UK politician calls for chewing gum tax A UK member of parliament (MP) will next week tell ministers that chewing gum should be taxed, in order to force manufacturers to develop a more environmentally friendly product, said consumer watchdog Which?. According to Which?, MP Graham Allen said that chewing gum in its present state is "sticky menace" covering pavements across the UK with persistant white marks. Manufacturers currently have no incentive to resolve the problem, but the threat of future taxation would "concentrate wonderfully" their minds to spend money on creating biodegradable gum, he said. "Chewing gum is a menace which blights every street in the country," he said. "If the industry does not face up to the consequences of its product then it - as the polluter - should pay." The issue will be discussed in a parliamentary debate next week, Which? said. According to market researchers Leatherhead International, the global gum market is expected to increase by 17 per cent to almost $17bn (€13.5bn) in the next four years. Wrigley is the current world leader, closely followed by rival Cadbury. Godiva recalls Christmas chocolates Chocolate company Godiva last week was forced to recall Christmas chocolate ranges in both Asia and Europe, after metal fragments were detected in products in Japan, according to Reuters. Although there have been no reports of any injuries, managing director John Holmberg said that the ranges were removed from shops for safety reasons, after pieces of metal were found in two boxes made in France. "We're now investigating the cause of the problem," he said, adding that the company does not yet know the full extent of the problem. The news is not likely to please parent company Campbell, which even before the recall said it was considering selling the business. Campbell said in August that chocolate does not fit in with its new focus on soup-based snacks and vegetable beverages, and that the Godiva business pulled operating earnings for the third quarter in 2007 down €4m. Snack company decides to coat nuts in chocolate US-based Diamond Foods has decided to branch out from its nut only products, and will launch a chocolate and almond snack in early 2008, the company said. Vice president of marketing Andrew Burke said that the new Emerald Cocoa Roast Dark Chocolate Almonds will target growing consumer preference for healthier confectionery products. "Research reflects that consumers desire chocolate-flavoured products that are less indulgent than traditional chocolate items, but are as equally tasty," he said. "The new chocolate almonds address this demand by combining the health benefits of dry roasted almonds with chocolate coating, so the product boasts the flavour without the guilt." According to the company, the chocolate coated nuts are low in sodium high, while being high in Vitamin E and protein. What's more, one serving contains only 150 calories, Burke said. Diamond Foods is a US food company specializing in the processing, marketing and distribution of culinary nuts. The Emerald nut snack line is sold in 84 per cent of US grocery stores, with sales growing in convenience stores and mass merchandising outlets, the company claimed.