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Fonterra Says China Rejected 42 Tons of Milk Powder

August 22, 2013

The world’s largest dairy exporter says the product met New Zealand standards but not Chinese specifications.

Matthew Brockett

New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter, said China rejected 42 metric tons of its milk powder in May because of elevated nitrite levels.

While the product was tested in New Zealand and met New Zealand standards, after shipment to China it was tested again and didn’t meet Chinese specifications, Fonterra said in an e- mailed statement today. Fonterra chose to accept the Chinese laboratory results and advised regulators in both China and New Zealand of the non-compliant product, which remained within Fonterra’s control and never entered the market, it said.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully is in China trying to soothe tensions with the country’s biggest dairy customer. China said this week it found elevated nitrate levels in a milk protein made by New Zealand’s Westland Milk Products.

Earlier this month, Fonterra said a whey protein exported to China and used in goods such as baby formula may have been contaminated by botulism-causing bacteria.

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