Dairy Giant Warns of Botulism Threat
New Zealand's Fonterra says 7 countries affected; so far, US is in clear
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2013 5:50 AM CDT
In this 2004 photo, Fonterra's Hautapu dairy factory is seen in the Waikato, New Zealand.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Greg Bowker)

(Newser) – New Zealand authorities have triggered a global recall of up to 1,000 tons of dairy products across seven countries after dairy giant Fonterra announced tests had turned up a type of bacteria that could cause botulism. The tainted products include infant formula, sports drinks, protein drinks, and other beverages. It said countries affected beside New Zealand were China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. Fonterra, the world's fourth-largest dairy company, said its customers were urgently checking their supply chains.

Consumers in China and elsewhere are willing to pay a big premium for New Zealand infant formula because the country has a clean and healthy reputation. Chinese consumers have a special interest after tainted local milk formula killed six babies in 2008. A company official said the problem was caused by unsterilized pipes at one of its factories. The CDC describes botulism as a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Aug 4, 2013 11:55 AM CDT
Sure we like butter, cheese and yogert but milk is another thing. The dairy industry tells us to drink milk but the fact is no other animal on the planet drinks milk after childhood. It's a sales pitch. If they used all the milk adults are drinking to make cheese just think of how many more pizzas we could have.
Aug 3, 2013 12:35 PM CDT
I can't believe that diary products are going to so many different drinks. I agree that New Zealand is one of the most pristine countries in the world. I hope they can retain that status. I am concern about the causes fo so many slips lately, which are obvious to maintain.
Aug 3, 2013 12:32 PM CDT
OMG OMG OMG: "Female American breasts infected with toxin borne by bras made by filthy piece workers". Just yanking your chains.