Fonterra has been subject to another product recall in Asia after Sri Lanka ordered the New Zealand dairy giant to pull products for allegedly containing traces of agricultural chemical DCD.
The New Zealand dairy giant said it had recalled two batches of milk powder from shops after Sri Lanka said the products had traces for DCD, which is applied to fields to stop nitrate fertilizer by-products getting into rivers and lakes.
However, Fonterra has disputed the testing. CEO Theo Spierings has insisted the products are safe.
“I think it’s very, very strange and unfair,” Spierings told Television New Zealand. “We’re are definitely fighting it because we have clear certificates ‘DCD free’ stamped when it was exported and when it was imported [it was] all clear.
The Sri Lankan government, which has also banned Fonterra from advertising its Anchor brand in the country, has reportedly claimed its tests would stand legal scrutiny.
“The tests were done by Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka and they have submitted a report on this. That is the evidence we have. We can prove it in the case of a legal battle,” a health ministry official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The recalls are the latest setback for Fonterra after it announced two weeks ago a batch of whey protein concentrate contained bacteria that could cause botulism, forcing recalls across Asia and the Middle East. The scare prompted recalls from infant formula customers including Danone and Abbott Laboratories and led some countries, including China, to place bans on imports of Fonterra products.
Fonterra is facing an inquiry into the affair from the New Zealand government. The company is said to account for a quarter of the country’s exports.
Spierings, meanwhile, told Television New Zealand the financial impact of the botulism contamination scandal would cost the business “tens of millions of dollars”.