Tiny traces of DCD in Westland samples

Westland Milk has found tiny traces of DCD in some samples of its products in tests this week.

Westland Milk Products customers are being assured food safety and human health has not been put at risk by the discovery of traces of DCD in some of its own samples this week.

Following advice late last week from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) of the discovery by Fonterra of traces of DCD in some of their milk products, Westland Milk Products commenced its own testing through an independent laboratory. These tests revealed minute trades of DCD in samples produced prior to 1 November 2012. The evidence indicates that product made after 1 November 2012 is free from DCD.

“While we are assured by independent health authorities and the New Zealand Government that DCD is not a food safety risk,” says Westland Chief Executive Rod Quin, “we are very aware that for many of our customers any residue in milk products is undesirable. Some of our customers in Asia have already requested tests for DCD following the MPI announcement last week.”

As a priority, Westland is currently conducting further testing in line with customer and government requirements and will report the results to customers as soon as possible.

“The best way to allay our customers’ fears is with accurate information,” says Rod Quin. “We will continue to work with the New Zealand dairy industry, MPI and Government to reassure suppliers, customers and stakeholders that DCD is not harmful to human health and that every step to remedy this situation and prevent its ongoing occurrence is being taken.”

Mr Quin said only a minority of Westland’s shareholders had used DCD, and that most of the application of the product occurred outside of peak milk production periods.

The use of nitrogen inhibitors, which contain DCD, wouldn’t have been confined to Fonterra suppliers so this isn’t a surprise.

There is no risk to health from the tiny amounts of DCD found in any products and nitrogen inhibitors haven’t been used for months but the company has done the right thing by letting its customers know.

New Zealand’s reputation for safe food relies on high standards, strict compliance and good communication.


49 Responses to Tiny traces of DCD in Westland samples

  1. Andrei says:

    As analytical chemistry developed techniques to measure ever more minute traces of chemicals during the ninteen sixties the number of things to get scared about multiplied.

    The first great triumph of hysteria over reason was dioxin of course.

    But despite all these “toxins” we are in fact living longer and healthier lives than ever before.

    Go figure

  2. robertguyton says:

    The customer is always right. If they demand melanin-free milk, you’d better be supplying it. Crying “but..but..but..” won’t save your bacon. It’s the Market, you see, the very Market you love.

  3. ploughboy says:

    melamine is not mentoned there at all

  4. Andrei says:

    I tell you what Robert, instead of inflicting your nonsense on us and scaring little children with your boogy man tales why don’t you pack up and join Agafya Lykova.

    Though I bet you that despite her being the most isolated person on the planet with her nearest neighbours 100s of kilometers away, and they themselves far from the beaten track, if you were to analyse the milk from her goats it would be found to contain all sorts of really scary chemicals

  5. robertguyton says:

    You are denying the facts. We confirmed that there was melamine in association with the DCD. Are “little children” being scared by mention of the “melamine” word? Perhaps they shouldn’t read this blog. I don’t find the presence of minute traces of either DCD or melamine “scary”, but I do find people who deny reality a little disconcerting.
    Cute goats.

  6. anon says:

    Since when do the greens deal with reality?
    There’s plenty of evidence in the past of the Greens and Labour claiming that Eco-N and its virtues are a reason why dairying should be in the ETS and demand that all dairy farmers should be using it.
    Now those dairy farmers who use it and are trying to improve their environmental record are being slammed by the very same groups that promoted its virtues.
    The hypocrisy of the Greens’ stance is unbelievable.

  7. robertguyton says:

    Since forever, do try to catch up, there’s a good anonymous critic!
    No dairy farmers are being “slammed”. You are being hyperbolic. Breath through your indignation and allow your logical brain to engage.
    Here’s a solution to the problem created by the use od DCD’s:

    “It is time for Fonterra to revisit its decision to scale down organics, the
    Green Party said today.

    In 2011 Fonterra made the decision to reduce its separate collection of
    organic milk, resulting in the loss of premium price for effected organic
    producers and the mixing of their milk in with the main supply.

    “Many of the remaining organic farmers that supply Fonterra are anxiously
    waiting for their contracts to be renewed tomorrow,’ said Green Party
    agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.

    “Now is the chance for Fonterra to prove its commitment to chemical free
    milk by renewing these contracts and committing to scale back up its organic
    supply,” said Mr Browning.

    “Westland Dairy should also do the same after it announced that
    dicyandiamide (DCD) was found in its milk as well.

    “Organic producers avoid using chemicals, the very chemicals such as DCD
    that have our international markets so worried.

    “The damage to New Zealand’s reputation after chemical residues were
    found in milk can be built back through increasing organic production.

    “I’ve visited these organic farmers, their animals are healthy, their
    rivers are clean, and they enjoy farming to produce high value product.
    That’s the future of farming in New Zealand.

    “The back off from organics in 2011 was a huge disappointment to farmers and
    they are still on the edge of their seats waiting to see if Fonterra will
    make a new commitment to organics.

    “Fonterra had said it was in organic farming for the long term. In 2010 it
    was planning to expand organics but dropped those suppliers at the first

    “It’s time for New Zealand dairy processors to look at the long term, and
    support the chemical free organic milk supply.

  8. TraceyS says:

    I’ve not seen anyone deny the FACTS Robert. Except maybe you. MPI has all the information up on their website for anyone to see.

    Ele got one comment slightly wrong by saying that melamine was not safe at any levels. Actually there are safe limits established. But that doesn’t matter because the tests here didn’t show up anyway.

    As a result of all this, little children might now be scared to eat off their melamine plate fearing that little bits might get on the food.

  9. robertguyton says:

    New Zealand children are eating off melamine plates! My God! Tracey, you must treat this information with the GREATEST CARE!

  10. TraceyS says:

    “The damage to New Zealand’s reputation after chemical residues were found in milk can be built back through increasing organic production.”

    Any damage could be avoided by instead “slamming” the scaremongers. But has any damage been recorded? Numbers please, not assumptions. Maybe it’s too early to tell.

    “commitment to chemical free milk” What a laugh. See previously made comments by David Winter slamming AgResearch claims that they are working on a “chemical-free” biopesticide. Shame on Steffan Browning for stretching the truth and for using an unfortunate situation as an opportunity for commercial influence.

  11. TraceyS says:

    It was a joke, Robert 🙂

    But I did give up using melamine plates a while back when they went funny in the microwave. There are some things that shouldn’t go in the microwave.

    I suggest that we all give our melamine plates to the Occupy Movement to throw around in public places. They could then recycle them from one protest to another instead of wasting plates each time.

  12. JC says:

    Remind me how many people died after eating organically grown spouts in Germany last year?


  13. robertguyton says:

    Remind me, JC, of how Dave Kennedy is an elite politician with two houses and a parliamentary salary?
    Tracey, you’ve a knee-jerk reaction to organics that negates anything you might want to say about it. Do some reading, visit an organic grower. Learn something new. Browning says that organic dairy farmers won’t be caught out by something like this “DCD” scare, because they don’t risk their market by applying synthetic chemicals like those to their pastures. It’s a sound safeguard against the very thing that has happened here – a “chemical scare” that has the conventional dairy industry scrambling to cover it’s rump. You won’t get a DCD scare from the organic producers and you won’t get a melamine scare from them either. Admit it – organics is cleaner and safer. Fonterra smothered organic dairying and have now stepped in some dairy muck that only affects their conventional producers.

  14. TraceyS says:

    Oh Robert I have visited plenty of organic growers, and spent years reading articles on organic growing. The problem for you is that I read much more widely than that and therefore have a more balanced perspective than yourself. Call me “knee-jerking” if you wish, but it just shows your ignorance.

    Organic farmers are allowed to use some synthetic chemicals, albeit limited in scope. Want to guess where most of them are manufactured? I’ll spell it backwards so as not to alarm anyone – anihc. Every chance that there will be some trace contamination at some point in the future. If organics wanted to avoid the risk altogether then they should avoid ALL manufactured inputs. To suggest organic produce is immune from industrial contamination is very misleading. Go home Robert.

  15. Mr E says:

    Robert has me thinking about my own situation. I have a melamine bench, that has been used for food preparation for years. I have suddenly grown an irrational fear of the health impacts of this. I have begun to dismantle it. Also important is my last will and testimony and my life insurance which are now both up to date. I plan to admit myself to hospital. I will claim subclinical melamine poisoning. I know that they will understand. I have decided that a good treatment will be an internal flushing with organic milk. I have realised that I need to be admitted to hospital for such treatment as it is not readily available to consumers. I am disappointed that milk producers will not subsidise their organic peers to make such products readily available. In my opinion, organic, low output farmers, should be subsidised to produce these products so my irrational fear can be cured. I think that these farmers should be able to purchase gold plated sandals for satisfying my fear. I dont think I should pay for that right, my moto is ‘free love’ and all that.
    Once I am cured I have decided that I will suffer from DCD poisoning. That is Donation after Cardiac Death. All that milk I will have to drink is bound to have something in it. Perhaps cyanide?

    Disclaimer: The above statement contains no facts, that I am aware of. It is an attempt to develop my ‘green ‘ persona to fit in with my environmentalist buddies. I know satire is their strength and flavor of the month.

  16. TraceyS says:

    We’re entering an age JC where the “environment” trumps matters of human health and lives every time. Look at how the Resource Management Act sucks the life out of businesses distracting them from their immediate (and more important) role in harm prevention via health and safety initiatives. I dare say Pike River Coal had their environmental boxes ticked. But I’m happy to be corrected on that.

    Like your example, how many people ever died from some farmer building the embankment of his farm pond 500cm too high?

  17. TraceyS says:

    Do check out Retro Organics at Tuturau (is that anywhere near Riverton?) They also do a Lactose Free milk which will help prevent a case of the shits on your journey to a new self.

    Oh, and the Occupy Movement might be interested in your dismantled benchtop. Recycling is a must you know. Can you please chop it into plate-sized bits for them (and remember to protect yourself with a dust mask and other PPE).

  18. robertguyton says:

    I’m very well acquainted with Retro Organics, their people and their excellent products, Tracey and I love the taste. We sell their goods in our shop. I talk with them about their processes. I don’t understand your second sentence – did you mean it to be an insult?
    I haven’t dismantled my benchtop – it’s made from recycled kauri, naturally, and contains none of the chemicals Mr E’s apparently does.
    Mr E – have you considered that the irrational fear you have developed is in fact a symptom of melamine poisoning? Join the dots, make the change. The development of your ‘green persona’ needs a lot of work, but I’m willing to help. You made a good start with; ” In my opinion, organic, low output farmers, should be subsidised to produce these products”, but began to flounder when you tried to disguise your attack on greenies with ‘humour’. Still, if you have the will, I’m there for you.

  19. robertguyton says:

    I’m an organic grower and I don’t apply any synthetic made-in-China chemicals to my orchards. Why do you call me ignorant, Tracey? Are you having a bad day? Evening primrose flowers are a time-honoured boost to flagging spirits. Pick them fresh, eat them raw, make sure they’re organically grown, as mine are. I’m pleased to learn that you read articles on organic growing – you’ve probably read some of mine, inadvertently, as I’ve been contributing to various publications for years, despite my ignorance and despite being at home already, though the significance to you of that quite escapes me. Is home a bad place to be? Is there a balanced article of the subject that I’ve missed?

  20. robertguyton says:

    Tracey, your constant references to melamine is threatening our entire dairy industry and terrifying our trading partners – for the love of God, please stop trumpeting the word. Show some restraint! Mr E’s doing the same thing – are you trying to wreck our economy?

  21. JC says:

    “Remind me, JC, of how Dave Kennedy is an elite politician with two houses and a parliamentary salary?”

    Remind me of the Greens enthusiastic support for the product that created the DCD?


  22. Mr E says:

    Thanks Tracey,
    I will take your suggestion upon advisement. I am not sure of the validity of it. As it has not come from a certain Norman, I will have to ruminate (sorry meditate) on it. My new persona means I only trust what comes from his mouth and no other.

    With regard my benchtop, it must be recycled. It has wood underneath of it, presumably paid for by the by the ETS scheme. If it is burnt, or land filled, the trapped carbon will leach into the astmosphere. A daunting weakness of my beloved scheme. I am thinking that it could be made into platform shoes, although I worry the height will expose me to an elevated level of greenhouse gases. Imagine being bleached by carbon dioxide, the gas necessary for my free living plant life. I want less carbon dioxide even if it means my plants will grow less, and food production goes down. I am ignoring that natural cycles will trap extra CO2 in useful food stores.

    Robert, you are right. If I am in fact poisoned and irrationalism is a symtom, how can I know my actions are the correct ones? I will meditate on it and hope Norman answers my prayers. As to your suggestion that my persona still needs work, how many more facts do I need to ignore to get there? Obviously I have embraced mysticism. What more does one need to do? Judging by reports from various enviromental management courses, I believe a diploma in environmental studies might help. I know there are some bloggers that have studied said courses that are the epitomy goals.
    As always I await your suggestions with baited breath and eternal optimism that I will learn much from you.

    The previous disclaimer applies to this comment.

  23. robertguyton says:

    ” I am thinking that it could be made into platform shoes, although I worry the height will expose me to an elevated level of greenhouse gases.”

    And here was me thinking CO2 was heavier than air and would sink , rather than rise! Duffer!

    ” I want less carbon dioxide even if it means my plants will grow less, and food production goes down”

    More of that “humour”, Mr E! Lovin’ it! To think, a reduction in the 400 ppm CO2 we have now, and we’ll all starve! Your grasp of science makes me dizzy!

    Now that you’ve willing come to me in search of learning, Mr E, I cannot refuse. I’ll take you on, as Mr Miyagi did the Karate Kid (the parallels here are unnerving!) but you’ll have to focus, Mr E, really focus! I fear the effects of the melamine may be too far advanced in you, but I’ll apply my Deep Green learnings to what’s still functioning in you and who knows, we may be able to salvage something. (Why not join Mr E, Tracey? I’ll do a two-for-one deal).

    Lesson One: While you express a fervent desire to learn from me, Mr E, the truth is, you already have.

  24. robertguyton says:

    * willingly
    I confused Mr Miyagi with Bruce – it’s a martial arts thing.

  25. JC says:

    I suspect your physical and mental problems stem from leafy vegetables, which equal chicken for food poisoning in the US. Some 48 million Americans become ill from such (organic?) fodder, over 100,000 are hospitalised and 3000 die.


    Change your food habits!.. eat hamburgers and fries and your mental and physical health will improve immediately.


  26. robertguyton says:

    With advice like that from JC, Mr E, you’ll not be at all tempted to follow His Way. Stick with me and my reliable organic advice, and you’ll be quite alright. (JC, you;ll have noted, can’t tell a Dave Kennedy from a Kennedy Graham, so you’d not expect him to be able to recognise the value of fresh vegetables over hamburger and fries).

  27. Mr E says:

    So CO2 is the only greenhouse gas? Under the premise of respecting the Guru I will take what you have said as gospel. Can you cc me on the email to Norman suggesting an apology to farmers for accusing them of greenhouse gas production.

    I will take the name calling of “Duffer” on the chin. Respecting the teacher and all that.

    I will take to your teachings that less carbon dioxide will not affect plant growth… What was I thinking. Carbon dioxide clearly has nothing to do with plant growth. Thanks for that. I can feel my learning accelerating.(I am nervous it is the melamine)

    Also feeding people is obviously not important. I too want to become elite like Dave and many of the african nations. And even if more CO2 meant more food (which it doesnt),more food doesn’t mean more supply and cheaper food. I will write a letter to the authors of the economics 101 text book and tell them they are fools on your behalf.

    If I could do a bowing symbol I would. Thankyou Guru Guyton.

    Disclaimer: as above.

  28. TraceyS says:

    The comment was directed to Mr E, not you Robert. By the way, I like Retro Organic products too and buy them when I can. Just goes to show what people can do without the help of the big guys. More power to non-whinging entrepreneurial sorts!

  29. Andrei says:

    ………him to be able to recognise the value of fresh vegetables over hamburger and fries

    They all have their virtues Robert.

    Hamburger and fries are good for supplying the energy you need to swing a pick axe for hours at a time. Carrots, cucumbers and celery sticks just don’t cut it in that regard

    Because exceptionally silly women in ivory towers don’t swing pick axes, nay they cannot even pick one up, and who blissfully witter their nonsense, ever so eagerly lapped up by the media, about junk food – while remaining blissfully unaware of the real value of real food to real men who do real work you have been led down the garden path

    Quelle surprise you have a reputation for being a sucker for nonsense

  30. TraceyS says:

    Is that why you haven’t gone home as I suggested Robert? You’re here on a mission to educate all us capitalists who stereotypically don’t have a green bone in our bodies! Sorry, I’ll not be joining your course and nor do I need to.

  31. TraceyS says:

    It’s only organics as ‘we’ (Greens) like it JC. That’s why political involvement will be to the detriment of their principles. The integrity Robert wishes for is lacking and eventually people will see through it with the help of you and I.

  32. TraceyS says:

    Good on you Robert for sticking to your principles. I confess that I do use the odd little bit of Epsom Salt on the garden. And no, I’m having an excellent day today. I think Evening Primrose flowers smell like cows bums (is that why it’s called Cowslip?) so I might give that a miss thanks. Sorry, I did assume you’d be at the public library using the computer (like Viv). Obviously you are a bit more modern and I ignorantly underestimated you.

  33. robertguyton says:

    Good on ya, Tracey, offering to help out poor old JC.
    If, one day, you felt up to debating the value or otherwise , of organic methods of horticulture and agriculture (aquaculture too), I’d be keen, but your fondness for trite ad hominem time-wasting is an impediment to progress, so I’ll wait til you’ve settled yourself enough for a balanced discussion that employs facts and eschews sniping. It’s so unbecoming for all involved. You’ve even managed to drag Mr E, an ordinarily gentlemanly fellow, down to your level of squabble. That’s a bit sad.

  34. robertguyton says:

    I bet I’m not the first person you’ve misunderestimated, Tracey.
    Your assessment of the scent of evening primrose makes me wonder if you have trouble identifying plants. Are you sure it wasn’t a dog-daisy you had under your nose? A cowslip, btw, is an entirely different plant. Maybe a quick “google”?

  35. TraceyS says:

    Just having a little harmless fun with what has now become otherwise boring.

  36. TraceyS says:

    Cowslip is a ‘true’ Primrose and has many of the same herbal values as Evening Primrose.

  37. TraceyS says:

    Sure Robert, let’s have that debate sometime, I’d love to. I like organic agriculture and we try to do things without chemicals ourselves. And when my husband accidentally turns up with some coated seed I give him an earful don’t you worry. But the difference, I guess, between my attitude and that of the Green movement is that I would not dream of telling others how they ‘should’ carry out their business as if I know the answer to everything and then duck for cover when it goes wrong. That’s not integrity. It’s irresponsibility.

    (BTW – I’ll give up sniping if you will)

  38. robertguyton says:

    ” But the difference, I guess, between my attitude and that of the Green movement is that I would not dream of telling others how they ‘should’ carry out their business as if I know the answer to everything and then duck for cover when it goes wrong.”

    Tracey, I am not ‘the Green movement’, nor do I duck for cover.

  39. robertguyton says:

    No need for a symbol, Mr E, I feel your respect. Lesson 2 – Carbon dioxide and extremes. You have believed up until now, Mr E, that because plant growth is increased with increases in CO2 levels, especially in a controlled glasshouse situation, continued introduction of CO2 that has been sequestered in the earth as coal, oil or gas, will enhance food production – extra CO2=extra grass, extra corn, extra=wheat, resulting in more for humanity to eat. This is incorrect. The rate at which previously sequestered CO2 is entering the atmosphere is creating instability through the heating effect it creates. More heat in the system=more energy=changes to established climate patterns. Just look at Australia’s recent run of extreme climate events for example. This over-stimulation of the climate results in serious harm to agriculture in the regions these events occur. Drought, with its attendant fires, and floods do not assist the farmer in achieving bumper harvests. By this example, I hope that I’ve shown you, valued student, that pumping more and more C)2 into the atmosphere will not improve our lot – in fact, we need to do something quickly about the practice, if we want to have any sort of useful agricultural future.
    The other greenhouse gases that you have so cleverly alluded to (extra credits for that, Mr E), I will cover in future lessons but for now, meditate on storms, floods, droughts and crop failures, Mr E, and the position that puts our fellow men and woman.

  40. robertguyton says:

    I’ll leave your space vacant, Tracey, as I suspect you’re yearning to join but haven’t the courage of my star pupil, Mr E (who’s “green” name is “Burns with the Brightness of Lignite”)

  41. TraceyS says:

    What would the basis for the debate be then?

  42. TraceyS says:

    Vacant? Can’t you find anyone else?? I thought there’d be a waiting list…

  43. robertguyton says:

    This has gone beyond silly. I’m stopping now.

  44. JC says:

    “By this example, I hope that I’ve shown you, valued student, that pumping more and more C)2 into the atmosphere will not improve our lot ”

    Looks like CO2 and a slight rise in temp has given the Globe about a 17% in greenery.



  45. Mr E says:

    Don’t worry Robert. You have completely convinced me. I no longer believe plants absorb some of the heavier than air CO2. All of it floats up to become a heat trapping gas that is causing extremes in climate. I wanted to burn my history books that speak of historical extremes when supposedly CO2 was lower, but realised this will only add to the effect. Instead I have begun to make them into a giant paper machet statue in your image. I have coated in in Melamine resin used from the bench top. I do lack a bit of art skill but have managed to shape a tall form with two globes at the base. The symbolism means a lot to me. Of course the globes represent my old world view and new world view and you as the creator of this change in image.

    Disclaimer: As above.

  46. TraceyS says:

    Just for Robert. Perhaps melamine consumption from plates is not such a joke after all…!

    “Melamine has been found in the urine of 12 volunteers who ate hot soup from melamine bowls, but at 200 times lower than that considered safe by the WHO.” [from NewScientist No2901, 26 January 2013].

    Melamine is a common material used for baby and toddler dinnerware.

  47. Mr E says:

    Was there any mention of people wearing Melamine platform shoes?

  48. TraceyS says:

    No. I think your shoes are safe (except for the height!)

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