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Canada cracks down on expat favourites

Expatriates living in Canada are to do without such reminders of home as Marmite, Irn-Bru and Ovaltine under a crackdown by the government.

According to the authorities the British favourites contain illegal additives, meaning those stores that cater to expat taste buds are no longer allowed to stock them.

Tony Badger of the Brit Foods chain said that a large import shipment of the products was blocked by safety officials.

This is despite the fact that the shop owner has been selling all of these items to expats in Canada since 1997.

Mr Badger told CKOM: "We've been bringing Irn-Bru in since the very beginning. My understanding was we were importing legally. We've been declaring it through a customs broker and we've never had an issue until now."

Officials confirmed that a number of products are not allowed to be sold, but said it was only meat that had been taken from the shop.

The food colouring Ponceau 4R, which gives Irn-Bru its distinctive hue, is banned in Canada as it has been linked to hyperactivity.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed to the BBC that certain drinks and a yeast-based spread found in the shipment to Brit Foods were not permitted.

Marmite has been included in the ban because it has added vitamins that are not allowed to be put into such products under Canadian laws.

The shipment is thought to have come to the attention of the agency due to the fact that it contained beef, which is not allowed to be imported to Canada from the UK.

Mr Badger is now concerned for his business, as the items found to be technical violations of the rules are some of his best sellers.

The agency is currently undertaking a health assessment of the items to decide whether they are fit for sale.

Mr Badger said: "I haven't heard of anyone dying from consuming Irn-Bru in Scotland or Britain. So hopefully we will get a favourable decision."

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