Lolly packaging rings alarm bells

It's ‘a big no-no’ to make any food look like medicine, the poisons centre says.  Photo / APN
It's ‘a big no-no’ to make any food look like medicine, the poisons centre says. Photo / APN

Parents and the National Poisons Centre are concerned that lollies being sold in blister packaging will confuse children into thinking prescription medicines are sweets.

Choco 4 is sold throughout New Zealand in foil blister packs, something parents are calling irresponsible.

"It's something we certainly don't like to see," said Dr Wayne Temple, director of the poisons centre in Dunedin.

"It's not something that we can regulate - we would have to talk to the Ministry of Health or call the company [distributing the sweets] and say, 'You know, it's not a very good product that you've got here.'

"Any foodstuff that looks like medicine or medicine that looks like food is a big no-no."

Hamilton company Bizline distributes the product. Business development manager Salman Abbas said the firm had stopped importing the confectionery in March and he did not see what all the fuss was about.

"They were one of our most popular products."

He said that with so many different types of confectionery on the market, companies had to try new packaging to stand out.

"They do ... look like Panadols," he said, "but there are so many other products on the market like this."

Mr Abbas said Choco 4 is sold in the United States, Britain and Australia, and when he spoke to the Pakistani manufacturers, Hilal Confectionary, last week, they said they had not had any complaints about their packaging.

Mr Abbas said Bizline stopped importing Choco 4 because the expiry dates were misprinted on the last shipment.

- APNZ

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