Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Don't brush your teeth


Yes, you heard me right. Don't even think about brushing your teeth, that is, if you have toothpaste that originated in China. The New York Times is reporting in today's paper that Chinese authorities are investigating whether two companies exported tainted toothpaste overseas.
No tainted toothpaste has been found in the United States, but a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that the agency would be taking “a hard look” at whether to issue an import alert.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said they seized 36,000 tubes of toothpaste suspected of containing diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. Included were tubes of toothpaste marketed for children with bubble gum and strawberry flavors sold under the name of Mr. Cool Junior.
I guess Mr. Cool is not so cool after all. The article gets better. Apparently, people in the country of Panama are very familiar with the substance called diethylene glycol.
Diethylene glycol is the same poison that the Panamanian government unwittingly mixed into cold medicine last year, killing at least 100 people. In that case, the poison, falsely labeled as glycerin, a harmless syrup, originated in China, shipping records show. Diethylene glycol is generally less expensive than its chemical cousin glycerin.
Not to worry, US authorities are all over this situation and are giving brilliant insight on how children could possibly ingest poisonous toothpaste from China (allegedly).
Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the F.D.A., said diethylene glycol levels found in some Panamanian toothpaste were nearly 50 times what is deemed safe. “Kids swallow toothpaste,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “That is going to be a concern to you.”
Let this serve as a warning to all of you out there in blogland. In case you go to your local discount store and pharmacy and see that "Mr. Cool Junior" toothpaste on sale - think twice. Avoid the "good tasting" bubble gum and strawberry flavors - stick to the yucky stuff. It'll be safer for your kids. HA!

12 comments:

Lois Grebowski said...

It is scary how quickly the safety of our food and medicine supply can be compromised by the use of foreign suppliers. They are not held under the same stingent standards US suppliers are held to.

Hubby's current project is in a food plant, and you would be amazed at what little testing goes on regarding foreign ingredients (verifying that they are what they are, etc.)and their impact on food safety.

He's not directly invovled in that stuff (he's an electrical engineer), but he and his co-workers talk alot this kind of stuff.

It's scary...downright scary... and we take our food safety for granted. We shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I have suspected this for a long time. My dog died 4 years ago from tainted dog food. This recent comtamination made me think that the people food supply is also tainted. And of course it looks as though it is. Why are we buying food from overseas? Especially from countries whose governemtns have shown time and time again that they can't be trusted. Don't we have acres and acres of "amber waves of grain" right here? Some things I just don't get.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ohmylord, is his name really Throckmorton? As in "Throckmorton's sign"?

coaster1robert said...

our government better get tough with china,this has to stop,before people die.

twilite said...

Is this the result of wanting bigger profit margin by importing or outsourcing in the manufacturing sector?

I will buy locally made goods like the Japanese. The Japanese will buy their own country's rice even when it's really expensive.

Thanks Dr A for this good post.

TBTAM said...

I heard on the news last night that China wants to sell us their chicken. When that happens, I go vegan...

Rositta said...

I have always tried not to buy anything made in China. The same melamine filler that was used in pet food has been found in feed for farmed salmon. We are assure that there is no health risk to humans! Ya right, do I believe it, NOT...ciao

Mimi Lenox said...

What next??!!

SeaSpray said...

Ha! LOL Anonymous! I was thinking the same thing because of some fairly recent posts. :)

Dr. Deb said...

I actually like Toms of Maine. All natural and made here.

RZ said...

I find that everything that is cheap from China is not always good. I had diarrhea after I ate their instant noodles that my friend bought from China. Their pickles taste nice but I guess their used lots of preservatives.

type1emt said...

Don't use mouthwash either- wasn't Agent Blue(that new plaque detecting rinse) recalled too?
Perhaps we should all go back to using plain baking soda.