Skip to comments.Tainted Toothpaste Not the Only Counterfeit Product on U.S. Shelves
Posted on 06/18/2007 6:21:29 PM PDT by JACKRUSSELL
Investigators are scrambling today to figure out how many tubes of counterfeit Colgate toothpaste, tainted with a toxic chemical, were bought in discount stores.
The toothpaste scare is a reminder that counterfeit products are often sold in the United States without consumers' knowledge.
Rosemarie Rodriguez believes her family may have used the counterfeit Colgate toothpaste. Rodriguez says her twin daughters got sick after brushing their teeth.
"My head hurt," Franchesca Rodriguez said. "It was hurting a lot, because I didn't feel well, and my eyes (hurt), too."
The Food and Drug Administration uncovered the tainted toothpaste during a dragnet operation. Testing showed it contained diethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting poison used in antifreeze.
Shadowy manufacturers have been known to use it in place of the sweetener glycerin because it's much cheaper. Unfortunately, the toothpaste was already in stores.
"Most consumers think that products are tested by somebody to make sure that the product that they are buying off the shelf is safe, but that's not the case at all," said Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety and senior counsel with the Consumer Federation of America.
Counterfeit Drugs Particularly Dangerous
It's not just toothpaste. In Cook County, Ill., the sheriff's department confiscated 600 bottles of counterfeit Head and Shoulders shampoo containing a harmful bacteria linked to feces.
Drug manufacturers lose $32 billion a year to counterfeit medications, and patients can be left sick or injured.
Kevin Fagan's son, Tim, was prescribed a critical medication after a liver transplant. Every time he took the medicine, Tim cried out in pain. Eventually, the Fagans found out the drug was fraudulent.
"What happened to my son was unconscionable," Kevin Fagan said. "His arms, his legs, his entire body was just racked in pain and my wife and I were absolutely frantic with worry."
Safety advocates say the FDA doesn't conduct enough inspections of foreign plants where medications are made.
Now new countries like China, which is known for counterfeiting, are getting into the drug business. Statistics show China was the source of 81 percent of the phony goods seized at U.S. ports last year.
"The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) looks for hazardous products across the board, and as of right now, 60 percent of the products recalled in the last fiscal year have been from China," Julie Vallese, a senior spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said.
How You Can Tell If a Product Is Counterfeit
Counterfeit products, like toothpaste, often have misspellings on the packaging.
Fakes are still most often sold at flea markets and discount stores, although some have made it into mainstream retailers.
Avoid products labeled for sale in other countries. Foreign toothpaste, for example, may contain too much fluoride and may harm rather than help your teeth.
Our friends the chicoms. Sheesh.
You are right on the stick with these postings. Thank you for your effort.
so much for outsourcing!
All products from China need to be banned. These guys don’t care about their own people, how can we expect them to worry about us?
Thank you both for all your efforts in keeping up to date on all this. I know it’s been a lot lately, but you are providing an invaluable service and could be saving lives.
I was clearly wrong a few days ago when I argued that we were not importing drugs from China. Unfortunately.
Another thing that peeves me is that the actual source of generic drugs can vary from month to month when you have an ongoing prescription. One month, one manufacturer, another month another, even from the same pharmacy. And you have no say in it whatsoever and it is difficult to even find the source. This really stinks. My plan will not pay for brand names if generics exist; I have no choice.
Looks like the iceburg just got bigger...
Almost everything I see now is for world wide distribution..
Instructions are sometimes in 5 or more languages but everything is in spanish at least
I want some explanations...from MY senator..about just why “open borders” and “free trade” are so good for ALL of us...
Great that you could admit a mistake! ... And you always have a choice. What funds may not provide, will and gumption can make up for.
I have a simple question: What the heck is the FDA good for?
I will simply not shop in dollar stores or flea markets for new products anymore. They are all cheap Chinese knock-offs. I just assume they are all poisonous.
It is not worth a couple of bucks to take the risk.
Halt all imports from China until this can be cleared up.
Upon inspecting the ingredients this morning, I found in my Colgate toothpaste proplene glycol, and glycerin. Glycerin has been listed as a substitute used by China. It’s not diethylene glycol, but the toothpaste does irritate my tongue and mouth. So I threw it out. I bought it at Kroger’s in the state of Washington. It is distributed out of New York, but does not say it is manufactured in U.S.A..
Ingest nothing out of China.
Because who knows which of them was really eating or drinking or smoking what they intended, and which were being slowly poisoned by counterfeit crapola.
The whole L-Tryptophane incident is a case in point.
L-Tryptophane had nothing to do with the deaths and injuries caused by the poor people that bought the L-Tryptophane tablets.
They were injured or killed by other crap that was in the bottle that the buyers didn't intend to purchase or injest.
I was taking L-Tryptophane I got from my doctor for a month and slept soundly with no side-effects. Then I ran out and got some in a Trader Joes and soon started having stomach troubles and was always agitated. I quickly stopped and had no long term problems.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I was being poisoned by the lowest bidder.
My Made in USA Crest has glycerin in it. It is a pretty mild substance. Some soaps, cosmetics, and toothpastes have it.
Your mouth may be irritated by the flavorings.
How to tell if the product is counterfeit: Was it Made in China? Then it’s counterfeit!
I’m sure that many are getting sick of these posts, but ever since the pet food poisonings, my mission is to inform just one new person each day about the dangers of Chinese imports.
Giving all the chicom stuff wal-mart sells you must read all the fine print on everything they sell, then throw it back.
Usually it’s the tartar control ingredients that are irritating. Sometimes it’s the flavoring. Sodium Laurel Sulfate(SLS), a foaming agent, has been shown to cause canker sores in some people.
The Chinese have been substituting diethylene glycol instead of the glycerine, which is more expensive. Glycerine is frequently used as a sweetener and a thickening agent.
Used to be that you could buy real close out stuff at dollar stores. Then it was only when they opened a new one and wanted to lure in customers. Now they’re just junk shops.
I rarely shop at them any more. The only things I check for are seeds and reading glasses.
i'd be cautious of that as well since seed houses are known to treat seeds chemically to treat fungus, molds etc....
The Chinese are likely using something flagrantly toxic there as well
Thank you both for your input. I don’t want Floride in my toothpaste, either, but I do have some Peelu, which is made in the U.S.A. I will use that and see if it heals my problem.
Great post. Mind if I steal some of those lines when contacting my representatives?
Go right ahead. Let us know what response you get.
Nag me about it. We’ve got a couple busy weeks with the kids going off to work at camp and while I will put this on my list of things to do and to contact you, if I lose it, I won’t remember that it was you who asked me to keep them updated. We’ve been getting blindsided with unexpected situations lately. Nothing really serious, but very disruptive.
Who do you think you are, senators don't talk to US citizens, they're above that.
Never trust a product with a name like "Dippity Doo"
Everything in China is a copy (read counterfeit). Copy watch, copy purse, copy golf clubs. The hawkers in Hong Kong will make you nuts.
at least a copy watch won’t kill you........
When you have such a big disparity between the cost of producing something (as opposed to the overall cost including advertising, research, etc.) and the price it sells for, as is the case with established brand names, there is so much money to be made, now that the technology is there to enable it, counterfeiting it is going to happen.
I don't like China any more than you do - when profits are concerned, life is cheap - money comes before health or even lives of others. And I have to say it is the same everywhere the Chinese are major business players, like Thailand, which is where I live and where counterfeiting is common with everything from engine oil to medicine. But if this was stopped in China then it would move to other parts of Asia or even other continents.
I am not a fan of federal government interference in our lives, but a huge increase in inspection and regulation at that level, and severe penalties, are the only way to control this problem.
A lot of these articles are showing up in our local paper yet, no real public outcry. I wonder,if there were mass death similar to the ones in Panama, would the people become enlightened. Dog and cat deaths seem to spark a fire.