Canada reportedly bans Marmite because it has too many vitamins
Marmite already suffers the indignity of being one of the world’s most repulsive—or at least misunderstood—man-made food products. That reputation may be further entrenched now that Canada has reportedly banned imports of the U.K. food paste. That’s what the BBC, The Independent and other British media are saying, and they’re in a bit of a snit about it. “In Canada it is perfectly legal to acquire a firearm and bullets,” The Independent reported on January 23. “But Marmite and Irn-Bru are apparently a threat to the nation’s health.”
Allegations of a Canadian Marmite crackdown originated in Saskatoon, where specialty food store owner Tony Badger’s Marmite imports were reportedly blocked by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency along with a bunch of other European foodstuffs, including Bovril bouillon, Lucozade energy drinks, Ovaltine powder, Irn-Bru soda and Penguin cookie bars. The problem with the products, according to a letter Badger received by the CFIA, was that they were “enriched with vitamins and minerals,” which made them illegal in Canada.
The ban comes as news to Creig Stearne, the owner of Toronto specialty food store Empire By Bullet. He also stocks authentic British Marmite, which is apparently slightly different from the Canadian version available at Loblaws and other big supermarkets. “If the ban goes through, then I guess I’ll have to switch to Canadian Marmite,” Stearne says. So far, he hasn’t heard anything from the CFIA, which has yet to comment publicly on the story.
As of now, it’s unclear whether the Saskatoon seizure was an isolated incident, or whether it could signify the beginning of an official anti-Marmite policy. In the meantime, those partial to vitamin-enriched foreign foodstuffs, no matter how gross they are, should consider stockpiling while they can.