CFIA blocka Marmite shipment

By Jasminee Sahoye

Recent media reports that a shipment of Marmite, a sticky, dark brown yeast-based paste used for spreads, soups, stews and as a nutritional drink for many in the West Indies, was not permitted in Canada had some West Indian store owners confused as to why.
For decades, Marmite, which is made in Britain, has been used in many households in countries in the Caribbean. For example, in Guyana, a former British colony, it was used as a nutritional supplement for many especially the young, elderly and sick.
Marmite has been available on Canadian store shelves for more than a decade but recently a shipment of it along with some other products from Britain was intercepted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The CFIA said that a shipment containing products imported from the UK was detained because it contained meat products that were not accompanied by required documentation. Appropriate certification of meat products is required to assure food safety and protect animal health in Canada.
The rejected shipment included other products, among them Marmite.
The CFIA said that the spread contained added vitamins that are not permitted under current regulations.
However, in a press release this week, the CFIA said Marmite will continue to be sold in stores across Canada.
It added that imported products that meet Canadian requirements under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations are and will continue to be available for sale in Canada.
“The CFIA will work with the food seller to ensure they are accessing the correct products, destined for Canadian markets. Food safety remains a top priority for the Government of Canada, and is the primary focus of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food inspection action,” the CFIA said.
Marmite has a unique flavour and is very salty. This unique taste is reflected in the British company’s marketing slogan: “Love it or hate it.”