Donnamax, Inc. has recalled two brands of toothpaste because they main contain the chemical diethylene glycol (DEG). The company is recalling 6.4 oz tubes of DentaPro brand Cavity Fighting Fluoride Toothpaste Spearmint Flavor and Bright Max Toothpastes. The toothpastes were manufactured in China.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, the toothpaste recall stretches across retail stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Idaho. The Dentapro toothpaste bears the item number 9112, while the Bright Max is marked with item number 9111. Donnamax, based in Brooklyn, New York, said the toothpaste was distributed mostly to so-called â€œdollarâ€ stores.
DEG is a chemical used in antifreeze. Chronic exposure to DEG can cause kidney or liver disease. The DEG in the toothpaste has a low, but meaningful risk of toxicity. The FDA is especially concerned that young children could swallow the toothpaste. As of yet, no injuries have been reported as a result of the DEG contamination.
Donnamax imports the toothpaste from China. It is only the latest product from that country to be recalled. Just this week, toy giant Fisher-Price recalled more than 1 million Chinese-made toys because they had been manufactured with lead paint. Last month, fresh ginger from China was added to the recall list because it was contaminated with pesticides. And earlier this year, pet food ingredients from China contaminated with melamine were blamed for the deaths of several pets. Tires and seafood from China have also been found to be defective.
Analysts say that Chinaâ€™s fast growing and largely unregulated economy has created a â€œwild westâ€ type of environment that allows poor manufacturing practices. Last week a US delegation arrived in China to discuss the recent rash of unsafe imports coming from that country. The group, which was led by Department of Health and Human Services official Rich McKeown, focused on reaching agreements with the Chinese government over imports of food, drugs and medical devices.
Following that visit, Chinaâ€™s state-run Xinhau news agency announced that Beijing and Washington had formulated the initial framework of a food safety agreement on Saturday. China said that it is willing to strengthen its cooperation with the U.S. to resolve food safety issues. A more detailed draft will be worked out when the two countries meet again.
In the past month, the government in China has made a very public effort to crack down on product safety, mostly by shutting down the unregulated factories that have been the source of tainted products. Chinaâ€™s economy is dependent on exports, with food exports to the US alone generating the country $2.26 billion dollars each year.