SEATTLE - Two Seattle men say they spent more than two hours in a detention centre at the Canadian border after U.S. border agents discovered illegal chocolate eggs in their car.
Brandon Loo and Christopher Sweeney told KOMO-TV they decided to bring home some treats for friends and family during a recent trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. They bought Kinder Eggs — chocolate eggs with a toy inside.
The two men say border guards searched their car and said the eggs are illegal in the United States because young children could choke on the small plastic toys. Importing them can lead to a potentially hefty fine.
Sweeney says the bust was a waste of his time and the agents' time. The men eventually got off with a warning.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman declined to comment about the case Tuesday night.
The agency warned on its website around Easter that the treats can't be imported legally.
The agency says it seized more than 60,000 Kinder Eggs from travellers' baggage and international mail shipments in fiscal 2011.
Banned for years in the U.S., the <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1689232,00.html" target="_hplink">government allowed back two brands in 2007</a> -- but their authenticity was doubted.
Robbie Burns Day is not quite as much fun in the U.S., since this pudding made from a sheep's stomach in not allowed into the country.
Beloved by children across Europe and Canada, Kinder Eggs (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/18/2-men-held-kinder-surprise-_n_1681652.html?1342617750" target="_hplink">the product that felled these men</a>) are illegal because of their inclusion of a non-food item within food. So wouldn't <a href="http://www.kingcake.com/" target="_hplink">King Cakes</a> fall into that category too?
Though it's legal to consume horse meat in most places in the U.S., actually slaughtering horses for consumption was illegal until just last year, when <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/horse-meat-consumption-us_n_1120623.html" target="_hplink">a ban was lifted on funding horse meat inspections</a>.
Seemingly innocuous, bouillons and other soup mixes are<a href="http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/prohibited_restricted.xml" target="_hplink"> banned from being brought into the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration</a> because of the potential for meat products contained within.