Damien O’Connor |
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 – 17:16
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy must reveal whether he knew Chinese authorities stopped 42 tonnes of Fonterra milk powder entering China in May because of excessive nitrate levels, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“I was alarmed to be informed of this nitrate contamination picked up in May by China’s Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine department.
“According to a story on the China Daily website in July, the whole-fat milk powder produced in New Zealand was to be imported by two companies in Shanghai but was stopped from entering the Chinese market,” Damien O’Connor says.
“Questions must be asked of the Minister. When did he know about this incident and why did he keep the knowledge from the wider dairy industry?”
“Revelations about this ban on Fonterra milk powder come at a time of intense international scrutiny of our dairy industry,” Damien O’Connor says.
Labour is calling on the Ministry for Primary Industries to immediately implement interim measures for food safety outlined yesterday and reinstate an independent and well- resourced food safety agency.
“The public and our international customers need reassurance that the National Government can guarantee our food exports are safe and contamination free. New Zealand’s reputation is at stake and the Minister’s handling of it so far has been totally inadequate,” Damien O’Connor says.