Canada Bans Marmite, Irn Bru and Ovaltine

An Irn Bruery

An Irn Bruery

Before we get into this, let’s just put to one side the idea that any banning of these most British of foodstuffs is to do with how they taste, OK? That snarky behaviour will not be welcomed, partly because it is bad manners, but mostly because they are actually, officially delicious.

However, Tony Badger (and that’s a name, isn’t it?) who runs a British food shop in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has been told he can no longer sell the following items:

Marmite – see here for details
Ovaltine – a warm drink that helps you sleep.
Irn-Bru – an orange soda that does not taste of oranges.
Lucozade – a glucose soda. Also orange. Also un-orangey.
Penguin bars – like a bourbon biscuit dipped in chocolate.
Bovril – like Marmite, only blacker and runnier.

…because they contain additives that are illegal in Canada.

He told CKOM that he’s been selling these very British foods since 1997 and never had any issues, but now the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have taken his stock away.

One of the additives in question— Ponceau 4R — has been linked to hyperactivity, and is used in the manufacture of Irn-Bru. But there are problems with the vitamin enrichment of other products, and the amount of animal product in some of his tinned foods and soup.

“We’ve been bringing Irn-Bru in since the very beginning,” he told CKOM. “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.”

“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.” 

Now the agency are testing his stock, as part of health assessment, so if Marmite is back on the shelves in a few months, we know it’s healthy.

Tony continued:”I haven’t heard of anyone dying from consuming Irn-Bru in Scotland or Britain. So hopefully we will get a favourable decision.”

Yes, otherwise everyone’s going to have to eat Canadian food. And we can’t have that.

See more:
Haggis: Banned In The U.S.A.
Iconic British Things No.11: Jaffa Cakes
A Consumer’s Guide To British Chocolate
Iconic British Things Part 3: Fish & Chips

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2. He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage. Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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