Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GMO, Corn Based, Plastic Tea Bags in Your Organic Tea

We all like the convenience of tea bags. Many of us have a lot of loose leaf teas and use tea balls or the wonderful bags from Mountain Rose Herbs that are disposable and compostable. (I do not get any money from the sale of their tea bags by the way.) However, most of us also like to purchase bagged tea to have available for guests or even ourselves. It has become complicated buying these products as the bags can be made with just about anything nowadays including plastic. 

I love green tea and enjoy trying various organic green teas. I recently purchased a bagged tea from a company by the name of Rishi®. I opened up one of the packets and the tea smelled delightful, however the bag appeared to be plastic. So, I called the company up and asked what was up with the plastic bag. I found out  it was indeed plastic but they thought it was important to know that it is made from corn. I told them I was concerned about any synthetic plastic, no matter what it was made from. I then asked if it was being made from an organic corn product. The box said it was organic, but I knew a small percent of the product is allowed to be non-organic by organic rules. They said it was not. The bag was made from market corn. I then asked the person if they realized that market corn is more likely to be GMO, than non-GMO. They did, but they said the end product (the bag) had been tested and showed no GMO corn could be found in the end product. (Not unusual with a synthesized product that is now something entirely different than the corn it started with.) I told them even if this product would not leach out plastic into my tea, and even if there is no taint of GMO left to be found in the product, I was still taking the product back to the store I purchased it at and talking to their manager about the product. There is no way, I wanted to support the growing of GMO corn. There are two possible types of GMO corn that I know of. One is the type of GMO corn that does not die when certain herbicides are sprayed on it. The one used the most has been RoundUp Ready® corn that allows the farmer to put tremendous amounts of herbicide on the plant and soil. There is also the newer 2,4-D resistant corn too. 2,4-D was one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, that was used with devastating effect during the Vietnam war. The second type of GMO Corn actually secretes an insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis. and the insecticide basically destroys the insect's gut. There is some evidence it may disrupt the human gut function also. 

Glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in RoundUp has been shown to cause damage to the gut flora. You do have to question with all the research available, if GMOs are a major part of the gastrointestinal illness that has escalated. There does appear to be a correlation when you look at graphs of the two time lines.

Any way, the bottom line for me is that I don't intend to drink tea out of a plastic bag and certainly will limit any support of GMOs even if the seller tries to convince me it is OK. I don't like the effect of the insecticides and herbicides on the water, soil and food. 

By the way, glyphosate will volatilize off from fields or yards it was sprayed on, when sprayed on a hot day. It also drifts off fields or yards by the wind and we breathe it in while driving past the farmers field or walking down a side walk where your neighbor or a business sprayed it. Just some food for thought. For more food for thought, go to the last link below, even if you don't check out the others.

For further information on GMO corn & a few other GMO articles:

GMO Beer

RoundUp® tolerant Corn

GMO Food Sold as Organic

New Pathogen Associated with RoundUp®

Glyphosate Injecting Itself into the Structure of our Bodies  This one is really eye opening, if you do not know about the relationship between the amino acid glycine and glyphosate.