Canadian stars Justin Bieber and Celine Dion should be banned from Europe in retaliation for an apparent mix-up that saw Irn Bru pulled from a shop’s shelves, a Scottish politician has suggested.
Alyn Smith, an SNP member of the European Parliament, made the unusual demand after reports that a shop in the province of Saskatchewan had its stock confiscated.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) insists that the drink is not banned from sale but that the wrong formulation had been sent from Britain.
The reassurance did not stop Mr Smith, who has now written to the agency and the EU trade commissioner.
“Scotland and Canada have strong cultural and historical links, I’m sure many ex-pats across the pond will be worried about how to get their daily fix of the bru if this supposed ban remains,” he said.
“I think if it does, we need to look into banning Justin Bieber and Celine Dion here in Europe - between them they’ve produced more sugary schmaltz than Irn Bru ever has.”
In an online statement, the CFIA said: “Irn Bru and Marmite are not banned for sale in Canada. These products have been available on Canadian store shelves for more than a decade and will continue to be sold in stores across Canada.
“Recently, a shipment containing a number of products imported from the UK was detained in the course of regular border activities because it contained meat products that were not accompanied by the required documentation. Appropriate certification of meat products is required to assure food safety and protect animal health in Canada.
“The CFIA determined that the rejected shipment also included other products, including Irn Bru and Marmite.
“Imported products, including Irn Bru and Marmite, that meet Canadian requirements under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations are and will continue to be available for sale in Canada.
“The CFIA will work with the food seller to ensure they are accessing the correct products, destined for Canadian markets.”