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Q. Why does cRc not recommend Tums for Pesach, but other Rabbis do?

A. The reason for the difference in policy as to whether Tums is recommended for Pesach is a Rabbinic difference of opinion as to whether one must refrain from consuming products which contain flavors of unknown kosher and Pesach status. Some Rabbis take a lenient position since most of the flavor-contributing chemicals are not chametz, no single chemical’s taste is perceived in the final product (i.e., zeh v’zeh gorem), and the flavor is used in tiny proportions.  Other Rabbis disagree based on halachic and factual grounds which are beyond the scope of this document.  The cRc follows the latter, stricter approach to this question.

The Rabbi who certifies Tums as kosher reports that that he is unable to determine whether the flavorings used in Tums are acceptable for Pesach.  Therefore, the cRc is unable to recommend them.  Others who list certain Tums products as acceptable for Pesach are aware of this but accept the lenient approach outlined above, which rules that flavors of unknown status do not compromise the Pesach status of the Tums.  It is noteworthy that there is corn starch in every variety of Tums which we looked at, which means that even according to the lenient approach Tums should only be consumed by those who are either Sephardic or ill and permitted to eat kitnios.