ALBANY, NY (WTEN/CNN) – New York lawmakers are getting down and dirty with the “Tide Pod challenge.”
A group of them have introduced a bill to make them less appealing.
During January, there were at least 86 reported cases of teenagers intentionally eating detergent pods. Legislators said that’s because of their color and packaging.
“Bright colored detergent pods look like candies,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas said. “They look like toys.”
“They might as well say, ‘bite me’ on them, because that is what they offer,” Sen. Brad Holyman said.
Teenagers are not the only ones eating the pods, the lawmakers said. Adults with dementia and children are also at risk.
“When my daughter was a toddler I was doing my laundry,” Simotas said. “She was very attracted to the laundry pods that I was using and she picked one up.”
The Democratic legislators are introducing bills that would require detergent pods to be all one color, be individually wrapped and include warning labels on each pod.
“It’s not a big deal for them to use uniform colors to make them look brown,” Simotas said
“You don’t need them to look like gummy bears in order for consumers to use them,” Holyman added.
Not everyone in the New York State Assembly is on board.
Assemblyman Karl Brabenec said he thinks the state should be focusing on other priorities.
“They key is that you just shouldn’t eat it,” he said. “I mean brown, red, green, whatever the case might be. It’s just ridiculous.”
The lawmakers pushing the bill also wrote a letter to Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturers of Tide Pods asking them to remove them from store shelves.
"[C]onsumers have a choice," Procter & Gamble said in a statement. "Those who prefer single colored pac can use Tide Free and Gentle, which is all-white. Tide is also available in a liquid and powder product form."
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