Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : September 2013 Contents The Dairyman September 2013 5
However, Ms Kaye said the latest issue
-- which she described as one of quality
assurance rather than food safety -- was
not highly unusual. Quality assurance
issues of food exports happened some 20
times a year.
''They are doing more testing in New
Zealand as a result of this incident so
what I can tell you is occasionally you
may get a notification in the food system,
and that MPI will look at that particular
notification and in that particular incident
it was nitrate and they are stepping up
testing to make sure that we don't have a
Lactoferrin is a natural dairy protein
used in food products, including infant
formula. The high nitrate level was discov-
ered by the distributors of the products in
China, who contacted Westland about it.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan
Guy said ''one of the questions we're
going to have asked'' was why testing in
New Zealand did not pick up the high
Part of a Government inquiry into
Fonterra would take in the testing regime,
BY ANDREA FOX
AWAIKATO dairy company dragged
into a new export-product alert,
which is sparking another wave of
alarm in China, says a regulatory shake-
up is coming for the New Zealand dairy
Tatua Co-operative Dairy has found
itself embroiled in the fallout from the
announcement that some lactoferrin
product from Westland Milk Products was
found by a Chinese customer to contain
elevated levels of a cleaning fluid. Tatua
had bought a batch of the lactoferrin and
sold it to a Chinese customer.
The batches, totalling 390kg, have
been quarantined in Chinese warehouses
and did not reach shop shelves. No New
Zealand products are involved.
Lactoferrin is used in a range of food
products, including baby formula and
Westland said the levels were not a
Regulatory shake-up looming
But late last month Chinese social
media and news reports were abuzz with
the announcement, which came two
weeks after New Zealand dairy giant
Fonterra threw the highly sensitive Asian
market and Kiwi parents into a panic
when it admitted a whey protein used in
baby formula could contain bacteria that
could cause botulism. That product has
been contained after major recalls.
Tatua chief executive Paul McGilvary
said his specialist product company
was ''surprised and disappointed'' to be
advised of the alert on August 16n. West-
land was informed of the discovery by its
Chinese distributor on August 1 and told
the Ministry for Primary Industries the
Tracking, quarantining and testing
had delayed the announcement, Westland
chief executive Rod Quin has said.
Mr McGilvary said the time lag was
''perhaps a little long''.
He was in no doubt ''things are going
to change'' with the ministry likely to
regulate for more testing.
China and New Zealand have a free-
trade agreement, and Chinese market
commentators believe that, after the
botulism scare and the Fonterra DCD
nitrate inhibitor residues alert in January,
the Chinese Government will demand
the New Zealand processing industry be
Tatua had not tested the Westland
lactoferrin itself because ''they make the
product under the same rules [as us] in
the same country'', Mr McGilvary said.
Westland said the elevated cleaning-
fluid levels had been traced to a flushing-
out fault in an automatic cleaning device
and had been fixed.
Mr Quin said the levels were not
picked up in Westland's testing because it
used a composite test across several days
of lactoferrin production. The Chinese
customer had tested a single item. West-
land now tests single productions.
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Westland diary issue sparks more tests
OFFICIALS have stepped up testing on
dairy products in the wake of the most
recent contamination issue, although the
Government is playing down its signifi-
Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye
has revealed that in response to the
discovery of high nitrate levels in two
export consignments of lactoferrin from
Westland Dairy Products, Ministry for
Primary Industries (MPI) officials were
conducting additional tests.
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