Toxic toothpaste made in China for sale in the US

Sounds bad,

Consumers were advised yesterday to discard all toothpaste made in China after federal health officials said they found Chinese-made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze in three locations: Miami, the Port of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

Although there are no reports of anyone being harmed by the toothpaste, the Food and Drug Administration warned that the Chinese products had a ‘low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury’ to children and people with kidney or liver disease.

The United States is the seventh country to find tainted Chinese toothpaste within its borders in recent weeks.

I just bought a tube of Chinese toothpaste (Shu Shuang is the brand) a couple of weeks ago. A shame, that I have to throw it out. “Made in China” was becoming a positive phrase, a sign of good workmanship – at least for me. A pity that a few greedy gold diggers seeking fast profits irrespective of the health of their customers had to fuck it all up. When I read about the infamous infant formula scandal a couple for years ago I never imagined they could be so careless as to allow such dangers to seep outside China’s borders. After all, exports are China’s lifeblood. I hope we don’t see a backlash against all things China-made, but if we do, greedy Chinese businesses, spurred on by a lack of regulation, have only themselves to blame.

Update: For some balance, China offers a rebuttal.

Also, here’s an interesting piece on how nearly all the vitamin C we take is made in China. The post also notes China’s charges that the US exports lots of salmonella-infected salmon into China. Is it true, and is intentional? I don’t know.

The Discussion: 21 Comments

Richard, you are right. Greedy businessmen seeking for quick unethical profit. That is the ugly side of China’s capitalism.

June 3, 2007 @ 5:55 am | Comment

Zyzyx, it’s not just Chinese capitalism; Remember Enron? Worldcom?

June 3, 2007 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Throwing out Chinese toothpaste is a start. If Americans really want to clean out potentially harmful products from their refrigerators and kitchen cupboards, they ought to toss anything made with artificial sweeteners or fructose/corn syrup.

All artificial sweeteners and products containing artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin are exitotoxins, able to cross the blood-brain barrier and overstimulate brain cells to the point of destroying them. The damage is permanent, accumulates over time, and consumption has been linked to migraines, seizures, and even Parkinson’s disease. As unhealthy as real sugar it, it is preferable to fake sweeteners. Ironically, there is a positive correlation between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and weight gain. It is thought that overuse of sweeteners deadens the palate and encourages overeating because people think “sugar-free” equals “calorie-free.”

High fructose corn syrup is artificial sweeteners’ evil twin. Obesity rates began climbing in the early 80s, right about the time HFCS began flooding into food products. HFCS is metabolized differently by the human body than sucrose (sugar). Fructose does not stimulate the production of insulin or leptin, both of which suppress appetite. Moreover, fructose raises the level of harmful triglycerides in the bloodstream. In plain English, foods with HFCS make us fatter yet leave us less satisfied and likely to eat even more!

It’s too easy to say that Americans are so fat because they eat too much. The unanswered question is why so many Americans eat to the point of obesity. Many practitioners and followers of naturapathic health believe that commonly added food ingredients like artificial sweeteners and HFCS are distorting our taste buds and disrupting our endocrine systems, crippling the ability to regulate appetites and metabolize food properly.

The FDA are whores in bed with the food industry. They let a lot of bad stuff into our food supply that’s not fit for human consumption. It’s almost a joke to see the FDA warn Americans about Chinese toothpaste while approving for consumption foods and food ingredients that compromise our health and shorten our lifespans.

June 3, 2007 @ 8:27 am | Comment

As unhealthy as real sugar it, it is preferable to fake sweeteners. Ironically, there is a positive correlation between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and weight gain.

Interesting comment. The same thing can be said about “Fat-Free” products. People seem to think Fat-free = calorie-free and it’s just the opposite; it’s also very unhealthy. If they’re taking the fat out, they’re replacing it with something and if you check the labels, you’ll find more calories and more sugars.

June 3, 2007 @ 10:12 am | Comment

Yep. I’m with both of you on that. Better to eat more natural foods and if you are going to have something sweet, make it worthwhile!

I think I’ll have a glass of wine.

June 3, 2007 @ 1:30 pm | Comment

Skip page top navigation FDA Logo–links to FDA home page Logo of and Link to start page of Office of Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration HHS Logo and link to Department of Health and Human Services website

FDA Home Page | Federal-State | Import Program | Compliance | Inspection | Science | ORA Search


TYPE OF ALERT: Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE)

NOTE: This import alert contains the Agency’s current
guidance to FDA field personnel regarding the
manufacturer(s) and/or product(s) at issue. It does not
create or confer any rights for or on any person and it does
not operate to bind FDA or the public.

PRODUCT: All dentifrice products, including aerosols, liquids,
toothpastes, and tooth powders with or without fluoride
containing DEG

See attachment for specific product and manufacturers

PRODUCT CODE: 53I[][]01 Dentifrice products without Fluoride
63R[][]06 Dentifrice products with Stannous Fluoride
63R[][]05 Dentifrice products with Sodium
63R[][]04 Dentifrice products with Sodium Fluoride

PROBLEM: Unapproved and adulterated drugs; adulterated and/or
misbranded cosmetics; contains DEG


COUNTRIES: See attachment

SHIPPER: See attachment

CHARGES: For fluoride containing dentifrice drug products:

“The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to be a new drug within
the meaning of Section 201(p) without an effective new drug
application (NDA) [Unapproved New Drug, Section 505(a)].”


“The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears that the methods used
in, or the facilities or controls used for, its manufacture,
processing, packing, or holding do not conform to or are not
operated or administered in conformity with current good
manufacturing practice to assure that such drug meets the
requirements of this Act as to safety and has the identity
and strength, and meets the quality and purity
characteristics, which it purports or is represented to
possess [Adulterated Drugs, Section 501(a)(2)(B)].”

For non-fluoride containing dentifrice cosmetic products:

“The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to be adulterated in
that it contains a poisonous or deleterious substance,
namely diethylene glycol, which may render it injurious to
users under such conditions of use as are customary or usual
[Adulterated Cosmetic, Section 601(a)].”

OFFICE: CDER, OC, Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance
(HFD-310) and CFSAN, Office of Cosmetic and Colors, HFS-608

ALERT: Diethylene glycol (DEG) is a glycol compound possessing
toxicity similar to ethylene glycol. It is a Central
Nervous System depressant and potent kidney and liver toxin
when ingested. It is commonly used in industry as a
solvent, a thickening agent, a humectant, and as a component
in antifreeze and gas conditioning formulations.

DEG has been improperly used as a low-cost substitute for
glycerin and propylene glycol in pharmaceutical preparations
resulting in various lethal poisoning incidents in humans
worldwide. Among these incidents are, elixir sulfanilamide
in the U.S., sedative mixtures in South Africa, paracetamol
elixirs in Bangladesh and Nigeria, acetaminophen syrup in
Haiti, and a cough expectorant product in India. Most
recently, a cough syrup resulted in serious human injury and
over 40 deaths in Panama in September 2006. These recent
DEG poisoning incidents involved a “glycerin” product
manufactured in China that was a mixture of sorbitol and DEG
and less than one percent glycerin.

In May 2007, FDA received accounts that toothpaste from
China shipped to Panama, Australia, and the Dominican
Republic was found to contain DEG. A significant amount of
toothpaste from China is imported into the United States.
FDA is presently sampling dentifrice products manufactured
in China to determine potential contamination with DEG.

To date, FDA has found DEG in three products manufactured by
Goldcredit International Trading, China. The products are
Cooldent Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint, and Cooldent ICE.
Analysis of these products has revealed that they contain
between 3 and 4 percent diethylene glycol. FDA has also
found DEG in one product manufactured by Suzhou City Jinmao
Daily Chemicals Co., China. Analysis of that product, Shir
Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste, found that it contained
approximately 1% DEG. These products have been included in
the DPWE list attachment of this alert. As the agency
identifies other toothpaste products containing DEG, these
products and their manufacturers will also be added to the
Import Alert.

The products were labeled as containing diglycol. Diglycol
is one of many synonyms of diethylene glycol. According to
REPROTEXT System, diethylene glycol may be also known as:

1. Brecolane ndg
2. Carbitol
3. Deactivator E
4. Deactivator H
5. DEG
6. Degrees
7. Dicol
8. Diethylene ether
9. Diethylene glycol
10. Diethylenglykol (Czech)
11. Digenos
12. Diglycol
13. Digol
14. Dihydroxydiethyl ether
15. 2,2′-Dihydroxydiethyl ether
16. beta,beta’-Dihydroxydiethyl ether
17. Dihydroxyethylether
18. 2,2′-Dihydroxyethyl ether
19. Dissolvant APV
20. Ethanol, 2,2′-oxybis-
21. Ethanol, 2,2′-oxydi-
22. Ethylene diglycol
23. Glycol ether
24. Glycol ethyl ether
25. 2-Hydroxyethyl ether
26. bis(2-Hydroxyethyl)ether
27. 3-Oxapentane-1,5-diol
28. 3-Oxa-1,5-pentanediol
29. 2,2′-Oxybisethanol
30. 2,2′-Oxybis-ethanol
31. 2,2′-Oxydiethanol
32. 2,2′-Oxyethanol
33. TL4N

FDA has also identified a number of other dentifrice
products manufactured by Goldcredit that are labeled as
containing DEG(or a synonym thereof). These products have
also been included in the DWPE list on this alert.

Dentifrice products may be marketed in the United States as
drugs or cosmetics. Dentifrice products intended to prevent
or mitigate dental cavities/decay (anticaries toothpaste)
are regulated as over the counter (OTC) drugs. OTC
anticaries toothpaste containing diethylene glycol cannot be
marketed in the U.S. without an approved new drug
application (NDA). DEG can be toxic and even fatal in
humans and FDA is not aware of DEG having been used for a
material extent and time in formulating OTC anticaries drug
products. Thus, FDA regards any OTC anticaries drug product
containing DEG to be a “new drug” as defined by section
201(p) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the
Act). “New drugs” must be the subject of an approved NDA
under section 505 of the Act to be legally marketed in the
United States. Presently, there are no OTC anticaries drug
products containing DEG approved for marketing in the U.S.

The use of DEG in OTC anticaries drug products causes them
to be adulterated under section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Act
because of the toxicity of DEG when ingested, and therefore,
the methods or controls used to manufacture the anticaries
drug containing the DEG do not conform to current Good
Manufacturing Practices to assure the drug meets the
requirements of the Act regarding safety.

Non-fluoride dentifrices products that are not drugs are
ordinarily marketed as cosmetics, as their intended use is
for oral hygienic cleansing.

At this time, the only DEG-containing dentifrice products
identified by FDA as being offered for import into the U.S.
are from China. However, no DEG-containing dentifrice
products manufactured in China or any other country may be
imported into the U.S. Therefore, this alert covers
dentifrice products containing DEG from any source.

GUIDANCE: Districts may detain without physical examination all
shipments of dentifrice products listed in the attachment.

Districts may detain without physical examination any
shipment of dentifrice products labeled as containing
diethylene glycol or any of its synonyms.

For questions regarding dentifrice product marketed as drugs
please contact CDER Import-Export Team at 301-827-8967.

For questions regarding dentifrice product marketed as
cosmetics please contact, Richard Jewell, CFSAN, Labeling
Compliance Team, at 301-436-2596 or


FOI: No purging required

KEYWORDS: toothpaste, mouthwash, dentifrice, DEG

PREPARED BY: Ada Irizarry /CDER/OC/DNLC, 301-827-8967
Richard Jewell, CFSAN, HFS-608, 301-436-2596
Doug Randes, DIOP, 301-443-6553

INTO FIARS: May 31, 2007



Manufacturer Products

1. Goldcredit International Enterprises LTD Cooldent Fluoride
666 Shuguang Bei Rd Cooldent Spearmint
Hangitown Cooldent ICE
Yangzhou, China Dr Cool Toothpaste
FEI# 3005396179 Everfresh Toohpaste
Superdent Toothpaste

Other addresses:
Goldcredit International Enterprises, LTD
9 F Wuxi National Ind. Design District
Liyuan Economic Dev Zone
Wuxi Chin, China
FEI# 3005043484

Goldcredit International Enterprises, LTD
#151 Lakebank Elegant Gardenwest
Jincheng Road
Wuxi, Jiangsu, China 214123
FEI# 3005775027

2. Gold Credit International Trading Co LTD Clean Rite Toothpaste
17th fl Changquing Bldg. Clean Rite Toothpaste
6 Jie Fang North Rd Kit
Wuxi 214005 Oralmax Extreme Action
Jiangsu, China Kit
FEI# 3005535612 Oralmax Extreme Action
3005566861 Pack Kit
3005970990 Oral Bright Fresh
3003883350 Spearmint Flavor
Bright Max Peppermint

Other addresses:
Gold Credit International Trading Co LTD
20 Floor Unit G Wah Kwong Bldg. 333
Zhongsnan Rd, Wuxi 214001
Jiangsu , China
FEI# 3003754241

3. Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemicals Co. Ltd. ShiR Fresh Mint
Jingeng Village Huangqiao Town Fluoride Paste
Xiangcheng Dist. Suzhou Jiangsu China
Suzhou City, China
FEI# 3005225258

Return to: Page Top | Import Start | FIARS start

About ORA | Site Map/Index | ORA Search
FDA Home Page | Search FDA Site | A-Z Index | Contact FDA | Privacy | Accessibility | HHS Home Page

Office of Regulatory Affairs

June 4, 2007 @ 2:34 am | Comment

I would ban all food stuffs and thngs like toothpaste from China until a credible, FDA type institution is established.

Do you actually think anyone in China cares if an America gets chemical paste instead of toothpaste? Of course not! This is just another example of the hollow civilization that is China.

China does not give a shit about anyting but China.

June 4, 2007 @ 4:23 am | Comment

China is the world biggest exporter of toxic waste!

Wake up people!

June 4, 2007 @ 4:25 am | Comment

Selfish China proves it is vile once again:


China Rejects FDA Warning on Possibly Toxic Toothpaste
Sunday, June 03, 2007

BEIJING — China rejected a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging consumers to avoid using Chinese toothpaste because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.

Calling the FDA warning “unscientific, irresponsible and contradictory,” China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement posted on its Web site late Saturday that low levels of the chemical have been deemed safe for consumption.

The FDA increased its scrutiny of toothpaste made in China because of reports that the products may contain diethylene glycol, a thickening agent used as a low-cost — but frequently deadly — substitute for glycerin, a sweetener commonly used in drugs.

June 4, 2007 @ 7:07 am | Comment

China is managing this poorly. This reminds me Intel’s initial reaction to the 1994 Pentium problem. China’s leadership is mostly engineer and scientists by training, much like Intel’s executive team back then. Intel’s initial responses were:

* The problem was very rare, occurring once in every 9 billion random FP calculations.
* More importantly, none of the other CPU vendors ever recalled their products when they found out bugs later. Some of those bugs were far more likely to happen than 1 in 9 billion.

But Intel forgot who they were. They were the leader, and the other companies that could get away without an outcry by the consumers were the laggards.

You can see China’s viewpoint that ingesting small quantity during normal usage of the toothpaste is perfectly safe for humans. Ingesting an extremely and abnormally large quantity of many things can do your body harm.

But China isn’t just another nation, it’s the poster child of globalization that is garnering a lot of fear and misgiving worldwide, especially among those who aren’t necessarily scientifically inclined. China should manage this much like what Intel did.

June 4, 2007 @ 8:20 am | Comment

“The post also notes China’s charges that the US exports lots of salmonella-infected salmon into China.”

Yeah, right.

Just like after the Koreans found parasite eggs in Chinese kimchee, the Chinese gov’t claimed – surprise! – to have found parasite eggs in Korean kimchee.

But (oops!), it turned out that more than one of the Korean brands accused by the Chinese gov’t did not even sell their products in China!

That means either the accusation was a complete fabrication, or the Korean products tested were actually Chinese fakes (which were in fact contaminated).


I always have a good chuckle when I open a Chinese food product with a “tamper-proof” seal. I’m far more worried about what the *manufacturer* put in it than any risk related to a phantom tamperer.

June 4, 2007 @ 11:48 am | Comment

For those who can read Chinese:

June 4, 2007 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

China has branded a U.S. warning against using its toothpaste as irresponsible, saying that “So far we have not received any report of death resulting from using the toothpaste.”
So it’s irresponsible for us to warn against diethylene glycol which is not lethal and yet has no reason for being in our toothpaste…

June 4, 2007 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

The following brands of toothpaste manufactured in China contain DEG (diethylene glycol) :
Cooldent Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint, Cooldent ICE, Dr. Cool, Everfresh Toothpaste, Superdent Toothpaste, Clean Rite Toothpaste, Oralmax Extreme, Oral Bright Fresh Spearmint Flavor, Bright Max Peppermint Flavor and ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste.

If your toothpaste says “Made in China” it may be hazardous to use. CBS Evening News advises: “throw it away.”

I’ve seen none of these in drugstore chains or supermarkets, but I understand they’re sold in “Dollar” type stores.

When I was in China I used to buy “Colgate” toothpaste, wondering all the time if it was really “Colgate.”

June 5, 2007 @ 1:49 am | Comment

I wonder how many of these chinese brands are available in Wal-mart?

June 5, 2007 @ 2:05 am | Comment

Use Crest and stop worryng..

June 5, 2007 @ 6:02 am | Comment

Maybe it’s time to forget about toothpaste altogether. You can’t trust what’s in it, you can’t trust what’s printed on the box … just forget it and go back to using baking soda.

New York Times online: ” … breaking news that Chinese baking soda found to be laced with potentially lethal levels of industrial fungicide perfidium tetra-monotrichloride …”

Okay, forget the baking soda. I’ll just use a toothbrush and bottled water.

The Harwich Times: “Chinese toothbrushes found to be made from re-cycled compact discs, contain scores of carcinogens”

Shanghai Daily: “36% of local bottled water vendors fail contamination inspections.”

All right, I guess it’s a toothpick then.

West South China Post: “Today tens of thousands of eager residents of southwest China pushed and shoved to reach the last remaining tree standing in Sichuan Province. Queue-jumper Wang Li got there first, and dropped the last tree with twelve well-practiced chops. His family cheered and applauded his clever business sense.”

How much do fake teeth cost?

Import-Export Times: “Beijing denies China responsible for recent spate of injuries caused by fake fake teeth …”

June 6, 2007 @ 3:13 am | Comment

Australia was the first Western Nation to find issues with toothpaste from China a few weeks ago. Shortly after that China found issues with some food items from Australia.

I am sure the timing was just a councidence ^-^

June 6, 2007 @ 7:07 am | Comment

I was trying to figure out why Evan water had been found to have issues in China. Seems there is a disagreement over a joint venture with Danone with the Chinese Partner, which owns Evan.

June 13, 2007 @ 11:47 am | Comment

[…] Replace “Wall Street” and “the S.E.C.” with China-specific terms like “the dairy industry” and “the AQSIQ” and how often have we made similar comments, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth? How often have we been utterly appalled–when not self-righteousnly baffled–by the dereliction of duty amongst the very government officials and agencies responsible for ensuring that the the babies of China’s “lao bai xing” drink milk instead of melamine or that people around the rest of the world play with toys instead of lead, or brush with toothpaste instead of poison? […]

March 30, 2009 @ 1:31 am | Pingback

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.