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Green Tea & Radiation
We have been monitoring the news closely after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan. WE DRINK THIS TEA TOO! So your concerns are our concerns.
First,

This explains all the *LEGITIMATE* crisis relief organizations, what they are doing in Japan and where to donate.

Second,

Our focus has always been on selling the most healthy teas, and thats why we concentrate on white and green teas. We want to be sure what we sell is of the highest quality and free of contaminants. See latest messaging from our Japanese producer of green tea BELOW. Also see the variety of certifications on all our teas even pre-crisis.

- All our teas clearly indicate what country they are from in either Asia or Africa.

- We still have pounds of "pre-crisis" inventory of each of our Japanese teas already here in New York (Koiaji, Tsumi, Oishi, Matcha, Catechin, Houjicha, Bancha, Genmaicha, Houjicha, etc.). Our producers also have pre-crisis inventory in the US and Canada.

- We will indicate on the site for the individual teas when new orders post-disaster come in from Japan. All our Japanese teas should therefore be assumed to be from our North American inventory unless otherwise noted.

- Major tea production for export is produced in two major areas of Japan:

Shizuoka, which is about 6.5 hours and 500 miles southwest of the Fukushima Reactors, two prefectures below and to the southwest of Tokyo. The distance between NYC and the city of Charlotte, North Carolina in the south.

Kagoshima, over 1650 miles and 20 hours away at the very southwestern tip of Japan on another Island (Kyushu) in the chain. That's about 100 miles shy of the distance between N.Y.C. and Cheyenne,Wyoming.

What this means in practical terms is that for any radiation to have a significant effect on the closest tea growing region (Shizuoka) it would first have to affect 25% of the population and foodstuffs in Tokyo. To affect the other (Kagoshima), radiation would have to travel across the equivalent of two-thirds of the US against prevailing winds. If this were to happen, the tea crop would be the least of the country's worries...

- Virtually all of Japan's tea is grown hundreds if not thousands of kilometers south and west of the radiation source. Prevailing winds typically blow East over the ocean.

- The World Health Organization reports that Japanese and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are testing foods at the source and preventing the export of products that show any unusually high readings, despite the fact these readings are generally below health damaging thresholds.

- Japan exports only 1,701 metric tons of the 92,500 metric tons of tea it produces annually. It is particularly sensitive to what it exports to other countries and maintaining its "face" or reputation.

- At this point our non-Japanese green and white teas are unaffected by supply chain issues.

- There may well be shipping disruptions of new Japanese tea shipments from Japan in the short-mid term. The port of Yokohama was damaged and there will certainly be more rigorous product testing of any food stuffs out of Japan by the FDA.

- We may run out of some of our Japanese teas and have trouble restocking them in the next few months. This remains to be seen, but it's a possibility. If you have a favorite and expect to need more in the next three months, we would suggest purchasing sooner rather than later.

- We can use our non-Japanese Asian tea producer to supply some Japanese teas grown on quality established Chinese estates using Japanese plant varietals and the Japanese tea processing methods. We have used them in the past for some of the teas (Bancha, Genmaicha) and will again should there be any issues with the Japanese tea.

- Our Japanese teas are produced by *THE* largest green tea provider in Japan with ISO certification in environmental management systems requiring them to maintain rather high standards (the reason we chose them). As a large producer their tea comes from estates managed both in and outside Japan. This means they have options should the nuclear situation ever become so dire that it affects the tea crops. At present the issue is shipping to and from Japan not radiation.

- Somewhat ironically in this case green tea and its active ingredient is actually beneficial in protecting against radiation damage.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.


Quality Control Response to the Events in Fukushima, Japan

June 10, 2011

Safety of ITO EN Sourced Shizuoka Green Tea

To Our Valued Customers,

In light of the recent events in the Tohoku region of Japan, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our products.  We are pleased to confirm that all our products remain unaffected and are safe for consumption.

The following is our response to the recent report that radioactive cesium levels were found to be just above safety levels set by Japan's Food Sanitation Law detection limit. This was detected from tea grown in the Aoi-ku, Warashina District of Shizuoka prefecture's 2011 harvest green.

Vendor response:

1. We did not purchase any of 2011 harvested green tea from the corresponding district.

2. We will continuously test all of the 2011 harvest green tea. We have a system that ensures ITO EN only ships products after extensive analysis confirms the absence of radiation.                                          

4. We have implemented a stringent system to monitor every production run.

5. We have a rigorous quality control testing of raw materials, production and distribution.

6. We are hard at work to ensure the safety of our products by taking extraordinary steps and enforcing strict quality control measures.


June 9, 2011

To Our Valued Customers,

In light of the recent events in the Tohoku region of Japan, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our products.  We are pleased to confirm that all our products remain unaffected and are safe for consumption.  

Following are some details on steps being taken to ensure your safety and the safety of our products:

  • Safety of Tea Leaves  

    • We have analyzed this year's new crops of green tea.  We have confirmed that all teas we source remain unaffected and are safe for consumption.

      We have established a system that ensures we only ship 2011 harvested green tea after analysis has confirmed the absence of any radiation issues.  
  •  
    • We have confirmed that all of these products remain unaffected and are safe for consumption.  We have been monitoring these plants every 8 hours. 

      This inspection process includes careful analysis of all water used at these facilities.
  • Monitoring of finished product after every production run.

    • We inspect for radioactive material / measurements of finished products upon completion of every production run.

We will keep you posted on any new updates. Please be assured that wewill uphold our 40 year legacy of providing products that embody our five principles. Products must be Natural, Safe, Healthy, Delicious and Well-designed.

Thank you,

All of us at ITO EN



As always, Greentealovres caters to health conscious consumers seeking superior taste from fresh, imported green tea and reliable health benefit and diet research which they can find on our site. Our teas have organic certification, ISO ISO 14001 Environmental management certification, and are part of the Fair Trade and Ethical Tea Partnership. We are even dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint. Greentealovers offers over 75 varieties of premium green teas and white and green teas from Asia and Africa with some of the highest antioxidant levels you can find -- up to 20% in teas from our ultra-high antioxidant teas section.

Our tea and tea ware have a variety of certifications:

fair trade label
USDA Organic

ETP Ethical  Partnership
HACCP
ISO 14001

FDA
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