It proves how just one contaminated product, turned loose on the world, almost takes on a life of its own.
Toothpaste from China, contaminated with poisonous diethylene glycol by greedy, corner-cutting manufacturers, keeps turning up all over the place:
After federal health officials discovered last month that tainted Chinese toothpaste had entered the United States, they warned that it would most likely be found in discount stores.
In fact, the toothpaste has been distributed much more widely. Roughly 900,000 tubes containing a poison used in some antifreeze products have turned up in hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.
The toothpaste was handed out in dozens of state institutions, mostly in Georgia but also in North Carolina, according to state officials. Hospitals in South Carolina and Florida also reported receiving Chinese-made toothpaste, and a major national pharmaceutical distributor said it was recalling tainted Chinese toothpaste.
The Chinese government doesn’t want to poison us; it wants to keep the huge profits from trade with the U.S. rolling in. But recent signs of game-playing- shutting out some U.S. exports to China for minor or imagined defects- is not the way to solve this thing. Only strict enforcement of product safety standards in both countries can restore consumer confidence and, most importantly, protect health and lives.