Tea Control Begins in Serbia

Source: Politika Sunday, 10.12.2023. 12:42
Illustration (Photo: Unsplash / Melanie Dijkstra)Illustration
The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Union has announced on its pages that mint tea from Croatia featuring the raw ingredient – mint leaves, previously purchased in Serbia, is being withdrawn from the market. This is the bulk-packaged “Menta list” tea made by the Croatian producer Agristar. The reason is that pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been detected in the tea. As the RASFF warns, this could pose a serious health risk.

The Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia responded on this occasion on Thursday and confirmed for the Politika daily that the company Euro Herbs from Novi Sad had exported mint tea (as a semi-product) to Croatia, to the purchaser Agristar.

– The tea was sampled in the Croatian market and analyzed and the laboratory tests have shown that it contains a contamination with pyrrolizidine alkaloids in quantities exceeding the proscribed maximum – says the Ministry of Agriculture. They note that the product has not been distributed in the market of Serbia and that it hasn’t been in stock since January 1 this year.

As said, the agricultural inspection has carried out an extraordinary control of the producers and taken all the measures within its range of responsibilities, and a wider control of teas continues.

The Croatian media emphasize that the raw ingredient was purchased in Serbia, while downplaying the question why the producer placed the tea on the market without previously analyzing the mint for the presence of this compound, whose excessive quantities can be very dangerous.

The experts that Politika’s journalists talked to note that this kind of production is very specific and risky due to potential contamination, especially in some areas where the presence of heavy metals can be detected in plants.

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