How safe it is to consume tea made
from tea bags?
The Food Safety
and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had been established under Food
Safety and Standards, 2006 which consolidated various Acts and Orders that
handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI
is certifying all food products sold in this country, and many of you must
have seen its emblem on all the packaged foods sold.
FSSAI has also initiated several steps to reach out
to the common man and to involve them for ensuring safe and healthy food
in India. Even their Local Circle effort is a case in point (jumping the
bandwagon?). My recent experience has raised several serious questions about
their ability to reach out to the people and do their job in an effective
manner. These days, everyone is habituated to drinking tea made of
tea bags. These bags appear to create serious health issues to those who
consume such tea preparations. Hence, when I saw the “Whatsapp” message
about this hazard, I referred the matter to FSSAI. Though a reply was received, it was far from answering our
Many were interested
to know the response of FSSAI, about drinking tea made from tea bags. After
over a month, today I received a response from FSSAI, for which I also responded.
These have been reproduced in the reverse order:
I am indeed disappointed that FSSAI, which is the authority certifying the
safety of food products, including the tea bags should seek the scientific
evidence from someone anxious to know the veracity of the claims of the harmful
effects of drinking tea made from tea bags.
Though, lot of information on any and every subject is available on the net,
I made a cursory search and the finding are given below:
Cancerous compounds in tea bags: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/24/tea-bags.aspx
Fact or Myth: Are Tea Bags Toxic?: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/fact-or-myth-are-tea-bags-toxic/
Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela
From: Regulatory Compliance Division, FSSAI
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 2:22 PM
Subject: Safety aspects of tea bags-reg.
Please refer to your mail dated 12.02.2017 regarding above mentioned subject.
We appreciate your concern towards national food safety building. However
you are requested to send us the detailed scientific evidence so that the
same can be analysed.
Assistant Director (Regulatory Compliance Division)
4th Floor, FDA Bhawan
Kotla Road, N. Delhi-110002
How safe it is to consume tea made
from tea bags?
Messages are circulating in “Whatsapp” and other social
media, that to enhance the life (prevent easy tearing) of tea bags, a chemical
‘Epichlorohydrin’ is being used, which can cause cancer. This finding is
being attributed to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) of the United States.
Similarly, the food grade nylon, used in the manufacturing
of tea bags, has the potential to cause several diseases, including cancer.
It is also found that in some tea bags, ‘flouride’ content is stated to
be alarmingly high.
Is FSSAI aware of these findings? Are tea bags safe
for human use? Have you conducted any study or analysed in the lab? Eager
to know. These days we are consuming tea made of tea bags without any inhibition.
Can we continue to do so?
Awaiting your early response.
Let the consumer
Employees are entitled to benefit of
two years weightage under the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS)
- Justice is not Supreme
Supreme Court fails
to uphold the law
Some suggestions to Chief Justice of India - Is it
that the Laws & Rules need to remain only on paper?
Amendments to Consumer Protection Act
A big question
mark about the relevance of the judiciary in safeguarding
Curative Petition dismissed)
In India, consumers have been at the receiving end
since long. One thought that things will change
for the better after the Consumer Protection Act was enacted
in 1986 and a structured approach was adopted to promote and
safeguard the interests of the consumers. But after
2004, things have gone from bad to worse. Commencing from
the castration of the Central Consumer Protection Council, the
relevance of the consumer Act itself has been brought into question.
If the government is found wanting and none too serious to strengthen
this voluntary initiative of the individuals to do their bit for
a healthy society, which in any case is bound to benefit the industry,
its competitiveness and the country as a whole, myopic approach only
appear to rule the roost, as on date.
Important amendments which were brought in 2003 to the
Consumer Protection Act, with a clear objective of penalising
Unfair Trade Practices and to compensate the consumer/litigant
adequately have been frustrated by the indifferent approach of
the National Commission as well as the Supreme Court. That is
why, giving the benefit of doubt to the bench which did not do justice
to the issues placed before it by Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela,
and to take the issues pursued by it to the logical end, Curative
Petition was filed. The GROUNDS
categorically illustrate the denial of “Natural Justice”
to the Petitioner Council and the failure of the Court in
addressing the issues raised in the “Appeal”. Rupa
Ashok Hurra case specifically has laid “Violation of
Principles of Natural justice” as the valid ground for considering
a Curative Petition. Question is whether a narrow view of non-issue
of notice alone should be taken as the requisite ground for allowing
the Appeal or blatant denial to consider the Grounds of Appeal by
the concerned bench should be treated alike, in the larger interests
of justice? If this anomaly is not addressed,
Curative Petitions will only be found useful when the media
start highlighting an issue, like the LGBT case – leading to the
strength of the population deciding the outcome of the Curative Petition.
This does not augur well for a civilized democratic country.
Learned ex-Justice of Gujarat & Rajasthan High Courts,
Sri M.R.Calla, and designated Sr. Advocate of the Supreme
Court had unequivocally advocated for allowing the Curative
Petition of the Council, pointing
out the gross miscarriage of justice and denial of natural
justice. But that has not appealed to the Supreme
Court bench headed by the CJI, who have dismissed
the Curative Petition, as per the Order made available
on the internet today.
Something needs to be done to address and to save the
people from this hyper-technical approach of the Supreme Court
and to promote the consumer movement, which is after all in the
best interests of the nation. Will Shri Narendra Modi and
his government do something to stem this rot?
How can the
Supreme Court pass an irrelevant order?
is your right'
consumer and go scot-free
Finish the consumer
A consumer organisation
with a difference. Instead of rendering
advisory services alone, the Council since its inception,
in 1985, has been taking up issues affecting them through the
consumer courts and other means and feels proud to have provided
relief to crores of people. These include:
It will not be an
exaggeration to add that its activities have added to the confidence
of the Rourkela population, against unethical business practices.
- Remedial action against
short filling of LPG in cooking gas refills; of the 184 LPG
Bottling Plants, of the three Oil Marketing Companies (IOC, BP
& HP), only 4 remain to be automated. Even these will
be modernised within the next financial year 2013-14).
The quantified loss of nearly Rs. 750 crores per year to the consumers
across the country has been taken care by this upgradation.
Thanks to the Council's Original Petition initiatied in 2001,
before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
- Won an important case against
the Rourkela Development Authority and secured financial
relief for a group of individuals, against violation of Plan
& Specifications in the construction of the houses and
delay in handing over the possession.
- Obtained a separate District
Forum for Rourkela, though it is not the district headquarters,
which otherwise necessitated the entire Rourkela population
to approach the Forum, situated at Sundergarh, a place 100
- Re-routing of Dhanbad-Alleppey
Express train through Chennai Central;
- Campaigned against non
transferring of excise duty concessions (to the consumers)
extended by the union government to the industry;
- Better upkeep of the railway
coaches of Utkal Kalinga Express and other trains;
- Reintroduction AC Chair
Car in Ispat Express;
- Refunding of booking advance
by M/s APSL and M/s LML; and many more.
The fifth Voluntary Consumer Organisation in the country
to have set up a Consumer Information Centre,
with the support of Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public
Distribution, Govt. of India. Has earned a niche for creating
consumer awareness and handling of individual
as well as group/class grievances. It is bringing
out an English monthly Advantage Consumer, to
educate the consumers. It is represented in various Advisory bodies.
An Aware Consumer is
an Asset to the Nation
Through this site effort will be made to disseminate
all relevant information and answers to many of the queries
which are frequently asked. Knowledge is power and ignorance
is the root cause of all exploitation. As a consumer, we hope
you will find the site quite useful. Since ours is a voluntary
organisation with meagre resources we have designed the site on our
own and are sure there will be lot of scope to improve. As such we
invite the public and the visitors to this site to communicate
their valuable feedback, so that we may improve the contents of this
Lots & Lots of information in store
for you to tap, in the Information Section. Why
wait to click on Information.
If you are keen to support the Council, you may send in
your donations through crossed Cheques/Demand Drafts,
drawn in favour of "Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela".
All donations to the Council are exempted under sec. 80G of
the Income Tax Act. The Council is also registered under the
FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act).