Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Truth About Glee Gum - Made with Polyvinyl Acetate

If you like gum, and you are concerned about what you put in your body, then you've probably heard about Glee Gum.  A glimpse at their website provides numerous blurbs about what harmful things are NOT in their gum, as well as what good things are their gum.  (Note that it says their gum base "contains chicle" but does not say it is entirely made of chicle.)  However, there is no definitive list of ingredients available.  There are countless factoids about how their gum is a healthier option and better for the planet, but the fact of the matter is they are dancing around their ingredient list for one reason: it contains Polyvinyl Acetate.

Yes, Glee Gum contains Polyvinyl Acetate - a synthetic vinyl polymer commonly used in glue.  Perhaps what their company says is true, and there is indeed no other way to make gum, but I'm not OK with a lack of transparency when it comes to things like this.  I hardly qualify having a synthetic vinyl polymer base as "all natural" like their boxes say.

I was alerted about this issue by a friend who contacted the company back in April 2012.  After she told me about it, I followed up with the same question, and received verbatim, the exact same response.  The only thing that was different was that in her email it says at the end that they hope to debut a 100% natural gum base by the end of 2012.  That part was obviously changed in my recent correspondence, which you can find below.

Hello, Amy,

Thanks for your email and your interest! Here's the long answer to the question of gum base. All the digestible parts of Glee Gum are natural-- the sugar, the flavors, the coloring, etc. This is why we consider the gum natural. The FDA has a definition for gum base, the indigestible part of the gum, which encompasses a variety of approved ingredients, including some synthetic ones. We are proud that our gum base is as natural as we can get it (no anti-oxidants, and containing chicle). And we are hard at work on a new formula for the gum base which will not include anything synthetic. Unfortunately, we are limited by the gum base products which are commercially available and FDA-approved, and the creation of our own, unique gum base has been a lengthy process. We still think the gum base in Glee Gum is the best, most natural, and greenest of the available options for chewing gum here in the States. But it is not yet perfect, and -- while the exact formula remains confidential -- it is unfortunately NOT yet 100% natural. At the present time, chicle comprises 1/3 of the gum base. It still contains polyvinyl acetate (though NOT vinyl acetate). We hope to offer new and improved, 100% natural gum base later this year. We can email you a notification as soon as we have it. (We will also want to shout it to the world!) Thanks again for your interest!
Yours in Glee,

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