Dairy giant Fonterra recalls infant formula under botulism alert

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2013-8-4 18:15:00

      Latest  News    

More infant formula recalled
China's consumer quality watchdog said Tuesday that it has asked the Chinese branch of US infant formula producer Abbott Laboratories to recall two batches of potentially tainted milk powder over botulism concerns.

Milk scare prompts apology

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, Monday apologized in Beijing for a milk powder contamination scare amid company recalls of potentially contaminated products made with ingredients imported from the New Zealand company.

Tainted NZ imports banned
Dairy products containing ingredients imported from New Zealand and potentially contaminated with a botulism-causing bacteria have been sold on the Chinese market, as authorities issue bans on the products amid company recalls.


Brunei bans tainted Fonterra dairy products

Abbott infant formula recalled over botulism concerns

Sri Lanka suspends milk powder imports from New Zealand

China lists domestic milk powder production licensees

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra issues botulism alert

Mar The whey protein first tested positive for Clostridium.
Jul 31 Fonterra continued testing until Clostridium botulinum was identified, after which the company notified New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Aug 3 MPI released details of a Fonterra-sourced product in the New Zealand market, saying that it potentially contained a botulism-causing bacteria.
Nutrica recalls Karicare infant formula in New Zealand
Fonterra has recalled two products from the New Zealand market: Karicare Infant Formula Stage One and Karicare Gold plus Follow On Formula Stage Two.

A statement on supplier Nutricia's website said on August 4 that safety for customers is its primary concern.
New Zealand
New Zealand parents alerted on botulism risk
Parents in New Zealand are being told to stop feeding their infants Nutricia Karicare follow-on formula amid concerns that it may contain a bacteria that could cause botulism.

MPI said that there will be a full investigation, but right now the priority is dealing with the immediate issues at hand.
China China consults on tighter infant formula regulations
China published a draft regulation on infant formula production to seek public opinions, which will raise standards in the sector in an all-round way.

China urges recall of tainted milk products from New Zealand
China's top quality watchdog said late Friday that Chinese importers purchasing dairy products from New Zealand company Fonterra should immediately initiate recalls of potentially contaminated products.

China bans NZ milk powder imports
China has stopped the import of all New Zealand milk powder following the alert by Fonterra that an ingredient could be contaminated by a potentially deadly bacteria.

Food authorities meet importers of tainted milk
China's food and drug authorities on Sunday met with representatives of three companies that have imported potentially contaminated products from New Zealand dairy company Fonterra.

    Incident  Details



Media comments:

Global Times Editorial

Too early for domestic dairy brands to celebrate

Fonterra won't easily fall in the Chinese market. The recovery of its image and reputation and future competition with its Chinese counterparts are welcomed by Chinese consumers. 

Scandal breeds false hope in domestic dairy brands

Fonterra will not collapse simply because of this contamination incident. Its eventual recovery and comeback with Chinese consumers is almost assured. The same should be true for Chinese brands that have met with food safety issues of their own.

Beijing Times: Fonterra recall provides good case study for Chinese dairy companies

The Beijing Times said in one of its opinion pieces on August 4 that Chinese consumers may lose confidence in the quality of milk products produced both at home and abroad in the wake of the recall on three batches of baby formula provided by New Zealand’s giant dairy exporter Fonterra.

The recall alerts us that milk products can be tainted during any part of the production process, including during manufacturing, packaging, storing and transporting. Therefore, releasing the product’s quality problems as soon as possible, if any are found, will be the best way to stifle public concerns and convince consumers that the company’s products are safe and reliable, it said.

New Zealand’s Nutricia, meanwhile, which issued a recall statement on the possibly tainted batches of baby formula based on its self-testing procedures, has set a good example for its Chinese counterparts, it said.

china.org.cn: Domestic dairy must raise game  

While Chinese consumers have no obligation to buy domestic milk powder, media should not cast domestic manufacturers in a bad light, which has a great influence on the market.
Domestic milk powder must compete with foreign brands in terms of quality, and currently there is a big difference. But China has enough resources to narrow this gap, and merely needs to make the effort.    

Securities Times: Fonterra recall creates ‘butterfly effect’ in market

The recent outbreak of botulism will no doubt reduce consumer trust in imported milk powder, but will also cause foreign brands to reevaluate their China marketing. Facing stricter supervision and fiercer competition, smaller foreign brands may soon be pushed from shelves, while dairy giants in Argentina and France looking to enter the Chinese market will exercise more caution. In turn, this has created a good opportunity for reputable domestic companies.

National Business Daily: Foreign dairy to grab Fronterra market share: expert
While public trust in Fonterra is at an all time low, according to dairy industry expert Wang Dingmian, the beneficiaries of the recall will not be domestic dairy, but the other foreign exporters looking for a larger market share, as Chinese dairy companies have been used to using imported milk.

Weibo Voices:

@Smile微笑的新西兰: Young moms, who are feeding their baby with formula imported from New Zealand, please do not worry too much. Only Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0–6 months) with batch numbers 3169 and 3170 (use by 17 06 2016 and 18 06 2016) and Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6–12 months) with batch number D3183 (use by 31 12 2014) sold in New Zealand have been recalled.

@卷卷头的豌豆屋 : It seems that milk products exported from abroad are not always reliable, either.

Chinese milk powder suppliers should learn from New Zealand competitor Nutricia, which recalled their products as soon as they found out that there might be possible quality problems, even at the cost of profits. Moreover, it’s only a precautionary recall as “none of the products tested and sold in New Zealand indicate any contamination,” according to Nutricia. Chinese media outlets should put more efforts into urging Chinese dairy companies to learn from their counterparts abroad and improve the way they manage similar situations, should they arise.

     Related  Reports

Similar cases
Pauls milk, baby formula produced by Parmalat Australia, failed quality checks. Products were found to contain excessive bacteria.
Fonterra was caught up in Sanlu milk scandal that left six Chinese children dead and sickened nearly 300,000 others.
2008 Traces of melamine had been detected in samples of top-selling US infant formula, Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson, which are on shelves in China as well.
2006 China has sent back more than 100 tons of powdered milk made in the United States because it contained excessive nitrite.

Related reports:
Milk formula rules no worry for overseas firms
Baby formula gets new import rules
China-controlled New Zealand dairy firm to join booming global protein trade
Chinese investment bringing welcome competition to New Zealand dairy industry
NZ to investigate milk formula fakers

      News Vocab     

婴儿配方奶粉 yīng’ér pèifāng nǎifěn

"婴儿" n. baby; infant(Source: 《新世纪汉英大词典》)

"配方" n. formula;(Source: 《新世纪汉英大词典》)

"奶粉" n. milk powder (Source: 《新世纪汉英大词典》)

"婴儿配方奶粉" n. baby formula 


新西兰初级产业部3日宣布,新西兰乳制品巨头恒天然集团旗下部分产品可能含有肉毒杆菌毒素,使用该原料的婴儿配方奶粉和运动饮料也可能因此受到污染。(Source: 《钱江晚报》)

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries announced on August 3 that shipments of baby formula and sports drinks produced by dairy giant Fonterra may have been contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. 
Web editor: yangruoyu@globaltimes.com.cn

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