New Zealand tries to reassure Chinese milk buyers
BEIJING (AP) - New Zealand's leaders are on a charm offensive to reassure Chinese consumers after a botulism scare threatened sales in a major market for New Zealand milk.
China's demand for imported milk soared after domestic supplies in 2008 killed six babies and sickened thousands.
That fit New Zealand's ambitions as a food supplier to booming Asian economies. But the announcement by Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, of contamination in an ingredient used in baby formula threw up a potentially damaging obstacle.
New Zealand's response is being led by Prime Minister John Key, reflecting the importance of milk as a pillar of its exports and of China as the world's most promising consumer market.