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Tainted toothpaste importers charged

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, in concert with FDA, files criminal charges against two firms found importing and distributing over 70,000 tubes of Chinese-manufactured toothpaste contaminated with diethylene glycol, Delgadillo's office announces March 6. The presidents and vice presidents of both Vernon Sales and Selective Imports Corp. were charged with criminal counts for receiving, selling and delivering an adulterated drug product; the maximum penalty for each count is a $1,000 fine and one year jail-time. Investigators believe the firms distributed 480 tubes of DEG-containing "Cooldent" toothpaste to Los Angeles businesses over the past 12 months, according to a release. FDA began sampling toothpaste imported from China in May 2007 based on reports that DEG-contaminated toothpastes were being exported from China to the Dominican Republic, Panama and Australia ("1The Tan Sheet" May 7, 2007, p. 15)...

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Tainted toothpaste importer convicted

Selective Imports Corp. pleads no contest to a count of selling adulterated products - nearly 80,000 tubes of Chinese "Cooldent" toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, a toxic substitute for glycerin. Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo Feb. 27 said the Vernon, Calif.-based firm will serve three years probation, follow FDA guidelines for recall, correction and removal of the affected product and donate $33,000 to a nonprofit group. FDA discovered Selective Imports sold the toothpaste, manufactured by Goldcredit International Enterprises in China, to U.S. distributors from December 2005 to May 2007 (1"The Tan Sheet" March 10, 2008, In Brief). The case against distributor and co-defendant Vernon Sales Inc. was diverted for one year pending its adherence to FDA recall protocol

Tainted toothpaste update

Two men and two corporations pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to charges of trafficking counterfeit Colgate toothpaste, including some that contained diethylene glycol, the Department of Justice announces Aug. 21. Saifoulaye Diallo and Habib Bah, both of New York, and two New York companies, Mabass Inc. and Vidtape Inc., admit to having trafficked a total of 518,028 tubes of the counterfeit Colgate toothpaste, with an estimated retail value of $730,419, and selling the products to secondary distributors and small to medium-sized discount stores in several states. The products were imported from China, packaged in Colgate-looking trade dress, and did not contain fluoride while some contained microorganisms such as bacillus spores, according to DOJ. Diallo and Habib each face up to 10 years in prison, a $2 million fine and three years probation after release, DOJ says. The Los Angeles City Attorney's office, working with FDA, filed charges in March 2008 against two other firms for allegedly selling DEG-tainted toothpaste (1"The Tan Sheet" March 10, 2008, In Brief)

FDA Global Supply Chain Concerns Prompt Glycerin DEG Testing Guidance

Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and compounding pharmacists should include tests for diethylene glycol content in the identity testing of all lots of glycerin they receive, according to an FDA guidance reflecting growing concern about vulnerabilities in the global supply chain

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