23 Aug 2013

Botulism incident could have been much worse - Greens

1:07 pm on 23 August 2013

The Green Party is concerned that the botulism contamination incident may have had a far worse outcome had it not been a foreign company requiring Fonterra to test for bacteria that can cause botulism.

A global recall of products containing Fonterra whey protein concentrate began after the company confirmed on 3 August the powder was tainted with such bacteria.

Green primary industry spokesperson Steffan Browning said it's not good enough that neither the Ministry for Primary Industries nor Fonterra, tested for clostridium botulinum, except for product going to one of its customers,

He said the incident could have been a lot worse and is a sign New Zealand needs to lift its game.

At the time the product recall was ordered, Fonterra said there had been about 10 botulism incidents in dairy products since 1950.