New Zealand seeks answers on milk scare 'embarrassment'
WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand on Thursday demanded answers on how a false test reading triggered a botulism scare for diary giant Fonterra that led to global product recalls, calling it a costly embarrassment.
Officials sounded the alarm earlier this month after tests showed batches of whey power produced by Fonterra were contaminated with the potentially fatal bacterium clostridium botulinum.
Infant formula was pulled off shelves from China to Saudi Arabia as New Zealand's reputation for producing gold standard foodstuffs, which command top prices in Asia, took a battering.
But it was revealed on Wednesday that subsequent tests had proved the bug in the milk power was in fact a non-toxic bacterium called clostridium sporogenes and there had never been any danger to consumers.