Tainted Chinese toothpaste entered U.S. through Los Angeles port
The continuing saga of contaminated Chinese toothpaste continues unabated, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tuesday warning consumers to check labels for toothpaste made in China — and discard the products.
The warning comes after it was revealed that the Port of Los Angeles was a point of entry for the products and that some of the toothpaste reached a distribution center and at least two retail stores.
The agency was prompted to issue the warning after investigators found that the toothpaste may contain “diethylene glycol,” also known as “diglycol” or “diglycol stearate.” The substance, commonly used in antifreeze, is toxic to humans.
In its warning, the FDA said there was a 'low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury' to children and people with kidney or liver disease.
The United States is now the seventh country to identify tainted Chinese toothpaste within its borders in recent weeks. Singapore on Wednesday announced it was banning the products.
While the FDA has received no U.S. reports of poisonings from the toothpaste, at least 51 people died last year in Panama after using a cold medicine laced with DEG.
Ironically, a mass poisoning in 1937 by a DEG-laced elixir that led to the deaths of more than 100 people was a main impetus for empowering the FDA with regulatory powers.
The agency has identified the following brands of toothpaste from China that contain DEG and are included in the import alert:
* Cooldent Fluoride.
* Cooldent Spearmint.
* Cooldent ICE.
* Dr. Cool, Everfresh Toothpaste.
* Superdent Toothpaste.
* Clean Rite Toothpaste.
* Oralmax Extreme.
* Oral Bright Fresh Spearmint Flavor.
* Bright Max Peppermint Flavor.
* ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste.
* DentaKleen Junior.
Identified manufacturers of these products are: Goldcredit International Enterprises Ltd., Goldcredit International Trading Co. Ltd., and Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemicals Co. Ltd. The products typically are sold at low-cost bargain retail outlets.
In Panama, the Chinese-imported strawberry bubble gum Mr. Cool Junior toothpaste, was found to contain more than 50 times the safety limit.
Chinese exports that have recently been banned or turned away by U.S. inspectors include pet food contaminated with the chemical melamine, toxic pufferfish labeled as non-toxic monkfish, drug-laced frozen eel and juice made with unsafe color additives.