Canada ‘orders Briton to stop selling Marmite and Irn Bru’

January 24, 2014 2:17 pm Comments Off on Canada ‘orders Briton to stop selling Marmite and Irn Bru’ Views: 920

Marmite jar

The owner of a British food shop in Canada says he has been ordered to stop selling Marmite, Ovaltine and Irn Bru because they contain illegal additives.

Tony Badger, who owns Brit Foods in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, told local media that food safety officials had removed the foods from his shelves.

Other affected products include Lucozade, Penguin Bars and Bovril.

Mr Badger said he had been selling the items since 1997, and had never had problems in the past.

“We’ve been bringing Irn-Bru in since the very beginning,” he told CKOM. The bright orange caffeinated drink is particularly popular in Scotland, but sold in countries around the world.

“My understanding was we were importing legally. We’ve been declaring it through a customs broker and we’ve never had an issue until now,” said Mr Badger.

Expensive delays

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reportedly cracking down on the sale of such goods and increasing its inspections of suppliers.

Press Association Irn Bru is the most popular soft drink in Scotland

Irn Bru contains at least one additive – Ponceau 4R – which has been linked to hyperactivity and does not appear on the approved food list in Canada.

The other products are banned because they are “enriched with vitamins and mineral” while some canned foods and soup contained too much animal product.

The CFIA could not be reached for comment.

Mr Badger said he first ran into trouble in October when his Christmas stock was seized as it was imported from Britain. Then last week, officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came to his shop to confiscate the remaining produce.

“The concern now is, with the next shipment, if it gets held there may be new issues with new products, so it somewhat paralyses our ability to bring new product in,” he said, adding the delays had already cost him thousands of dollars.

But he said the agency was now conducting a health assessment on the foods to determine whether they were fit for sale.

“I haven’t heard of anyone dying from consuming Irn-Bru in Scotland or Britain,” he said. “So hopefully we will get a favourable decision.”

One customer, Briton Nigel Westwick, told the Star Phoenix newspaper that he “couldn’t understand the insanity” of preventing Irn Bru from entering Canada.

“For a country that allows one to buy firearms, guns, bullets… stopping a soft drink suitable for all ages seems a little ludicrous.”

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