Counterfeit toothbrushes? You’ve heard of counterfeit DVDs and handbags, but toothbrushes? Believe it or not, brand name toothbrushes are a hot commodity, and some unethical business people are trying to bank on naive consumers. So be careful what you buy and what you use for your dental health.
In February, grocery stores and pharmacies across Ottawa were surprised to find their suppliers had been conned into buying massive shipments of fake Colgate toothbrushes, and they were supplied to the stores to be bought by general public . The brushes that were affected include the Colgate Massager, Colgate Navigator, Oral B Classic 40, Oral B Contura and Colgate 360. These toothbrushes were not made by Colgate! Canadian health officials have released the following statement: “If an imitation is suspected, consumers should stop using them immediately, as the quality, safety and effectiveness of counterfeit products cannot be assured.”
Consumers who own these toothbrushes should verify the authenticity by using the pictures and descriptive text indicated below. If an imitation is suspected, consumers should stop using them immediately, as the quality, safety and effectiveness of counterfeit products cannot be assured. Retailers with stock purchased from the Canadian importer, AG Liquidation, should check products for authenticity and remove suspected counterfeit product from their shelves and contact Health Canada at the number below.
Health Canada previously issued a public advisory on July 18, 2008, for a counterfeit Oral B Classic 40 toothbrush: Toothbrushes Pulled from Shelves due to Potential Choking Risk. Health Canada has received one incident report of the bristles of the Oral B Classic 40 becoming dislodged and caught in the user's throat. The individual did not require medical care. Toothbrushes with bristles that are insufficiently fastened may present a choking hazard.
Procter and Gamble Inc. and Colgate-Palmolive Canada Inc., have collaborated with Health Canada and confirmed that these products are counterfeit. Genuine Colgate toothbrushes can be identified by the packaging which is Bilingual, in English and French only, and states "Distr. by/par: Colgate-Palmolive Canada Inc", and by a lot code moulded into the brush handle just under the brush head. Genuine Oral B toothbrushes can be identified by the Oral B logo manufactured as part of the handle mould. Counterfeit Oral B toothbrushes have been known to have the logo printed in silver text on a peel away label as shown in the illustrations below.