Health Canada permitted caffeine in non-cola carbonated drinks to allow import of Scottish beverage
Department of Foreign Affairs moved to eliminate 'long-standing trade irritant'.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq was influenced by then International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan to allow caffeine in non-cola carbonated soft drinks, says Sarah Schmidt of Postmedia News. Van Loan acted to facilitate the sale of caffeinated Scottish beverage Irn-Bru, which was previously only available without caffeine in Canada. The Centre for Science in the Public Interests (CSPI) laments that Health Canada ads linking sugary beverages with childhood obesity may be ineffective now that those drinks contain a mildly addictive substance.
"Pressure from officials at Foreign Affairs was the driving force behind Health Canada's controversial decision last year to allow the addition of caffeine to non-cola soft drinks, newly released internal records indicate.
When Health Canada announced in March 2010 that it was loosening up the caffeine rules for carbonated beverages, the country's food regulator said the decision was made after an 'extensive review of all available science', adding that the 'safety of Canadians is our top priority'.
There was no mention of international trade considerations or a specific brand driving the process
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Posted: October 06, 2011
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