A rumor spreading like wildfire via text today has an unlikely premise- that Proctor & Gamble is mailing out samples of powdered Tide containing anthrax.
The story is classic internet scarelore, and according to a posting on Tide’s Get Satisfaction page, dates back at least six months. Although the story is silly on its face- how likely would you be to repurchase Tide based on a sample that gave you a highly fatal illness- for some reason it has picked up and spread virally in the past few days via SMS message.
A representative from Tide named Mandy dismisses the rumor officially, addressing it in a funny way that makes it sound like the rumor was invented by a rival detergent maker:
I work for the Tide brand, I can 100% confirm that the text message going around is not true. From time to time people do this kind of thing as a prank, unfortunately there is little we can do other than to share the fact that this is completely unfounded.
If you are concerned or want further reassurance please contact our Consumer Relations team on: 1-800-879-8433
Still panicking? Master debunker Barbara Mikkelson of snopes.com has examined the tale (akin to a similar one about perfume samples) and found no evidence that anyone, anywhere has ever been poisoned, harmed or contracted anthrax in Tide samples. So quit making excuses and go do your laundry.