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Chinese toothpaste import alert

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA warns consumers not to use toothpaste labeled as made in China and issues an import alert June 1 to prevent toothpaste containing toxic diethylene glycol from entering the country. One shipment of toothpaste containing 3% DEG has been identified and detained at the U.S. border by agency inspectors, and DEG-containing toothpaste also was found at a distribution center and a retail store, FDA states. No U.S. incidents of poisoning from toothpaste adulterated with DEG have been reported, according to the agency. Panama's health ministry also recently found DEG in Chinese-manufactured toothpastes, which in part contributed to FDA's increased scrutiny of toothpaste and other dental products made in China, FDA says (1"The Tan Sheet" May 28, 2007, In Brief)...

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DEG sparks another recall

Gilchrist & Soames, an Indianapolis-based provider of toiletries for the hotel market, initiated a worldwide voluntary recall of its Gilchrist & Soames 0.65 oz./18 mL toothpaste manufactured in China by Ming Fai Enterprises due to the presence of diethylene glycol in some samples of the product, FDA says Aug. 13. Hotels in the U.S. Canada, Mexico and other regions serviced by the firm's U.S. distribution center and hotels in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, France and other regions served by its U.K. distribution center have been asked to destroy remaining inventory. The DEG contamination was identified after the firm conducted a series of independent lab tests in response to an FDA alert June 1 about tainted toothpaste manufactured in China (1"The Tan Sheet" June 4, 2007, In Brief)...

China, U.S. consumer protection MOU

As FDA and other agencies continue tests to determine whether bulk food and drug ingredients from China are contaminated, the Federal Trade Commission announces a memorandum of understanding with its Chinese counterpart to promote consumer protection cooperation. The non-binding MOU, which covers all products including drugs and dietary supplements, comes after FTC and China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce began work on consumer protection issues. "This is sort of a formal strengthening of the relationship that we agreed," says Jackie Dizdul, of FTC's Office of Public Affairs. FDA has ordered the detention without physical examination of all dentifrice products including aerosols, liquids, toothpastes and tooth powders with or without fluoride containing diethylene glycol after a sampling assignment discovered DEG in several Chinese products (1"The Tan Sheet" June 4, 2007, In Brief)

China Criticizes FDA Action Against Imported DEG-Containing Toothpaste

Chinese officials urge FDA to approach the issue of diethylene glycol-containing toothpastes with a "scientific attitude," following the agency's June 1 issuance of an import alert preventing such products from entering the country

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