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Assam: Use of harmful chemicals, green tea leaves to undergo lab tests

First Published: 6th June, 2024 13:58 IST

The agency, which is certified by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), will conduct the tests using their wheel mounted lab, which will be arriving in Assam

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Finding no response from the government and Tea Board of India to find a permanent solution to the issue of harmful chemicals being detected in tea produced in the bought tea leaf factories of Assam, the All Assam Bought Leaf Tea and Manufacturer’s Association and representatives of the small tea growers on Wednesday came to an agreement to settle the issue through scientific means.

The association has tied up with a Gujarat-based agency that will conduct lab tests of green tea leaves samples produced by the small tea growers and issue certificates accordingly.

The agency, which is certified by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), will conduct the tests using their wheel mounted lab, which will be arriving in Assam by 10th of June.

Chand Gohain, President, All Assam Bought Leaf Tea and Manufacturer’s Association speaking to Northeast Live said, “We made numerous requests to the govenment in the last few months, had informed the Tea Board also. We had requesting for setting up testing labs to test green tea leaves, so that we can distinguish between compliant and non-compliant tea leaves. Finding no response All Assam Bought Leaf Tea and Manufacturer’s Association members spoke among themselves and we are trying to bring a mobile van from Gujarat at a cost of Rs 50-60 lakh for necessary testing.

Deben Singh, office bearer of All Assam Bought Leaf Tea and Manufacturer’s Association, meanwhile, informed that the memebers of All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association is committed to work together with the Bought Leaf Tea Association in resolving their issues.

Singh said, “From June 1 we had decided that we will not take non-compliant green tea leaves, following that we have not accepted any green leaves in the last 5 days. A joint meeting was held, where many representatives of the Small Tea Growers Association were present. The deliberations were conducive and we shared our grievances. But I am happy that for the first time the Small Tea Growers Association has decided to work together with the All Assam Bought Leaf Tea and Manufacturer’s Association and raise the genunie demands with the Government, Tea Board or any other competent authority.

On the issue of use of banned chemicals in tea plantations, Singh said that it was their duty to provide safe tea to the consumers.

“It is our duty that we give the best and safe tea to our consumers, so that it benefits their health. If presence of pesticide is found in tea, we all need to be alert and find ways to do away with such occurences,” Deben Singh added.

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