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Friday, January 24, 2014

New Canadian Regulations Threaten Importation and Sale of Irn Bru and Bovril

The BBC reports:

The owner of a British food shop in Canada says he has been ordered to stop selling Marmite, Ovaltine and Irn Bru because they contain illegal additives.
Other affected products include Lucozade, Penguin Bars and Bovril.
. . .

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reportedly cracking down on the sale of such goods and increasing its inspections of suppliers.

Irn Bru contains at least one additive - Ponceau 4R - which has been linked to hyperactivity and does not appear on the approved food list in Canada.

The other products are banned because they are "enriched with vitamins and mineral" while some canned foods and soup contained too much animal product.
Sounds like these are troubling times for those with British and Scottish culinary inclinations. But the CFIA is now conducting evaluations of the banned products to determine if they are safe.

While Irn Bru, rather than Bovril, seems to be the star of this story, I cannot post about a story like this without an honorary citation to Watteau v. Fenwick, 1 QB 346 (1892), where a pub manager, Humble (who was the agent of the pub's owner, Fenwick), bought Bovril and cigars even though he had not been given the authority to make these purchases. The seller thought that Humble owned the bar and did not realize that he was anybody's agent. In the absence of Humble's actual authority or apparent authority (as the seller did not realize that there was any principal involved), the court held that Fenwick was still liable for the purchases, concluding that in cases like this, the principal is liable for all acts which are within the authority usually confided to an agent of that character.

I have not traveled extensively, so I did not know what Bovril was until last year, when Stephen Bainbridge gave an extensive and opinionated description of the product when he taught Watteau in his Business Associations class. For any reader who is still unfamiliar with this product, Wikipedia seems to give a thorough and accurate account.

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