Chinese authorities have launched an investigation in three Chinese cities spelling out they will “seal and destroy” any dairy products which contain residues of dicyandiamide (DCD).
The investigation comes as China’s quality watchdog issues a “Please Explain” to its NZ counterparts requesting a “detailed risk assessment report” on NZ dairy products after the “potentially harmful” chemical residue was found in them.
The inspectors’ investigation covers three cities: Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. The three companies are: Abbott, Mead Johnson and Wyeth.
CCTV reports quality inspectors and the Shanghai customs authorities say any product which contains DCD will be sealed and destroyed.
CCTV – described the developing issue as ” a scandal” – noted that Fonterra no plans yet to suspend sales of products.
Shanghai Daily ran a similar story.
CCTV reports also noted that 80 per cent of China’s imported milk comes from New Zealand.
Yesterday, the vice-minister of China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Wei Chuanzhong met with New Zealand Ambassador Carl Worker in Beijing and asked for further detailed assessments.
The meeting came before Ambassador Worker and Fonterra China boss Kelvin Wickham fronted Chinese media to explain the New Zealand position in an endeavor to hose down growing concerns.
The Chinese authorities’ investigation comes after tests last September showed that milk produced by NZ dairy giant Fonterra was found to contain residue from dicyandiamide (DCD), a chemical used on pastures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to keep nitrogen from entering waterways.
In NZ, the Ministry of Primary Industries has assured consumers that the “very low levels” of DCD do not pose food safety risks.
But the news has prompted concern among sensitive Chinese consumers.