Written by Roy Turse
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Friday, 20 February 2009

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The Foreign Office has denied allegations that British Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were subjected to Marmite.

The use of Marmite is banned under the Geneva Convention as a cruel and unusual punishment, so any idea that the government has been aware of its use is seen as extremely damaging.

Marmite itself is not well known in the US, and it is thought that it was introduced to American troops by UK forces in the Gulf War. If, as is alleged, US forces guarding prisoners have been using Marmite, the US public may not realise the gravity of the offence.

Conversely, British people are well aware of the effects of the substance, and there is great concern that British ministers may have known, but turned a blind eye. Although any information recovered using Marmite would not be admissible in court, the effectiveness of it for extracting information is not debated. Known as 'the truth spread' in parts of the Middle East, just the rumour that there is a jar of Marmite on the premises is enough to strike fear into the hearts of detainees.

Amnesty International has called for a worldwide ban on Marmite and have highlighted that it is not just the raw form of the substance that must be dealt with. "If a regime claims to only be using Twigletts, it does not detract from the fact that Marmite is involved," they contest.

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