ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

'New' antiseptic TCP not the same as the original you grew up with

The TCP which many of us grew up with as the go-to remedy for throat and mouth infections - and many other things too - is not the same as the TCP now on sale, despite the fact that it has been marketed with the words “original” and “The real TCP is back”.

It may smell the same, but it does not contain the same amount of phenol - which has antiseptic and disinfectant properties - as before. And the sodium salicylate, an anti-inflammatory and pain compound, has been removed entirely from the new formulation.

TCP became a registered trademark in South Africa in 1945, having been introduced to the market in the ‘20s, a few years after it went on sale in the UK.

It disappeared from our shelves in 2004, and then, suddenly, in 2015 it was back, with the same distinctive smell, thanks to new owners Omegalabs.

In January this year, all Omegalabs brands, including TCP, were ceded to Austell Pharmaceuticals under a sales and distribution license.

The front label of the new TCP bottle no longer states that the all-purpose personal antiseptic liquid also “treats, cleans and protects” cuts, grazes, minor wounds, insect bites, and minor burns.

The change was to bring TCP in line with the TCP formulation in the UK. “All medicinal claims were removed, which meant that the product could be registered under the Food, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act,” said Darryl Combe, who was until recently the general manager of Omegalabs.

Austell’s commercial head, Jarrod Kayton says although TCP is classified under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act as a disinfectant, “the general directions for use do not negate the validity or benefit of using TCP as it was originally used.”

But all the new TCP bottle says is: “To assist with hygiene matters, dilute 1 part TCP with 4 parts water. For use on surfaces and other household items, apply neat for five minutes.”

“Oral health may be included in ‘hygiene matters’,” Kayton said, adding it was still appropriate for it to be sold in the oral health section of pharmacies.

“We have been engaging with the NRCS around including more specific directions for use so as to clarify these details for consumers,” he said, “and have already submitted a labelling proposal to the NRCS.”

But what will happen for sure is the word “original” will be removed from the packaging and marketing messages.

So what’s the deal with the product called 3CP?

Ironically the original TCP formula has been available in SA as 3CP, by Tritof Enterprises, since 2010. Like TCP, it is registered under the Food, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act.

Last year Omegalabs brought court proceedings against Tritof based on trademark infringement, accusing the company of “passing off”, in that consumers would be confused into thinking there was an association between the two. At one point 3CP used the marketing line: “Different packaging, same ingredients.”

The court found there was a trademark infringement. The product remains widely on sale as 3CP, at a significantly higher price than TCP.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Money saving tips for pensioners on Budget Day

Money saving tips for pensioners on Budget Day

Life is expensive. Here's a list of where and how senior citizens can enjoy a wide range of specials in the Mother City and also nationwide.

Customers share their stories of unintended shoplifting (and how it ended)

Customers share their stories of unintended shoplifting (and how it ended)

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler has had her own close call with unintended shoplifting and so have dozens of CapeTalk listeners.

Uber SA says insurance cover is in place, but consumers tell a different story

Uber SA says insurance cover is in place, but consumers tell a different story

Uber says the blanket cover is paid for by the company in case of death, disability or injury suffered by drivers and passengers.

Consumers call out Discovery Vitality and Momentum Multiply for not delivering

Consumers call out Discovery Vitality and Momentum Multiply for not delivering

Are you being duped by your medical aid's rewards programme? These Discovery and Momentum members feel they were shortchanged.

Waltons responds to 'logistical glitch' with back-to-school stationery sets

Waltons responds to 'logistical glitch' with back-to-school stationery sets

Parents complained about failed deliveries, lack of communication and poor customer service. Waltons has since issued a statement.

Beware: Your favourite dairy substitutes may contain milk

Beware: Your favourite dairy substitutes may contain milk

Allergen specialist Dr Harris Steinman says some imitation dairy products can contain cows milk protein.

Popular articles
[VIDEO] Muizenberg pedestrian attacked in broad daylight

[VIDEO] Muizenberg pedestrian attacked in broad daylight

A woman was attacked on her way to work on Saturday morning.

'Tourist who survived 20m fall on Table Mountain is the luckiest man alive'

'Tourist who survived 20m fall on Table Mountain is the luckiest man alive'

Incident commander Roy Schoor says the man fell 20m and landed on a section of a cliff. His cry was heard by someone in Camps Bay.

[WATCH] Owner catches car thief off guard and thwarts vehicle theft in Springs

[WATCH] Owner catches car thief off guard and thwarts vehicle theft in Springs

The vehicle's owner came out of the store just in time to scare away the man attempting to steal his bakkie.

Athlone pupils suspended after high school fight videos surface on social media

Athlone pupils suspended after high school fight videos surface on social media

The Education Department provides counselling and support after video footage shared of two violent fights at an Athlone school.

[WATCH] Horrific moment as baby falls down escalator at a mall...but is saved

[WATCH] Horrific moment as baby falls down escalator at a mall...but is saved

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.