New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has said that it had asked the Commerce Commission and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to investigate what it believes to be misleading claims made by A2 Corporation.

Chief technology officer, Dr Chris Mallett, said that A2 milk, despite being marketed as “Just A2”, contains A1 protein.

“This is a straightforward case of misleading the consumer about a product that is fundamental to the shopping list of every family.”

“A2 Corporation claims that A2 milk is from ‘cows that only produce the A2 protein’, and it contains ‘only the A2 variety of the protein family known as beta casein’,” Mallett said in a statement from Fonterra which added that small print on the back of the A2 milk packaging states that the A2 milk could contain A1.

“Consumers have a right to receive accurate information about the composition of the milk they are buying, and that is why we have asked the Commerce Commission and NZFSA to investigate,” Mallett added.

A2 Corp, a biotechnology company which was formed in early 2000 to pursue commercial opportunities arising from studies suggesting beta-casein A1 protein could cause diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, has accused Fonterra of “misleading and deceptive” conduct regarding the protein. A2 has also alleged that Fonterra has suppressed research linking A1 milk to autism, schizophrenia, diabetes and heart disease. Fonterra has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

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