9 Aug 2015

Australia considers Vegemite ban

3:31 pm on 9 August 2015

The Australian government is proposing banning the sale of the popular Vegemite spread in some communities because it is used to make alcohol.

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Photo: Creative Commons

It says the yeast-based product is contributing to anti-social behaviour in some remote communities.

Australian Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion described the salty spread as a "precursor to misery".

He said it was being bought in bulk to make moonshine, sometimes being brewed in bathtubs.

In communities where alcohol is banned because of addiction problems, Mr Scullion said Vegemite sales should also be restricted, the BBC's Jon Donnison in Sydney reports.

The minister added that in some cases children were failing to turn up to school because they were too hung over, and that Vegemite was an increasingly common factor in domestic violence cases.

Vegemite started as a wartime substitute for Marmite; it is now something of an Australian culinary icon.