Canada investigates fake toothpaste, warns public

2007 07 16 11 33 13 706

OTTAWA (Reuters) June 21 Canadian officials are investigating what appears to be a batch of counterfeit toothpaste that was found in Toronto, Health Minister Tony Clement said on Wednesday.

The suspected fakes are labeled "Colgate" and have markings indicating they came from South Africa. Similar tubes, complete with grammatical errors, have been found in discount stores in four U.S. states.

"We do have inspectors and investigators who are on the scene and who are busy analyzing the product to see whether there is any kind of health hazard," Clement told Parliament.

"The best advice I can give until that investigation is complete is buyer beware . In this particular case what has happened is not acceptable."

Colgate-Palmolive Co. says counterfeit toothpaste that may contain the toxic chemical diethylene glycol poses a low health risk.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers to avoid any toothpaste made in China after its inspectors found the antifreeze ingredient in tubes sold at two stores.

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