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MPI oversees Fonterra’s Botch-up-ulism



Primary Industries and Food Safety Spokesperson
28 August 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

MPI oversees Fonterra’s Botch-up-ulism

Revelations today no botulism was found in Fonterra’s whey protein is a complete systems failure by the Ministry for Primary Industries, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“The good news in this story is no consumers were harmed by the consumption of New Zealand dairy products. Nor it seems were they ever likely to be.

“But our failure to ensure the highest standards of testing, monitoring and auditing means the damage has been done to New Zealand’s international reputation.

“This fiasco continues to be a disaster for our clean, green brand. The inability of the Ministry’s systems means our reputation is always at risk.

“While New Zealand was right to take an immediately precautionary approach, our international competitors will be laughing all the way to the bank.

“If New Zealand is to be the exporter of the world’s finest goods, it needs testing systems of the highest quality.

“Fonterra’s botulism scare has been created by a Government driven to merge and cut government services. The Ministry for Primary Industries was created last year through the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Fisheries, Biosecurity New Zealand and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

“This super ministry has been squeezed by $26 million budget cuts. We have seen rapid growth of our dairy and meat products into the China market, but we have not matched that growth with resources for support and certification,” Damien O’Connor says.


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