Friday, July 06, 2007

Import Alert: Check Your Toothpaste Label. Again.

This latest batch of toothpaste cheap, antifreeze-laden gunk, which is turning up on store shelves around Massachusetts, obviously fell outside that famous 1% (the portion of imports that actually does get inspected):

Inspectors from Boston and 11 other Massachusetts cities and towns have confiscated about 160 tubes of toothpaste that may contain a chemical used in antifreeze, part of a widening national campaign to eliminate tainted products made abroad.[...]

In Massachusetts, investigators from local agencies found suspect toothpaste in Amherst, Arlington, Boston, Cambridge, Dedham, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, Somerville, Sturbridge, Wellesley, and West Springfield. Because authorities are relying on 351 cities and towns to gather the information, there was no immediate sense of how many stores have been surveyed, (Department of Public Health spokesman) Lyons said.

State and federal food and health investigators urged consumers to avoid products falling into these categories:

Those labeled "made in China." The US Food and Drug Administration has identified brands made in China, including Cooldent, Dr. Cool, Everfresh, Superdent, and Oral Bright.

Packages that appear to be Colgate, but are actually counterfeits from South Africa. Colgate officials have said that their company does not import toothpaste from South Africa and that tubes labeled as coming from there are fakes. The warning from health authorities does not apply to Colgate toothpaste made in the United States.

The FDA has repeatedly stated that diethylene glycol does not belong in toothpaste, even in small concentrations.

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