<FONT face="Arial Narrow"><FONT color="#1e66ae">http://kdka.com/consumer/recalls_story_152161840.html

Jun 1, 2007 5:30 PM US/Eastern
FDA: Toothpaste Made In China Unsafe, Throw It Out
Bargain Retail Outlet Brands Especially At Risk For Poisonous Chemical
(CBS News) WASHINGTON The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid
using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical
used in antifreeze.

Out of caution, the Food and Drug Administration said, people should throw
away toothpaste with labeling that states it was made in China. FDA is
concerned that these products may contain diethylene glycol.

The agency is not aware of any reports in the United States of poisoning
from toothpaste, but it did find the antifreeze ingredient in a shipment at
the U.S. Border and at two retail stores: a Dollar Plus store in Miami and a
Todo A Peso store in Puerto Rico.

Officials said they are primarily concerned about toothpaste sold at bargain
retail outlets. The ingredient in question, called DEG, is used as a
lower-cost sweetener and thickening agent. The highest concentration of the
chemical found in toothpaste so far was between 3 and 4 percent.

"It does not belong in toothpaste, even in small concentrations," said the
FDA's Deborah M. Autor.

The FDA increased its scrutiny of toothpaste made in China because of
reports of contamination in several countries, including Panama. The agency
is particularly concerned about chronic exposure to DEG in children and in
people with kidney or liver disease.

Agency officials said they had no estimate of how many tubes of tainted
toothpaste might have made it into the U.S.

"Our concern today is potentially about all toothpaste that comes in from
China," Autor said.

Chinese toothpaste makes up about $3.3 million worth of the $2 billion U.S.
Toothpaste market, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes. There aren't
any major toothpaste brands on this FDA's list.

The agency also issued an import alert for all dental products containing
DEG. The alert means that toothpaste from China will be stopped at the
border, she said.

The alert states that DEG has been improperly used in a variety of sedatives
syrups and cough medicines worldwide. Most recently, a cough syrup
containing DEG resulted in more than 40 deaths in Panama last September.

The alert says the agency found DEG in three products manufactured by
Goldcredit International Trading in China. The products are Cooldent
Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint and Cooldent ICE. Analysis of the products
revealed that they contained between 3 percent and 4 percent DEG.

The agency also found the chemical in one product manufactured by Suzhou
City Jinmao Daily Chemical Co. In China. Analysis of that product, Shir
Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste, found that it contained about 1 percent DEG.
(© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )