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US Bans VegemiteOctober 22, 2006

Really. Here's the article.

THE United States has slapped a ban on Vegemite, outraging Australian expatriates there.

The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite contains folate, which in the US can be added only to breads and cereals.

Expatriates say that enforcement of the ban has been stepped up recently and is ruining lifelong traditions of having Vegemite on toast for breakfast.

Former Geelong man Daniel Fogarty, who now lives in Calgary, Canada, said he was stunned when searched while crossing the US border recently.

"The border guard asked us if we were carrying any Vegemite," Mr Fogarty said.

"I was flabbergasted." Paul Watkins, who owns a store called About Australia in San Antonio, Texas, said he had been forced to stop importing Vegemite six months ago.

"We have completely stopped bringing it in," he said.

"(US authorities) have made a stance and there is nothing that can be done about it."

I'm DEVastated. My mom is a Kiwi, and that stuff is gold, baby. GOLD.

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Comments

When vegemite is criminalized, only criminals will eat vegemite...
that has got to be a hoax.

Um, this is crazee!! Isn't folate good for you?! I'm Aussie but I actually don't like vegemite (a rare exception to the rule). I would hate for Aussies and other vegemite lovers to miss out when being so far from home. sad.

You should have included this review of Vegemite, which determines that it's a "Wonderful source of riboflavin and gagging."
In conclusion - Vegemite, bleah.

This is completely crazy. Bureaucracy gone made. Mad, I say. I read elsewhere (the gay curmudgeon, an Aus expat) that no-one can find the actual order banning it. And you can tell that blogsy smartyboots that she doesn't know her vegemite from... from .... well, she doesn't know what she's talking about, is all I want to say. :)

bizarre ban, but...um, well... Ew. Can't stomach the stuff.

I realize that, to Vegemite lovers, Marmite is inferior (and vice versa), but is Marmite still okay? It might be an acceptable substitute while trying to smuggle The Good Stuff into the country.

Its an outrage!!!!

heh

Is folate the same thing as folic acid? Because folic acid helps both pregnant women and women with HPV-- meaning, practically everyone. How useful to have folic acid in a sandwich spread!

I don't think I'd eat it, as I usually only put food, liquds, body parts and stoats in my mouth, but I can't see banning it. Madness. If you can add the thingie to one food why not to another? Gonna be ok to put sugar in coffee but not tea some time soon?

I'll figure out how to smuggle some across (I AM JUST JOKING MISTER BORDER GUARD WHO IS READING THIS) some time soon.

On one hand, you kinda want to give the guy who thought this one up points for a truly creative way to try to justify his obviously useless and probably over paid government job. On the other hand, WTF?!

Yeah, because they don't have enough drug dealers to bust down at Customs.

It's outrageous, I say! As an Aussie and proud lover of Vegemite, I am aghast.

Oh, and the review mentioned by kat is here. It's very amusing, if wrong.

*goes off to make some toast with Vegemite*

Yikes! Time to stock up.

Wikipedia has this to say:
In October 2006, the Melbourne Herald-Sun reported that vegemite is banned in the USA, with Customs officials going so far to even search Australians for Vegemite when they enter the country. [1] However, no official statement from the Food and Drug Administration or any other US government agency has been made specifically banning yeast extract products. Some believe that this is a misunderstanding. [2]

I think it's a hoax. And/or a disgruntled Aussie who WAS searched and maybe there was a wee bit o' sumpin' else in his ...uh....vegemite.

I think it's a hoax. Or, as someone else said, someone tryin' to bring in a little extra somethin' somethin' with his Vegemite.

You can, apparently, buy the stuff online, from a U.S. based company:

http://about-australia-shop.com/vegemite.htm

I also know that a gourmet shop near my parents sells Marmite (or at least, used to), the UK version of the stuff.

As for me, the only imported-from-somewhere-else type bread-spread I consume is Nutella.

Oh, it has to be a joke. It's okay to add caffiene to stuff (like, uh, Mountain Dew, which in Canada does not contain caffiene because there it's not legal to add caffiene to anything whose ingredients do not already contain caffiene), but not okay to add folate? No wonder Americans are so damned unhealthy.

Oh, wait, that's because they have no socialized medicine. Never mind.

Oh, it has to be a joke. It's okay to add caffiene to stuff (like, uh, Mountain Dew, which in Canada does not contain caffiene because there it's not legal to add caffiene to anything whose ingredients do not already contain caffiene), but not okay to add folate? No wonder Americans are so damned unhealthy.

Oh, wait, that's because they have no socialized medicine. Never mind.

Don't we have better stuff to ban like Hydrogenated Oils and Corn Syrup? Now I'm not a fan of the Vegemite but if you want it, then I say you should be able to have it. Geesh!

That's so ludicrous that in light of recent behavior by our government, I'm inclined to believe that it's true.

That said, I looked on the Customs website, the FDA website, did searches in the Times of London and the Guardian, and found no mention of a vegemite ban. I even called up the main Cost Plus World Market office and asked, and they said that they hadn't heard that. The only place you find anything about it is in Aussie newspapers, and they reference the same article. Makes one go "hmmmmm."

Meanwhile, there's a Save Vegemite petition started up, which you can find at savevegimite dot com.

I hope for your mum's sake that they're pulling our legs.

That is SO fucked up, man! Ugh, I hates all those rules and regulations. Now there's gonna be a lot o' new crime, like a vegemite black-market and all this mafia activity o' importin' contraband vegemite.

Found something fairly incomprehensible about Vegemite on the FDA website, and something complainint Marmite doesn't have the right nutrition label (which is easily fixed at my local import shop). Possibly a tempest in a teacup?

I hated the stuff for years, but somehow developed a taste for it last year, especially on really fresh wholewheat bread rolls from Whole Foods. Excuse me, my pantry is calling!

Now I just want to eat it more.

wtf? vegemite makes me gaggy, which is sad because i love it in theory. and the sweet little jar. it's got the same shelf appeal as nutella, but the nutella... so much chocolately-hazelnuttier.

Oooh, I'm really sorry. I'm familiar with it because my mom always had it in her cupboard. I had some (a gift package from our offices in Australia, actually) but my husband opened it, tasted it (with his finger, no less) and declared it as "tasting like tar". Since he'd tampered with it (and I don't eat it) I discarded it. Shame. I could have sent it to you. What about Marmite, from England. Are they allowing that? Is it different?

There is of course a huge difference between Aussie vegemite and Kiwi vegemite and even other types of vegemite, truly. As a Kiwi I promise you there is

fear not. it's a hoax. wikipedia was already metioned, and snopes.com also debunks it as false. http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/vegemite.asp
your salty toast is safe.

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