Bindeez, the Jungle Toy… of Death

OK. Seriously, y’all, what the hell is this:
Toy With Date-Rape Drug Recalled

I read this headline in The New York Times this morning, and had to check the masthead to make sure I hadn’t grabbed The Onion instead, in my up-with-a-newborn state of sleep deprivation.

I hadn’t. “Bindeez,” the Australian Toy of the Year (and until this morning, at least, readily available to us Yankees on Ebay), is undergoing a recall after it was discovered that its tiny beads, if eaten, released an intensive-care-inducing dose of a “powerful date-rape drug” called GHB.

Some genius decided to coat the “magical” Bindeez beads with Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL), more commonly used as a degreasing solvent or floor stripper. Oh, well, that part is totally understandable, right? But when delicious GBL reacts with with the saliva of orally fixated toddlers, the real magic happens. According to

When products containing GBL are ingested, GHB is produced in the body.

Street names for GHB include “G” Gamma-OH, Liquid E, Fantasy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Scoop, Water, Everclear and so on.

Reactions to GBH include nausea, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, amnesia, vomiting, loss of muscle control, respiratory problems, loss of consciousness, being conscious but unable to move, and even death.

I don’t mean to turn this blog into “The Latest Recall That Should Never Have Been on the Shelves in the First Place,” but, I mean, come on. Is it not enough that these toy manufacturers are dipping our children’s teething rings in lead? Must they candy-coat them in actual hallucinogens? And by the way- would these toys have been allowed to stay on the shelves if the “degreasing solvent or floor stripper” used to make them so magically delicious had NOT converted into a roofie?

POST SCRIPT: According to this morning’s news, “Bindeez” were actually sold in the US as “Aqua Dots,” and they have sent five children into comas, 3 in Australia and two stateside. As soon as they saw the Aqua Dots on the TV screen, both of my boys said, in unison, “Can we get those?” My repeated explanations that they were extremely dangerous, and therefore would no longer be available for purchase, did nothing to assuage their yearning. “I hab to hab dose Aqua Dots!” Fergus wept. “Because we don’t hab dem at our house!” (The one toy we don’t have, thank God.)