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Counterfeit Colgate

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Colgate-Palmolive warns in a June 14 statement counterfeit toothpaste packaged under the Colgate brand has been found in several "dollar-type discount stores" in four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. "There are indications that this product does not contain fluoride and may contain diethylene glycol," the firm says. The company stressed "that it does not use, nor has ever used, DEG as an ingredient in Colgate toothpaste anywhere in the world." The counterfeit toothpaste is easily recognizable because it is labeled as "Manufactured in South Africa," the firm says, noting that it does not import toothpaste into the U.S. from South Africa. The counterfeit packages also bear several misspellings: "isclinically," "SOUTH AFRLCA" and "South African Dental Assoxiation." Colgate is working closely with FDA to help identify those responsible for the counterfeit product. Earlier this month, concern arose over DEG-containing toothpaste from China (1"The Tan Sheet" June 11, 2007, p. 8)...

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British supermarket chain Sainsbury's and drugstore chain Boots recalled counterfeit Colgate Cavity Protectiontoothpaste in 100 mL cartons, the companies say. Colgate-Palmolive says Dec. 24 that no adverse events linked to the products were reported and the counterfeits were limited to the two U.K. chains. Sainsbury's says it asked customers to return the toothpaste for a full refund and is investigating "how this has occurred so that we can prevent it from happening again." Colgate-Palmolive warned U.S. consumers in June 2007 about South Africa-made counterfeit toothpaste that may have contained diethylene glycol (1"The Tan Sheet" June 18, 2007, In Brief). The firm says tests found no evidence of DEG in the current batch of fakes

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U.S. agencies need more resources to stop consumer product counterfeiting, such as the recent case of counterfeit brand-name toothpaste that possibly contained a toxic chemical, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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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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