China blocked import of Milk Powder from New Zealand

Import of milk powder from New Zealand was blocked by China after it discovered bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) that can lead to Botulism.

Created On: Aug 5, 2013 16:18 ISTModified On: Aug 5, 2013 17:33 IST

China in the first week of August 2013 blocked the import of milk powder from New Zealand after it discovered bacteria that can lead to botulism in some of its dairy products. Global dairy giant Fonterra revealed that three batches of whey products contained Clostridium botulinum, a toxic bacteria, which can cause Botulism.

Yet the ban on the import of the products was not imposed by China as it has asked New Zealand to take effective measures to prevent products from being supplied to China, which could have an adverse impact on the health of Chinese Consumers. China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has ordered the importers for withdrawal of all types of contaminated products and quarantine officials have been ordered to step-up the inspections of dairy products, which were being imported from New Zealand.  

The ban issued from China was termed as an appropriate stand by Tim Groser, the Trade Minister of New Zealand, as some of the exported whey products (also infant formula) available with global dairy giant Fonterra contained bacteria, which could have affected the health and lead to fatal illness.

China is a major market for New Zealand infant formula products.


Botulism is a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness that is found in human beings. The cause of the illness is a toxin (poison) that is made by a bacterium that is known as Clostridium Botulinum. It occurs naturally in soil. There exist different types of Botulism.

Few of the most common form of botulism are
• Foodborne Botulism: it is caused due to the intake of foods contaminated with the toxin
• Infant Botulism: it happens, when an infant or a baby consumes the bacteria from soil or honey
• Wound Botulism: it is caused, when a wound gets affected with the bacteria and it starts releasing the toxin. It spreads easily among the heroine users

Botulism is a deadly disease and is a form of medical emergency.

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