A Georgia woman turned to a popular herbal tea to help her lose weight. She ended up losing her dream job instead.
Total Life Changes’ raspberry lemonade Iaso tea promises weight loss, but the product has been blamed for failed drugs tests and lost opportunities, multiple outlets report.
“I almost hung up on her,” Kim Agnew-Edwards told WSB-TV of the moment she learned she tested positive for marijuana. “I was like, this, literally no way. I said, ‘Ma’am I don’t smoke. I’m very health conscious. That’s not something that I do.’”
She wasn’t the only one.
Jacqueline Barnett lost her job as a Jackson County school bus driver weeks after she started drinking the popular detox tea, according to the news station.
In Florida, nurse Belinda Granger said the tea helped her shed a few pounds and, because she was so satisfied with her results, started selling it to others, WFTV reported. She was “devastated,” however, when she was turned down for a new nursing job after failing a drug test.
“I feel bamboozled,” Granger said, according to the news station. “I feel embarrassed. I feel I have a knock to my integrity that I was so prideful of.”
TLC’s Iaso tea is marketed as a “gentle detox” that aids in weight loss and contains 0% THC, according to its packaging. But customers in several states suspect the tea is to blame for their failed employer drug tests.
McClatchy News reached out to Total Life Changes for comment Friday and is awaiting response.
The company is at the center of three class-action lawsuits, WSOC-TV reported.
The Charlotte, North Carolina, station had samples of the teas tested at an independent lab to see if they contained THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. While the product’s packaging says it contains no THC, the lab found trace amounts of the chemical — potentially enough to make someone fail a drug test.
“8.2 parts per million for this sample, and this sample shows 17.3, which is a low amount,“ Dr. Volker Bornemann told the station. “But it is exact and measurable.”
Attorney Kate Hollist, who’s representing a North Carolina woman who failed a drug test after drinking the tea, said more than a dozen people have come forward with similar stories.
“These are blue-collar, salt of the earth people,” Hollist said, according to WHBQ. “These are people who are good workers and family and community members who are not drug users.”
TLC has reportedly removed the “0.0% THC” claim from its new packaging, and the raspberry lemonade tea is no longer listed on its website. However, some independent sellers and retailers may still be selling the product.