminated with carcinogenic substances. This is the result of a sample of the ZDF consumer magazine "WISO". According to a message, so-called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) were detected in twelve of a total of 28 herbal teas. According to the Federal Office for Risk Assessment (BfR), this herbal poison can damage the organism and cause liver tumors with long and high doses. "Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are undesirable in food and feed because of their health-damaging potential," writes the BfR.
Herbal teas for pregnant and lactating women
The 28 herbal teas tested for pregnant and lactating women came from the food trade, discounters, pharmacies and drugstores.
"WISO" will present the detailed results on Monday, February 20, 2017, 7:25 p.m. on ZDF.
According to the information, "Maternity Tea 1" from Vita Et Natura is by far the most contaminated with PA. The load on a cup even reaches the guideline value of the BfR - which should not be exceeded in the long term in an adult.
If, as stated on the packaging, five teaspoons are used to prepare a pot of tea, this exceeds the recommended guideline by five times. Eleven other products are also contaminated with PA. Ten out of twelve teas are organic products.
Pregnant and nursing mothers are at risk of health if they drink large amounts for a long period of time. In addition, the PA could also be passed on to the fetus via tea, or to the infant via breast milk.
In a reply to "WISO", Vita Et Natura GmbH pointed out that there are currently very different points of view on the subject.
According to the company, there is an information letter from the German Tea Association entitled "Improper media product tests - an increasing nuisance for the industry and misleading consumers".
Vita Et Natura now wants to be advised: "If it should actually be the case that your findings are disadvantageous for consumers, the current batch must be removed from the market," says the company.
There are no legal limits
The BfR had already determined high PA values in individual teas in summer 2013. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has been warning about the dangerous long-term effects of this substance even at low doses for years, there are no legal limit values.
The pyrrolizidine alkaloids are not found in the tea herbs themselves, but in plants such as St. James' herb. This grows as a weed between the tea herbs. Therefore, it is easy to harvest.
Just last week "WISO" reported that it had found PAs in five herbal teas for babies. By far the most heavily contaminated was the tea from the pharmacy, the Sidroga infant and child's tea. All five teas containing PA were organic products. (ad)