Poundland has been criticised for releasing a new range of sweets called “Nutters” amid concerns that they will deemed as offensive to people suffering with mental health problems.
The chocolate-coated peanuts, similar to the high street favourite M&Ms, have been branded as insensitive after they went on sale at the budget store’s 896 outlets.
The product’s packaging contains three characters, all of whom are slack-jawed and portrayed with vacant expressions.
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said that the sweets would contribute to the stigma attached to mental health issues and should be withdrawn.
“There is a stigma attached to mental health and we need to be careful about the we talk about it,” he said.
“If you just say nothing and just allow these products to be normal practice, it perpetuates a negative view of mental health – that there’s something weird and odd about you.
“Just think about being a teenager and thinking ‘do I want to be defined as a nutter?’
“We need to be doing much more to recognise that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and embarrassed about and encourage young people to get help.”
“The product needs to be quickly withdrawn from sale and Poundland needs to apologise.”