- Michele BuckPresident & CEO, The Hershey Company
- Martin RadvanPresident, Mars Wrigley Confectionary
- Irene RosenfeldChairman & CEO, Mondelēz International
- Emily StrobelGlobal Senior Brand Manager (Orbit/Extra), Mars Wrigley Confectionary
- Mary-Ann SomersGeneral manager/VP US Confection, The Hershey Company
- Brian GraubardGeneral Manager US Confections, Mondelēz International
Save thousands of dogs’ lives: #GetXylitolOut of your sugar-free gums
Hershey, Wrigley, and Mondelēz,
Your sugar-free gums are injuring & killing thousands of dogs each year. A simple change on your part can help put a stop to this.
Every year, all around the world, thousands of dogs are sickened and killed when they eat xylitol-containing sugar free gum. Below are just a few of the recent news accounts about dogs that were unfortunate enough to have a run-in with a xylitol-containing gum:
- “Popular ingredient in diet food causes dog deaths and illnesses” (June 2, 2017)
- “Woman warns pet owners after dog nearly killed by sugar-free gum” (May 17, 2017)
- “Warning after dog poisoned with chewing gum in Halfway” (April 16, 2017)
- “Dog almost dies after eating five packets of chewing gum” (April 13, 2017)
- “Dog suffers seizures after eating 52 pieces of gum” (Feb 20, 2017)
While your gums are obviously not intended for (or marketed to) dogs, dogs are never-the-less being sickened and killed by your gums on a daily basis.
In 2016, the FDA released an updated warning about xylitol and dogs. As a result of this warning, and the many newspaper and blog articles about the danger, awareness has increased in recent years. Many more people now know that while it may be good for their teeth, and therefore have a place in gums, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Sadly though, this increased awareness seems to have done little to stem the rising tide of xylitol poisoning cases in dogs, most of which arise from dogs eating xylitol-containing gum. Clearly, something more needs to be done. To truly protect dogs everywhere, we need you to stop using xylitol in your gums.
We even believe there to be a safe, comparable, and proven replacement. Xylitol’s sugar alcohol “cousin,” erythritol, has been shown to be both non-toxic to dogs and better at protecting teeth.
- Chronic (1-year) Oral Toxicity Study of Erythritol in Dogs – Regulatory Toxicology Pharmacology, 1996 Oct;24(2 Pt 2):S254-60
- Erythritol Is More Effective Than Xylitol and Sorbitol in Managing Oral Health Endpoints – International Journal of Dentistry, 2016
- More studies & information about erythritol can be found here
While we have just recently learned of erythritol, you are no doubt already aware of it and even know how to use it in gums (given the numerous erythritol-related patents held by your companies, as well as erythritol’s use in a few gums already available in other countries). While looking into erythritol, we also found that recent technologic advances have even helped to decrease production time, increase production yields, and drop the price of erythritol.
It would appear that there really are no good reasons for you not to make the switch, and several thousand for you to.
Hershey, Wrigley, and Mondelēz, you are multinational companies that collectively dominate the sugar-free gum market. We suspect—and truly hope—that your wish is to help your customers protect their teeth without unnecessarily endangering their dogs in the process. So we are asking you to #GetXylitolOut of your gums. All of us, and all of our dogs, are counting on you to make this important change.
Thank you in advance,
Preventive Vet and dog lovers everywhere
- President, Mars Wrigley Confectionary
- Chairman & CEO, Mondelēz International
- Global Senior Brand Manager (Orbit/Extra), Mars Wrigley Confectionary
- General manager/VP US Confection, The Hershey Company
- General Manager US Confections, Mondelēz International
In spite of increased awareness of the dangers and people's efforts to pet proof their homes, thousands of dogs are sickened or killed each year by xylitol-containing sugarless gums. It's time to #GetXylitolOut of gums.
Erythrtiol has been shown to better protect teeth, is non-toxic to dogs, and has other properties that make it a viable replacement for xylitol in your sugar-free gum products. And with recent scientific advances decreasing production time, increasing production yields, and dropping the price of erythritol, there really are no good reasons for you not to make the switch.
Please make this change now... I and the dogs I love are counting on you.
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