The Danish Consumer Council celebrated International Consumer Day on 15 March by focusing on EDCs in food, especially the antioxidant BHA found in chewing gum. BHA and E320 are allowed not only in chewing gum but also in other food including soup, sauces, dried meat, and oils.
BHA was found in 13 different packs of chewing gum all from the brand Mentos. 24 packs of gum without BHA were also found in the Danish shops.
The company behind Mentos said they will continue to use BHA as it is still a legal substance and EFSA and the FDA have approved its use. This is not good enough according to the Danish Consumer Council, who reiterate the demand for a ban on EDCs in consumer goods (especially if there are alternatives) and in this case there are.
The Danish Consumer Council argues that the EFSA opinion does not take into account cocktail effects and call for the use of the precautionary principle over the interest of industry.
BHA is on the EU list of potential endocrine disrupters cat 1, listed as a carcinogen in California and last year the Danish Centre on Endocrine Disrupters used the Danish EPA’s criteria to establish BHA as an endocrine disruptor. BHA is also used in cosmetics, which the exposure scenario also does not take into account.