Nicaragua seizes tubes of poisonous toothpaste

By
June 1, 2007 03:27

Nicaraguan police seized more than 40,000 tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste suspected of containing a chemical that killed at least 51 people in Panama last year. All US imports of Chinese toothpaste were halted last week to test for diethylene glycol - a chemical commonly used in antifreeze and brake fluid. Nicaraguan Health Minister Maritza Cuan said at a news conference Thursday that officials fear as many as 80,000 tubes may still be on the local market. Cuan said the seized toothpaste, labeled "Excel" and "Mr. Cool," had been brought in from neighboring Costa Rica by importers who were unaware the tubes were tainted. The tubes originated in Panama, which received shipments of the toothpaste last year. Costa Rica and Panama ordered the toothpaste pulled from shelves there earlier this month after finding it contained diethylene glycol.


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