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Australia is proposing banning the sale of Vegemite in some communities because it is used to make alcohol.
The government says the popular yeast-based product is contributing to anti-social behavior in some remote communities.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion described the salty spread as a “precursor to misery”.
Nigel Scullion said Vegemite was being bought in bulk to make moonshine, sometimes being brewed in bathtubs.
In communities where alcohol is banned because of addiction problems, Nigel Scullion said Vegemite sales should also be restricted.
The minister added that in some cases children were failing to turn up to school because they were too hung over, and that Vegemite was an increasingly common factor in domestic violence cases.
Vegemite, which is something of an Australian culinary icon, started as a wartime substitute for Marmite.
Canadian customs have seized a shipment of Marmite and Irn-Bru bound for a British foods shop in Canada in a crackdown on banned additives.
Tony Badger, who owns Brit Foods in Saskatoon in central Canada, said he lost more than 20,000 CAD when the cargo from the UK was seized.
Irn-Bru contains the Ponceau 4R food coloring, while Marmite is enriched with vitamins and minerals which are unacceptable to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Lucozade, Penguin bars, and Bovril were also in the package and seized, as they all fall foul of the country’s food laws. The CFIA is believed to be clamping down on foods that breach its laws.
Tony Badger told Canada talk radio station CKOM he had been importing and selling the products since 1997.
Marmite is enriched with vitamins and minerals which are unacceptable to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
“We’ve been bringing Irn-Bru in since the very beginning. I haven’t heard of anyone dying from consuming Irn-Bru in Scotland or Britain.
“All we’re looking for is fair and equitable treatment. If a product is banned and they show us in writing it’s banned, then we’ll understand, it’s banned and this is the reason.”
Tony Badger said last October the shipment was detained for inspection, and he began to ask questions when the process took longer than usual.
CFIA officials then came to his store last Thursday and seized the remaining product from his shelves.
Shoppers describe the ban on Marmite and Irn-Bru as “insanity” in a country that allows the sale of “firearms, guns and bullets”.
AG Barr, the Scottish company which manufactures Irn-Bru, produces a Canada-specific product that does not contain Ponceau 4R.
The colorant is being removed voluntarily from its European recipe, following a request from the UK Food Standards Agency , which investigated concerns over links to hyperactivity in children.
A British food shop in Canada 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.
Tony 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,” Tony Badger 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,” he said.
Marmite, Ovaltine and Irn-Bru have been banned because they contain illegal additives
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reportedly cracking down on the sale of such goods and increasing its inspections of suppliers.
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.
Tony 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 favorable decision.”
Marmite has returned to New Zealand supermarkets for the first time in over a year, after shortages caused by the Christchurch quake.
The February 2011 quake damaged the only factory in the country that produces Marmite, forcing it to close.
Stocks then dwindled, leading to shortages dubbed “Marmageddon” by media, from early 2012.
The factory has since reopened, with food company Sanitarium thanking consumers for “not freaking out”.
Sanitarium Marmite uses a different recipe than the English version of Marmite, manufactured by a different company.
It was first brought to New Zealand in the 1900s but the country came up with its own version, which has its own distinctive taste. Australia also has a similar product called Vegemite.
Marmite has returned to New Zealand supermarkets for the first time in over a year, after shortages caused by the Christchurch quake
The shortage led to complaints from many New Zealanders, including Prime Minister John Key.
“You’ve rationed, you’ve scraped, you’ve survived Marmaggedon – and now the wait is over!” Sanitarium said on its website.
“Thanks for not freaking out and for waiting patiently for the black gold’s return.”
The Marmite factory was scheduled to re-open by middle of last year but faced unexpected delays.
Even with its return, some supermarkets in New Zealand were rationing supplies to two jars per customer in the face of high demand.
But customers said they were happy with the spread’s return.
“I’ve tried the alternatives but they’re just not the same, so I’ve had to have jam or peanut butter on my toast,” consumer Robyn Lonergan told Agence-France Presse news agency.
From marmite-scented perfumes to soaps formulated with breast milk, the beauty world is fond of a bizarre ingredient.
British fragrance brand Union’s Celtic Fire perfume contains a small dose of marmite.
“When somebody suggested using Marmite in the mix I was intrigued,” said the nose behind the scent, Annabel Brosler.
“I simply wanted to see if it could be done and what it could bring to the fragrance. I am thrilled with the result – it has a subtle scent when used in tiny amounts, very warm and salty and of course Marmite is a British institution so this worked wonderfully well with all of the other British ingredients.”
Union is available at Selfridges.
While breast milk soap used to be widely available from niche eco-friendly suppliers, mother’s milk fell a foul of health and safety and has since been unavailable to use as a beauty ingredient.
Breast milk, when in use, was said to have softening and moisturizing properties, as well as being an organic alternative to cow and goat milk.
If you’re really desperate to try it and have a supply of breast milk to hand, Green Parent (thegreenparent.co.uk) has some recipes.
From marmite-scented perfumes to soaps formulated with breast milk, the beauty world is fond of a bizarre ingredient
While you don’t use the whole thing, human sperm contains a powerful anti-oxidant called “spermine”, which is said to be brilliant at reducing wrinkles and getting rid of tough skin.
Although some New York spas have taken to offering spermine-based treatments, the country that loves it the most is Norway, where a company called Bioforskning (skinscience.com) produces a range of moisturizers and skin protectors containing the ingredient. Called SkinScience, the products are widely available across Scandinavia and also in the UK.
SkinScience is available at Harvey Nichols.
It might sound revolting, but earthworm excrement is said to have powerful anti-ageing properties. The anti-ager of choice for those who can’t (or won’t) tolerate chemical beauty ingredients, creams using the substance are said to increase cell turnover and add plumpness to skin.
Earthworm poo isn’t the only sort of faeces that’s made a name for itself in beauty either. Civetone, a foul-smelling pheromone sourced from the anal gland of the African Civet, is often used in perfumery in small quantities.
Fresh Beauty Market is the brand behind the best-selling version of the cream – Wrinkle Butter with Earthworm Complex – but it’s based in the USA and hard to get hold of on the other side of the pond. Website Greensations.com sells it to UK customers but expect to pay in dollars.
When British beauty brand Rodial launched Glamoxy Snake Serum in 2010, a trend for reptile-based beauty was born – despite the fact that Rodial’s potion doesn’t actually have any venom in it.
The same can’t be said for Planet Skincare’s moisturizer, which contains a synthetic version of the venom from Asian Temple snakes called Syn-ake. Described as the natural version of botox, snake venom contains amino acids which block nerve signals telling muscles to contract, which helps to stop wrinkles forming.
Planet Skincare’s Wrinkle Defence moisturizer is available from planetskincare.co.uk