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MP says soft drink not as sugary as singers

MP says soft drink not as sugary as singersA squeezable plastic jar of Marmite is seen in London, April 22, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Dunham

SASKATOON - A brouhaha over Irn-Bru has prompted a Scottish politician to send crates of the popular Scottish soft drink to Justin Bieber and Celine Dion as an apology for dragging their names into the stew.

It all started last week when Tony Badger, owners of Brit Foods, a specialty shop with outlets in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Parksville, B.C., said he'd been notified to stop selling Irn-Bru, Marmite and Ovaltine.

He was notified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency some of their ingredients are illegal in Canada.

On Monday, Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament, retaliated by saying if Canada is banning Irn-Bru, perhaps Scotland should considering banning Canadian-born singers Bieber and Dion.

He said between them, Bieber and Dion have produced "more sugary schmaltz" than Irn-Bru ever has.

After those comments, the CFIA clarified that Irn-Bru will still be for sale in Canada, as long as it's the type that doesn't contain the unapproved food colouring Ponceau 4R, though Marmite and Ovaltine are a no-go as they contain too many vitamins and minerals and other products like canned soup and stock contained too much animal products.

Smith then issued a second statement claiming his earlier one was a joke and adding he would send the singers each a crate of Irn-Bru to show there are no hard feelings.

Badger has declined comment, saying he's had legal advice to say nothing until he gets written clarification from the CFIA on the standing of the products in his stores.

"Our only request from the onset of this matter has been to receive fair and equitable treatment. If a Canadian Food and Drug Regulation has been violated then that same violation should be applicable to the more than 200 British shops across Canada and the more than 25 supermarkets in B.C."

There's no word on whether Dion, who lives in Las Vegas, or Bieber, who lives in Los Angeles, got their free samples. Bieber, however, may be preoccupied with his current legal woes, which include facing charges of DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.

(CKOM)

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