HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Hershey Co. said Friday it is
considering changes to the design of a mint that Philadelphia
police say looks nearly identical to a tiny heat-sealed bag used to
sell powdered street drugs.
The revelation by the nation's largest candy maker came a week
after the criticism surfaced about Ice Breakers Pacs, although a
Hershey spokesman would not specify the exact concerns that
prompted the company to act.
"It was certainly never our intention to create any confusion
with this product," company spokesman Kirk Saville said. "We take
consumer and community feedback very seriously and are acting
quickly to address concerns."
Ice Breakers Pacs, which first hit store shelves last month, are
nickel-sized dissolvable pouches with a powdered sweetener inside.
The pouches come in blue or orange and bear the Ice Breakers logo.
Hershey has said that the mints were never intended to resemble
anything - but the similarity was so striking that longtime
veterans of Philadelphia's police narcotics squad were fooled when
they saw the mints.
Philadelphia police Chief Inspector William Blackburn last week
charged that the mints glorify the drug trade. And he warned that
the resemblance could have consequences if, for example, a child
familiar with the mints swallows a heat-sealed bag of cocaine.
"If Hershey is considering changes, that's a good thing, that's
the prudent thing to do," Blackburn said Friday. "And that's what
we wanted - we wanted to prevent a tragedy."
After Philadelphia police went public with their concerns, they
heard from law enforcement agencies from as far away as Kansas
City, Blackburn said. One of his narcotics officers, Linda Wagner,
whose child died of a drug overdose, wrote letters to numerous
elected officials and Hershey, he said.
Saville wouldn't say whether the company has been contacted by
any law enforcement officials about the appearance of the mints.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)