Two New York politicians are calling for a new state law that, if passed, would force Procter & Gamble to make Tide pods look less appetising, and follows nationwide disgust at the Tide Pod Challenge.
State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, both New York City Democrats, announced their proposal on Tuesday - in the hopes the new law would discourage people from eating the laundry detergent pods.
According to the politicians, the gooey, squishy, bright coloured pods look too similar to candy.
However, the politicians’ letter is in response to accidental consumption - and not the Tide Pod Challenge, which saw a disturbing amount of teenagers consuming poisonous tide pods for fun on social media.
On Twitter, Assemblywoman Simotas tweeted: “Read our letter to Procter & Gamble urging them to stop making laundry pods that look like candy or else remove the product from store shelves.”
In the letter addressed to Procter & Gamble, the politicians address their concerns about accidental poisonings among young children and people suffering from dementia and suggest the Tide Pod Challenge has created a “renewed opportunity - and urgency - at this moment in time” to change the packaging of Tide Pods.
According to the data referenced in the letter, 10,570 laundry pod injuries were reported in 2017 - and six deaths in people with dementia have been attributed to Tide pods since 2012.
And although the politicians found the brand's recent campaign in response to the viral challenge commendable, they insist there is more that needs to be done: “While your recent public service campaign to stem the video ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ is to be commended, it falls far short of what is needed to prevent the continuing problem of accidental poisonings, as opposed to intentional ingestion by teenagers.”
With the proposed legislation, the politicians aim to create “pods less visually appealing to children, teens, and adults with dementia by requiring manufacturers to change the design of laundry detergent packets to a uniform colour,” as well as introduce a less pleasant smell and a firmer feel.
According to Mr Hoylman and Ms Simotas, this new packaging would make the pods less appealing - and protect people from accidentally consuming the candy-like laundry detergent pods.
And although teenagers were consuming Tide pods by choice, a representative for Assemblywoman Simotas told The Independent: "we do think that if the Tide pods weren't brightly multi-coloured they would not have been so attractive to teenagers."
Senator Hoylman has not yet responded to The Independent's request for comment.
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