Saturday, June 02, 2007

The toothpaste? In the US. Of course.

I am neither shocked, nor astounded, to discover that poisonous Chinese toothpaste does not list the poison when sold in the US. I'm sure that omission is coincidental. Credit to the FDA this time, they began running tests after diethylene glycol was found as a listed ingredient in Panama:
Toxic Toothpaste Made in China Is Found in U.S. - New York Times

... Agency officials said they found toothpaste containing a small amount of diethylene glycol, a sweet, syrupy poison, at a Dollar Plus retail store in Miami, sold under the brand name ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste. The F.D.A. also identified nine other brands of Chinese toothpaste that contain diethylene glycol, some with concentrations of 3 percent to 4 percent.

Previously, only a few brands had been identified by health officials around the world as containing diethylene glycol and all of them listed the chemical on the label.

But diethylene glycol was not listed on the label of the toothpaste found in the Miami store. Its presence was detected only because the F.D.A. began testing imported Chinese toothpaste last month. That precaution was prompted by the discovery in Latin America of tens of thousands of tubes of tainted toothpaste made in China.

Over the years, counterfeiters have found it profitable to substitute diethylene glycol for its chemical cousin, glycerin, which is usually more expensive. Glycerin is a safe additive commonly found in food, drugs and household products. In toothpaste, glycerin is used as a thickening agent.

Chinese regulators said Thursday that their investigation of toothpaste manufacturers there had found they had done nothing wrong. Chinese officials also said that while small amounts of diethylene glycol could be safely used in toothpaste, new controls would be imposed on its use in toothpaste.

The F.D.A. said diethylene glycol in any amount was not suitable for use in toothpaste.
Allegedly it's a "legal" ingredient in China (don't swallow your toothpaste kids), that might explain why the ingredient was on the label in Lation America. They probably ran out of room to list it in the US.

American lawyers, please start your engines.

No comments: