Monday, September 29, 2008

Melamine in Milk Originally Imported from New Zealand

The whole tainted infant milk ordeal saw a sharp U-turn when it was discovered that ingredients imported from New Zealand had been mixed with melamine already. It has been confirmed by test of samples both in China, and those in New Zealand that 'lactoferrin', a key ingredient in infant formula produced in New Zealand, had been mixed with melamine.

New Zealand is the largest dairy producing country with most number of cows in the world, and manufactures around the world use lactoferrin produced in New Zealand to process infant formula. The suspected source was traced back to a company named Tatua. Tatua is one of the largest company of its kind. Retrospectively thinking, it's reasonable that among all the Chinese powder milk that had been found to be tainted by melamine, Sanlu, which New Zealand dairy producer Fonterra holds 43% share, is the worst.

It's such a shame that China did not test import dairy product carefully. As of today, it was reported melamine had caused at least 4 infant death, and tens of thousands babies hospitalized.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority released a statement on September 24, 2008 that the level of melamine found in New Zealand product was low, probably came as "an unintended outcome of the manufacturing process".

Tatua's CEO Paul McGilvary said Tatua had voluntarily suspended its production, although he insisted that melamine found in lactoferrin produced by the New Zealand dairy producer was not a health risk to human. Tatua's board is to meet on September 30, 2008 to discuss the melamine issue.

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