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Concern in Mauritania over “contaminated tea”

Concern has prevailed in Mauritania for about two weeks after a study reported that imported teas were contaminated with “pesticides” exceeding the permissible limit, while the government announced that it was investigating the matter.
On December 15, a study prepared by the “non-governmental forum of Mauritanian experts in diaspora” and published by local media revealed that samples of tea consumed on a large scale in the country contain “pesticide residues that exceed the permissible limit.”
The study, which was conducted on 10 brands of tea circulating in Mauritania, said that “26 molecules were found, 8 of which exceed the permissible limit of residues, and three of them are found in all types of tea with rates ranging from 200 to 11000% of the permissible limit.”
She stated that “the pesticides that were found pose a danger in terms of chronic harm to humans, some of them are carcinogenic, some are potentially carcinogenic, and others affect glands and nerves.”
Head of the “Mauritanian Consumer Forum” (a non-governmental organization), Khalil Ould Khairy, said that “the data reported by the study are dangerous and worrying, as they relate to a substance that is the most consumed in the country.”
For its part, the Mauritanian Ministry of Trade and Industry said, in a statement it issued, that it had selected samples of 50 commercial brands of tea and had sent them to one of the most efficient European laboratories in the field of food safety, after contracting with him to study them. She added that the study she is carrying out “aims to be aware of all the elements and risks that may be associated with this sensitive substance, such as heavy metals, pesticide residues, dyes, verifying the plant source, and conducting microbiological analyzes.”
The ministry stressed that it will not compromise in implementing the recommendations issued by this study, the first of its kind in the country.

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