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Recalls in June 2007

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    Colgate Warns of Counterfeit Toothpaste

    Tubes May Contain Potentially Deadly Antifreeze Chemical

    The Chinese toothpaste scare that had Food and Drug Administration inspectors scrambling two weeks ago has now spread to potentially deadly tubes of counterfeit toothpaste being sold under the Colgate brand name.

    The Colgate-Palmolive company warned consumers this morning that falsely labeled Colgate tubes may contain diethylene glycol (DEG).

    DEG is a deadly chemical found in antifreeze and it was the same chemical discovered in tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste. It also killed at least 51 Panamanians a year ago when it was used in cough syrup.

    The counterfeit tubes were discovered in discount stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

    The tubes claim to be products of South Africa.

    The counterfeit toothpaste can be easily recognized because it is labeled as 'Manufactured in South Africa,' according to a Colgate press release. Colgate does not import toothpaste into the United States from South Africa. In addition, the counterfeit packages examined so far have several misspellings including: 'isclinically,' 'SOUTH AFRLCA' and 'South African Dental Assoxiation.'

    Two days before the Chinese toothpaste scare, a ConsumerAffairs.com investigation uncovered the sale of illegally imported tubes of toothpaste at discount stores. This apparently widespread problem exposes a potentially flawed FDA inspection network.

    We discovered 17 tubes of illegally imported toothpaste being sold in D.C.-area discount stores. The tubes were all manufactured in other countries and are not intended for sale in the U.S. One illegal tube of toothpaste was from China and six were from South Africa.

    The tubes were of all different makes, but nine were branded as Colgate. None of the tubes contained the spelling errors the Colgate press release identified.

    The tubes are illegal because they do not follow the FDAs over-the-counter drug labeling requirements. Two tubes didnt even list all the ingredients while many of the others are in foreign languages.

    After almost three weeks of ignoring many of our questions, the FDA told ConsumerAffairs.com that companies who manufacture, market and distribute the toothpastes could all face prosecution for selling the illegal products.

    Over-the-counter drug products that do not comply with FDA labeling requirements are misbranded and may also be unapproved new drugs, both of which violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, FDA spokeswoman Veronica Castro wrote in an e-mail. Enforcement regarding products that violate the FDCA include regulatory correspondence, seizure, injunction, and in some cases criminal prosecution.

    Colgate representative Tom Paolella said regardless of the tubes origin, all Colgate products are safe.

    Crest representatives have not returned two phone calls and two e-mails.

    Among the worst retail offenders in our investigation was discount store chain, National Wholesale Liquidators, which has not returned two e-mails and does not answer the phone.

    Consumers who suspect they may have purchased a counterfeit product should file a complaint with ConsumerAffairs.com and call Colgate's toll-free number at (800) 468-6502.

    Earlier Recall

    Earlier this week, a Florida importer recalled 170,000 tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste that may contain DEG. a deadly chemical.

    DEG killed 51 residents of Panama a year ago after it was found in Chinese-imported cough syrup.

    The recalled toothpastes come in 6.4 ounce and 9 ounce tubes and are titled:

    • Shir Fresh Mint Fluoride
    • Shir Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste
    • Shir Fresh Ice Shir Mint Fluoride Toothpaste

    Although no injuries or illnesses have been reported, consumers who have the product are urged to either return it the store they purchased it or discard it.

    Colgate Warns of Counterfeit Toothpaste...
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    Simplicity Nursery-in-a-Box Cribs Recalled

    June 7, 2007
    Simplicity is recalling about 40,000 of its Nursery-in-a-Box Cribs because of a choking and fall hazard.

    The assembly instructions provided with the cribs incorrectly instruct consumers how to attach the cribs drop side. If improperly installed, the drop side can disengage from the crib, posing fall and entrapment hazards for the child. Additionally, the metal locking pins on the drop side can pop off, presenting a choking hazard.

    CPSC is aware of an incident in which the cribs drop side, which was installed upside down, fell from its upright position and the metal locking pins became dislodged. Simplicity received a report of wrong instructions being packaged with the crib.

    The recalled cribs are part of the Nursery-in-a-Box furniture set which also includes a changing table and clothing organizer. The cribs are cherry, white or natural in color. Only model numbers 8910 and 8050 with serial numbers 3005 HY through 0806 HY are included in this recall. The model and serial numbers are printed on an envelope permanently attached to the mattress support. Simplicity, model and serial numbers are also printed on a label on the bottom rail of the headboard.

    The cribs were sold at department stores and childrens product stores from August 2005 through May 2007 for about $200.

    Consumers should immediately check the crib to make sure the drop side is securely fastened and correctly installed. Contact Simplicity to receive correct assembly instructions, or consumers can download the assembly instructions at the firms Web site, www.simplicityforchildren.com.

    Consumers can view a video on the firms Web site showing the proper assembly of the drop side. If the drop side is not properly installed, consumers should stop using the crib until it is assembled correctly.

    Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Simplicity at (800) 784-1982 anytime, or visit the firms Web site at www.simplicityforchildren.com.

    The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    Simplicity Nursery-in-a-Box Cribs Recalled...
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    First Birthday Party Hats

    First Birthday Party Hats are being recalled because of a choking hazard.

    Foil fringe glued to the bottom edge of the party hats can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

    The paper party hats involved in this recall measure 6.5-inches high by 4.5-inches wide and are cone shaped. The blue paper hats have 1st printed on the front and blue foil fringe glued to the bottom.

    The hats were sold at party and discount department stores nationwide from February 2005 through May 2007 for about $4.

    Consumers should discard the hats immediately and contact Creative Expressions to receive a full refund.

    Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Creative Expressions at (800) 428-5017 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firms Web site at www.ceg4party.com.

    The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    First Birthday Party Hats Recalled...
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