The Hawaii State Department of Health is warning isle residents about counterfeit Colgate toothpaste, which may contain harmful bacteria and may also contain a poisonous chemical. Consumers are advised to check labels carefully, as the fake toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol, or DEG.
All consumers currently using Colgate toothpaste should look for the following indicators that identify a counterfeit product:
- The counterfeit toothpaste comes labeled as a 5 ounce (or 100 ml tube), a size not made or sold by Colgate in the United States.
- There are words on the package, “Manufactured by: COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (PTV) LTD., SOUTH AFRICA – 52 Commissioner Street, Boksburg, 1460.”
- There may be several misspelled words on the product carton including: “isclinically,” “SOUTH AFRLCA” and “South African Dental Assoxiation.”
Colgate does not import toothpaste into the U.S. from South Africa and does not use DEG in any of their toothpaste products. The Colgate-Palmolive Company in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating the source of counterfeit Colgate toothpaste.
While there have been no reported cases of illness associated with the use of the counterfeit product, the health department is currently locating and removing from sale the counterfeit toothpaste based on its false labeling. The department has found counterfeit Colgate toothpaste mainly in dollar-type discount stores in Hawaii, and is requiring these stores to remove the product and return or discard it.
If a counterfeit item is found, the department advises consumers to discard it or return it to the place of purchase.
The FDA has also found DEG in other brands of toothpaste imported from China and is stopping all suspect toothpaste from entering the U.S. Consumers are warned to avoid using tubes of toothpaste labeled as made in China.