Sunday, June 03, 2007

No China Diet: How much poison is too much in your toothpaste?

That is precisely the argument between China and the US: How much poison is too much in your toothpaste?

I'd say that "any" is too much.

But the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (the Chinese agency in charge) says that low-levels of diethylene glycol are okay for consumption. The FDA warns consumers to avoid toothpaste from China. Diethylene glycol. Now why does that sound familiar? Oh, that's right. Because it's essentially engine coolant and has been responsible for mass poisonings. Not what I want in my toothpaste.

And the FDA found toothpaste with diethylene glycol in a shipment at the U.S. border and a Dollar Plus in Miami and a Todo A Peso in Puerto Rico.

Of course, mislabeling of Chinese goods is just about routine:

A slew of Chinese exports have recently been banned or turned away by U.S. inspectors including, wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine that has been blamed for dog and cat deaths in North America, monkfish that turned out to be toxic pufferfish, drug-laced frozen eel, and juice made with unsafe color additives.
Read China Rejects U.S. Warning on Toothpaste and be careful of what you buy in the dollar store.