New Delhi: Chewing gum and bubble gum makers have said that ban imposed by the state governments of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as measures to curb spread of pandemic of Covid-19 is without any scientific evidence.
The makers such as Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) and Mars Wrigley are in discussion with the relevant authorities and contended that no other country imposed such restrictions.
Last week, the Haryana government had completely banned the sale and use of chewing or bubble gum citing possibility of spread of Covid-19 by spitting of chewing gum and bubble gum towards another person. This was followed by Himachal Pradesh government also.
Perfetti Van Melle India – which owns brands as Center fresh, Happydent, Center fruit, Big Babol and Chupa Chups – said that there is no scientific evidence to assert that Covid-19 is spread through the exclusive spitting of gum.
“We are currently in discussions with the Haryana Food and Drug Administration authorities to understand the basis of their ban of chewing gum sales in Haryana.
“There appears to be no scientific evidence to support the assertion that Covid-19 is spread through the exclusive spitting of gum. None of the entities has recommended a ban on chewing gum. Nor has any other country chosen to implement such a ban,” said Perfetti Van Melle India Managing Director Rajesh Ramakrishnan.
While Mars Wrigley India, which has brands as Orbit, Boomer and Doublemint gums, is also pursuing the matter with the state government, said an official spokesperson.
“We are working closely with local authorities to remain protective of public health while ensuring the products that customers value and expect to see on their shelves, are made available to them during this period. As a Responsible Corporate Citizen, it has been always our endeavor to educate our consumers to dispose chewing gums responsibly to maintain a clean, hygienic environment,” said Mars Wrigley India Mars Wrigley Spokesperson.
It further said: “As a Responsible Corporate Citizen, it has been always our endeavour to educate our consumers to dispose chewing gums responsibly to maintain a clean, hygienic environment. This is displayed on every gum pack that the consumer buys and we remain committed to spreading awareness about responsible gum disposal.”
Passing an order on April 2, the Food and Drugs Administration Department of Haryana government said: “Whereas, COVID-19 transmits through droplets, there may be possibility of transmitting of COVID-19 by spitting of chewing gum/bubble gum towards another person.”
According to data analytics firm Nielsen, the confectionery market is estimated to be around Rs 11,000 crore in which gums are around 20 per cent.
Perfetti Van Melle”s Center Fresh is a leader share with 31 per cent market followed by, Centerfruit, Happydent, Boomer, Orbit, Gum on (ITC) and Chingles (DS Group).
India is presently going through an unprecedented complete lockdown of three weeks, ending on April 14, to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to the latest report from the Union Health Ministry, the total number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 4,067 and the death toll is now 109.
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