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CFIA orders Saskatoon British shop to stop selling Marmite, Irn-Bru

Watch the video above: Local man ordered to stop selling British products

SASKATOON – A Saskatoon British food specialty shop may have to close its doors after the federal government banned some of its top-selling products.

Tony Badger, the owner of Brit Foods, said products such as Marmite, Ovaltine and the popular Scottish soft drink Irn-Bru have been banned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

“With Marmite, the information we got simply states that it’s enriched with too many vitamins and minerals,” he explained.

Badger said the same reason was given for Ovaltine.

“With Irn Bru, it’s a colouring ingredient,” Badger said.

With the top-sellers stripped from his shelves, the store owner said the ordeal has cost him more than $20,000.

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“If we don’t get a favourable resolution and know exactly where we stand, then we’re going to have to look at closing,” Badger explained.

Anne Lepage, the owner of Clans Celts & Clover in Saskatoon, said the news is very upsetting.

“Yes he’s a competitor, but competition’s good. And I thought it’s just terrible, you know, to have that amount of food pulled. It’s just not right,” Lepage said.

Both Badger and Lepage say navigating CFIA regulations can be daunting.

“Nothing in the content makes any sense. You can’t get any specific information,” said Lepage.

“You just cannot pinpoint what is the problem and what isn’t the problem,” she explained.

Badger said the CFIA is going to conduct a health risk assessment on some of the products.

But the agency has not given him a timeline.

“It’s a very niche market, and the people that frequent the stores are going to miss out on the nostalgia products,” said Lepage.

CFIA staff came to Badger’s store and pulled the remaining unpermitted products from his shelves.

Badger, who also has stores in Edmonton Alta, and Parksville, B.C., said many other stores across Canada carry products like Marmite and Ovaltine, and he’s not sure why he’s been singled out.

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Global reached out to the CFIA to find out why his business has been specifically targeted, but the agency was not available for comment.

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