You've been told your whole life not to swallow you chewing gum, and for good reason.
Your typical gum today use "Gum Base [as] the main ingredient of chewing gum which comprises several synthetic ingredients such as petroleum, lanolin, glycerin, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, petroleum wax, stearic acid, and latex. Though the precise composition of chewing gum is a company’s secret, these ingredients are used to provide elasticity and act as binders and softeners. As an example, Polyvinyl acetate is often used to make glues, coat paper or to give textiles a shine. So is chewing glue safe?", asks Reckon Talk.
As an alternative, the company Chicza has created a 100% organic chewing gum from the Mayan rainforest. They describe their process, "Chicozapote latex is extracted from 100 ft tall trees by making z-shaped superficial cuts on the bark, which zigzag down to a bag placed at the base. Dripping sap slowly fills the bags. Each tree renders from 3 to 5k per harvest, then it rests for 6 or 7 years before the next harvest. Trees are not harmed by this practice."
They claim their gum is a healthier alternative to the synthetic gums we see everywhere.
Chicza says by "using only natural ingredients and processes, the resulting product is a rare exception in the mostly artificial world of chewing gums. Commonly available chewing gums typically carry no more than 5-7% of gum base, if at all. The rest of the product is artificial, and made from petrol-based polymers, that is, plastics). This is a small amount compared to Chicza's 40% organic gum base."
Originally, gum was used exclusively as medicine, aiding digestion issues. This sort of gum what typically made with natural tree resins and herbs and spices. Later, when gum became a "treat" for everyone, companies started using artificial sweeteners and synthetics like plastic, rubber and glue to make the gum "last longer".
The video below explains what goes into the process of making chewing gum. There can be many shocking ingredients that would be very harmful if ingested. Because it depends on what type of gum you chew, there needs to be very clear labeling on these sorts of products. Even if the plastic and rubber used in many gums is not dangerous when only chewed, these companies should know that people do sometimes swallow gum, especially children! It's irresponsible to not make this information widely known.