Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : February 2013 Contents 14 The Dairyman FEBRUARY 2013
THE chief executive of Fonterra has
described reaction to trace findings of
nitrate inhibitor in milk as "way out of
Theo Spierings said he could assure con-
sumers worldwide that Fonterra products
were safe to consume.
"We know some of our customers and
regulators have questions. We need to
answer them, and that's exactly what we are
doing," he said.
"We have strong science and we are pro-
viding assurances about the safety of our
products. Our testing has found only minute
traces of DCD in samples of some of our
products. It is important to remember that
the minute traces detected were around 100
times lower than acceptable levels under
European food safety limits. "
Fonterra last month issued a press
release saying it supported moves by New
Zealand's two main fertiliser suppliers to
voluntarily suspend sales and use of
Dicyandiamide (DCD) treatment on farm
land until further notice.
DCD is used to inhibit nitrate leaching
into waterways from fertiliser treatments
and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The decision followed a finding in
September that traces of DCD had appeared
in milk tested by Fonterra. Spierings said
talks with fertiliser companies Ravensdown
and Ballance Agri-Nutrients about with-
drawing DCD from the market had begun at
Todd Muller, managing director of co-
operative affairs at Fonterra, said the prob-
lem with DCD use was that although
Europe had standards for DCD traces, most
countries didn't, which meant the issue
could create barriers to Fonterra's exports.
"Because farmers were looking to DCD
as a tool to mitigate farm environmental
impacts," he said, "we could see a potential
problem in future."
The press conference followed media
headlines in the US and China drawing
attention to the DCD finding and question-
ing the safety of New Zealand milk.
Spierings said his concern was not about
milk safety but about consumers being con-
cerned by rumours rather than facts.
"The whole industry is affected, based on
rumours," he said.
The potential impact was enough to make
sure the government was kept full informed,
"We have a 100 per cent open line [to the
government] every day, because it's a New
- Fairfax NZ
Spierings plays down milk woes
By TIM HUNTER
"The whole industry is affected based on rumours," says Fonterra chief executive Theo
INTERNATIONAL media reports questioning the safety of New
Zealand milk will not have any long-term impact on the country's
"100 per cent pure" image, says a Canterbury marketing expert.
Several overseas media, including the Wall Street Journal, have
asked how safe our milk is after it was revealed recently the chemi-
cal dicyandiamide (DCD) had been found in Kiwi dairy products.
University of Canterbury associate professor of marketing Ekant
Veer said United States media may be using the find as a "political
move" to encourage people to buy American-made products first.
He said the revelations would not have an impact on the dairy
and tourism industries.
"It really takes a massive, massive story to make a huge impact.
[And] as far as bouncing back, I don't think Fonterra is going to
have a problem."
DCD is used to help reduce the amount of nitrate leaching off
dairy farms into rivers and lakes.
While there is no apparent danger to human health by consuming
DCD, the country's two main fertiliser suppliers voluntarily sus-
pended sales of the chemical because it could affect trade.
Food regulators around the world are tightening testing in line
with more demanding markets and in some countries there is no tol-
erance to chemical residues.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said there was no danger
in consuming New Zealand's milk.
"Let's keep it in perspective. Our testing has found only minute
traces of DCD in samples of some of our products. It is important
to remember that the minute traces detected were around 100 times
lower than acceptable levels under European food safety limits."
He was concerned, however, about the perception of milk based
on false information.
- Fairfax NZ
Panic may be US political move - expert
By RACHEL YOUNG
Links Archive March 2013 January 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page