Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing papers suggest organised crime was behind the melamine poisoning of milk in China.
“The Chinese milk supply has been targeted by Chinese organised crime, which has been adding as a byproduct of the chemical industry, melamine, to raw milk supplied to processing plants,” the paper said.
“The harmful impact on consumers, particularly Chinese infants who are the most at-risk group, is the most serious concern,” the paper said.
. . . San Lu which makes infant formula and in which Fonterra has a 43% stake was one of the companies chich inadvertently used poisoned milk.
The document has been released to the Weekend Herald under the Official Information Act, although large chunks of the report had been deleted.
Among the deleted sections was one on New Zealand’s “international responsibilities”, while another missing piece covered the response by Chinese authorities to Fonterra’s concerns about the milk.
However, part of the paper indicates tension between Fonterra and Chinese authorities.
“Fonterra advises that by mid-September all of the adulterated product should have been accounted for or consumed,” the paper told the Government.
“This suggests that despite the authorities’ reticence to support a full product recall, Sanlu/Fonterra have managed to achieve a similar outcome through a variety of other methods.”
That supports Fonterra which says they did everything they could once they knew there was a problem.
The company has always said its first concern was the chidlren who were poisoned and their families but there were also concerns over its, and New Zealand’s reputation.
However, The Hive quotes from another Herald story (which isn’t on line) that says that in China it’s Australia which is being associated with the scandal rather than New Zealand.
Perhaps we can thank Cactus Kate for that.