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China halted imports of milk powder from New Zealand and Australia

Staff writer |
China has halted imports of all milk powder from New Zealand and Australia, after bacteria that can cause botulism was found in some dairy products.

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Dairy company Fonterra identified eight companies to which it had sold contaminated New Zealand-made whey protein concentrate, exported to China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Nearly 90 percent of China's $1.9 billion in milk powder imports last year originated in New Zealand.

"The authorities in China, in my opinion absolutely appropriately, have stopped all imports of New Zealand milk powders from Australia and New Zealand," New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser told Television New Zealand.

China's consumer watchdog named four companies that had imported potentially contaminated products from Fonterra. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine identified the companies as Dumex Baby Food, a subsidiary of France's Danone, two subsidiaries of Wahaha Group, one of the largest beverage manufacturers in China, and the state-owned Shanghai Sugar, Tobacco and Alcohol company.

Fonterra also said that Coca Cola's Chinese subsidiary and animal feed companies in New Zealand and Australia had also been affected.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), in an announcement on its website, said it had told representatives from Hangzhou Wahaha, Dumex and Coca Cola China to stop sales of potentially contaminated products and recall any outstanding product lines with possible contamination as soon as possible.


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