The Colgate-Palmolive Co. has recalled 5-ounce tubes of counterfeit toothpaste that were sold in discount stores in four states under a Colgate label. The reason for the recall is because the toothpaste may contain a poisonous chemical. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), testing found the chemical in a product with the Colgate label. It should be pointed out, however, that the FDA is unsure whether it really was Colgate or a counterfeit. MS USA Trading, Inc. of North Bergen, New Jersey, the importer involved in the initial recall announcement, says the toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol, a chemical found in antifreeze. The toothpaste, imported from South Africa, was sold in discount stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. “Made in South Africa” is printed on the box and includes Regular, Gel, Triple, and Herbal versions. The trading company said the problem was discovered in routine testing by the FDA. Apparently, no illnesses have been reported to date. The same chemical has led to the recall of several brands of toothpaste imported from China in recent weeks.
Consumers who have purchased 5-ounce toothpaste under the Colgate label can return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Colgate-Palmolive confirmed that the tubes are counterfeit. But, the company said it does not use, nor has it ever used, diethylene glycol as an ingredient in Colgate toothpaste anywhere in the world. Colgate says it is working closely with the FDA “to help to identify those responsible for the counterfeit product.” Consumers who suspect they may have purchased counterfeit product can call Colgate’s toll-free number at 1-800-468-6502.
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