Sunday, July 8, 2007

Consumer Beware

The Colgate toothpaste you’re using may not be what you think it is. Just like there are imitations of designer clothes now there is a faux toothpaste. The fake Colgate however is harmful to your health. It contains harmful bacteria was an announcement made on Friday as announced by Health Canada officials. "Consumers who have this counterfeit product are advised to discontinue use immediately and not to use their toothbrush," a Health Canada statement said of the toothpaste.

The first warnings about this product came out in June when diethylene glycol was found at levels that are harmful to people. What is it? If you want an industrial solvent found in some antifreeze products you’d have a supply.

How can you spot a fake? Look for “Manufactured in South Africa”. There are misspellings: isclinically, South Afrlca, and South African Dental Assoxiation.

These fakes were found in Canada and Massachusetts. More were found this month in Massachusetts, even though an initial announcement was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was in June.

Officials are urging consumers to avoid toothpaste with a label with “Made in China”, “Colgate’ manufactured in South Africa and toothpaste without English labeling.

The Colgate-Palmolive Corporation announced it is working with the Food and Drug Administration to locate the source of the fakes.

Prior reports of contaminated products from China have been in the news over the last year. There have been recalls and bans on items from children’s toys, which were painted with lead paint, medicine that turned out to be drywall, and then this toothpaste.

China is working to stop the manufactures of poor quality items. In June there was a Chinese government agency announcement stating that 152,000 food processors were shut down in 2006.

What to do? Make sure your local provider checks the quality of what they offer and pulls items off the shelf if there is a warning issued. Ask about the source of products whether food or other items.

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