Monday, June 04, 2007

EAT ZINC! CHINESE SAY POISON GOOD FOR YOU: Faced with worldwide boycott of cheap solvent-tainted toothpaste

"FDA inspectors identified and detained one shipment of toothpaste at the U.S. border, containing about 3 percent [diethylene glycol] DEG by weight," announced the agency last week.

"In addition, FDA inspectors found and tested toothpaste products from China located at a distribution center and a retail store. The highest level found was between 3-4 percent by weight. The product at the retail store was not labeled as containing
DEG but was found to contain the substance.

"[Diethylene glycol] poisoning is an important public safety issue. The agency is aware of reports of patient deaths and injuries in other countries over the past several years from ingesting DEG-contaminated pharmaceutical preparations [from China where it is used as cheap adulterant in place of glycerin], such as cough syrups and acetaminophen syrup..."

The diethylene glycol-poisoned toothpaste from China consists of a variety of cheap brands placed in discount stores where it most likely impacts the poor, or those unlikely to know of the taintings and the product advisories.

In response to what now, in common sense, ought to be a worldwide blacklisting of -- at least -- all Chinese toothpastes shotgunned into the world market, the Beijing government insisted over the weekend that the poison, diethylene glycol, was good for people.

While it wasn't put exactly that way, "China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine says the advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is unscientific and irresponsible," reported Voice of America news.

"China says low-levels of the chemical, diethylene glycol, have been approved for consumption," continued the report. "It also says the U.S. food regulator has approved all Chinese-made toothpaste exported to the United States," which may have been true, DD hasn't checked, but now certainly is not.

To keep the subject congruent with material often discussed within the pages of this blog, it is interesting to note that Maxwell Hutchkinson's The Poisoner's Handbook advocates the use of diethylene glycol.

Readers now know, assuming they've followed the subject regularly here, that Hutchkinson's book was published in the United States by Loompanics in 1988. It is a thin volume riddled with errors. And while it is very generally correct in the naming of common poisons, it is not of practical use in actually poisoning people, a fact that is often lost in the lore on it.

For example, Hutchkinson writes on using poisonous snakes as murder weapons: "There are only four types of venomous snakes in the US. At least one of these, the copperhead, is only poisonous enough to reliably kill the sick, the quite young and the quite old ... If you have a target who owns a boat ... that would be a good place to plant a well-grown cottonmouth right before ... a boat trip. Do it on a chilly morning when the snake, being cold-blooded, will probably stay where you hide him, say, under a seat."

On fluorine, Hutchkinson writes fluoridated water destroys tooth enamel, causes cancer and ages you prematurely, which puts the author in the same school of thought held by General Jack Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, that it's important not to let such things contaminate your precious bodily floods and purity of essence.

Or, of the always popular Botox, Hutchkinson writes: "Botulism is fun and easy to make." Often translated into jihadi terrorist documents, the "fun" Hutchkinson way to make Botox is to throw meat and dirt together in a can.

Parts from Hutchkinson were copied to the Internet in the Nineties.

Around 1996, these articles, or fragments, were translated into Arabic for the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook which is only a smaller subset of the original content found in The Poisoner's Handbook.

In turn, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook has been copied into a number of other Islamic terror documents still regularly seized off the Internet and the computers of those arrested in terror investigations. It is accurate to say that those implicated in terrorism cases and found with the content of Hutchkinson in their possession see it contribute to their usually inevitable trip to prison for a long time.

In the chapter on "Chemical Poisons" -- something of a laugher of a title which unwittingly reveals Hutchkinson's actual savvy -- ethylene and diethylene glycol are recommended because they have "a sweetish, agreeable taste." Which is why the Chinese use it as a replacement for glycerin in toothpaste and some medicines which have caused poisonings in the developing world.

DD has written before that if al Qaeda had been caught running something like a toothpaste factory putting diethylene glycol into its product for the shelves on the United States, it would be much more than a business story to be buried in the middle of the newspaper. You wouldn't see any reporter seriously putting into print claims from al Qaeda that diethylene glycol was OK and you should continue buying Osama bin Minty Fresh terror-brand toothpaste. Instead, cruise missiles would be flying and prisoners would be on Air Torture for delivery to some dungeon.

In place of cruise missiles, we recommend the US government make those consumable products, drugs and toiletries which contain ingredients from China be made to have bright easily-visible signage, much like a Hazmat symbol, which says so. If this is done, the US marketplace will hit the Chinese vendors of adulterants/poisons where it will hurt.


FDA announcement on poisoned toothpaste from China.

Voice of America news.

EAT ZINC from May, in which a Chinese vendor insists his particular poison is a healthful product.

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