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pau770791 : Chemical residue in NZ milk raises concerns

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  • Chemical residue in NZ milk raises concerns (2013-01-26)
  • Tests are being urged on dairy products imported from New Zealand to see whether they have traces of a toxic chemical, despite reassurances from the country that such products are safe. Low levels of dicyandiamide, or DCD, were found in dairy products in New Zealand, according to Chinese media reports on Friday (25 January 2013). DCD residue got into the milk as farmers in the country applied the chemical to pastures to prevent nitrate, a fertilizer byproduct that also is harmful to health, from getting into rivers and lakes. Although it has a low toxicity, large doses of DCD can kill mice, said Dong Jinshi, executive vice-president of the International Food Packaging Association and an expert in food safety. At least six Chinese infants died and thousands became ill after drinking melamine-contaminated milk in 2008 in China, which reduced consumers confidence in domestic dairy products. Many customers subsequently turned to imported milk powder, especially New Zealand brands. New Zealand agricultural authorities on Friday reassured dairy consumers in China that its products are safe, Xinhua News Agency said. Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, the two New Zealand makers of agricultural chemicals, announced on Thursday they had suspended sales of DCD amid fears the residues could harm the country's valuable international dairy trade. Dairy products make up a quarter of New Zealands total exported goods by value, and last year their total export value was 14.5 billion New Zealand dollars ($12.13 billion). About 80 percent of Chinas imported milk comes from New Zealand, according to Xinhua. Many consumers have expressed concerns after the news made headlines in Chinese news portals on Friday.    Photo by Imaginechina
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