|Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd promotes its milk powder products at a dairy expo in Beijing. The New Zealand dairy giant said its products are safe after media reported that trace chemical residues were detected in its products. (China Daily Photo)|
Ambassador insists its dairy products are safe
The New Zealand government and the country's dairy giants have tried to restore confidence in their products after China's quality watchdog asked New Zealand authorities to hand in a detailed risk assessment report.
The move follows the detection of chemical residues in dairy products originating from the country.
Carl Worker, the country's ambassador to China, insisted at a news conference on Monday in Beijing that all of the country's dairy products are safe, including all of the products exported to China.
Worker apologized for the confusion that has surrounded the suspension of the use of DCD, or dicyandiamide, on farmlands in New Zealand and the concerns that occurred in China.
"There is no food safety risk," Worker said. "New Zealand assures all consumers that New Zealand dairy products are safe."
He stressed that the detection of small DCD residues posed no food safety risk and that the chemical itself is not hazardous to health.
DCD is used to improve water quality on farms by reducing nitrate levels, as well as to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Traces of DCD were first discovered in September but Fonterra didn't disclose the findings then because it believed there was no food safety risk, said Kelvin Wickham, president of Greater China & India of Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd.
A person weighing 60 kilograms would have to drink more than 130 liters of milk to be over the European Commission's acceptable daily intake of DCD, and "considerably" more to have adverse health effects, according to Wayne McNee, director-general of New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries.