Colgate: Phony Toothpaste Poses Little Health Risk

Colgate has released a statement on the four-state counterfeit toothpaste scare, saying that the quantities of diethylene glycol (a chemical more often used to give flavor to antifreeze) are not high enough to pose a significant health risk. Diethylene glycol is the same chemical, sources say, found in toothpaste imported from China that was recalled just two weeks ago. According to MSNBC News, “consumers who have purchased 5-ounce toothpaste under the Colgate label can return them to the place of purchase” to get their ninety-nine cents back.

After all, it is mostly discount stores where these “SOUTH AFRLACAN“-based tubes can be found, and so far only New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania stores have turned up the cursed Colgate. —BRIAN FAIRBANKS

Colgate says low risk from recalled toothpaste [MSNBC]
(Photo: Getty Images)

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  1. catnapped says:

    Colgate: “People who bought the phony products probably aren’t in our target demographic (white with $100K+ incomes) anyway so, bleh whocares”

  2. tomok97 says:

    Why do they give flavor to anti-freeze?

  3. adrianadesigner says:

    Why does antifreeze need to have a flavor?

  4. Namilia says:

    @adrianadesigner: @tomok97: I think it was a joke; diethylene glycol is an additive found in antifreeze..there’s no purpose to flavoring antifreeze (shoot me if I am stating the obvious)

  5. Sockatume says:

    I suspect that the author of this post merely read “…which gives antifreeze its sweet flavou

  6. Sockatume says:

    I dunno what the heck happened just now with my post. It seemed to auto-submit halfway through.

    Anyway, I suspect the author of the post read “diethylene glycol, which gives antifreeze its sweet flavour” somewhere and misinterpreted it. Ethylene glycol is part of antifreeze because it gives it the properties of antifreeze. The sweet flavour is purely incidental and highly undesirable. I suspect that most antifreezes have emetic agents added (bitrex, etc.) to make them taste foul.

  7. Indecision says:

    @Sockatume: “I suspect that most antifreezes have emetic agents added (bitrex, etc.) to make them taste foul.”

    I don’t know if they currently do, but there’s been proposed laws tossed back and forth for ages over it. Looks like there’s been some progress, though. This showed up in the news in April:

    The bill would require that engine coolant/antifreeze that is more that 10 percent ethylene glycol must also contain denatonium benzoate, the world’s bitterest known substance, to render it unpalatable.

    I don’t know why manufacturer’s couldn’t do this on their own. It only costs on the order of $0.03 per gallon to make antifreeze bitter, and would save the lives of so many animals and children.

    All in the name of profit, I suppose.

  8. iLoveDebt.com says:

    I just recently read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and this made me think of the story he told about when they first “made money” out of melted-down toothpaste tubes… Back then the tubes were not plastic, but LEAD!!! Seems our parents (grandparents for some of us) lived through that just fine. How bad can this new problem be?

  9. ironchef says:

    FYI…the legit Colgate toothpaste is made in Mexico.

    LOL.

    Sad, it’s not American made.

  10. Buran says:

    Come on guys. Stuff with your name on it that contains a poison is on the shelves. It’s BANNED in food in the US. And it’s on the shelves anyway.

    Cut the bullshit and remove it. Yesterday. No corporate excuses.

  11. erica.blog says:

    Oh, come on. I think Colgate deserves some credit for trying to deal with an issue that isn’t even vaguely caused by them… the logistics of trying to track down the tubes must be insane, since Colgate didn’t distribute them in the first place and has no idea where they might be. Who among us would be willing to take any responsibility for damage caused by an identity thief, for example? “It won’t kill you” is a reasonable response, since they’re taking many other steps to deal with the situation.

    I’m more pissed off at the discount stores that dealt in counterfeit goods than with the imitated corporation. (And the “South Afrlacan” producers of said goods…)

  12. MacManiac says:

    I drink only unflavored, organic antifreeze.