Mozambique seizes counterfeit toothpaste

Mozambican authorities seized thousands of boxes of counterfeit toothpaste that they fear may contain a potentially deadly chemical, state radio said

 Mozambique seizes counterfeit toothpaste
Mozambican authorities seized thousands of boxes of counterfeit toothpaste that they fear may contain a potentially deadly chemical, state radio said Sunday.

The health ministry banned all sales of "Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection" toothpaste and ordered storekeepers to remove it from their shelves.

The fake toothpaste — which has been sold by discount retailers in a number of countries including the United States — has nothing to do with the Colgate-Palmolive Co. It contains diethylene glycol, or DEG, a chemical used in antifreeze, which damages the kidneys and liver and can kill humans.

The Food and Drug Administration warned in June that fake Colgate distributed in Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania may contain DEG. That toothpaste was the subject of a June 13 recall by a New Jersey distributor.

The toothpaste's true origin was unknown, according to the FDA. Chinese-made toothpaste has been banned by numerous countries in North and South America and Asia for containing DEG.

Like many developing countries, Mozambique lacks the sophisticated consumer protection mechanisms of Western countries. It relies heavily on informal traders who sell their wares at makeshift stands.

State radio said that the southern province of Gaza alone removed more than 13,000 boxes of the product from the shops. There were no reports of people being sickened by the toothpaste.

Tubes found in the capital Maputo claimed to be manufactured in South Africa, but their dubious nature was given away by the expiry dates on the packages — such as July 32, 2008, and June 34, 2009.

Similar counterfeit products found in Canada and the United States misspelled South Africa as "South Afrlca," and claimed the blessing of the "South African Dental Assoxiation."

AP
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 16:22
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