What’s in your toothpaste? Colgate and the triclosan scandal

One of the most difficult items to find for health conscious consumers in large parts of South America and Asia is flouride- and chemical-free toothpaste. Indeed, in countries where I have traveled in Central and South America, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil,  and Peru, there is often only one or two brands to choose from,  even in large supermarkets. And the toothpaste brand that dominates the market in Latin America is Colgate. In fact, no other brand even comes close to approaching Colgate’s market share in those countries.

Colgate-Palmolive company is a publicly traded  American multinational consumer products company based on Park Avenue, New York City. In 2013, they had revenue of more than $17 billion and income of over $2 billion.

Needless to say, Colgate adds fluoride and a host of other chemicals to all of their toothpastes. The chemical cocktail will, of course, ‘brighten your teeth, fight gingivitis, and give you a winning smile!’ Are there any negative effects to swishing all these chemicals around our mouths and mixing them with our  mucous membranes? Not according to Colgate. Everything’s good!

Well, maybe not. A big story broke last month about Colgate and the chemical triclosan which they add to their Colgate Total toothpaste. According to the stories, triclosan has been linked to cancer cell growth and fetal bone malformations in animal tests.

Colgate Total was approved by the FDA in 1997, but a recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit revealed that the documents used by the agency to approve the toothpaste relied on ‘company-backed science.’ This is due diligence? Is anyone still naive enough to believe that the FDA is a trustworthy guardian of the nation’s food and drug supply?

It gets worse. Recent studies have also linked triclosan to reduced fertility, lowered sperm counts and premature births. Think about that the next time squeeze some colgate onto your toothbrush.

This is a frightening story because of the numbers involved. When you consider Colgate’s market share in large parts of our world, we are looking at hundreds of millions of people who have been exposed to these toxic and possibly carcinogenic substances. As I stated before, for many people, Colgate is the only choice of toothpaste when they go shopping. Most of those shoppers will not see this recent story and take corrective action and don’t expect governments to pull it off the market either.


In the bigger picture, triclosan is probably not as harmful over the long term as the neurotoxin  fluoride, but that’s a subject for another article.

Interestingly,  the most successful natural toothpaste brand in the USA, Tom’s of Maine, sold an 84% stake in the company to Colgate-Palmolive in 2006. This buyout was in line with the large wave of multinational conglomerate acquisitions of natural foods brands.



Faced with the dearth of natural and chemical free toothpastes outside the U.S., I learned how to make my own toothpaste. It’s quite easy and is something anyone can do. With the ongoing  blatant poisoning of the human race, it is something we all should  do. All you need is some coconut oil. baking soda, vegetable glycerin, a natural sweetener, and essential oil of peppermint. Dump the chemical toothpaste into the trash, get fluoride out of your body, decalcify your pineal gland and reclaim your health.



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