The following news item was reported in the TimesOnline and reveals the ever present risk of buying cheap, “knock off”goods. Clearly the best advice is to buy all health products from recognised centres that you know and trust.
“Fake Sensodyne toothpaste which contains traces of toxic chemicals is being sold in markets, discount shops and car boot sales, the UK’s medicines watchdog warned today.
The contaminated 50ml tubes of Sensodyne Original and Sensodyne Mint contain potentially dangerous levels of diethylene glycol, which could harm anyone with an impaired liver or kidney function and young children.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned that the fake products were being made by “unauthorised” copycat suppliers who printed their tubes in both English and Arabic, with genuine Sensodyne products only ever being printed in English.
The affected batch code is PROD 07 2005/EXP 08/2008, the agency said, instructing anyone who believes they may have bought the product to throw all tubes away.
Genuine Sensodyne Mint toothpaste is white in colour whereas the fake version has a green paste, the agency pointed out. However, both the genuine Sensodyne Original and the fake toothpaste have a pink coloured paste, it added.
In addition, genuine versions of both types of Sensodyne come in 45ml and 75ml tubes, not the 50ml that the fakes came in.
“We believe that elderly patients, possibly with impaired liver and kidney function, may have purchased this stock due to lower prices in markets, discount shops and car boot sales,” the MHRA warned, in a statement issued today.
The MHRA does not believe that the tubes are being sold in mainstream shops or pharmacies, and said it had “no evidence” of any UK consumers suffering adverse reactions to the toothpaste so far. However, it has asked hospitals, wholesalers and pharmacies to check for any tubes that might be on sale with both Arabic and English packaging.
Today’s British toothpaste scare echoes that revealed last month by the US Food and Drug Administration, which issued a warning after diethylene glycol – which is used in antifreeze – was found in several brands of toothpaste imported from China. It said the products “typically are sold at low-cost, bargain retail outlets”.