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Hotels Worldwide Are Asked to Destroy Tubes of Gilchrist & Soames, 0.65-ounce
Toothpaste - Provided by Gilchrist & Soames

By Tom Spalding and John Russell, The Indianapolis StarMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News 

Hotel supplier tells guests: toss toothpaste

August 13, 2007 - Gilchrist & Soames, which supplies high-end toiletry products for hotels in over a dozen countries, said today it is initiating a worldwide recall of a toothpaste manufactured in China.

Hotels worldwide are asked to destroy tubes of Gilchrist & Soames, 0.65-ounce toothpaste. - Provided by Gilchrist & Soames

The product is Gilchrist & Soames, 0.65-ounce tube made by Ming Fai Enterprises International Co., LTD.

Independent tests showed some samples of the toothpaste contained diethylene glycol, or DEG. Among DEG's uses is as a coolant in automobiles.

Kathie De Voe, president of Indianapolis-based Gilchrist & Soames, said in an interview today that the company contacted its two Chinese toothpaste suppliers and initiated a series of independent lab tests in both Hong Kong and the United States after receiving an FDA alert June 1 about tainted toothpaste manufactured in China.

"We're just concerned about getting this problem cleaned up and we'll deal with the financial impact later, De Voe said. "But we're a global company, and financially very stable, and this isn't anything that will change any of our business strategies. We're more concerned right now with the safety of our hotel guests."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not aware of any U.S. reports of poisonings from toothpaste containing DEG, but is concerned because of a "low but meaningful" risk of toxicity and injury to children or individuals with kidney or liver disease.

Hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Barbados, Dominican Republic or Turks & Caicos as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates are being asked to destroy any remaining inventory.

More information is available at

About the company

Who: Gilchrist & Soames
Description: fine toiletries manufacturing for upscale and luxury hotels
Location: 1535 E. Naomi St., Indianapolis
Customers: Multiple companies. Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis uses Gilchrist & Soames' line of hair and skin products, for example, but distributes a different toothpaste - Colgate - to customers on a request basis.
How sold: Gilchrist & Soames products are available at select hotels, sold online on its website, or sold in gift shops at certain properties that it services
History: Gilchrist & Soames was founded in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and acquired in 1998 by Indianapolis-based E&A Industries, a chemical manufacturing firm. In March 2007, G & S had 100 employees.
Source: Gilchrist & Soames website, Star archives

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Indianapolis Star

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