Denmark bans Marmite


25 May 2011

by Stephen Gregory

Marmite has been banned in Denmark, as the vitamins and minerals it contains break food safety rules there.

The British savoury spread, which we allegedly all love or hate, is rich in vitamin B and fortified with folic acid. The Danish government deems the addition of these a risk to its people and products with such additives therefore are prohibited.

Marmite is not the first high-profile food product to fall foul of the Scandinavian country’s strict regulations on food fortified with vitamins or minerals, which were introduced in 2004. Horlicks, Ovaltine and Vegemite are already banned there, but Marmite is said to have slipped under the radar.

Colin Smith, a British advertising executive who has lived in Denmark for six years, was none too pleased with the news. “What will I put on my toast now?” he complained.

“I still have a bit left in the cupboard, but it’s not going to last long,” he added.

A specialistic English shop in Denmark has also expressed concerns over how Marmite’s absence will affect its business. Marianne Ørum, owner of Abigail’s in Copenhagen, said: "I don't eat it myself, I don't like it but Marmite was one of our best selling products. Not a day goes by without someone coming in and asking for it.”

"All the English people here are shaking their heads in disbelief and say that it is insane. I agree but it is the law. It's becoming impossible to run a business in this country. We are not allowed to do anything anymore. It is the way Denmark is going."

Meanwhile fans of the spread have expressed their dismay via Twitter, with some facetiously suggesting that the British government should retaliate by banning Danish imports, such as Carlsberg and bacon.

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