Local couple buys suspicious toothpaste

May 7, 2008 6:06:48 PM PDT
Ever buy a product, use it and then think, hey that's not quite right? It may not be your imagination.

It's always important to read the small print when an advertised product seems too good to be true. Read the fine print when signing any contract and read the fine print when buying toothpaste.

"I was using this for a couple of weeks and my girlfriend came over and used it once and said this tastes a little funky a little weird," said Jager McConnell.

McConnell is talking about a tube of Colgate toothpaste.

He and his girlfriend gave the toothpaste a once over and found that it had approval from the South African Dental Association. It said it was made in South Africa too.

"That seemed like a little bit of a concern. I went on Google and did a search for South Africa and Colgate and it turns out there is a whole run of counterfeit Colgate out there," said McConnell.

And it isn't safe. The counterfeit has antifreeze in it.

In a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration, misspellings on the fake tubes are pointed out, including the words "Africa" and "Association".

But Jager's tube doesn't have those.

When informed about this particular tube, Colgate asked to test it and sent Jager money to buy a replacement.

The company told 7 On Your Side: "Colgate is committed to protecting consumers and ensuring that they can rely on Colgate products for superior performance and quality."

"I was more worried about what if a kid got this, what if a child found it and ate some that is scary proposition," said McConnell.

So where did Jager get the toothpaste? At Ted's Market in San Francisco. More of a deli than a grocery store, but as far as the people know, the toothpaste came through normal channels. Currently only crest is on the shelf.

Colgate is working hard on this going to a dozen stores looking for more suspects tubes. So far it has only come up with one. That was also from Ted's and again it could be legit, just not made for the U.S. market.

The toothpaste tastes different, but Colgate made in South Africa tastes different by design than the toothpaste sold in America. Read the labels, even on toothpaste, especially if something doesn't seem quite right.


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