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Fonterra denies tainted products sent to Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-13 17:25

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra Tuesday denied any products connected to its botulism scare had reached Russia, Belarus or Kazakhstan after the three countries banned Fonterra products.

Fonterra released a statement saying that none of the 38 tons of potentially contaminated whey protein concentrate had been sent to the three countries, nor had any product there had the affected product as an ingredient.

Fonterra was working closely with the authorities of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to reassure them of the safety of its products, Miles Hurrell, general manager for Fonterra in the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, said in a statement.

"Fonterra primarily supplies butter and cheese to the Russian market and these are not made using whey protein concentrate," said Hurrell.

"We are continuing to work closely with New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries to provide reassurances to customers, consumers and trade partners of the safety of New Zealand dairy products."

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy told Radio New Zealand Tuesday that diplomats in Russia would meet with officials to try to resolve the ban on Fonterra products.

Fonterra announced on August 3 this year that 38 tons of its whey protein used by other manufacturers, including infant formula, was contaminated with a bacterium that can cause botulism in May 2012.

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