- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2007

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned consumers not to use toothpaste made in China after finding tubes tainted with a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze and brake fluid.

The FDA said last week it was testing all imports of toothpaste from China for diethylene glycol after reports surfaced that Chinese toothpaste containing it had been exported to the Dominican Republic, Panama and Australia.

The agency yesterday also instituted an import alert to prevent the entry of toothpaste containing the deadly chemical into the U.S.

Officials said U.S. inspectors detained one shipment of toothpaste at the border and found and tested products at a distribution center in Los Angeles and at two stores — a Miami Dollar Plus and a Todo A Peso in Puerto Rico.

Nicaraguan officials seized 40,000 tubes of Chinese toothpaste, they said Thursday.

Specific brands of toothpaste from China that the FDA identified as containing the substance include 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; and ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste.

Manufacturers of these products are: Goldcredit International Enterprises Limited; Goldcredit International Trading Company Limited; and Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemicals Company Limited. The products typically are sold at low-cost, “bargain” retail outlets.

Agency officials said they could not estimate how much of these brands of toothpaste had entered the U.S.

Deborah M. Autor, director of the agency’s Office of Compliance in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told reporters the FDA has been looking particularly in “dollar-type” stores.

The agency said it was not aware of any reports of poisoning in the U.S. from toothpaste containing the chemical, also known as diglycol or diglycol stearate, but said it was concerned about potential risks from chronic exposure to it and exposure in some groups, such as children and people with kidney or liver disease.

Chinese toothpaste is not a major part of the overall U.S. market, accounting for about $3.3 million out of the $2 billion U.S. toothpaste market.

Officials said imports of the Goldcredit brands of toothpaste, which include many of the brands covered, were about $110,000 since 2005.



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