Milk crisis spreads

The Chinese Government has admitted its dairy market is “chaotic” and has ordered a national testing program.

Chinese company San Lu made the contaminated milk powder, but now 21 other companies have also tested positive for melamine.

Relatives of the sick children are outraged.

“We are very, very angry. The companies that sold the contaminated milk were the best brands in China,” one relative said.

Many parents are now travelling to Hong Kong to try to buy safe formula.

Fonterra CEO, Andrew Ferrier, was feeling the pressure at a press conference in Auckland yesterday.

“This is an absolutely shocking and tragic incident. We’re going to do whatever we can to make it right,” he said.

“So it’s not an issue of responsibility. It’s an issue of our responsibility to the babies there, so we’re all over this one, trying to make it right.

“We pushed and pushed to get a public recall. Happily, that’s done. So I think we can now say that there is no situations where there’s infants in China who are consuming San Lu milk powder,” he said.

The scandal is spreading. Taiwan confirmed last night that the country had also received shipments of contaminated milk powder.

Ferrier said the contamination happened at collection centres and neither company is to blame.

“With 20-20 hindsight, of course I wish we could have detected such an atrocious, abomination of milk,” Ferrier said.

“This was a criminal contamination of milk. We’ll always ask ourselves was there a way we could have caught this; was there a way San Lu could have caught it? But to our knowledge there isn’t a dairy company in the world that tests for this stuff.”

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