Vegemite and the US FDA

There’s been a fair bit of discussion around the web about the US FDA banning the import of Vegemite (( Alec Muffett – US govt bans Vegemite )) (( Andrew Pollock – Egad. They’ve banned Vegemite! )) (( BoingBoing – US govt bans Vegemite )) (( – US bans Vegemite )).

Well I went digging around because this sounded a little too odd and because the only source was a tiny news story that gave no details. Wikipedia’s Vegemite entry mentions the ban but is equivocal about the veracity of the reports and if you check the history and the discussion page there’s quite a debate about whether or not its real.

So I went to the horses mouth – I left a feedback message on the Vegemite website asking about whether this was real or not and (to my suprise) got a rapid response from Kraft Foods, which I’m waiting to see if they’ll give me permission to quote.

The summary is that the news story is pretty much accurate, if a little old, Kraft Foods haven’t been exporting Vegemite to the US for 12 months now because of the US FDA’s regulations on what foods are allowed to have folate fortification.

6 thoughts on “Vegemite and the US FDA

  1. I understand that Kraft (originally a Catholic company) nicked the Vegemite (originally “Pawill” after “Marmite”) recipe from some health food company run by some Seventh day Adventists (Harvey Kellogg?), then did something silly like suing the original makers for stealing “their” recipe – and winning.

    So… perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems that it doesn’t have a clean history. This is all from _old_ memory, so don’t rely too much on it.

  2. Actually the wording that Kraft used in their email to me was very interesting, they don’t say they were banned, they say that they do not export it to the US any more because of the FDA regulations.

    So it could be that it is simply a self-imposed response to the FDA regulations.

  3. Pingback: Mylivia » Blog Archive » Reason 4,543,786 For Not Living In The U.S.A

  4. Of course, maybe if the US auties come off all that high salicylate peanut butter and berry jam with orange juice, we can import them some of our mega mega high salicylate Vegimite instead… then all the auties can be manic little Vegimites.

    But I’m probably just a bitter ex Vegimite addict, defeated by an inconvenient diagnosis as phenol and salicylate intolerant.

    So ignore me, I’ll go back to my margarine GF/CF rubber toast with added nothing whilst the rest of you celebrate the wonderful (and highly addictive if you’re salicylate intolerant) Vegimite.


    … Donna Williams *)

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