Crikey, the food police turn their fire on Vegemite
4:00AM Monday Feb 02, 2009

The popular spread is at risk of being outlawed in Australia. Photo / Supplied

Millions of Australians and New Zealanders spread it on their toast every morning, and Britain's new tennis darling, Laura Robson, won Australian hearts last week when she declared herself a fan.

But if the Australian Government has its way, Vegemite could be banished from supermarket shelves because of its high salt content.

A preventive health task force, set up by Canberra to examine ways of tackling Australia's obesity problem, has canvassed the idea of taxing foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Although its final report is not due until June, the Australian Food and Grocery Council is already warning that Vegemite is under threat.

While the appeal of the pungent, dark brown paste is difficult to fathom for outsiders, Australians are outraged at the prospect of it being outlawed by the food police.

Even a pledge by Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, that "there is no way in the world that Vegemite would be banned" has failed to allay concerns.

More here.