China has halted the importation of some New Zealand dairy products after toxic bacteria, Clostridium botulinum known as botulism was found in the powered whey products from Fonterra according to The West Australian. Fonterra, the world’s leading diary product exporter, said some exported whey products that was used in infant formula and sports drinks may contain the bacteria that could lead to the potentially fatal illness. No cases have been reported so far.
The Food and Drug Administration in Beijing said it had met with officials from three companies importing Fonterra products and instructed them to "immediately stop selling and to recall all food products" made with questionable material according to The West Australian.
By late Sunday, one of three Chinese companies that used the potentially tainted material, baby formula firm Dumex, has been ordered to "track down its sales records"as reported by Xinhua new agency. Fonterra held a press conference on Monday where they said that Wahaha, Coke and Vitalco products were all safe. However,Dumex infant formula found that half of the affected batch were in the warehouses while the other half were in the market according to tweets by Malcolm Moore of the Daily Telegraph.
Since the 2008 tainted milk scandal that left six children dead and over 300,000 sick due to melamine, China has been importing diary products especially from New Zealand. In the first quarter of this year, 95 percent of China’s milk power came from New Zealand. There might be a shortage if the alert continues.
Photo by Nimo Wanjau