Lawmakers in New York want to put an end to the "Tide Pod Challenge" that recently swept the Internet, and they're looking to do it through regulation that would force Tide's parent company, Procter & Gamble, to redesign their laundry packs and improve their packaging.
Clearly unfamiliar with what the "Tide Pod Challenge" actually is, legislators are concerned that children are eating the laundry packs because they're mistaking them for candy, rather than being challenged to consume the orange-and-blue plastic packets by strangers on the internet.
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Sen. Brad Hoylman gave an impassioned speech on the issue Tuesday during the legislative session.
"We want to make sure these poisonings are prevented. It’s easy. All we have to make sure is that public safety trumps their profits," they said. "We’re asking for all laundry detergent pods to be uniform in color. We don’t need them to look like Gummy Bears in order for consumers to use them," Hoylman continued.
The finished with a plea: "We need to impose clear warning labels on all packaging, including each pod."
The bill would require all Tide Pods (or similar laundry packs made by other brands), to be neutral in color and come individually wrapped, so they aren't attractive to children. They also want the pods to be clearly labeled with information about what happens when you ingest laundry detergent, just in case the concept of burning out your insides with soap is lost on any adult who might voluntarily eat them.
Procter & Gamble did not comment on New York's efforts, but they have said in the past that "[e]ven the most stringent standards and protocols, labels and warnings can't prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity."
In other words, there's nothing the company can do to fix stupid. And they've already made efforts to make Tide Pods less accessible to kids. Sen. Chuck Schumer, not often ahead of the curve on internet memes, launched a crusade against colorful laundry conveniences back in 2012, after, he says, he saw a packet on one of his aides' desks and nearly tried to eat it.