Monday Moaning

Milk Scare Hits Dairy Power New Zealand

Low levels of dicyandiamide-also called DCD-have been found in New Zealand milk. The chemical, which farmers apply to pastures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, is toxic to humans in high doses

WELLINGTON—A toxic substance has been found in New Zealand milk, in a potential blow to the nation’s dairy exports, which are valued at 11.5 billion New Zealand dollars (US$9.7 billion) annually.

The country’s two biggest fertilizer companies, Ravensdown Ltd. and Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd., have suspended sales of dicyandiamide, or DCD, after low levels were found in dairy products. Farmers apply DCD to pastures to prevent nitrate, a fertilizer byproduct that can also cause health problems, from getting into rivers and lakes.

Though there are no international standards for the acceptable level of DCD in food products, in high doses the substance is toxic to humans.

Government officials Thursday expressed concern about the potential damage to the image of an industry that accounts for nearly a third of the nation’s exports.

“New Zealand’s reputation is based on the high quality of food we produce,” said Carol Barnao, deputy director of general standards at New Zealand’s primary industries ministry, which is responsible for exports and protecting the nation from biological risks. A government study of DCD use is now under way.

Wall Street Journal

and this…

Fonterra CEO plays down milk worries

The CEO of dairy giant Fonterra has described reaction to trace findings of nitrate inhibitor in milk as “way out of proportion”.

Co-op chief Theo Spierings said he could assure consumers worldwide that Fonterra products were safe to consume.

“We know some of our customers and regulators have questions. We need to answer them, and that’s exactly what we are doing,” he said.

“We have strong science and we are providing assurances about the safety of our products. Our testing has found only minute traces of DCD in samples of some of our products. It is important to remember that the minute traces detected were around 100 times lower than acceptable levels under European food safety limits. ”

On Friday Fonterra issued a press release saying it supported moves by New Zealand’s two main fertiliser suppliers to voluntarily suspend sales and use of Dicyandiamide (DCD) treatment on farm land until further notice.

DCD is used to inhibit nitrate leaching into waterways from fertiliser treatments and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The decision followed a finding in September that traces of DCD had appeared in milk tested by Fonterra. Spierings said talks with fertiliser companies Ravensdown and Ballnce agri-nutrients about withdrawing DCD from the market had begun at that time.

Todd Muller, managing director of co-operative affairs at Fonterra, said the problem with DCD use was that although Europe had standards for DCD traces, most countries didn’t, which meant the issue could create barriers to Fonterra’s exports.

“Because farmers were looking to DCD as a tool to mitigate farm environmental impacts,” he said, “we could see a potential problem in future.”

The press conference followed media headlines in the United States and China drawing attention to the DCD finding and questioning the safety of New Zealand milk.

Spierings said his concern was not about milk safety but about consumers being concerned by rumours rather than facts. “The whole industry is affected, based on rumours,” he said.

The potential impact was enough to make sure the government was kept fully informed, said Spierings.

“We have a 100 per cent open line [to the government] every day, because it’s a New Zealand issue,” he said.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

Opinion:

Point 1 :: I would trust nothing any CEO says.

Point 2 :: Ditto for governments.

Question, why has Dicyandiamide (DCD) been immediately withdrawn from the market?

I suspect because there IS a problem!

Is this another case of companies, corporations and governments pulling the wool over our eyes?

Profits and GDP are more important than people!

Further reading:

Don't blame me, I just eat grass - image: 3news

Don’t blame me, I just eat grass – image: 3news

Now, look where it's made

Now, look where it’s made

But Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Wayne McNee said in a statement the amount of small DCD residues found posed no food safety risk.

“DCD is not melamine. It is a different chemical and has none of the toxicity that melamine has.” – 3news Read more:

DCD is also used in the production of melamine, the compound which left Chinese babies sick and some dead, after they drank milk powder contaminated with melamine. – RadioNZNews Read more:
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6 responses to this post.

  1. Scary stuff indeed, and then there’s all the toxins and nasties that lurk in the plastic milk containers too! I always used to buy organic milk in the UK but I can’t find it here.

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    • >Lottie, I hadn’t touched on the leaching of plastics here, because that is a separate issue. I try to get whole milk, direct from the cow. There is a place near here, R$5 for two litres, but the return bus fare is R$5.50, which doubles the price of the milk.

      AV

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      Reply

  2. This is one of those times when a toxin is caught before entering the food system. What is scary is those toxins that are being allowed to contaminate food and water without anyone noticing.

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  3. Let me see if I get this straight: one chemical (Nitrate) is causing a pollution problem, so they “solve” it by dumping ANOTHER chemical (DCD) on the soil … ?
    And then it’s a SURPRISE when cows uptake DCD in the normal process of eating stuff that grows in the soil?
    (* eyes crossing *)

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