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FDA warns Dollar Tree it's selling "potentially unsafe drugs"

Dollar Tree is selling "potentially unsafe drugs" and cosmetics at its more than 15,000 discount stores, according to federal regulators.

The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to the company this week outlining "multiple violations of current good manufacturing practices at contract manufacturers used to produce Dollar Tree's Assured Brand OTC drugs," acne treatment pads and other products sold at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores, the agency stated.   

"Contract manufacturers used by Dollar Tree show a pattern of serious violations of the law, such as not testing raw materials or finished drugs for pathogens and quality," the agency said Thursday in a news release. 

An inspection of Dollar Tree's distribution center warehouse in its headquarters town of Chesapeake, Virginia, found the company received products from Chinese firms placed on an an import alert by the FDA. The agency cited Dollar Tree supplier Bicooya Cosmetics for actions including "not testing finished drug products prior to distribution and for rodent feces found throughout the manufacturing facility." 

A Dollar Tree spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch in an email that the retailer is committed to customer safety and has rigorous testing programs in place "to ensure our third-party manufacturers are safe." 

All of the products listed by the FDA are "topical, and not ingestible," products," according to the spokesperson, who added that the company intends to work with the agency to resolve the issues.

The company operates nearly 15,000 stores under the names Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada in 48 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. 

Dollar Tree and a competitor, Dollar General, were fined $1.2 million were selling expired over-the-counter drugs, the New York attorney general announced in August.

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