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Fall River, New Bedford Try To Ban ‘Lazy Cakes’

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(courtesy: Lazy Cakes-Facebook)

(courtesy: Lazy Cakes-Facebook)

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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BOSTON (CBS) – If you haven’t heard of Lazy Cakes, authorities in Fall River and New Bedford wish it would stay that way.

They want them banned from stores because they could be harmful to children.

So what is a Lazy Cake?

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

On the company’s Facebook page, they call it a “Tasty chocolate treat that brings on the ultimate state of relaxation.”

“The magic of Lazy Cakes™, the original relaxation brownie, is in its proprietary blend that includes herbal relaxation aids melatonin, Valerian Root Extract, Rose Hips Extract, and Passion Flower,” the company says.

That’s the problem, according to Fall River Mayor William Flanagan.

“These brownies are laced with melatonin,” he said at a news conference Thursday. “Melatonin is a sleep aid.”

“If someone wants to buy melatonin, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be in a brownie that’s packaged to attract kids,” he added.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

There’s about eight milligrams of melatonin in each of the so-called brownies. Even a single serving size, which is half the brownie, far exceeds the recommended dose.

“In Europe, the common prescription as a sleep aid for adults is .03 milligrams,” said Dr. John Benanti, the head of Emergency Services at South Shore Hospital. “So this would be a lot, even for adults.”

The makers of Lazy Cakes issued this statement:

“We have not been contacted by the Mayor’s office in regard to their specific questions about our product but we welcome a conversation with Mr. Flanagan. We created Lazy Cakes to provide adults with a great-tasting way to combat the stress associated with our fast-paced lives. Ingredients include items that anyone can purchase at any health food or vitamin store, such as melatonin, Valerian Root Extract, Rose Hips Extract, and Passion Flower. Each Brownie is clearly labeled to indicate that we recommend that Lazy Cakes be enjoyed by adults only. We encourage parents to check the label before providing this or any product to their children.” -Terry Harris, CEO of HBB, LLC, makers of Lazy Cakes.

Flanagan said that’s not enough to keep the brownies on store shelves in his city.

“Even though the product says it’s not intended for children’s use, its psychedelic packaging and its cartoon character, known as Lazy Larry, indicate otherwise,” he said.

Flanagan asked the City Council to pass an ordinance to ban it from stores.

New Bedford City Councilor Bruce Duarte, Jr. has filed a motion to set an ordinance in his city to ban or regulate the sale of Lazy Cakes.

Duartesaid he only found out about them on Thursday and started doing some research online.

“One of the articles I had read was how a two-year-old had gotten a hold of one of these brownies, ate it and had to be hospitalized. That was certainly concerning to me,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.

“These products, in my opinion, are geared toward children.”

“If these are not suitable for children, in my opinion they should be where the cigarettes are.”

Even though the package indicates the cakes are not for kids, Duarte said that’s not enough to stop them from being sold.

“I don’t know that the person who may be 16, 17, or 18 years old at the register is checking ID’s when they’re selling these products.”

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