By The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — New mint packets being sold by The Hershey Co. look nearly identical to the tiny heat-sealed bags used to sell illegal powdered drugs like crack, heroin and cocaine and glorify the drug trade, a Philadelphia police official said.
Ice Breakers Pacs, nickel-sized dissolvable pouches with a powdered sweetener inside, hit store shelves in November. The packets, which come in blue and orange plastic slide-up cases, are similar enough to drug packets that a child familiar with the candy could mistakenly swallow a heat-sealed bag of drugs, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector William Blackburn told the Philadelphia Daily News for an article published Friday.
''It glorifies the drug trade,'' he said. ''There's really no reason that a product like this should be on the shelf.''
A spokesman for the company, based in Hershey, Pa., pointed out that each pouch -- made by two dissolvable mint strips -- bears the Ice Breakers logo.
''It is not intended to simulate anything,'' said spokesman Kirk Saville.
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Saville would not directly respond to questions about whether Hershey has plans to change the product's appearance or whether anyone in law enforcement or inside the company has previously raised a concern about it.