Radioactive Fonterra | The Jackal

11 Aug 2013

Radioactive Fonterra

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Fonterra has been forced to defend its brand once again amid fresh claims milk powder from the company, being sold in Sri Lanka, had been contaminated with radioactive chemicals.

Radioactive chemicals in our dairy products…how on earth did that happen? The only way I can think of for radioactive chemicals to contaminate milk products in New Zealand is from the landfarming that is occurring all around the Taranaki region.

Landfarming is the quaint name given to the practice of disposing waste from the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, contaminated with hydrocarbons, chemicals, heavy metals and quite often radioactive particles, by spreading it onto land where cows graze.

In light of this recent development, I would also like to know why two government officials from the Ministry of Primary Industries travelled to Sri Lanka earlier this year to try to make their Atomic Energy Authority stop testing New Zealand milk powder samples for radiation?

In May 2013, the Sri Lankan Sunday Times reported:

A Government Minister has warned Sri Lankans against the use of imported milk powder while New Zealand, the largest supplier, has mounted pressure to halt an inquiry by the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) over alleged radioactive contamination. The warning came from Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena who told Parliament on Friday that imported milk powder from New Zealand should be avoided until conclusive studies were done about the harmful effects.

Those conclusive studies have obviously come back positive and show radioactive chemicals in Fonterra's milk powder. Talk about 100% pure down the drain.

Reports that chemicals used to spray grass in New Zealand get transferred to the milk are troubling and had to be taken seriously, he said. Minister Abeywardena warned that it could exacerbate the chronic kidney diseases. Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Dr. Ranjith Laxman Wijayawardena told the Sunday Times that New Zealand authorities recently asked the AEA to suspend tests being conducted on random samples of milk powder.

He revealed that two officers of the New Zealand’s Small Industries Ministry recently visited Sri Lanka and met AEA officials and requested the suspension of tests for radiation in New Zealand milk powder. But he said that instructions have been issued to continue radiation tests.

Dr. Wijayawardana vowed that the AEA would not bow to any such foreign pressure when carrying out its duties.

It's just as well Sri Lanka did continue to test for radiation in milk products from New Zealand, because those tests have now come back positive and at levels that are not allowable under Sri Lankan regulations. Sri Lanka has quite rightly moved to halt all imports of milk powder from New Zealand.

According to Sri Lankan regulations, the maximum radioactivity level allowed is 20 Bq/kg for milk food and 100 Bq/kg for other food items. This is laid down in a 1969 act of parliament and in a Gazette notification issued in 1995. Bq is the measurement of radiation in food items.

Why exactly government officials have pressured Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority to stop testing for radiation in New Zealand milk products just before those tests proved positive is a question that must be answered?

It appears that the government knew that Fonterra's milk powder was contaminated with radioactive chemicals and instead of informing their markets, which could include domestic sales; they have tried to bully our fifth largest export market for milk products into silence.

This isn't just a cover-up of huge and despicable proportions; this makes the government liable under various international product safety laws.

If the melamine, DCD and botulism contamination wasn’t enough to get a few heads rolling, the radioactive chemicals in Fonterra milk powder damn well should be. It’s time to get rid of these evil bastards!

UPDATE: The NZ Herald has edited the first paragraph of the article Fonterra powder recalled in Sri Lanka to remove the part highlighting that Fonterra's milk powder sold in Sri Lanka had been contaminated with radioactive chemicals. However there is no mention of an update on the article.

I presume this has occurred because government officials have pressured the NZ Herald to remove that information from their website. There has been no apology or retraction published thus far in the print edition. Here's a link to the original article. Unfortunately for them, the internet never forgets.