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OTTAWA — A substance used to make chewing gum could soon be declared toxic by the federal government after an international agency found that it might cause cancer in lab rats.
On May 17, the government will publish a list of 17 substances that may be labeled as toxic in a draft report on risk assessment. Acetic acid ethenyl ester, or vinyl acetate — commonly used as a base in some chewing gums — could be on that list, Health Canada said Monday.
The substance is a colourless liquid with a strong, sweet scent that can be used as a flavouring agent. When made into a polymer, it becomes useful in the production of chewing gum.