Disturbing news reports are leaking out of Australia. Apparently U.S. customs has banned the importation of Vegemite into the United States. What will Aussies living here do without their favorite food? The Sunday Times reports
THE US has banned Vegemite, even to the point of searching Australians for jars of the spread when they enter the country. The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite has been deemed illegal under US food laws... Kraft spokeswoman Joanna Scott said: "The (US) Food and Drug Administration doesn't allow the import of Vegemite simply because the recipe does have the addition of folic acid.'' The US was "a minor market'' for Vegemite, she said. GeelongInfo.com
also corroborates this story, reporting that one of their reporters was stopped while crossing from Canada into the US, and the border guards demanded to know if they were carrying Vegemite:
"We thought they were joking but it was real," Fogarty said. "We went down to Montana and were crossing the border, they searched everybody's car as they do and after they searched asked if we were carrying any Vegemite. We were completely shocked. Normally Sarah wouldn't travel far without Vegemite but for some reason we didn't have it." Police recognised the couple as Australians and thought they might be suspects.
But some are skeptical. Cerebral Soup
reports finding no mention of such a ban on any US government site, except for a single mention
of some vegemite coming from the UK being banned.
My theory is that Drop Bears
are somehow responsible for the ban, since as everyone knows, one of the only defenses against a drop bear is to spread vegemite behind your ears. With no Vegemite in the US, we'll all be defenseless when they launch their attack.
UPDATE: The FDA have said that they have not banned vegemite. The refused batches from the UK were stopped for: "labeling problems (lack of ingredient list), suspected presence of a color additive not approved for use in food in the United States, and lack of registration of facilities and filing of processes for a low-acid canned food."
(Thanks, Nathan and Tom.)