New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key on Monday (August 5) joined the chorus of voices asking for details about the latest dairy product health scare involving the country's biggest company, Fonterra as more countries ban imports, or recall products contaminated with a bacteria that can cause botulism.
Global dairy giant Fonterra said the bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum, was caused by a dirty pipe at a processing plant producing whey protein concentrate.
Key said the contaminated batch of whey was produced in May 2012.
"When you've got a company that's our largest company, our largest brand, our largest exporter that is the flagship for New Zealand and your whole business is about food safety and food quality you think they'd take such a precautionary view to these things and say if it's testing for some reason in an odd way that it would just be discarded until they were absolutely sure that its right," said Key.
In New Zealand, Nutricia, a division of Danone, recalled some types of infant formulas sold under the Karicare brand. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) advised against consuming Karicare Infant formula Stage 1 for babies from birth and Nutricia Karicare Stage 2 follow on for children from 6 months old. This advice applies to all batches of these products on the market - regardless of batch numbers said the MPI's Scott Gallacher.
"The safety and well-being of consumers has been at the forefront of the government's mind throughout ever since we were notified on Friday afternoon of a food safety issue involving batches of whey protein concentrate that was produced by Fonterra at a single manufacturing plant," said Gallacher.
Botulism is a potentially fatal disease that affects the muscles and can cause respiratory problems.
Fonterra identified eight companies to which it had sold contaminated New Zealand-made whey protein concentrate, exported to China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Saudi Arabia and used in products including infant milk powder.
China banned the import of all New Zealand milk powder imports and several other countries, including Russia, Thailand and Vietnam have ordered the recall of Fonterra products.
Presented by Adam Justice