A threat has been made to contaminate infant and other formula with 1080. The New Zealand Government is taking this threat seriously. The Herald has republished the advice the Ministry of Primary Industries has prepared.
Infant formula protection
The New Zealand Government and industry are responding to a criminal blackmail threat to contaminate infant and other formula with the toxin 1080. Our response is developing rapidly, check here for updates.
What has happened?
Fonterra and Federated Farmers received anonymous letters in late 2014. These letters were accompanied by packages of powder, which tested positive for 1080. Police were alerted immediately.
The letters contained a threat to release infant and other formula contaminated with 1080 to consumers. This contamination was to occur unless New Zealand stopped using 1080 for pest control by late March. The person or people making this threat say they intend to run an international media campaign to publicise their threat and pressure the government to stop using 1080.
Advice for consumers
New Zealand infant and other formulas are as safe today as they were before this threat was made. We encourage people to keep using formula as they always have.
As always, our advice is to check there are no signs of tampering before you use formula, regardless of this threat. Infant formula is usually sold in packaging that makes it clear if the contents have been tampered with.
Who to contact
If you have any information relevant to the criminal investigation, including product you suspect has been tampered with, call police on 0800 72 36 65 or email email@example.com.
If you have any questions about what to feed your baby, call Plunketline 0800 93 39 22. If you have general questions, call 0800 00 83 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we have done
Our first priority in responding to this criminal blackmail threat is the health and security of consumers.
Since the threat was made, government and industry have increased vigilance and security across the supply chain. We have:
• Added extra security at infant and other formula factories
• Strengthened security at stores
• Extended milk and milk product testing, including a new 1080 testing programme
• Increased the vigilance of everyone in the supply chain
• Checked the journey of infant and other formula, from farm through the factory, for any weaknesses a criminal could exploit.
We are treating the threat seriously
Police are treating the threat with the utmost seriousness. All necessary resources are being directed to the investigation team, which is working closely with the relevant organisations to identify who's responsible for the threat.
Police are appealing for any information from the public that might help the investigation.
If you have any information relevant to the criminal investigation, including product you suspect has been tampered with, call police on 0800 72 36 65 or email email@example.com. Or you can call anonymously on 0800 55 51 11.