China’s toothpaste controversy

China is investigating claims that toothpaste contaminated with a potentially lethal chemical has been exported to Central America.

The Dominican Republic has banned the sale of two Chinese-made brands of toothpaste imported through Panama. Thousands of tubes of the toothpaste have now been confiscated in both countries.

Authorities claim that, following tests, the toothpaste contains diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in engine coolants.

The Chinese government said a team was conducting investigations in both Beijing and the eastern province of Jiangsu, and that the results would be made public as soon as possible.

A series of recent incidents have highlighted international concerns over the safety of Chinese products. Earlier this year pet food ingredients from China contaminated with the chemical melamine were blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats in the US, leading to a massive pet-food recall.

The China Daily newspaper issued an editorial criticising the country’s food safety regulators and their response to this earlier crisis.

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