FDA To Test All Chinese Toothpaste

The FDA will test all toothpaste made in China. It was discovered last week that some Chinese manufacturers had been substituting a more costly sugar flavoring with a cheaper, and deadly one, one that is also used in antifreeze. The toothpaste was discovered and sold in Panama.

There’s no evidence that any of the brands, Excel, Mr. Cool, and Mr. Cool Junior, were sold in the United States. Still, the FDA decided to err on the side of caution. — BEN POPKEN

F.D.A. to Test Toothpaste Sent to U.S. From China [NYT]

PREVIOUSLY: Chinese Poison Train Rolls On: Next Stop, Panamanian Toothpaste
(Photo: Getty Images)


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  1. mopar_man says:

    Toothpaste?!? What WON’T these people poison? I think it’s time to cut off all imports from China.

  2. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    I believe that we should reciprocate the action. Maybe the Chinese would stop trying to posion us if we poison them. J/K
    This is getting kinda ridiculous.

  3. quantum-shaman says:

    Here’s another nice NYT that explains how one dies slowly and painfully from this stuff. F China.


  4. grandaardvark says:

    It seems like China is launching some new form of attack, simply poison the westerners…

  5. Pasketti says:

    I’m not worried about toothpaste. You use so little, and swallow even less, that you aren’t going to be at risk from any diethylene glycol in it.

    What I am worried about is how many other ingredients are being substituted in other foods?

    And not just food. If they’ll allow diethylene glycol to be labeled as glycerine, what else will they let slide to make a quick buck?

    That high-strength steel you bought? Yeah, it’s not all that strong. Hope your building doesn’t collapse.

    That nice set of knives? We put lead in them to stretch the steel supply out a bit more.

    Speaking of lead, do you remember that chalk recall from a couple years ago? Chalk from China had lead in it. The kind kids use to draw on the sidewalk.

    It wouldn’t take much for someone to start a moral panic that “Made in China” = “DEATH”.

  6. Okiedog says:

    Conspiracy theorist says:

    Conservatives planted this in order to seal our borders from outside nations and invoke Nationalist zeal.

    Not a bad thought. Bring those manufacturing jobs back already. I’ll pay more for products made stateside that won’t kill me.

  7. Beerad says:

    I KNEW I should have been suspicious when their flavors were Artic Cool, Spearmint, and Toxic Blue.

  8. mopar_man says:

    I’ll pay more for products made stateside that won’t kill me.

    I would too but people who shop at Wal-Mart won’t. They only care about “low, low prices” no matter what the consequences.

  9. bvita says:

    I’m afraid that the FDA may be overlooking a less obvious source of this problem. While I don’t think that we’ll see off-brand Chinese toothpastes sitting next to Crest at Walgreens, I am afraid that it will show up in some secondary areas such as the “dollar” stores that are popping up everywhere.

    Another place that these may end up is in the prepackaged “survival kits” that airlines have. I recently was stranded by Northwest in MSP and, after much groveling was issued a “survival kit” that included a tube of Chinese made “SUNTAR” toothpaste; a name that accurately described its taste. It also included an XXL t-shirt with a tire mark from a forklift across it.

  10. Wormfather says:

    You know for a communist country they’ve really got capitalisim by the balls.

  11. remthewanderer says:

    a more costly sugar flavoring? I have this image in my head of brushing your teeth with pure sugar.

    That CAN NOT be good for your gums…

    Either way we are screwed.

  12. nweaver says:

    Chinese capitolism is the cliche libertarian dream: the market reputation will take care of things… HA

  13. A better question should be:

    “why is Chinese toothpaste sold in U.S. at the first place?”

    Are the Chinese known for their superior oral hygienes products? or American companies just want to cut cost by moving their production to China? If so, shouldn’t the toothpaste companies themselves should be held accountable as well?


  14. Nytmare says:

    Is this the same stuff that kills pets and animals who drink from the sweet-tasting antifreeze puddles under your broken radiator hose?

  15. Canadian Impostor says:

    @nytmare: Correct.

  16. wesrubix says:

    wow finally organizations are learning to cover their asses when they import things from a lower grade manufacturer. Yeah this Chinese company shouldn’t be using Diethylene Glycol, but any company importing the material(s) should not just blindly trust the label! Test it or assume the worst.

    You get what you pay for.

  17. @mopar_man: They’ll care once people start dying.

  18. LearningForever says:


    I agree with you. Some company making a profit in US imported these products.

    When a company manufactures a product, they perform Quality control. However, when they import a product -> they pass off that step. Either they skip the inspection totally or they make the govenernment agencies do inspection. Regardless of it, they pocket the profit and the taxpayers will be suffering because of the lack of funds for this.

    We also have to remember that China is starting to learn things. they do not really know many standards that we have. there can be standards, but who really reads them from the books and who regulates them. Guess what, most likely nobody. These new starting companies are like kids, they need to know what is good and what is not good.

  19. consumer_999 says:

    “Either way we are screwed.”
    Oh, but we’re not, really. Why do we need sweetener in toothpaste at all? The American population (which I’m part of – I’m not slagging some other country) as a whole needs to grow up and stop expecting crap like toothpaste to be a taste delight. It’s to clean your friggin teeth, not to thrill your tastebuds. But that’s a much larger topic, so I digress. To the point, use a natural brand like Tom’s or Trader Joe’s which don’t have sweeteners (as well as other harmful crap) and taste just fine or better.

    Of course, we’ll probably soon find out the Chinese have poisoned our peppermint too.. o.O

  20. Pasketti says:


    Not quite. The stuff in antifreeze is ethylene glycol ( HO-CH2-CH2-OH ). The stuff in the toothpaste is diethylene glycol ( HO-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-OH ).

  21. LowerHouseMember says:

    We also have to remember that China is starting to learn things. they do not really know many standards that we have. there can be standards, but who really reads them from the books and who regulates them. Guess what, most likely nobody. These new starting companies are like kids, they need to know what is good and what is not good.

    Honestly! Shame on us for not informing them that poison = bad!

  22. Dr. Eirik says:

    This would be a fine tirade if the products in question didn’t actually show up in Panama. According to the article, none of the contaminated toothpaste has turned up in the US, at least not yet.

    It won’t take that many more incidents like this for the Chinese to wake up. Eventually, you’ll start to see more and more barriers on importation, or delays that involve inspection. Once that happens, the cost benefit of making this stuff in China will begin to diminish.

  23. Crazytree says:

    You know how everyone always complains about
    Plaintiff’s lawyers and how the drive the prices up for consumers?

    This is what happens when you have no Plaintiff’s lawyers involved suing companies in a country.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  24. jwissick says:

    Christ… China… Don’t they get it that if you kill the consumer, capitalism does not work?

    Maybe we should start sending cyanide laced shit to them.

  25. LeopardSeal says:


    That’s a great (and by great, I mean horrendusly scary) article. It’s insane what people are willing to do to make a little more money. The really sick thing is that in the end, the companies keep doing what they’ve been doing while the government and their shoddy bureaucratic methods let it happen over and over. But it’s okay, as it usually only affects poor countries.

  26. nuton2wheels says:



  27. Buran says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: “It’ll never happen to ME!”

    … *thud*

  28. swalve says:

    Yeah, you’re all mindreaders and know what 1 billion Chinese are thinking…

  29. erica.blog says:

    The most disturbing part to me — if you try to ask a company where they source their ingredients (be it toothpaste, corn chips, whatever), they won’t tell you. It’s “proprietary”. So how am I supposed to be a discerning consumer and avoid the antifreeze toothpaste?

  30. JoshuaBeijing says:

    Dear God, the responses posted on this list serve to clearly illustrate the bigotry and ignorance in the US today. Does anyone here know how many chinese products you consume in a month? And blaming China for this problem isn’t correct- it was ONE company in china passing off ONE ingredient for another – The toothpaste manufacture themselves did not know the chemical was incorrect as it was sold to them as sweetner.

    And how many times have we killed our own people/pets in the US with bad drugs/food/products… I am remembering a dog food story last week, a fat pill that caused heart failure, a sports enhancment pill that killed a baseball player, some food dyes linked to cancer,,, oh, and not to mention we are fat as houses and getting bigger by the minute. Thanks to McDonalds and KFC- both doing very well in China!

    Are we really in a position to blame the whole Chinese nation for a bad batch of toothpaste?
    I know this blog should be amusing, but I am just sad to see these kinds of ignorant remarks.

    94.6 – percent of goods in Walmart of Chinese Origin.