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JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising parents and children to be vigilant when purchasing back-to-school hygiene packs, especially with the recent recalls of contaminated brands of toothpaste out of China.
Speaking with JIS News, Communication Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell informed that these hygiene packs have been reported to consist of unfamiliar brands of pocket-sized toothpaste, “which are contaminated with diethylene glycol (DEG), a chemical that is used in solvents and is poisonous if ingested in a particular amount.”
“This is based on the fact that we have had recent recalls of contaminated toothpaste coming out of China, and in Japan in particular. There were 4.3 million recall packages such as these, with the toothpaste included in the package for hotels and for travelling guests contaminated with this chemical,” Miss Campbell added.
“We are asking students when you buy your packages to put in your back packs for school, make sure that you take that little pocket of toothpaste out and replace it with a familiar brand,” the Communication Specialist advised.
Miss Campbell said this was a global marketplace, and “if it is on the market in Japan, it is possible that it could be on the market here in Jamaica,” adding that the product might not necessarily be on shelves, but included in packages sent by family and friends.
Meanwhile, the CAC is urging consumers to be on the look-out for fake Colgate toothpaste which continues to be a threat to Jamaica.
Tests by a Colgate importer in the United States have revealed that the same poisonous chemical was present in counterfeit Colgate toothpaste, which was imported from South Africa and sold in discount stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The CAC advised that the counterfeit brand has ‘Made in South Africa’ printed on the box and includes regular, gel, triple and herbal versions.
“Until we have had some news of change or some repair work, we are asking consumers if you purchase a tube of toothpaste, whether it is in the hygiene package or a regular tube of toothpaste.if it says made in China, take it back to your vendor or point of sale and ask for your money back,” Miss Campbell urged.
“If it is Colgate, and the box says ‘Made in South Africa’, it is fake, it is not for consumption,” she said.
“Colgate has told us that their brand comes out of Latin America, Dominica, the US and not South Africa, so if you buy one which says ‘Made in South Africa’, it is a counterfeit brand which is also contaminated with diethylene glycol,” the Communication Specialist reiterated.
Information on the Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia website states that diethylene glycol is toxic to humans and animals, and because of its toxicity, is not allowed for food and drugs. According to the website, diethylene glycol is also illegally used as counterfeit glycerin in some nations and sold internationally as a component of cough syrup and toothpaste.
For further information on recall items, contact the CAC at 926-1650-2 or visit their website at: www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm.