6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama have been found to contain diethylene glycol, a poison used in solvents and antifreeze. The poison appears to have originated in China.
Diethylene glycol is the same agent that killed 100 Panamanians after the state-owned Chinese company Taixing Glycerin sold the sweet tasting poison as pharmaceutical-grade glycerine. The mislabeled glycerin was used to make cough syrup.
According to Panama’s Health Ministry, the tainted toothpaste, sold under the brands Excel and Mr. Cool, poses less of a threat than the tainted cough syrup because people spit out toothpaste after brushing.
The poison was discovered when “a consumer notified the pharmacy and drugs section of the Health Ministry after seeing that diethylene glycol was listed as an ingredient in toothpaste at a store.”
The FDA is watching the situation closely and has found “no evidence” that the tainted toothpaste poses a threat to America’s pearly-whites. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Poisoned Toothpaste in Panama Is Believed to Be From China [NYT] (Thanks to Matt!)
PREVIOUSLY: Counterfeit Cough Medicine Traced To Chinese Factory
(Photo: Jonas B)