China's quality watchdog General Administeration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine found that Lipton's Tie Guan Yin tea was among 19 brands to fall short of quality standards, with unsafe levels of rare earth metals. Unilever has recalled and destroyed all related tea products.
Rare earth metals can help raise output and improve the flavor. But overuse in the product can be injurious to health, especially to bones.
Unilever denied that these metals have been added in the production process. They said that the rare-earths in the tea came from the soil where tea grew.