September 24, 2008
Fonterra: No regrets on investment in Chinese dairy
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra says it does not regret its investment in China even though it may soon be forced to write off US$95 million in losses due to the China milk scandal.
Fonterra owns 43 percent of Sanlu, one of the companies which sold the tainted milk formula. More than 60,000 babies have been sickened by dairy farmers in China who added melamine into their milk to boost nitrogen content to trick testers into thinking the milk has a high protein content.
At a news conference in Auckland, Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier said the company has not done anything wrong, despite waiting six weeks to raise the alarm that milk in China had tested positive for the toxic substance.
However, Ferrier said he is concerned by allegations Sanlu representatives knew there was a problem for eight months.
Fonterra also acknowledges the Sanlu brand may have been damaged beyond repair.