WELLINGTON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government Thursday assured customers of dairy giant Fonterra that it was doing all it could to contain the risks of contaminated whey products that were dispatched to markets at home and abroad.
"The safety of consumers, especially children, both in New Zealand and in our trading partners remains our number one priority," Trade Minister Tim Groser said in a joint statement with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
The New Zealand government was taking "a very precautionary approach" to the crisis over the contamination with a bacterium that can cause the potentially fatal disease, botulism.
"We have made all efforts to inform the regulatory authorities in known affected countries, and have provided full information to help those authorities trace and recall product and advise consumers," said Groser.
"We are working round the clock with Fonterra and other companies affected. New Zealand has ceased issuing export certification for any potential at-risk products," he said.
"New Zealand is also providing updated information to all other unaffected markets to maintain the transparent and frank approach adopted since the start of this situation."
In the meantime, Guy said only a very limited range of dairy products exported from New Zealand was at risk of contamination.
"Most exports of New Zealand dairy products are unaffected, including our major exports of whole milk powder and skim milk powder, butter and cheese, and which account for the large majority of Fonterra's dairy product exports," said Guy.
Products known to be potentially affected were confined to three batches of 38 metric tons of whey protein concentrate manufactured at one Fonterra plant in New Zealand.
These were subsequently used as an ingredient to manufacture about 870 metric tons of infant formula, juice and dairy beverages, yogurt, body building powder as well as animal stock food.
The contamination occurred in May last year, and testing in March this year indicated a problem. This was confirmed on July 31 and Fonterra informed the authorities in New Zealand on Aug. 2.
WELLINGTON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra revealed Wednesday that it had been fined 4.47 million yuan (728, 975 U.S. dollars or 922,663 NZ dollars) by Chinese authorities for its involvement in price fixing of consumer dairy products.
The announcement came as Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings apologized to the New Zealand public for the botulism scare that has damaged the country's international standing and panicked parents at home and abroad as infant formula is removed from supermarket shelves. Full story
BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer quality watchdog issued a warning Monday morning over two potentially tainted New Zealand-made Karicare-brand infant formula products because of botulism concerns.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) issued a consumer alert after receiving a warning notice from the New Zealand Embassy in China at midnight Sunday. Full story