Ração para gatos e cães nos Estados Unidos, xarope no Panamá, agora pasta de dente na Republica Dominicana. Todos casos com dietileno glicol originados de produção na China. Abaixo, trecho de reportagem do The New York Times.
China Investigates Contaminated Toothpaste By DAVID BARBOZA and WALT BOGDANICH Published: May 22, 2007 DANYANG, China, May 21 — Chinese authorities are investigating whether two companies from this coastal region exported tainted toothpaste as more contaminated product, including some made for children, has turned up in Latin America.A team of government investigators arrived here Sunday afternoon and closed the factory of the Danyang City Success Household Chemical Company, a small building housing about 30 workers in a nearby village, according to villagers and one factory worker. The government also questioned the manager of another toothpaste maker, Goldcredit International Trading, which is in Wuxi, about an hour’s drive southeast of here. No tainted toothpaste has been found in the United States, but a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that the agency would be taking “a hard look” at whether to issue an import alert. Authorities in the Dominican Republic said they seized 36,000 tubes of toothpaste suspected of containing diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. Included were tubes of toothpaste marketed for children with bubble gum and strawberry flavors sold under the name of “Mr. Cool Junior.” Toothpaste containing the toxic solvent was also found in Panama and Australia in the last week. Bautista Rojas Gómez, the secretary of health of the Dominican Republic, said the toothpaste, with diethylene glycol listed as an ingredient, was found in stores and warehouses across the country, including near the Haitian border. Diethylene glycol is the same poison that the Panamanian government unwittingly mixed into cold medicine last year, killing at least 100 people. In that case, the poison falsely labeled as glycerin, a harmless syrup, originated in China, shipping records show. Diethylene glycol is generally less expensive than its chemical cousin glycerin. Panamanian authorities said they believed the tainted toothpaste found in their country, containing up to 4.6 percent diethylene glycol, came from China. Executives from both companies under investigation in China denied in interviews on Monday that they had exported any toothpaste containing diethylene glycol to Panama. “We didn’t do this; we didn’t make the bad stuff,” said Shi Lei, a manager at Danyang City Success. “It was probably someone else." But Ms. Shi and other toothpaste makers in this region said that diethylene glycol had been used in toothpaste in China for years and that producers believed it was not very harmful. Government investigators arrived here just days after customs officials in Panama said that they had discovered diethylene glycol in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste. The toothpaste was being sold under the English brand names Mr. Cool and Excel. There have been no reports of deaths tied to toothpaste containing the chemical