Monday, June 25, 2007

Tainted Colgate toothpaste found in Belize

Colgate Palmolive is the world's biggest toothpaste maker, and in Belize, Colgate is the most widely bought toothpaste. But now toxic Colgate clones have caused an international health scare and Belize is right in the middle of it. It's imitation Colgate, knock-offs, not the real thing, but it looks real and on the shelves at most stores in Belize, it's really cheap. But buyers beware, if the deal looks too good to be true; it could seriously harm you.

Dr. Ann Balderamos-Sinai, Dentist "This is of great concern to us and we want to caution both consumers as well as the store owners." And the caution is for tubes like this that say made in South Africa. Not only is it a fake, it's a dangerous one with a toxic chemical inside and the real danger is that at first bluish it looks like the real thing. In fact you probably can't even tell which of these is real and which is the copy. Well this one is real, the others are dangerous.

It looks completely original but it is labeled Colgate but it is not the original Colgate. The FDA has proven that it has the presence of this poisonous chemical, dietheylene glycol."And if you don't know what that is, you don't need to. It's the same chemical that's used in antifreeze and if you smell or taste this - you'll see why. Once you open the tube and you taste it, you will realize that there is something wrong with the toothpaste; definitely something wrong. It has a horrible horrible taste. Patients have called and complained. They were asking if the toothpaste can be spoilt or if it has an expiration date because it has a horrible horrible taste and smell." And more than just that offensive taste and smell, it can be deadly, especially for children.

Dr. Ann Balderamos-Sinai, "Adults, when you brush you normally rinse and then spit out the Colgate, spit out the toothpaste. You do ingest a tiny amount however children most often swallow the toothpaste and this dietheylene glycol, it is like I said a poisonous chemical, its used in anti-freeze, it was used in cough medicines in the States which were recalled last year because they cause hundreds of deaths in the United States and around the world. This causes, it is a depressant of the central nervous system, it is very toxic to the kidney and the liver, and if ingested may cause intestinal pain, respiratory arrest, paralysis, and even death. So this is very scary." So what should consumers do to avoid these dangerous tubes of fake Colgate?

Dr. Ann Balderamos-Sinai,"What I would say is don't buy the 100 millimeter tube of Colgate. If you do make sure it does not say South Africa or China on it. If you have it at home, please throw it out but most importantly I would even say squeeze the tube out in the garbage instead of just throwing out the tube because you might have kids who might tamper with the garbage and actually get a hold of it and ingest it."

But many shoppers aren't looking at where a product is made, they are looking at how much it costs and the truth is that imitations are priced for as much as $1.50 less than the real thing but this dental professional is urging consumers to resist that temptation.

"When it comes to products that you actually consume, including toothpaste, or ingest, please be careful and stick to the original brands. Don't gamble with the counterfeits, no matter how much a bargain they are. It isn't worth the health risks."
International advisories have also been issued about Colgate which says that it is made in China. NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colgate-Palmolive Co. said on Friday counterfeit toothpaste that may contain a toxic chemical posed a low health risk, and it was picking up suspected fakes labeled "Colgate" brand from discount stores in four U.S. states.

"It's a low health risk but the bottom line is, it doesn't belong in toothpaste," said Doug Arbesfeld, a spokesman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration'. After analyzing some counterfeit samples, Colgate said it agreed with Arbesfeld's statement. The counterfeit toothpaste may contain the toxic chemical diethylene glycol, or DEG, and is labeled as being manufactured in South Africa. It comes in a 5-ounce (100 ml) tube, a size Colgate does not make or sell in the United States, the company said. The chemical is sometimes illegally used as an inexpensive sweetener and thickening agent. It is also found in solvents and antifreeze.

DEG-contaminated toothpaste has been seized in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Nicaragua. The sweet substance, sometimes used as a substitute for glycerin, was found in cough syrup in Panama that led to the deaths of at least 100 people last year. It was unclear where the fake Colgate toothpaste originated. Colgate said on Thursday it was working with the FDA to identify those responsible for the counterfeit products. The company said it does not use DEG in its toothpaste. Colgate shares closed down 22 cents at $66.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

15 comments:

Meow said...

OMG, that's just awful. I hope all the stores have cleared their shelves of the potentially dangerous Colgate tubes. I wonder whether Colgate will call a voluntary recall, to ensure no more are put on shelves.
Take care, Meow

Ian Lidster said...

I guess we could all go back to brushing our teeth the way my father did, which was with salt and warm water. Yes, international corporate greed is a staggering thing.
Ian

Pet Lover said...

Check your e-mail mom! This is Jo by the way. :P

Renegade Eye said...

Thank you for the informative post.

I envy you being based in Belize, a true paradise.

I will link to your blog.

beachgirl said...

Hi Enid,
I didn't hear about the recall. I have been on vacation and not watching tv much. Nor much computer access and phone service.
I am doing an east coast tour in my Miata with my 14 week old puppy. She has been a great little traveler. I am now at my baby sisters for the 4 th of July week. I haven't been to my home town for the 4th in over 20 years. I still have family and friends here. So it's been fun.

Have an awesome day and thanks for the info.
Carol

HeiressChild said...

hi enid, i saw the recall on the news. even this weekend, there were still some "fakes" on shelves in dollar stores, and the stores were ordered to pull them immediately.

Anonymous said...

I purchased a big box of Colgate ttl, outside box mentions"334g", but inside found another much smaller box with 113g paste. This is made in USA and sold in USA...I bought this at Target in FL

Denis Neporent said...

If the teeth along with dental hygiene usually are not healthy along with in good shape it's not at all recommended to use one of the best whitening toothpaste solutions.
Always check with your dentist if you're unsure. While whitening toothpastes are great to brighten your laugh,
to keep it doing this you ought to maintain consistent and suitable brushing practices.
This in reality is since important if not more important versus toothpaste itself.

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