Fonterra has been issued a summons by a Sri Lankan court on contempt of court charges related to an earlier hearing over the sale and advertising of its milk products.

The district court in Gampaha today (21 August) issued Fonterra’s local unit with a notice to reappear on 23 August. The move follows reports Fonterra had violated a court order issued last Friday banning the sale distribution and advertising of all its milk products in Sri Lanka for 14 days. This was due to suspected contamination with the toxic agricultural chemical dicyandiamide (DCD).

It followed a complaint by health sector trade union, the Government Nursing Officers’ Association, that the company’s marketing was misleading.

According to Reuters, lawyers representing the union said despite the court ban, Fonterra had continued to distribute its milk powder products to retailers on Saturday and distributed leaflets on Monday saying its products were still “fit for human consumption”.

Sri Lankan customs had this week withheld several batches of Fonterra products from sale after the products, which were suspected of being contaminated with DCD, were still on the market.

Sri Lanka’s Industrial Technological Institute (ITI) has since cleared the products, based on new test results. The court, however, has not yet given Fonterra the all-clear.

Dr. G.A.S.Premakumara, CEO of the Industrial Technology Institute, confirmed the Fonterra products held at the port, which were manufactured during April and May, are void of DCD and are therefore fit for release into the market.

He added the products that had earlier been found to be contaminated with DCD were those manufactured during September, October and November 2012.

A spokesperson for Fonterra declined to comment on the test results or the summons.

The case follows a major global food scare involving Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, which announced earlier this month that a batch of its 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.

Since then, Gary Romano, the head of Fonterra’s domestic milk products business, resigned, and the firm has placed “two senior managers” on leave as it presses on with its own internal investigation into the scare.