Image credit: @s4xton.
New Zealand’s highly lucrative export of milk powder to China has been halted over concerns that the product had been contaminated with botulism-causing bacteria.
Milk powder bans are common occurrences in China but this is a big one: China imported around $1.9 billion worth of milk powder last year and nearly 90% of that was from New Zealand.
The news was announced today by the New Zealand trade minister, who said that the ban was ‘appropriate’ after it was recently discovered that contaminated whey concentrate had been exported to a number of countries, including China.
The contaminated powder was exported by the Fonterra company, which supplies many of China’s largest food and drink manufacturers, including Dumex and Coca Cola China.
Analysts have said that the new ban would raise already inflated prices, and could produce another shortage in China, a country which craves imported milk powder.