China: Consuming Low Levels Of Poison "Not Harmful"

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine thinks the FDA overreacted by advising consumers to discard all toothpaste made in China:

So far we have not received any report of death resulting from using the toothpaste. The U.S. handling (of this case) is neither scientific nor responsible.

The FDA issued its warning after seizing several shipments of Chinese toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, a poison used in paint and antifreeze. 100 Panamanians died last year after consuming cough syrup made with diethylene glycol. According to Chinese logic, poison in toothpaste isn’t as deadly as poison in cough syrup. Besides, wasn’t it Confucius who said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Either him or Nietzsche. We always confuse those two. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

China says U.S. warning on toothpaste irresponsible [Reuters]
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  1. mac-phisto says:

    So far we have not received any report of death resulting from using the toothpaste. The U.S. handling (of this case) is neither scientific nor responsible.

    wow. that speaks volumes about chinese bureaucratic policy right there.

    chinese book o’ regulation:
    if & ONLY if people die -
    1) find out why people die
    2) arrest, convict & execute people who caused people to die

  2. swalve says:

    the dose makes the poison…

  3. TedSez says:

    “Why buy Cooldent? Because four out of five dentists agree that the toxin in it hasn’t been reported to kill anyone yet!”

    Actually, I think I’ll just avoid any toothpaste that misspells “flouride.”

  4. TechnoDestructo says:

    Now the name calling starts. China completely unable to comprehend how their abysmal quality control and safety regulations are not acceptable for the US market. We must be CRAZY.

    Pretty soon it’ll escalate. Chinese goods being destroyed or turned around at ports.

    Then blockades, then shooting.

    And we’ll have the first war started over dog food.

  5. mantari says:

    Why haven’t we heard from the head of China’s own counterpart to our FDA? Oh! That’s right…

    TITLE: Head Of Chinese FDA Sentenced To Death For Taking Bribes

  6. orig_club_soda says:

    Its kinda silly reprimand the FDA. It’s not like China announced beforehand it was going harm thousands of animals.

    This action is precautionary. Chinese products have raised reasonable concern for health and life. We are putting the obligation back in their hands to prove we can trust their products. Their assurances and promises are meaningless at this stage.

  7. HawkWolf says:

    While I do realize that China is getting a pretty bad reputation, do remember that you do not swallow toothpaste, so the diethylene glycol would have to be absorbed through your mouth tissues and in whatever quantity is left in your saliva after you spit and rinse. Contrast to cough syrup, which you swallow in its entirety.

    Also note that you use about a tenth as much toothpaste per user as you do cough syrup.

    Finally, swallowing toothpaste is fairly harmful and you shouldn’t do it. We put a warning on toothpaste for that reason.

  8. TPIRman says:

    That Photoshop is priceless.

  9. ptkdude says:

    @HawkWolf: I’ll notify the Chinese that they can just send all the poisonous toothpaste to you, since you appear to be willing to use it. Problem solved!

  10. CRSpartan01 says:

    Maybe this is their version of a more “humane” population control…

  11. mantari says:

    @CRSpartan01: The Zyklon B of the East?

  12. jwissick says:

    @HawkWolf: It’s all about concentration…… BTW, Are the Chinese paying you to be their apologist?

  13. ahwannabe says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Better than a war started over a cartoon…

  14. asherchang says:

    Confucius did say do not inflict unto others what you would not have done to you.

    And China seized a shipment of Evian for “having too much bacteria”.

  15. toastydoc says:

    Of course there is poison in Toothpaste, How else would you fight the evil Plaque and Cavity monster.

  16. thss says:

    @jwissick: I’m pretty sure the concentration thing was his/her point… There would have to be an extremely high concentration of DEG to achieve anything close to the effect of the poisoned cough syrup because you consume much, much less of it.

    The article also blatantly ignores this to forward its anti-China rant: “According to Chinese logic, poison in toothpaste isn’t as deadly as poison in cough syrup.” Well, yeah – toothpaste isn’t meant for consumption, cough syrup is. I mean, heck, there are already toxins in toothpaste… fluoride, anyone?

    C’mon, these products are obviously unfit for use in America, but can’t we at least recognize that the toothpaste thing may be a tad overblown? (Though this all depends on the concentrations of DEG in the toothpaste, which, of course, was not given in the article.)

  17. hop says:

    almost as good as dining at mickey d’s

  18. Doc Benway says:

    if the Chinese truly believe their own bull I say let the Naive, strike that, Evian flow.

  19. royal72 says:

    90% of the things you ingest everyday are poisonous to some degree.

    [mental note to self: don't use toothpaste as a condiment anymore]

  20. Techguy1138 says:

    America is finally becomming a global trader. That includes realizing that not veryone has the same values. So if the Chinese, and rightly so, show that the toothpaste isn’t fatal they are happy.

    It’s up to our FDA doesn’t allow products that make us sick. The China FDA catches products that make you dead.

    From what I read Chinese healthcare and the enviromnent is poor. They honestly are likely to get sick from far worse things. They don’t see the big deal.

  21. snowferret says:

    Flauride is as poisenous as arsenic.
    Or so I’m told.
    It’s also in many cities’ drinking water.