Kevin Rudd loves it, the US hates it: Vegemite row blights UN trip

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Australia's foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, found himself embroiled in an unusual diplomatic row when American customs officers tried to confiscate his preferred breakfast treat – a jar of Vegemite sandwich spread.

Mr Rudd was forced to employ his diplomatic skills earlier than he had anticipated when he arrived in New York for a United Nations meeting on Sunday. Airport security staff stopped him when they suspected that his jar of the famous Australian foodstuff might have been a dangerous liquid. "Only problem travelling to NY is that they tried to confiscate our Vegemite at the airport. Needed Foreign Ministerial intervention," Mr Rudd wrote on his Twitter feed.

"Re: Vegemite Q's. Airport staff were surprised when I said it is good for you & I ate it for breakfast. They then waved me through."

Mr Rudd is the second Australian politician forced to defend the virtues of Vegemite in the US this year. In March, Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared her "love" for the yeast extract during a visit to the US, after President Barack Obama pronounced the "quasi-vegetable by-product paste that you smear on your toast for breakfast" to be "horrible".

However, fellow Twitter users have accused Mr Rudd of using the incident to enhance his image at home.