Sunday, September 14, 2008

NZ Government blew the whistle on the baby formula contamination in China...

Helen Clark says her government blew the whistle on the baby milk formula contamination in China.

The Prime Minister says she learned of the problem just over a week ago. She received a briefing paper at her home on Friday September 5 and convened a special meeting with officials and ministers on Monday.

Instructions were then given to New Zealand's ambassador in China to tell officials there our government was extremely concerned there had been no action to recall the product. Ms Clark says that was then done. She understands a general concern was first raised with the New Zealand embassy in China in the middle of August. It had gathered enough information by the end of the month to raise the matter with Wellington.

Meanwhile, Fonterra officials are refusing to front up over the scandal.

The Sanlu Group makes the powder, being blamed for causing kidney stones which has resulted in one death and over 400 being made ill. The company has confirmed the toxin melamine was found in the powder, and has since halted production.

Fonterra has only issued a four paragraph statement saying it was advised of the contamination in August and had pushed for a full public recall of all affected milk powder. It says company representatives are seeking a meeting with the Chinese Government and will assist with the investigation.

© 2008 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

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