Canada pulls some British products from shelves over import issue

Jan. 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM
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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Canadian food inspectors are looking into possibly removing a number of British food imports from shelves, upsetting customers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency last week seized products including Marmite, Ovaltine, Bovril, Penguin Bars and Scotland's favourite soda, Irn-Bru, from a store in Saskatoon, causing outrage among shoppers, the Vancouver Sun reported.

CFIA spokeswoman Lisa Murphy said the products were seized because the shipment that they came in from the U.K. company Brit Foods contained meat products, which violates Canada's import rules.

"In order to be sold in Canada, products must comply with regulatory requirements," said Murphy. "To sell the products legally in Canada, the importer could find another supplier who manufactures these products that meet Canadian requirements, work with their current supplier to reformulate their product to meet requirements, or make an application to Health Canada including adequate safety information."

Murphy said there were no safety issues with any of the products.

Steve McVittie, owner of the Celtic Treasure Chest British Imports in Vancouver's Dunbar neighborhood, said he has not yet been told to remove products from his shelves.

"How can they go after everyone? They'd have to target Safeway and other big retailers that sell Marmite," said McVittie. "I've never really been hassled by food inspection, and if they are going to pick on the British then they'll have to start cracking down on other import shops. I can go to Italian stores, German, Chinese, Japanese, and I'm pretty sure I could find something in those stores that shouldn't be here in Canada."

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