Political and business leaders in Mississippi are working to pass a law that would flush fake urine down the toilet.
The Mississippi Urine Trouble Act would ban the sale or use of synthetic human urine for the purposes of defrauding a drug test, including one for employment. Republican State Representative Andy Gipson, who sponsored the legislation in the Mississippi State House, says the problem may provoke laughter but it's actually a serious situation.
“Artificial human urine is being sold [and] used by at least some to deceive and to defraud on drug tests,” Gipson told Fox News in his office at the state Capitol.
A box of fake urine can be purchased at truck stops and novelty shops throughout the state. Fox News obtained a package of the substance, which is labeled as ‘fetish urine’ on the outside of the box. The package included instructions, a three-ounce bottle of yellow liquid along with a few hand warmers, instructions and a temperature sensor attached to the bottle.
The only thing the purchaser needs to do is heat it up with the hand warmers and a rubber band. The content list contains a massive list of chemicals.
Gipson's measure received nearly unanimous support in the state house by a 113 to 2 vote on February 6. He predicted the bill has a 50 percent chance of being passed by the state senate after it was advanced to the Judiciary Committee for consideration earlier this month.
Those caught using the fake liquid could face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
Maury Hull is the vice president of human resources for Hol-Mac Corporation. The steel fabrication company employs nearly 1,000 workers in the state, all of whom need to be drug tested before taking a job at the company.
“It’s truly a safety issue for our company like other companies in the state of Mississippi that have workers that are sometimes in a dangerous environment,” Hull said. “Synthetic urine use or trying to mask a drug test is very alarming to me when we start seeing it show up on random drug tests [and] on pre-employment drug tests.”
Hulll noted that human resources at his company received some ‘inside information’ about the deceptive testing schemes. He now believes they have eliminated the problem, but hopes the law prevents the threat from spreading. Hol-Mac offers a two-strike policy and works with employees to get clean if their test results are positive for an illegal substance.
“I would not be happy to know that somebody working next to me [is] under the influence of any type of drug,” said Ashley Locke, who is a team leader of the machine shop at Anel Corporation in Winona, Miss. “That puts my life in danger,” she added.
The Mississippi Associate of Self Insurers lobbied on behalf of companies in the state, including Hol-Mac Corporation, to get lawmakers to consider legislation banning the use of artificial urine. Companies where employees operate heavy machinery were huge supporters of the bill, according to executive director Dan Gibson.
“It’s about the health and safety of Mississippians [and] creating a better workplace and a better work environment here in our state,” Gibson said. “Hopefully the senate will see the value of that and they will pass the bill.”
At least 13 states have laws banning the sale or use of artificial urine for drug testing purposes. Colorado is also considering a similar resolution.
State Rep. Gipson says he is hopeful the bill will be taken up by the state senate due to the overwhelming bipartisan support it received in the state house. The Mississippi State Senate Judiciary Committee has until February 27 to bring up the bill for debate.