PHILADELPHIA ― The Hershey Company is under fire for making a product that law enforcement says resembles crack cocaine.
When Philadelphia narcotics officers first saw the breath mints, called Ice Breakers, they actually ordered a field test to determine its contents because the package looked so much like illegal drugs.
Even veteran narcotics officers acknowledged that they could not tell difference between a package of crack cocaine and the breath mints package when placed side by side.
"It is an exact replication what you see on the street, from the color, to the texture, to the substance itself," Chief Inspector Bill Blackburn explained.
Police fear the similarities between the newly released mints and the long-time packaging of deadly drugs could put children in danger.
"We could have a real tragedy, that child could consume that product thinking that it was candy," Blackburn said.
When shown the package, a parent in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia was shocked.
"It looks like dope to me," the woman said.
Linda Wagner, a Philadelphia narcotics officer whose teenage daughter Krystal died of a drug overdose, is shocked that Hershey would market such a product.
"I just couldn't believe that such a large company would be so irresponsible to put out a product that resembles drugs," Officer Wagner said.
Officer Wagner, who teaches drug awareness in her daughter's memory, believes the only answer is to change the product or take it off store shelves.
"To have a company that produces a product like this, you feel defeated," Officer Wagner said.
The Hershey Company, in an e-mail to KYW-TV in Philadelphia, said in part: " … feedback from consumers is that they love the product … The product is clearly labeled with product identification … The Ice Breakers logo appears on each individual mint for easy identification."
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