30 Sep 2008

NZ farmers hope lessons learnt after milk scandal

8:28 pm on 30 September 2008

New Zealand dairy farmers are hopeful Chinese authorities will establish strict milk testing regimes in the wake of the milk contamination scandal.

Four babies have died in China and at least 63,000 children have become ill, after drinking formula contaminated with melamine.

Federated Farmers dairy vice president John Bluett says New Zealand has a stringent testing programme for milk which is backed up by Government departments, and ideally any overseas partners should too.

Mr Bluett says being part of the Chinese dairy market is important in the long-term because the sector is growing so quickly.

He says the human impact of the tragedy has hit New Zealand farmers hard.

But Mr Bluett is hopeful Chinese authorities will now establish tight testing regimes to ensure that milk going into any products is of high quality.