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Leave the chocolate egg where I can see it!

A Winnipeg woman named Linda Bird was recently stopped at the U.S. border for a random search of her car. The customs official discovered a little piece of contraband - a Kinder Surprise Egg, valued at about $2.69 for a two-pack at your local Canadian grocery store. Turns out, the chocolate egg is banned in the United States for fear the toy inside is a choking hazard.

(Canada, on the other hand, has decided that the little yellow case the toy comes in is so hard to open that the egg is safe.)

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But at the border, Ms. Bird saw her Kinder Surprise promptly seized, with a stern warning that she could have faced a $300 fine for secreting it into the country. "It was just a chocolate egg," Ms. Bird told the CBC. "It's ridiculous. It's so ridiculous."

What is truly ridiculous came next. Ms. Bird says she recently received a seven-page letter from the U.S. government formally asking her to authorize the egg's destruction. Should she like to contest, she'll have to cough up $250 for storage. "I had to read it twice," Ms. Bird says. "But they are serious."

And so are those border guards, who have reportedly seized roughly 25,000 eggs in 2,000 crossings (also suggesting a burgeoning black market in Kinder surprises.) But then, chocolate eggs are not without their nefarious uses - in December, security at the Los Angeles airport found 14-pounds of cocaine hidden in egg-shaped candy.

Bottom line: Cross the border with a Kinder Egg at your own risk.

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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