Three out of five chewing gums for kids may cause health issues

Danish consumer council warns they are full of endocrine disruptors

The latest product tests by the Danish consumer council, Forbrugerrådet Tænk, on chewing gums aimed at children reveal that three out of five contain food preservatives that may be harmful to health.

“We are surprised that these additives are so prevalent in chewing gums for kids,” Claus Jorgensen, a project manager at Forbrugerrådet Tænk, told Politiken.

The food preservatives of concern are BHA and BHT, which are also known as E320 and E321.

Both of them are commonly used in the food industry, mainly to prevent oils in foods from oxidising and becoming rancid.

READ MORE: Danish baby products are full of dangerous chemicals

Should be banned
Animal studies have shown that these substances have carcinogen effects and should therefore be completely avoided.

“Children are more vulnerable to chemical exposure than adults because they are growing and developing,” explained Jørgensen.

“These two substances should be banned by law in all consumer products, and at a minimum in products intended for children.”

Researchers found one or both of the harmful substances in 92 of the 150 tested chewing gums, meaning that over 60 percent of them may contain endocrine disruptors.

READ MORE: Denmark to sue EU Commission over delays on dangerous chemical legislation

Supermarkets find chewing gums unproblematic
According to Politiken, Denmark’s two main supermarket owners – Dansk Supermarked (34 percent of the market) and Coop (42 percent), both of which sell many varieties of chewing gum, both aimed at children and adults – do not share Forbrugerrådet Tænk’s concerns.

“It is clear that if we thought there was a risk to consumers’ health, we would remove the chewing gums from our shelves,” Mads Hvitved Grand, a spokesman for Dansk Supermarked, told Politiken.

“But we refer to the valid law about regulations, and as long as chewing gum manufacturers stay within the limits set by authorities, we consider these chewing gums unproblematic.”

 




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