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Food & Drink

Ovaltine, Vegemite Banned in Denmark

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COPENHAGEN -- After news that Britain's beloved Marmite has been removed from supermarket shelves in Denmark it emerged Thursday that Australia's favorite spread, Vegemite, has also been added to the Scandanavian country's banned list.

Denmark has ordered Vegemite, along with Marmite and Ovaltine, off its shelves because food authorities have never confirmed claims that it is a "rich source of Vitamin B" and folate.

The nation has strict food safety laws that restrict foods fortified with vitamins or minerals.

Kjeld Frandsen, deputy head of mission at the Danish Embassy in Canberra, confirmed to Sydney commuter newspaper mX that Vegemite had not been approved for sale.

"It is a case that Vegemite has not been approved," Frandsen said. "Products with food additives, vitamins and minerals claims in their marketing need to be approved."

Frandsen said an application would need to be lodged by Vegemite's manufacturer Kraft Foods or a local importer with Denmark's Veterinary and Food Administration before the sticky, brown spread could be sold.

He said Vegemite had probably been sold in Denmark before but authorities now insisted protocol be followed.

"With fortified food products, you have to submit an application, that is nothing new," he said.

Kraft Australia said it was checking to see if it had ever sent a care package of Vegemite to Denmark's Australian-born Princess Mary.

"We recognize that there is one very special Australian living in Denmark who we would be more than happy to

send a personal care package to if she is having trouble finding it locally," a Kraft Foods spokeswoman said.

Internet groups formed by Aussie's living in Denmark have shared tips on where to find Vegemite but Princess Mary may not even be bothered by the paperwork hurdle.

During her visit to Australia in 2005, it was revealed she preferred Tim Tams, a local chocolate cookie, over Vegemite.

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