A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Officialdom gone mad

Apparently the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has suddenly decided that Marmite, a yeast extract product loved by may ex-Brits and long been available here on supermarket shelves, cannot be imported and sold in Canada. They also have 'banned' several other products from the same company saying that Marmite, Ovaltine, Lucozade, Penguin Bars and Bovril "are enriched with vitamins and minerals” and therefore illegal. Other products like canned soup and stock contained too much animal products.

So it seems that the CFIA are more concerned with minute amounts of perfectly harmless substances in a product that has been consumed by millions for decades than inspecting those meat processing plants where bacteria and other contaminates regularly make it into the food supply. This all comes under the same heading of refusing import of speciality foods used by vegetarians and ethnic populations being banned for not having french on the label. Bloody ridiculous!

The report from the Canadian Press has hit the news big time in England, it was my cousin over there that alerted me to this. According to the original report the CFIA who blocked a shipment to Britt Foods store in Saskatoon they then went to the store and “officials then came to his store last week and seized the remaining product from his shelves”. The CFIA could not be reached for comment!

Word is that that the CFIA is now conducting a health-risk assessment to see whether the products should be sold in Canada.
{Marmite} maker A.G. Barr's website said the company is working to replace the food colouring to bring the product in line with the new guidelines set by the Food Standards Agency. The company assures the public the colouring is safe but all products with Ponceau 4R (E124) must carry a warning label stating the it could cause hyperactivity in children. Hmmm, so does too much sugar, when do all those sweetened drinks have to change their labels?

Update:- Just for those that don’t use this product you should be aware that it is a good Source of vitamin B12 particularly for Vegetarians (and that includes myself) and vegans, whilst there are other sources the following outlines its importance to this group of Canadians.
From the British National Health Web Site
“ Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12.......
Good sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians are:..... yeast extract such as Marmite".
And then there is this...
In modern society, fruit and vegetable production is far more sanitised in that fruit and vegetables for sale in supermarkets are washed in chlorine. This removes the B12-producing bacteria and so vegetarians and vegans must obtain vitamin B12 from other sources, this means fortified foods.
This could easily be viewed as an attack upon the heath of Canadian vegetarians, it certainly is NOT protecting them from a harmful product!

The CFIA now say that it is OK to import Marmite?!
The Scottish soft drink favourite Irn-Bru and iconic spread Marmite are not banned for sale in Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency clarified Saturday, after a shopkeeper made headlines in the U.K., claiming he had been ordered to stop selling the popular British products.
“These products have been available on Canadian store shelves for more than a decade and will continue to be sold in stores across Canada,” the CFIA said in a statement released Saturday.
“Recently, a shipment containing a number of products imported from the U.K. was detained in the course of regular border activities because it contained meat products that were not accompanied by the required documentation.”
Its hard to know who to believe as the shopkeeper alleges that the agency seized product from his existing in store stock.

No comments: