British expats, you can relax. 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.”
The statement goes on to say that the rejected shipment contained other products, including the bright-orange, caffeinated soft drink Irn-Bru described as Scotland's "other national drink" and Marmite, a traditional British spread, made from brewer’s yeast.
Tony Badger of Brit Foods, a company that runs stores specializing in British products in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, made headlines in the U.K. after claiming inspectors were cracking down on products sold at his stores, including Marmite, Irn-Bru, Bovril, Ovaltine and more because they fell afoul of the CFIA.
Badger claimed he couldn't import the British specialty products into Canada because they were are all apparently enriched with too many vitamins and minerals.
British press were aghast at the news, with The Mirror claiming, "Canada is a country where there are 31 guns for every hundred people, they hunt seals and black bears roam freely," before concluding Canada isn't really that "tough-skinned."
The Independent newspaper took a similar approach, saying that "In Canada it is perfectly legal to acquire a firearm and bullets. But Marmite and Irn-Bru are apparently a threat to the nation's health."
But the CFIA said Friday that the Brit Foods shipment was rejected at the border in Montreal because it contained meat products that were not accompanied by the required documentation.