Fonterra's Chinese partner moves to ensure food safety
Fonterra said the Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group dairy company is moving to ensure the Chinese company's products are safe.
But Sanlu has said the milk powder may have been a counterfeit of its product, Xinhua newsagency reported today.
The China Daily newspaper noted that in 2004, 13 infants in
A Fonterra spokesman said today the co-operative had seen
media reports on potential links between milk powder and kidney stones in
"Sanlu is in active dialogue
"Sanlu has also advised us that they are taking all appropriate measures to ensure their products are safe for consumers."
Sanlu had previously used milk of
Chinese origin and milk powder from various parts of the world, but not from
"Very recently it has purchased
Fonterra last year set up a model dairy farm with 3000 cows to supply Sanlu, but said today it was confident that "all milk coming out of Fonterra's farm is safe".
Asked what concern it had that its staff or workers for Sanlu might be prosecuted for any perceived role in the latest food safety scandal, Fonterra said: "It is not helpful to engage in speculation at this time".
"Anything to do with potential food safety is taken very seriously by Fonterra and our people," the company said.
"The appropriate authorities need to get to the bottom of this issue first.
"We are confident the Chinese authorities will act appropriately based on hard facts, and not speculation."
After the 2004 scandal – which did not involve Sanlu or Fonterra products –
Officials who neglected their regulatory duties were jailed for two years, and shopkeepers for eight years.
Fonterra said its first priority was ensuring the welfare of consumers.
"Any food safety incident is taken very seriously because Fonterra's reputation is based on high-quality product," the company said. "It is far too early to understand how this incident might impact on any company".
Cases of babies developing kidney stones had emerged in at
least four hospitals in
Zhang Wei, chief urologist at the No 1 Hospital of the
People's Liberation Army, in the provincial capital
"It is extremely rare for babies to get kidney stones, let alone so many getting them all at the same time," he said.
Fonterra has predicted that eventually
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