WELLINGTON, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Police investigating a threat to poison New Zealand infant formula said on Wednesday that they were testing cans of product that had reportedly been tampered with.
Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said in a statement that police had received a number of calls from members of the public concerned with possible infant formula product tampering, such as possible pinpricks in packaging lids.
"In response to these calls a number of tins of product have been collected and secured by police," said Burgess.
"Tins of formula are being forensically tested where appropriate," he said. "At this stage there is no information from these incidents which suggests the public is at risk."
The statement gave no other details about who reported the possible tampering and where the reports were made.
Police said last week that letters sent to the Federated Farmers industry group and the Fonterra dairy cooperative in November last year were accompanied by small packages of milk powder that subsequently tested positive for the presence of a concentrated form of the pesticide 1080.
The letters threatened to contaminate infant and other formula with 1080 unless New Zealand stopped using 1080 for pest control by the end of March 2015.
The 1080 threat is the third food safety or contamination alert involving New Zealand's dairy industry in as many years.
At the beginning of 2013, residues of pasture treatment chemical DCD was found in some Fonterra milk products, and in August that year came the false botulism alarm and the global recall of whey protein concentrate.
Sodium monofluoroacetate, known as 1080, is a poison used to protect New Zealand's native flora and fauna against introduced pests such as possums and ferrets.
Its use has been controversial over the years with opponents saying it poisons non-target animals and contaminates the environment.