Make Tide Pods less appetizing? New York lawmakers want a design change for colorful packages

New York lawmakers and consumer groups want a bill that would make detergent packages safer. Joseph Spector, Albany Office

ALBANY – New York lawmakers want to add detergent pouches such as Tide pods to other hazardous household products by requiring child-resistant packaging and clear labels as people eat the colorful pouches.

The bill comes amid growing fears that kids will eat the packs and teens will take the Tide Pod Challenge – eat them and post the videos online.

New York Democrats MP Aravella Simotas and Senator Brad Hoylman wrote a letter on Monday to Procter & Gamble, owner of the Tide brand, urging them to take their own steps to make products safer.

They said their legislation is sensible measures to tackle the dangers of the products.

“We want to make sure that these poisonings are avoided. It’s easy. All we need to make sure is that public safety takes precedence over their profits,” Simontas said at a press conference on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. .

The bill would also require manufacturers of detergent pouches to individually wrap each pouch and change the design so that they are less appealing to children.

“We ask that all laundry detergent pods be uniform in color. We don’t need them to look like gummy bears for consumers to use them,” Hoylman said.

“We need to put clear warning labels on all packaging, including every pod.”

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has said that eating sachets of detergent can be fatal or lead to serious health problems.

Procter & Gamble responded in a statement: “There is nothing new in these legislative proposals.”

The Cincinnati-based company said it was already making packaging childproof and found, based on a review of poison control data, that “color does not play a critical role in accidental exposure. of a child with laundry bags “.

Regarding individual packaging, the company said it believed it would “not be helpful in reducing incidents and could have unintended consequences,” such as accidental ingestion and the environmental impact of the addition. plastic packaging.

“Finally, consumers have a choice: Those who prefer single-color pouches can use Tide Free and Gentle, which is all white. Tide is also available as a liquid and powder,” the company statement continued.

Procter & Gamble has also launched its own public campaign to try to stop people from abusing their products.

“Ensuring the safety of the people who use our products is fundamental to everything we do at P&G,” said David Taylor, CEO of the company, in a blog post on January 22.

“However, even the strictest standards and protocols, labels and warnings cannot prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity.”

But New York lawmakers and consumer groups have said more should be done, including the Legislature by passing the bill.

“While our legislation would only protect New Yorkers, we urge Procter & Gamble and all manufacturers of colored detergent pods to offer the same protections to the nation and immediately commit to taking the precautions set out in our legislation.” the lawmakers said in their letter.

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