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Australia to Ban Vegemite? Used for Moonshine by Kids

Flickr/GordonWrigley Flickr/GordonWrigley

Some officials of the Australian Government are suggesting that Vegemite be restricted in some areas.

According to BBC, people are using Vegemite in making moonshine which results to anti-social behavior among children in some communities.

Vegemite contains brewer’s yeast which is also used in making beer.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said that Vegemite should be restricted in areas that alcohol is banned.

“Businesses in these communities…have a responsibility to report any purchase that may raise their own suspicions,” Scullion said. Additionally, he said that the yeast spread might be a “precursor to misery.”

He also explained that “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.”

On the other hand, People’s Alcohol Coalition’s Dr. John Boffa stated that this is just an isolated case.

“We’re talking about an isolated problem in a couple of communities around a very large nation, and a nation where there is a very large number of Aboriginal communities, and every community is different.”

Sydney Morning Herald noted that people are purchasing bulk orders of Vegemite across dry areas in Queensland and the Northern Territory. They are buying up to 20 jars to produce home-made alcohol.

Notably, there are 19 communities in Queensland that ban or limit alcohol. But the source stated that its government is planning to lift the ban because people are now capable of producing home-made alcohol by using alternatives, such as Ribena Juice and Vegemite.

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Sewlyn Button told ABC in November 2013 that “they’re using a whole range of products and items that can be used to essentially ferment and turn into alcohol,” SMH noted.

Vegemite is a substitute for “Marmite”. It is a widely known Australian spread and breakfast staple added on toast.

 

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