BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart will no longer sell Chinese toothpaste in its United States outlets. The global retail giant announced yesterday that it was taking this step after receiving numerous complaints from its American customers.
“You’ve heard that old joke about Chinese food?” asked Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of oral hygiene, Champ Myers. “The one about how twenty minutes after you eat a Chinese meal you’re hungry again? Well, our U.S. customers are telling us the same thing about Chinese toothpaste. Twenty minutes after you brush your teeth they feel dirty, and you want to brush them again. That’s good for toothpaste sales, but it’s not right for our American customers.”
A source close to Wal-Mart revealed that according to internal company research, a 6.4-ounce tube of toothpaste will last the average family of six American Wal-Mart shoppers three months. Feng Shui toothpaste, China’s leading brand, lasts only one-third as long.
Although Mr. Myers was at a loss to explain why Chinese toothpaste affects Americans the way it does, he dismissed the notion that diethylene glycol, a sweet, syrupy chemical found in many Chinese products—from toothpaste to candy to antifreeze—was the culprit.
“Sure, diethylene glycol can cause liver and kidney problems in some ethnic groups,” said Mr. Myers, “but do you really think Wal-Mart customers are dumb enough to eat toothpaste?”
In related news, Wal-Mart has announced the withdrawal of Chinese finger traps, popularly known as “Mexican handcuffs,” from all its stores. The recall came after three children lost their fingers while playing “border patrol” with these devices.
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