Fonterra has been fined $300,000 over the events leading to
last year's botulism scare.
The Ministry for Primary Industries laid four charges against
the dairy giant after it recalled 38 tonnes of whey protein
concentrate last August.
The company had wrongly suspected the concentrate - which is
used in products including infant formula - had been
contaminated with a botulism-causing bacterium.
Further testing revealed it was a false alarm, but not before
baby formula manufacturers had recalled thousands of cans of
Fonterra pleaded admitted all four charges, which relate to
breaches of the Animal Products Act, last month.
The company was sentenced by Judge Peter Hobbs in the
Wellington District Court today.
He imposed a fine of $300,000, which is lower than the total
maximum penalty across all four charges of $500,000.
Fonterra is still facing civil action brought by the French
company Danone, the parent company of infant formula maker
Nutricia, which had to recall 67,000 cans of Karicare infant
formula in New Zealand.
It has agreed to commercial settlements with seven other
companies affected by the recall.
* Processing dairy product not in accordance with its risk
* Exporting dairy product that failed to meet relevant animal
* Failing to notify its verifier of significant concerns that
dairy product had not been processed in accordance with its
risk management programme.
* Failing to notify the director general as soon as possible
that exported dairy product was not fit for intended purpose.
- By Matthew Backhouse of APNZ