Canada 'bans' Marmite over additive rules

Canada has reportedly banned the importing of British foods including Marmite and Irn Bru because of the additives they contain.

Irn-Bru ban makes 'Canada-specific' version of drink

The makers of Scottish drink Irn- Bru, which contains a food colouring that is banned in Canada, produces a version of the drink that is permitted in the country, according to The Star Phoenix.

Irn-Bru contains Ponceau 4R, which is banned in Canada. Credit: PA

In a letter to the Canadian newspaper, a spokesman for A.G. Barr said the Canada-specific drink, which doesn't contain banned colouring Ponceau 4R, comes in a specially labelled bottle that the company has been exporting to the country for more than 15 years.

Read: Canada bans Marmite, Bovril and Irn-Bru

That was of little consolation to Newcastle native Nigel Westwick, who was unable to buy the Scottish favourite from a British food shop in Saskatoon, central Canada, after owner Tony Badger found a selection of the products he buys from the UK unexpectedly seized by customs.

"I couldn't understand the insanity of stopping it coming into Canada, to be honest," Westwick said. "For a country that allows one to buy firearms, guns, bullets, stopping a soft drink suitable for all ages seems a little ludicrous."

Canada 'bans' Marmite, Irn Bru, Bovril and Penguin bars

Additives in Marmite make the product illegal in Canada, according to a letter to an importer of British foods there. Credit: PA

Canada has reportedly banned the importing of British foods including Marmite and Irn Bru because of the additives they contain.

Tony Badger, who owns a British foods shop in Saskatoon in central Canada, said he had lost $20,000 (Canadian) - over £10,000 - when his shipments from the UK were seized.

“My understanding was we were importing legally," he told the local CKOM news outlet. "We’ve been declaring it through a customs broker and we’ve never had an issue until now.”

Irn Bru contains the Ponceau 4R food colouring, while Marmite, Lucozade, Penguin Bars and Bovril are all "enriched with vitamins and minerals" unacceptable to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, according to a letter from the body to Mr Badger.

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