October 22, 2006

Packin' Vegemite

Cory Doctorow points us to this bloody marvelous story, with the money quote:

"The border guard asked us if we were carrying any Vegemite," Mr Fogarty said.
...which implies Racial Profiling, or at least a line in the Border Patrol Manual: if it has an Aussie accent, ask the V question. Comforting to know that the Homeland is Secure against folate. The Ozzically Underendowed might wish to consult the Vegemite timeline.

UPDATE: This snopes bit puts the report in the 'urban legend' category, but reading the details (commercial ban, not personal-use) doesn't really provide Relief. I still love the image of the Border Minion asking "are you carrying any Vegemite, mate?" when Crocodile Dundee appears at the Border.

Posted by oook at October 22, 2006 02:49 PM

Despite the link, I'm completely baffled. What is Vegemite, why would I use it, what does it taste like and who cares whether I have some with me entering the US? What about the embargo marks this as racial profiling?

Considering the latter, might this identify my as an alien combatent subject to arrest without due process or trial?

Is this yet another aspect of "fear the world and life" that the US state has adopted as offical policy?

Posted by: RonB at October 22, 2006 05:54 PM

Not sure I buy the stated reason for the Vegemite ban. At a guess I'd say that the label's health claims for folate, while similar to what FDA allows, might run afoul of import restrictions on "functional" foods. Or something. It seems far-fetched that the U.S. bans imports of non-grain foods containing folate.

But I love the image of poor Aussies being "racially" profiled and searched for Vegemite. This being an election season, I suggest we DEMAND that candidates for office tell us where they stand on this issue.

Posted by: blacksheep at October 23, 2006 12:17 PM