Just like stealing candy from a child, cancer is stealing numerous lives every single day. And if you’re sitting here, and chewing gum right now, cancer might just steal your life.
One controversial ingredient in most popular chewing gum brands has been making the rounds of health gurus blogs sites. And that controversial ingredient is Acesulfame potassium.
Acesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener found in a variety of foods and drinks. Healthline says it can be found in soft drinks, protein shakes, drink mixes, frozen desserts, baked goods, candy, gum, and tabletop sweeteners. So it’s probably sitting in your stomach right now.
And if you love smacking your gums on a nice piece of gum, it is about to get a lot more dangerous. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) wants to more than double the maximum permitted level for the sweetener Acesulfame potassium in chewing gum, from 2000 mg/kg to 5000 mg/kg.
So what’s the big deal?
Acesulfame potassium contains methylene chloride. Besides being a mouthful, this ingredient is deadly. Health advocates claim long-term exposure to the substance can cause nausea, headaches, impairment of the kidneys and liver and even cancer. Um, no thanks!
Consumer New Zealand board member Sue Kedgley branded the proposal to increase the limit as “ludicrous”. “Consumers would be wise to avoid all artificial sweeteners, and chewing gum for that matter,” she told Stuff.co.nz.
“People chew gum a lot and because it mixes with saliva, the sweeteners are absorbed into the body quickly. FSANZ has an extremely permissive stance to these sweeteners. It should be lowering levels, not increasing them.”
Health gurus aren’t the only ones veering off this sweetener. Washington-based consumer watchdog, the Center for Science in the Public Interest advises consumers to avoid food containing it.
Shouldn’t FSANZ ban this sweeter, not encourage it?
So what is FSANZ’s argument for increasing the allowed amounts of Acesulfame p? Steve McCutcheon, chief executive of FSANZ, insisted the proposed limits would bring New Zealand in line with countries such as Canada and Japan.
Remember that one time when Italy and Japan decided to side with Germany in World War II? I mean, putting people at risk just to follow along with another country is totally a good idea right?
McCutcheon’s argument is weak. Very weak. I’ve had light roasted coffee stronger than his argument. I’ve had mocktails stronger than his argument. Need I go on?
I don’t know if you have ever been to Japan or Canada, but their candy is very sweet. And very dangerous. The Japanese have a 20.4% chance of developing cancer and a 9.7% chance of dying from it. This is almost twice as many cancer rates than America. Canadians have a 45% chance of developing it.
But I love smacking my gums on gum
Well good for you! But if you want to keep chewing gum without risking death I would suggest looking for gum without Acesulfame p. Good luck.
However you do have options. Namely you should look for gum that is sweetened with xylitol, an all-natural sugar alcohol. Some of these gums include Epic Xylitol Gum and Peppersmith chewing gum.
Despite the clinical sounding name, Epic Xylitol gum packs a punch. The three flavours Spearmint and Peppermint Epic, Cinnamon and Fresh Fruit are bursting with flavour – and sweetness that comes from knowing your gum isn’t out to kill.
Peppersmith Chewing Gum comes with an array of bizarre flavours including Sicilian Lemon and Fine English Peppermint. An extra bonus this gum has is it’s density. This extra density means for nervous chewers, it is totally worth ordering a few packs online.
I don’t know about you, but my gum collection and trust in the FSANZ have both gone in the bin today.