I see that the Guardian's model high tax, high control, low freedom state has blotted its copybook in the minds of Brits by banning Marmite. Unilaterally too, I might add, which would appear to fly in the face of everything the EU holds dear. 'Appear to' being the operative words but I'll get to that later.
There's been plenty tongue-in-cheek jingoistic talk of tit-for-tat bans on bacon and blue cheese, along with other arguers who scoff at the paltry sales of Marmite in Denmark and thus dismiss this as a non-story.
It's certainly nothing of the sort, and far from being a laughing matter, it's very sinister.
You see, we've seen products being vilified for their individual health risk before - just think tobacco, alcohol, salt etc. - but the Danish ban is based on an over-weening fear of risk accumulation. No-one, not even panic-stricken Danish health authorities, are suggesting that Marmite is a health danger in itself. It's the fact that it could be consumed by people who also get the same nutrients elsewhere.
Denmark's submission to a 2006 EU consultation on vitamin and mineral limits in foods explains this perfectly.
As it cannot be excluded that some consumers both take food supplements and prefer fortified foods maximum amounts must be set for both categories. For safety reasons it should be avoided to use up to the [Upper Limit] twice. One simple way to address this issue is to use the Danish model for setting safe amounts of added nutrients to foods [...] and set the maximum level in supplements equal to the reference labelling value (RLV). Food supplements containing 100% of RLV are included in the Danish model.In other words, because some people are assiduous in maintaining their vitamin levels by way of supplements, everyone should be denied products which pose no threat whatsoever on their own. Ironically, Marmite ads such as the one above extolling the healthy nature of their product merely highlight to Denmark why it must be prohibited.
This is a whole different ball game. The thrust of it being that you don't need these added vitamins, so they must be banned for the good of those who are, yes, too health-conscious.
The archetypal 'you just can't win' scenario.
But why is Denmark so afeared of products like Marmite? Probably because their citizens are unusually prolific consumers of vitamin and mineral supplements (because they are indoctrinated by an unusually health-obsesive government, perchance?). The fact that there are a miniscule number of Danes who would even think of trying Marmite - according to those non-story advocates who point to only one shop selling the stuff, and even then only to ex-pat Brits - means nothing. Banned it must be.
Rules is rules. No exceptions in socialist control utopia. Common sense is so last century. What a great country, eh? The Guardian is so right, we really must strive to be like them.
But then, we may not have to. Denmark is pushing for an EU-wide limit on acceptable levels of vitamins in foods based on their own hysterical standards. And considering the EU's past record of opting for the most draconian of measures for even the most inconsequential of risks, they'll probably get there in the end.
The growing up spread had better get ready for battling against enforced shrinking sales.