Aug. 6 - Fonterra infant formula scare raises fears of damage to New Zealand's national reputation. Paul Chapman reports.
More recalls of infant formula in China, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka have added to fears the Fonterra contamination alert could harm New Zealand's reputation for purity. Chinese shoppers are saying their trust in the world's largest dairy exporter has been damaged. New Zealand's finance minister says the nation's 'clean green' image is under threat. (SOUNDBITE)(English) BILL ENGLISH, NEW ZEALAND FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "The big issue here is about re-establishing our reputation." Fonterra chief Gary Romano is pledging openness over the contamination caused by a dirty pipe. (SOUNDBITE)(English) GARY ROMANO, FONTERRA MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MILK PRODUCTS, SAYING: "We will be as transparent and as open as we can. We also move with speed. Sometimes that speed means we don't have all the complete information with us." New Zealand's own consumers are questioning the company's handling of the problem. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ERICA STANFORD, MOTHER, SAYING: Fonterra knew four months ago that there was some kind of contamination issue and that means they've had four months to come up with a concise plan on how to manage themselves through a worst-case scenario." (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER, SAYING: "it's outrageous. It's terrible to play with people's lives like that." There've been no reports of illness because of the contamination. It's been found in whey protein concentrate sold to countries including China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.