Procter and Gamble claim that they're working very hard to stop the "Tide Pod Challenge," a dangerous social media trend in which teenagers eat laundry detergent packets and spit them out, according to CBS News. Apparently, the number of teenagers eating these pods has skyrocketed, causing many to have seizures, respiratory arrest, and death.
CEO David Taylor, troubled by the recent trend, claims that eating this product is "dangerous" and "extremely concerning" in a blog post. He claims that the company is working with prominent social media companies to remove videos of people biting into the deadly detergent. He is also asking for all adults and parents to speak to their children about the danger of eating this project.
"A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or how – why would I be willing to do that," said Marc Pegan, 19, who put the detergent into his mouth on a dare. "No one should be putting anything like that in their mouths, you know?"
Like Pegan, many teenagers are eating Tide on a dare or after being pressured by friends. In the first 15 days of 2018, poison control centers said they have handled an additional 39 cases of intentional misuse among 13 to 19-year-olds.
The Chicago Tribune writes that the pods have been a hit for Procter and Gamble Company, which also makes Crest toothpaste and Charmin toilet paper. The company posted a quarterly revenue of roughly $17.4 billion during the second fiscal quarter, along with a net income of $2.4 billion.
But they don't want their growth to come at the expense of teenagers. As a result, they have issued a video of football player Rob Gronkowski earlier this month telling teens not to ingest the pods.
"What the heck is going on people?" he said in the video. "Use Tide Pods for washing, not eating."
Despite this recent trend, however, Tide will not be removing its Tide Pods from the shelves. Some media outlets have been claiming that Tide plans on removing its pods from the shelves in response to this recent social media trend, but these reports are not true. Although Tide is doing a considerable amount of work to stop teenagers from injecting their product, it is not true that they will be removing the product entirely from the shelves.
According to KHOU News, the rumor that Tide will be removing its Tide Pods from the shelves began with a fake tweet. Procter and Gamble haven't verified the tweet being passed around as false, nor have they themselves claimed that they will be discontinuing this popular product.
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