Washington, D.C.—The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has sued Twinings North America, Inc, and its parent company, Associated British Foods PLC, for deceptive labeling, marketing, and sale, according to a press release.
The lawsuit, which specifically calls out Twinings Green Tea and Green Tea With Mint products, alleges that tests conducted by an independent laboratory using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry revealed that tea samples contained up to 0.332 mg/kg of glyphosate, which in March 2015 was classified as a “probably human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.
Testing also found residue of two synthetic insecticides, thiacloprid and bifenthrin, which are known neurotoxins.
Ronnie Cummins, OCA co-founder and international director, said in the press release that “No reasonable consumer who reads the words ‘pure’ and ‘100% natural ingredients,’ whether on Twinings packaging or in other advertising or marketing communications, would expect those products to contain residues of glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide, and unnatural insecticides. Twinings should have to clean up its supply chain so that its products are in fact ‘pure’ and ‘100% natural,’ or be forced to stop making those claims.”
The suit alleges that by deceiving consumers about the nature and quality of its products, Twinings is able to charge higher prices, sell more products, and take away market share from competing products.
The suit was filed by Richman Law Group on behalf of OCA, in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act.