All tainted milk powder off the shelves: Fonterra CEO

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra moved to assure parents today that tainted baby formula which has sparked global safety recalls has all been removed from retailer`s shelves.

Last Updated: Aug 07, 2013, 16:45 PM IST

Wellington: New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra moved to assure parents today that tainted baby formula which has sparked global safety recalls has all been removed from retailer`s shelves.

No products containing a potentially deadly bug, which were distributed from China to Saudi Arabia, were in the shops, Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said.

"All the stocks have been contained, everything is out of the market. It`s in warehouses and there is little or no more risk for consumers," he told reporters in Auckland.

Authorities have been scrambling to collect cans of formula since Fonterra revealed last Saturday that they contained a whey product contaminated with a bacteria that can cause botulism.

Spierings said there had been no reported cases of children falling sick after consuming the formula but acknowledged the scare had dented Fonterra and New Zealand`s reputation in Asia for producing safe, top-quality foods.
He said Fonterra would investigate the cause of the scare, which has been blamed on a dirty pipe at a North Island processing plant, and seek to restore its brand.

Spierings, who flew to Beijing this week to apologise, refused to say whether he should resign over the crisis, which threatens Fonterra`s leading role in China`s multi-billion dollar dairy market.
"It`s not up to me to answer, I will leave that to the board," he said.

AFP