Oh dear a  number of people are going to be doing a massive face-palm over the news that there was never any Botulism in Fonterra’s products, including Bryce Edwards, the Labour and Green parties and Nathan Guy.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said it had received results confirming that the bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate (WPC) manufactured by Fonterra was not the botulism-causing clostridium botulinum, the ministry said.

“The organism is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism causing toxins,” the ministry said in a statement.

“There are no known food safety issues associated with Clostridium sporogenes, although at elevated levels certain strains may be associated with food spoilage,” it said. 

Fonterra didn’t handle the situation at all well, but notwithstanding that, the over the top reportage by the media really needs to now be closely looked at. The opposition parties also gleefully attempted to use the “Notulism” scare to attack the government.

There is clearly something wrong though at the Ministry for Primary Industries and Nathan Guy really neds to be holding their feet to the fire as there has been one cock up after another. If  can’t or won’t do it then best get another minister.


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  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Labour, Greens, Nathan Guy and Bryce Brainless Edwards should get a copy of this report and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • le sphincter

      …cough. It is Nathan Guy who is the Minister for PI. Why didnt his officials look to double check.
      And then theres Fonterra

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Dear Spinach – You will be the one who would have said, they took too much time to double check and delayed the announcement….So just zip it and do whatever you do or don’t do for living

        • le sphincter

          Well they took 9 months delay but still got it wrong!

          Must be in line for a safe national seat then.

          Considering they rushed out an announcement late Friday night after being rumbled. Its good to know these people are responsible for a major food product we use every day.

          • Kopua Cowboy

            “major food product we use every day”

            Yes your comments seem to have the intelligence of somebody not yet on solids…

      • You should see a Dr about that cough. Or a veterinarian.

        • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

          Spinach will expect you to pay for that..He is mentally tuned for receiving other people’s money…..

  • Time For Accountability

    There is already considerable disquiet about Bryce’s media presence amongst Otago University management and his colleagues.

    On a one to one basis and to groups he speaks in an unbiased manner.

    But his column relies on other non researched media reports and we all know how unreliable they are. Universities rely on well researched matters before comment and some do not believe he does enough independent verifiable research.

    • le sphincter

      Any fool can see its not ‘research’

      University staff often have outside paid employment doing whatever.

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    When pollies get involved I can only remember a scowling Helen Clark striding over Mercury Energy bosses cowering on the floor somewhere in South Auckland, when the story came to nothing because the unhealthy dying woman would have carked it anyway all the pollies were noticeably absent.

    Lets see how this pans out in comparison.

  • Colin Price

    More strife for the Ministry of Primary Fuck-ups….

  • NoVictim

    Come on Fonterra, surely you didnt put your hand up for a Botulism scare with a false positive test?

    • JC

      The delay between Fonterra finding a problem, testing procedures and informing MPI aside I suspect we did pretty good. MPI was ruthless in putting the customers’ safety first and the pollies backed them.. good stuff.

      Now we have the full story on the tests I would regard it as the height of cowardice and irresponsibility if Guy doesn’t continue to back his ministry’s actions.. it acted instantly to protect babies, not Fonterra, the Minister or the Govt.. thats the message a Chinese mother should get going forward.


      • LabTested

        Hard to tell from a 30s item on TV3, but Nathan Guy seemed to be firmly under the control of Mr Joyce when talking to the media. I think somebody is in the naughty corner

  • This is good news, right?

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Not according to le spinach…..

  • STOP.


    Botulism death count update: 0

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      I am scared now….how will the MSM take this bad news?

      • cows4me

        Who cares Sir at least us poor farmers may make some decent money this year. More to spend in the cities. The boss is already talking about some new furniture. It’s all very scary when women start talking about furniture.

        • BigDes

          $8.12 baby yeah haa!

          • Orange

            One pay day a year is so weird.

  • David Broome

    Everyone needs to be hypocrite watch from now on in. I have heard some on the news tonight but i wonder how many editorials there will be saying sorry. Not holding my breath. Fonterra and dairying is damned if you don’t and damned if you do. My only hope is that the public will add another cynicism filter.

  • Goldie

    Most Ministry for Primary Industries managers couldn’t organise a piss up at a brewery. But Nathan Guy needs to be very careful he doesn’t lose some very capable people at MPI with important technical skills.

  • MarcWills

    Notulism aside folks, there shouldn’t be ANY Clostridium bacteria in milk powder anyway. So the batch was contaminated – yes. Just lucky this time it was a harmless strain. Fonterra should have pulled the product anyway, when the tests revealed some problem. It certainly shouldn’t have been exported for other companies to use in critical baby products.

    So still a stuff up, just not as bad as it could have been – there but for the grace of God it COULD have been fatal.

    • le sphincter

      Considering their primary product, needs to be pasteurized before its safe to drink, who would of thought there were nasties lurking in milk

      • BigDes

        Tall poppy syndrome much? Say what you like, I’ll be enjoying by new boat this summer.

      • NoVictim

        If your concerned about pasturization, you better stop eating canned food, and chuck out your bottled and canned beers.

  • Kopua Cowboy

    Told you so.

    Take that, you band wagon jumping fools (Sri Lanka, Russia, China, etc)

  • LesleyNZ

    Could it have been as simple as whoever tested the milk product was a bit confused about wrote down or interpreted the wrong scientific name for the bug. Seems that Clostridium sporogenes is a harmless strain of Clostridium botulinum. Check out this Wikipedia definition of Clostridium sporogenes