Chinese Poison Train Rolls On: Next Stop, Panamanian Toothpaste

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)


Edit Your Comment

  1. codegrl says:

    yet. Doesn’t pose a threat..yet. They must have mistakenly left out that keyword in the press release.

  2. catnapped says:

    Not to worry…we’ve got over 300 million people in this country. If we lose a couple of thousand nobody will likely even notice…

  3. TVarmy says:

    Wow, it’s like all those obscure concerns environmentalists and paranoid soccer moms talk about are coming to fruition. I know it would make our economy implode, but you almost want to declare an embargo China at this point.

  4. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I never thought China would ever get called out on their companies’ questionable engineering and quality-control practices (as well as outright dishonest mislabeling of products), but they’ve managed to cause it to happen by tainting the human and pet food supply.

    Hey, who wants to buy a Chinese car?

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    So is China going to have the decency to at least declare war on the world?

    I’d admire them more if they did so. Pearl Harbor showed no one likes sneaks…

  6. orig_club_soda says:

    Ok – that’s mass-poisoning several times now. When does China make the terrorist/WMD list?

  7. ahwannabe says:

    That’s it, I’m switching to baking soda. See if China can mess that up.

  8. notebook says:

    Mmm, Poison toothpaste.

  9. nickripley says:

    Consumers should put an embargo on SludgeCo… I mean, China. I’ll never buy any kind of food that is from China.

  10. 302079 says:


    Technically, Pearl Harbor wasn’t a true sneak attack. The Japanese did make a declaration, and notified the US that an attack was imminent. The notice just got, well, lost in the mail, basically.


  11. SOhp101 says:

    It makes you wonder how many times the words diethylene glycol passed by the eyes of inspectors before it reached the shelves.

  12. catnapped says:

    @ahwannabe: Probably already has melamine mixed in with it…sorry!

  13. nickripley says:

    Remember the soy sauce made with human hair? So, don’t get any Soy-Sauce/Pet Food Flavored Toothpaste…. at the least… :)

  14. amilcarsanchez says:

    Im in Dominican Republic and just this week a shipment of these toothpastes names Excel & Mr Cool were discovered and the customs docks and impounded. Some made it to the stores and the goverment was trying to have them all recalled and impounded also.

  15. Roundonbothends says:

    I’m amazed that they actually listed it in the ingredients.

  16. jaewon223 says:


    it’s more amazing that a consumer had to find this out

  17. mac-phisto says:

    @Roundonbothends: yeah, that’s why it’s not a problem here. i’m sure the fda did extensive background investigation by visiting the local supermarket & making sure it wasn’t listed as an ingredient.

  18. asherchang says:

    That’s incredible. Poison being a listed ingredient on a toothpaste tube. Imagine being the person who found that out.

  19. asherchang says:

    I wonder how this massive string of poisoning incidents will affect the Beijing olympics. People are already planning boycotts for China’s nonactions in regards to Sudan and Darfur.


    The FDA is watching the situation closely and has found “no evidence” that the tainted toothpaste poses a threat to America’s pearly-whites.

    The FDA can’t find evidence of anything before people/animals start turning up in hospitals.

  21. wiser says:

    I have been reading all of this about poisons coming from China. It got me thinking…I have been ill for over a year with ??? I have been also using Sucralose. Guess where it is made? Yup, China. There are several sites that list letters from people suffering from similar symptions as I am. Maybe I have finally found the cause. The ingredients are toxic, but the FDA has’n done anything about it. Suprised?