Sunday 17 December 2017

Salmond hails Irn-Bru recipe ruling

European politicians have eased proposed curbs on the use of a colouring crucial to Irn Bru
European politicians have eased proposed curbs on the use of a colouring crucial to Irn Bru

The secret recipe of "Scotland's other national drink" will not be changed after European politicians voted to scale back plans to restrict the use of a crucial colouring.

Irn-Bru lovers, including First Minister Alex Salmond, feared for the future of the "iconic" recipe as a European health committee met on Friday to decide the minimum permitted level of sunset yellow, the colouring behind its distinctive rusty hue.

The First Minister had earlier written a letter to John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, urging the The European Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health not to reduce the permitted level to 10 milligrams per litre (10 mg/l).

The ruling would have forced Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr to halve the amount of sunset yellow in the drink.

Mr Salmond wrote: "Both the European Food Safety Authority and also our Food Standards Agency consider that a 20 mg/l limit poses no risk to consumer health."

Member states have voted in favour of restricting use levels of sunset yellow in food and drink, including a reduction for soft drinks, from 50 mg/l to 20 mg/l.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond said the ruling is a victory for the Scottish Government and the Food Standards Agency's appeals. The new limit is now likely to be ratified by the European Parliament, safeguarding Irn-Bru's recipe in European law.

Welcoming the decision by the committee, Mr Salmond said: "Thank goodness this problem has been Irn-ed out.

"It is a victory for our other national drink. I'm delighted that common sense has prevailed and that Europe's decision protects this iconic Scottish brand.

"I congratulate all involved in securing this positive outcome. Folk at home and abroad who love their Irn-Bru will be toasting this success with a glass of the stuff made from girders."

Press Association

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