New Zealand dismisses Sri Lanka’s milk scare
New Zealand has rejected allegations from Sri Lanka that its dairy products were contaminated with a farm chemical, accusing industry rivals of exploiting fears stirred by a recent botulism scare.
Sri Lanka’s health ministry recalled batches of milk powder made by Auckland-based dairy giant Fonterra, saying it was concerned the product contained the chemical dicyandiamide.
The recall was unrelated to the global safety recall announced by Fonterra after tests turned up a type of bacteria that could cause potentially- fatal botulism.
However, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said the botulism scare had provided ammunition to Fonterra’s “enemies” in Sri Lanka, where it is the market leader.
“There are certain dairy companies (in Sri Lanka) that have campaigned for years against New Zealand,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“I’ve been saying in the context of recent events (that) we do have enemies around the world and they have different faces. They’ll take advantage of an opportunity like this, we can’t be naive.”
Dicyandiamide, or DCD, is added to pastures to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by dairy herds.
New Zealand officials insist it is harmless, but say Fonterra’s farmers stopped using it earlier this year anyway.