LONDON -- The British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline warned Thursday that counterfeit Sensodyne toothpaste that could be deadly may be on store shelves.
The fake Sensodyne Original and Sensodyne Mint toothpaste contains diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze, The Guardian reported. Diethylene glycol can kill young children and people with impaired kidneys or liver.
A few days ago, 120,000 tubes of toothpaste believed to contain the chemical were seized in Spain and Italy. The counterfeit toothpaste is believed to have been manufactured in China, the source of similarly contaminated counterfeit Colgate toothpaste found in the United States.
"It seems to be an industry issue worldwide," a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman said. "We have increased vigilance after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered testing for diethylene glycol. It is fair to suggest that it is all part of the same worries about fake products imported from China."
The company said that the counterfeits on sale in Britain have labels in both English and Arabic, while genuine Sensodyne is labeled only in English.
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