Read Labels When Shopping–Always

by Erika-Marie Geiss

You’re thinking: I don’t have time to read the labels, grocery shopping is chaotic enough. You’re envisioning what that trip to the market will be like if you stop to read every label: The six-year-old will decide to ride the cart backwards, the three-year-old will start screaming that he must have Cocoa Puffs now (when you don’t even normally buy them) and the darling baby three aisles over who is wailing has caused you to let down, which is making your sweetheart in the sling wake up. So maybe that’s not what your trip to the market is like, but in some way, we can all relate; so stopping to check every label before tossing an item into the cart is probably the last thing on your mind. But wait, the cost of not reading the labels could be dangerous to your family.

In July 2007 the FDA issued a warning about and recall of counterfeit toothpaste being sold in Canada and the United States. The toothpaste was recalled because it contains diethylene glycol (DEG), a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze and as a solvent. DEG is a central nervous system depressant and potent kidney and liver toxin and as a solvent. The toothpaste was made by Chinese manufacturers and was sold primarily to bargain retail outlets, the report said. The Among the brands counterfeited was Colgate, a name we know and trust. Since the initial warning, the toothpaste has not been removed from all shelves and has been found on the shelves of smaller stores and pharmacies as recently as this month–eight months later.

The differences in the real and counterfeit products are not easy to spot, especially at first glance and when you’re in the middle of either a quick run to pick something up or under the gun of making it through the market before the kids completely meltdown.

The labels of the counterfeit toothpaste read that they are Made in South Africa, sanctioned by the South African Dental Association, or have typographical errors on them.

So, despite the chaos that a trip to the market can bring, be vigilant and read the labels carefully, even of the products that you think are ones that you know and trust.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 4th, 2008 at 8:59 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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