Desiccant dangers

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You know that little sachet of crystals you find in stuff you buy? The one you keep for no apparent reason. Who’s ever eaten one?

Bought a new pair of hiking boots the other day. Alongside them in the box was a tiny packet of silica gel to absorb any moisture en-route from the sweat shop in which they were constructed.

We see these little packets frequently and on the side of every one is printed in bold letters “DO NOT EAT”. A very bizarre message to put on something you found in a shoe box. The first thought in my head upon unwrapping boots is: “Oooh, a free sachet of stuff. Must eat that.”

Presumably, someone at one stage must have done so, their internals swiftly shrivelling to dust, and ever since the manufacturers of silica gel have been scared of lawsuits.

But on the flipside, does that act of documentation mean the remainder of the contents is edible? Why do manufacturers not print a similar warning on the shoes themselves? Y’know, just in case you’re ravenous when you open the box.

I can only assume there must be some statute on stupidity to which lawyers subscribe, using it to advise their clients what to label, and what not to mention. Like the row of urinals I once saw with a label above each one, carrying the following statement:

Not drinking water

Seriously.

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