14 Mar 2015

No significant impact from 1080 threat - MPI

8:07 am on 14 March 2015

The Ministry of Primary Industries says it has not yet seen any significant economic impact from the 1080 poison threat.

Infant formula on display at Thorndon New World, Wellington.

Infant formula on display at Thorndon New World, Wellington. Photo: RNZ

The Infant Formula Exporters Association has said orders from China had dropped 75 percent since the threat to put 1080 in infant formula, was revealed.

The threat - to contaminate milk products unless 1080 poison drops stop by the end of March - was made four months ago but only made public this week.

Ministry of Primary Industries Deputy Director General Scott Gallacher said the response from importers had been calm and measured.

"In real time in an ongoing basis we have got lots of intelligence and data coming in, that is not at the moment indicating we are dealing with what some reports have indicated to be a slump.

"But clearly if people have any information we would love people to share it with us."

Mr Gallacher said this showed people were confident they can continue to safely purchase New Zealand products.

Police are investigating reports of historical thefts of 1080 that have come to light as part of their investigation into the threat to poison infant formula.

MPI Deputy director general Scott Gallacher and Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement.

MPI Deputy director general Scott Gallacher and Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Police deputy commissioner Mike Clement said police were trying to keep track of all sources of 1080 and ensure they were accounted for.

"We are exploring some reports of 1080 that's either not accounted for or allegedly stolen but once again that's not a simple process but certainly it's a major part of the investigation. I can't be specific with regard to when, it's mostly historic."

He said staff have visited 253 retailers who sell infant formula and hoped to visit every retailer on their list within two weeks.

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