Thousands of adults and children have recently died.
A toxic syrup has caused mass poisonings in Panama, Haiti, Bangladesh, Argentina, Nigeria and twice in India.
Officials in Panama mixed falsely labeled diethylene glycol – antifreeze – into 260,000 bottles of cold medicine – with devastating results causing up to 365 deaths from the poison.
Chinese companies had exported the poison mis-labeled as 99.5 percent pure glycerin. The counterfeit glycerin passed through three trading companies on three continents, yet not one of them tested the syrup to confirm what was on the label. [story]
Adding to the mass poisoning of dogs and cats, plus the importation of contaminated honey, the Food and Drug Administration warned drug makers and suppliers in the United States “to be especially vigilant” in watching for diethylene glycol.
Interestingly, seventy years ago, medicine laced with diethylene glycol killed more than 100 people in the United States, leading to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration.
Chinese safety regulations lag behind its growing role as low-cost supplier to the world.