Ministry for Primary Industries releases WPC full diagnostic report

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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released a report detailing the full diagnostic results of the whey protein concentrate (WPC) tests. The tests have come back negative for Clostridium botulinum.

The organism is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism causing toxins.

The report details the approach MPI took to commission a further array of tests to validate the initial results Fonterra reported. Fonterra informed MPI on August 2 that tests it commissioned from AgResearch had potentially detected Clostridium botulinum in some of its products.

A total of 195 tests using a range of technologies have been conducted in laboratories here and overseas.

"The additional testing occurred at MPI's own diagnostic labs as well as Massey University, and also at two labs in the USA including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists used a range of methods – all tests returned negative results for Clostridium botulinum," says Acting Director-General Scott Gallacher.

"The health and wellbeing of consumers has always been our first priority, and will continue to be. Our prudent approach in the light of uncertainty as to the identity of the contaminating bacteria is a testament to that."

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