New Zealand says tests performed on Fonterra dairy products indicate they did not contain botulism-causing bacteria. The company was at the center of a global contamination scare that resulted in a recall and import bans from several countries.
But New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries said the test results show the presence of a different kind of bacteria that does not cause botulism.
Fonterra is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, and New Zealand’s biggest dairy company.
The ministry issued a statement saying, “The bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate (WPC) manufactured by Fonterra is not Clostridium botulinum. The organism is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism-causing toxins.”
Fonterra had announced earlier this month that some of its products had become contaminated by a dirty pipe at one of its processing plants.
This discovery resulted in an inquiry into the contamination by Prime Minister John Key, which led to concerns over the impact it would have on the nation’s daily industry.
The scare over Fonterra’s products led to import bans by China and several other countries.
About a quarter of New Zealand’s export revenue comes from dairy products, and some 7% of its gross domestic product. Nearly 90% of the country’s milk production depends on Fonterra.
China appears to be attempting to capitalise on the health scare over Fonterra in order to increase consumer confidence in its domestic brands, but few parents in China are convinced, judging by online reactions.
The state media’s criticisms of foreign milk brands appears to be resulting in a backlash from Chinese citizens, according to a BBC report. Image/Google Image