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Update: Counterfeit Toothpaste Falsely Labeled as ’Colgate’


Colgate-Palmolive announced today additional developments and actions by the Company to protect consumers against possible risk from recently reported counterfeit toothpaste. The Company yesterday warned consumers that the counterfeit toothpaste, which has been found in some small, independent dollar-type discount stores, may not contain fluoride and could contain Diethylene Glycol, an ingredient not used in Colgate toothpaste anywhere in the world.

The additional developments and actions taken by the Company include:

Colgate is contacting all its accounts handling Colgate toothpaste in the U.S. to ensure that they have no counterfeit product. At this time, none have reported counterfeit product. If any accounts were to identify suspected counterfeit product, the Company would remove it from the shelf.

The Company is in the process of picking up suspected counterfeit product in the small, independent dollar-type discount stores in the four states where it has reportedly been distributed. Results of these efforts will be provided to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld was quoted in various news reports saying in reference to the Diethylene Glycol found by the FDA in some counterfeit samples, “It’s a low health risk but the bottom line is, it doesn’t belong in toothpaste.” Analysis performed by Colgate Research & Development of counterfeit samples received so far has come to this same conclusion regarding the low level of health risk.

The Company has further clarified the distinguishing characteristics of the counterfeit product. It comes labeled as a 5 ounce or 100 ml tube, a size not made or sold by Colgate in the United States. Consumers can identify the counterfeit product by the words on the package, “Manufactured in South Africa” as well as there may be several misspelled words on the product carton including: “isclinically”, “SOUTH AFRLCA” and “South African Dental Assoxiation.” Colgate does not import toothpaste into the U.S. from South Africa.

Building on Colgate’s long standing relationship with the American Dental Association and American Dental Hygienists Association, the Company will be providing information about the counterfeit product to over 50,000 dental professionals to assist them in answering patient questions.

Colgate is providing additional representatives on its consumer information line (1-800-468-6502), extending their hours of operation, adding operations this weekend, and taking other steps to answer consumer questions about counterfeit product. Colgate is arranging for callers to provide it with any suspect counterfeit products and information about the purchase location.
Colgate Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Reuben Mark said, “We are all highly committed to reliability, quality and superior product performance. We will spare no effort to help consumers avoid counterfeits and support regulators in their efforts to remove these products from the marketplace.”

About Colgate-Palmolive: Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products Company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. For more information about Colgate’s global business, visit the Company’s web site at


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