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Simotas Wants Tide Pods Repackaged to Look Less Appealing, Pens letter to Proctor & Gamble CEO and Introduces Legislation

Tide PODs (Mike Mozart Flickr)

Feb. 7. 2018 By Tara Law

Astoria Assembly Member Aravella Simotas sent a letter to Proctor & Gamble, the multinational consumer goods company, calling on it to alter the appearance and packaging of its Tide laundry detergent PODs to discourage people from eating them.

The dangers of Tide PODs came to national attention last year after the “Tide Pod Challenge,” in which people record themselves biting into a Tide POD, spread across social media. In 2017, 10,570 people injured themselves with the pods.

Simotas and Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman penned a letter to Procter & Gamble CEO David S. Taylor on Jan. 29, urging him to make PODs safer.

“It’s time that you recognized the danger to those least able to protect themselves from a poisonous product packaged like candy,” the legislators wrote. “If not, these products should be removed from store shelves as soon as possible.”

Simotas and Hoylman introduced a bill in January that would require the PODs to be a uniform color, have a less pleasant smell, and to be firmer. The bill would also require child-resistant packaging, clear warning labels and individual wrapping for each pod.

Procter & Gamble added a bittering agent to the outside of the pods in 2015, but the lawmakers say that the agent was not potent enough.

The appearance of the PODs makes them particularly dangerous for children and people with mental disabilities, said Simotas.

“Even though the industry has adopted voluntary standards, they are not working and it’s now clear why we need a law to lessen the risk of poisonings. As a legislator and a mother, I am angry that convenience and marketing have been exalted over the safety of children and people with dementia.”

Simotas also called on the company to make these changes nationwide.

Procter & Gamble had not responded to a request for comment by the time this article was published.

Hoylman-Simotas Tide Pod Letter by Queens Post on Scribd

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27 Comments

Lori

If this is a change just because teens are doing this challenge, then why didn’t we take salt away when they were doing the ice cube/salt challenge burning their arms or take cinnamon away because of the cinnamon challenge that children were inhaling while trying to swallow it, if you have young children who don’t understand what’s consumable and what’s not then these items should either be locked up or you shouldn’t have them in your home. If you have someone in your home with diminished mental health again, lock them up (the pods not the person) or don’t have them in your home. Both children and adults with dementia should be supervised. There are so many child safety locks out there that I don’t understand why this is such a thing. I like to use the pods since I live in an appointment and the laundry room is three floors down. It’s easier than carrying a gallon of soap along with a basket of clothes. I like the look of Tide’s pods. It does attract me to buy them plus it’s a name I trust. There are plenty of things that young children could ingest or hurt themselves with along with people with diminished mental abilities. If you are worried about their safety then make it safe in your home or theirs. If you are keeping sharp objects put away, then it stands to reason that you would follow the instructions and keep chemicals locked away. Teens need to get out more. But they will always be some kind of teen challenge. There have been for a long time(jumping over things they shouldn’t, riding down a steep hill on a bike or skateboard, holding your breath for as long as you can under water, seeing who could go farther in deep water ect…). I’m not saying save the young and old and not the teens, but make sure your teen can go to someone to get the attention they need or want, when challenges like these start, take time to do the research with your teen on the potential consequences of joining on them. Teach them to not respond to those posts.




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gary

Anyway, in the event that this is somehow a “fad” as opposed to something that one or two people did and then posted a youtube video about, then I’m inclined to say “okay. change the packaging to protect those that do not know better.” My son just told me people are putting them on pizza pies and taking pic because they find it funny.




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Bryant Owl

My room mate brought these pods home about five years ago and the first time I saw them I said they looked like the old Brachs candy you bought by the pound at the old A&P’s in the produce aisle . I said these things look delicious and are going to be trouble. I know jerky teenagers are toying with them but I wonder why P&G felt it so necessary to dress up these poisonous detergent capsules. Definitely problem for very young and people with dementia. Should have poison symbol on every pod.




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thomas

Have people become so lazy that they can’t even figure out how to pour their own amount of necessary detergent in for their washing cycle? I’ve always thought this product is over the top for ‘consumer ease’ and I doubt that it’s good for the environment, as well. If something is so easily & dangerously mishandled, just take it off the market altogether!




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maria

The laundry pods too closely resemble candy or toys and could be accidentally eaten by young children who don’t know the difference. In 2017, about 10,500 of the 12,300 estimated exposures to laundry pods occurred in children younger than five, according to the AAPCC. The products may also pose a risk to elderly adults who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Last year, 167 incidents involving adults older than 60 were reported.




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Harry

Then why are parents with young children buying them? If enough don’t believe me the packaging will change quick. You CAN be concerned about this but disagree on legislation. Wanting the govt to intervene doesn’t give you a moral authority. Kids get in accidents while they are playing in the yard or outside should we outlaw that bc some parents don’t watch their kids?




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anne

We value convenience over the safety of the vulnerable, such as children and those afflicted with dementia. How sad!




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Bryant Owl

Harry: Said just like somebody who has never raised children but knows all about raising them.




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Harry

still waiting for a counter argument…would love if someone intellectually counters instead of the same you shouldn’t have an opinion or you don’t have empathy trick ponies.




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mom

Parenting is a full time job, and a lot of parents also still kept their day jobs once their children arrived into the world. The pods were created for smaller HE washers, convenience, and tidiness (have you ever tried to clean up after spilling liquid detergent everywhere?! it just keeps sudsing!) – Between the increase in sales of HE machines (yay environment!), so much going on caring for kid (or the elderly really), the need for compatibility, cleanliness and convenience quickly mounts, making this a very attractive product for time-strapped parents, caregivers and people alike. ( and many urban folks who have W/Ds in their teeny apts) While I don’t agree that P&G needs to be sued, they could have used less vibrant colors in their pods (my liquid isn’t 3 different rainbow shades), they could have made the boxes childproof like those push and turn caps on the liquid (They recently did among concerns such as this), and they could have warned that ingesting their version of soap can kill (Cause i remember when eating soap was a safe and typical punishment for a dirty mouth). It sucks for Tide that the teenagers took it to a new level, and that they didn’t think about these things before going to market to a mostly mom focused target, and it sucks for parent/caregivers who could really use any shortcut they can get. It takes a village to raise a child, and if Tide wants to be part of the village, they need to take some more responsibility be it discontinuing the product, redesigning it to be less vibrant, changing their consumer targets, or more vocally stating the threat of death in their messaging. Until then, parents will have to shelve things high up, or go back to liquid and pray it doesn’t spill.




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Harry

This is almost alarming that the initial reaction is to blame something that doesn’t deserve blame. How much can one politician over legislate? How about a concerted effort to educate parents somehow that this is going on. Or is it always someone else’s fault in left land?




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T

Don’t you know it’s always someone else’s fault, god forbid a parent would take the blame. There are warning signs on the packaging to keep away from children. As a parent, keep that locked up or somewhere high enough so they can’t reach, or don’t buy it at all. But for the older kids, well they are just being idiots and could care less what the potential dangers are. They should know the difference between right and wrong. If it’s not tide pods, it’ll be something else. As for repackaging them to make them look and smell less appealing, I’m not sure if that will work.




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Anonymous

Let these fools eat as many as they want!! Anyone so stupid doesn’t deserve to participate in human evolution.




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Anonymous

why blame Procter & Gamble blame the fools that are doing this — they are real idiots their parent’s must be so proud of them –




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me fail English?

Maybe you should try understanding how stupid you must be to think that plural words need apostrophes before you call other people “idiots.”




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takes one to know one

are your parents proud of your inability to correctly distinguish between plurals and possessives?

If cigarette companies cannot use cartoon characters as mascots, why should a detergent company be allowed to dress their poison up like candy?




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Billy

There are young children and older people with dementia who have mistaken the Tide Pods for food/candy. This is a serious matter and people have died from it.




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Anonymous

so be more careful then with them very simple – if there are children around hide them just like you would hide your medications from children and if you know someone has dementia hide them also just like medications — no more explanation needed easy as 1 2 and 3




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Anonymous

so be careful in what you do — very simple – instead of being on your phone –




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Anonymous

Should people stop taking medication, you know in case one falls on the floor?




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