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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » what the f--- is it with Americans and banning things??? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: what the f--- is it with Americans and banning things???
RickyB
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Apparently the US now feels threatened by folic acid, to the point of searching on people coming from Australia for jars of vegemite. WTF???

Now, I'll be the first to agree that the stuff tastes like yeast infection (probably, speaking on surmise here.. I mean about the yeast...oh never mind. [Big Grin] ) but seriously - banning? Wasting resources on interdicting?

And does anyone else find it weird that a Krafts spokewoman is commenting??

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0Megabyte
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So... what's vegemite?

And why is folic acid banned? (I haven't studied... folic acid. Or vegemite.)

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RickyB
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vegemite is a spread made of yeast. fockin 'orrible, mate. Stanks like a motha, too. But if people want to eat ti...
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0Megabyte
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Eww. Thanks. But eww.

So why is folic acid banned again?

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RickyB
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Not clear
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RickyB
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This smells of a hoax.
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Dave at Work
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I've tasted vegemite, and all I can say is yuck. However, I also know people that like it. The company librarian where I work is Australian, and he usually has a jar around. He even had some kind of biscuits made with vegemite in his office last week. I haven't heard anything about a ban on the stuff, and I can assure you that I would have heard about it if it was being discussed.
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Zyne
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I have some in my pantry (I use it in homemade dog food). Am I going to get arrested?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Folic acid is a B-vitamin:

folic acid

As you can see from the image, it has made Condoleeza Rice look 20 years youger.

Powerful stuff, mate.

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0Megabyte
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*dies* yes, that is who that looks like, doesn't it?
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KnightEnder
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"He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich!"

M@W

KE

[ October 23, 2006, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Dave at Work
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I haven't heard Men at Work in ages. I really need to see if I can find one of their CD's. I really should just invest in a MP3 player so that I can just download the songs that I want and not worry about misplacing CD's like I tend to do.
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Tom Curtis
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Vegemite is the food of the gods. Personally, I like it about an eigth of an inch thick on my sandwichs, preferably with several slices of tomato, or cheese, or both. Top tucker, mate!

As for the yanks banning vegemite, so much for their belief in the free market, says I.

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Storm Saxon
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Man what?
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javelin
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I'm not finding a reputable source on this one. It's the Free Republic website, and the news.com website. I cannot find anything at the US Food & Drug website, etc.

Can anyone find some solid information?

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TommySama
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I think it is just an airplane regulation. Since you said it's a creamy spread, maybe it has similar texture to liquid-bomb stuff.


BTW, swearing in the title - classy. [Wink]

[ October 23, 2006, 10:15 AM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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Storm Saxon
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You don't know that he's swearing....
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Dave at Work
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I just talked with the company librarian where I work, who also happens to be an Australian and usually has Vegemite on hand. Apparently the ban has been around for some time, though not specifically against Vegemite. Enforcement has just been implemented resulting in the story posted in the initial post. Apparently FDA regulations on enriching foods intended for human consuption with folate make Vegemite and many other products enriched with folate illegal in the U.S. food supply.

Here is an FDA article on folic acid fortification. I havent read it in detail yet, but after skimming it I think that it says, among other things, that breakfast cereals and enriched cereal products such as flour, cornmeal, and rice can be enriched with folate but other products cannot. Apparently this was enacted back in the mid 90's sometime.

So yes, Vegemite is technically banned from being imported into the U.S. because of its folic acid enrichment, and while the ban has been in place since the mid 90's it has not been effectively enforced until recently. The solution seems to rest in one of two places. Either manufacture a Vegemite product without the folic acid enrichment for export to the U.S., or get the FDA regulation on folic acid enrichment changed.

I do not know or understand the science behind enrichments of food, so I cannot give any definitie answer as to whether the FDA regulations are proper or not. I imagine that one would have to determine what are the benefits and drawbacks to folic acid in the diet, how much folic acid is necessary to get the benefits, and at what amount do the drawbacks start to outweigh the benefits. One would then have to set a RDA (Reccomended Daily Allowance) of the stuff and determine how much is available naturally in the average American Diet. Then a choice should probably be made as to wheter and if so what food should be enriched or if supplements are the answer. I have no idea how to anwer these question, or what other questions need to be asked, but clearly they must be asked and answered befor making changes to FDA regulations on enrichments.

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The Drake
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Um, let's be clear, the FDA is constantly rejecting products based on non-sensical rules. But on the face of it, this one has at least some merit.

article

quote:

In 1998, after several years of deliberation, the FDA ruled on regulations for the mandatory addition of folic acid (the synthetic equivalent of folate) to breads, cereals, and other grain products, to assist in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Nine months after the policy was introduced, incidence of spina bifida was reportedly reduced by 31 percent. However, it is argued that the supplementation is inadequate and many more cases of birth defects could be avoided with a higher dosage.

Nevertheless, the FDA purports to the theory that too much folate can mask vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly and, they argue, Vegemite contains just too much. I’m thinking the FDA hasn’t been reading the nutritional information panel on their jar of Vegemite, which suggests a 5 gram serving for 50% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of 200 micrograms of folate per day, or 400 micrograms for women of childbearing age.

Not only that, the Institute of Medicine has established a daily upper intake level (UL) of no more than 1000 micrograms of folic acid so as not to mask symptoms of B12 deficiency.

On some level, it makes sense, as it would be a problem if you just added folic acid to any random product. But this is a product made to be used with bread, so B12 is present in abundance in the manner in which the food is actually eaten.
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EDanaII
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quote:
BTW, swearing in the title - classy. [Wink]
I hereby move that, henceforth, swearing be banned from the Title of all posts!

...

And that Ricky B banned for swearing in the title!

Muahahahahahahaha!!!!

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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*** this, ******-******s!
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EDanaII
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He's a witch! Ban him! BAN him!

How do you know he's a witch?

'Cause he swears like one!

He turned me into a Newt... Gingritch!

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kenmeer livermaile
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Don't you mean 'Greengrinch'?
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Richard Dey
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In the summer of 1958 I was strip-searched for boll weavels at the Mississippi border. I was biking for cripes' sake. Egads! Next we'll be banning illegal immigrants!
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hobsen
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Wish we had a video of that, Richard. The Richard Dey boll weevil epidemic in living color. Sorry, I am sure it was not much fun at the time. But you remind me of Thurber's character who died of the chestnut blight.
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RickyB
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I can live with the ban, which prevents commercial-scale distribution. But searching people for a jar or two? How stupid can you be?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"How stupid can you be?"

I LOVE that show!!! And people say reality TV is no good... [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"In the summer of 1958 I was strip-searched for boll weavels at the Mississippi border. I was biking for cripes' sake. Egads! Next we'll be banning illegal immigrants!"

You velly funny man, M. Dey. reminds me of my face gay pride button:

IF WE GIVE GAYS EQUAL RIGHTS, THEN EVERYONE WILL WANT THEM!

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KnightEnder
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quote:
because of its folic acid enrichment
If Australia doesn't immediately halt their 'folic acid enrichment' program, leading to Vegemite, we must take preemptive action.

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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SPAM away!!!
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The Drake
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'folic acid enrichment' program

*snicker*


Actually, the Australians are being searched because of the VNPT (Vegemite Non-Proliferation Treaty) in which all of the other UN Nations signed a treaty to keep Vegemite from.... (wait for it)...

spreading.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Recent reports that Australia has purchased high-density tensile tungsten spatulas are cited as evidence that Australia seeks more than its professed 'peaceful enlightenment through vitamin-B' program but actually intends to make... Deviled SPAM.

Like post-WWII America before 1949, we foolishly believed we held a monopoly on this most powerful of sandwich spreads./ Vegemite was, after all, not real MEAT. But, scientists say, Vegemite, sufficiently concentrated through a controlled chain reaction process known as 'yeast enhancement', could produce deli-grade Deviled SPAM in as little as 3 years.

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KnightEnder
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We should send in Oscar Mayer to inspect. Under the UN auspice of course.

And pull Colin Powell out of retirement to go to the UN with a vile of vegemite.

We all know Austrailans are paranoid. M@W's follow up was that paranoid "Who can it be now?!!!"

(Of course it would be hard for Australia to lauch anything since they are on the bottom of the world and thus gravity would be working against them.)

"spread" great Drake.

KE

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The Drake
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The famous picture of Colin Powell describing the Vegemite threat to the UN.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"(Of course it would be hard for Australia to lauch anything since they are on the bottom of the world and thus gravity would be working against them.)"

We should have an ongoing 'medeival physics' thread, eh?

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Daruma28
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Wow...I guess I better hide my three tubes of Vegemite I brought back with me from my last trip to Australia!

Damn...this is ridiculous!

For one thing, because vegemite has such a strong flavor, you don't use much of it when you spread it on your toast. A little bit goes a long way, so the whole concern about too much folic acid is simply ridiculous. Australians typically have a little bit of vegemite on their toast for breakfast...it's not as if people eat vegemite all day long!

BTW - to me, it tastes like beer paste. I love it...but I understand why other people can't stand it. It is a strong, acquired taste.

I just hope the FDA doesn't seize my Vegemite the next time I go down under and try to bring back a few more tubes!!!!

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Dave at Work
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My Australian coworker set out a tray of Triscuits and a jar of Vegemite in the company library as a form of protest for one day. A few people even tried some.

Personally I think that someone bringing in a jar or two for their own personal use should be allowed to, while importation for commercial use, sales, distribution, etc., should be stopped so long as the regulation is in place and Vegemite is in violation of it.

Now if they could just reclassify Vegemite as a dietary supplement rather that a food this could all just go away.

[ October 26, 2006, 05:00 PM: Message edited by: Dave at Work ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Vegemite is a weapon of gas destruction.
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Athelstan
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Without wishing to sound like Star Trek’s Mr Chekov I would like to point out the Vegemite is a weaker version of that great British invention Marmite. The original sandwich spread and first produced over one hundred years ago.

Marmite

What's in Marmite


quote:
Yeast Extract - The extract of a fungus often used to ferment sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. The gas makes bread rise. In pure form, smells awful.

Sodium Chloride - aka salt. Nice on chips. Essential part of human diet. Comes from the sea, or underground deposits (from very old seas).

Vegetable Extract - Well, er... it's vegetables, right, and they take stuff from them...

Niacin - A nicer way of saying Nicotinic acid - which is a poncy way of saying part of the Vitamin B complex (Vitamin B3).

Thiamin - Vitamin B1. Useful for Glycosis - part of respiration. Not that it matters.

Spice2 Extracts - Well, they got these spices, right, and they sort of extracted bits out of them...

Riboflavin - Vitamin B2 - The manufacturers are obviously trying to pretend that their product is not mostly constructed of Vitamin B by using long words.

Folic Acid - Again, it's just another type of Vitamin B.

Vitamin B12 - This ingredient is pretty self-explanatory. They must have run out of fancy Vitamin B words. Needed for producing proteins, red blood cells.



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Tom Curtis
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Athelstane, having tried both I can tell you that Marmite is vile. There is no comparison between Vegemite and Marmite.
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