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Jello shots no longer on sale

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By Carol A. Clark

There’s an alcoholic product on the market alarmingly similar in packaging appearance to jello and pudding cups commonly found in children’s lunch boxes. Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council Coordinator David Sims spoke of finding the product on sale in several local stores.“The DWI Planning Council discovered that these products were being sold in our community and took action to talk with merchants about the dangers,” Sims said. “We told merchants that the Zippers jello-shots contain 12 percent alcohol (24 proof). Both Smith’s and the Conoco Station said they either had considered selling them or made a conscious decision not to sell the product. Three other stores were either currently selling or had sold them in the past and voluntarily agreed to discontinue selling them.”He continued, “And specifically the marketing of products that are attractive to young people like bright colors, fruity flavors and packaging that mimics snack products easily be placed in lunch boxes.”The end result, Sims said, is that all local merchants have given their cooperation to do their part to help prevent underage drinking.Sims mentioned that he and Police Chief Wayne Torpy got together a couple of weeks ago and purchased the remaining stock from the last merchant in town to sell the product. That merchant also agreed to discontinue selling the product, he said.“We bought the remaining inventory to ensure Los Alamos County was free of this danger to our kids,” Sims said. “We want to give a big thank you to the merchants in this town for their efforts on this important issues.”Anti-drug and alcohol abuse groups are warning parents about the Zippers because of the colorful packaging and funky names such as peach flavored Fuzzy Navel and cherry-flavored Rum Rush.In 2002, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America issued a press release alerting parents and communities about the possible hazards of Zippers gelatin shots, as stated on the Center for Science in the Public Trust website. Some states have now completely outlawed the product.To learn more about the controversial product, access www.zippershot.com and www.cspinet.org.