Lind Bird from Winnipeg Canada had her 2 dollar Kinder Surprise egg seized at the U.S. border after a random search of her car. The chocolate egg has a toy inside that the U.S. considers a choking hazard. However other countries such as Canada have concluded that it is not suffiiently dangerous to ban. The eggs are made by the famous Italian company Ferroro and are popular throughout Europe as well as Canada. There are many different toys inside the plastic capsule in different eggs.
Bird said:"It's just a chocolate egg," "And they were making a big deal. They said 'if you were caught with this across the border you would get charged a $300 fine,'"
The U.S. border authorities take the evil eggs very seriously. Officals claim they have seized more than 25,000 of the eggs in 2,000 separate seizures. Maybe they keep a score card.
Canada along with many other countries allows legal sale of the candies because they feel that the eggs are so difficult to get into that there is little chance they could harm anyone. Indeed the U.S. does not cite any instances of children actually choking on the toy but refers to a regulation:
"" In 1993, the company asked U.S. authorities to permit its sale, but the government turned down the request, citing regulations that prohibit having an inedible product inside an edible object."" This seems rather strange. One wonders if they will ban cherries and peaches that have inedible objects inside an edbile objects. I guess if nature does it, it is OK.
A customs department official said:"They have been determined to present ... a choking hazard to young children," It is not explained how nor why other countries obviously disagree.
Bird actually received a seven page letter asking her to formally authorize the destruction of her seized egg. Bird said:"I thought it was a joke. I had to read it twice. But they are serious," Bird can contest the seizure if she wants but she will have to pay 250 dollars to store the egg while the legal wrangling goes on. Egg storage is obviously expensive. I wonder who has the contract for storage!
If you are crossing from Canada to the U.S. make sure you do not have any of these banned chocolate eggs. Perhaps you could cheat the system by eating all the chocolate before you cross and just retaining the toy plastic capsule separately.