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airship
22nd Sep 2008, 16:33
Ostensibly, western interests are heavily invested in selling milk products to the Chinese or at least selling by-products onto the outside World. Take the New Zealand company Fonterra and their forays into supplying baby formula to Chinese families. It's strange that there wasn't already a thread running here on JB about this. Probably something to do with the value of lives when they're Chinese babies, European ones or N. American cats and dogs...?! :rolleyes:

The more I researched the subject, the more sickened I became of a major non-Chinese investor in a dairy firm who literally lost all sense of reality, whilst publically proclaiming otherwise on their International websites...?!

Someone let me know when it's OK to invest in someone like Fonterra again (even if one isn't Chinese)..?! :yuk:

tony draper
22nd Sep 2008, 16:41
Thought I read somewhere that the Chinese along with various other races could not drink milk because of some sort of genetic lactose intolerance,and the only people who can drink fresh milk straight from the Cow are Northern Europeans? never really thought about how they feed their sprogs that being the case.
:uhoh:

airship
22nd Sep 2008, 16:52
I think it was OK to integrate crushed and unwanted kitchen furniture (lots of melamine) in milk until the chips started clogging the filters...?! That's taking recycling a tad further than even I would have liked... :sad:

frostbite
22nd Sep 2008, 17:07
Whatever you're on today, airship, it's not good for you.

BlueWolf
22nd Sep 2008, 21:04
Fonterra is a 43% shareholder in the Chinese company San Lu, which has been fingered as the worst offender of about 40 companies, including Nestle, involved in the melamine milk-spiking practice.

It was Fonterra who blew the whistle, but it still took the Chinese Government a good six weeks to authorise a product recall.

This business involves Chinese farmers watering down the milk from Chinese cows in China, to inflate volumes to make more money, and then dosing the watered down milk with melamine, to boost protein-test results back up, so they don't get sprung.

This Chinese milk is then processed by Chinese companies, in China, and fed to Chinese babies, killing them.

prospector
22nd Sep 2008, 21:35
Airship,
"Someone let me know when it's OK to invest in someone like Fonterra again (even if one isn't Chinese)..?!"

"Again"???? You have shares in this Company. One would have thought, that as a shareholder? in this Company, you would have at least tried to get some of your facts correct before posting such crap in a public forum.



"This business involves Chinese farmers watering down the milk from Chinese cows in China, to inflate volumes to make more money, and then dosing the watered down milk with melamine, to boost protein-test results back up, so they don't get sprung".

Those are the facts.


"The more I researched the subject, the more sickened I became of a major non-Chinese investor in a dairy firm who literally lost all sense of reality"

With the facts now public knowledge, the depth of your research is now obvious, very shallow.

Your research, shallow as it is, has no doubt shown how many other organisations, that have no links outside China, that have been caught up in this investigation. The investigation, initiated from New Zealand, because Fonterra was involved, has shown that a number of local companies have been adding Melamine to milk to increase the protein content.

Your inference that it is outside companies ripping of the Chinese consumer is scurrilous crap

con-pilot
22nd Sep 2008, 21:58
Your inference that it is outside companies ripping of the Chinese consumer is scurrilous crap

What! :eek:

Airship's inference that it is outside companies ripping of the Chinese consumer is scurrilous crap, cannot be true, er can it?

Never I say, never.

No, nearly all of....................................oh, er, never mind. I was on a roll.

I'm just shocked he couldn't figure out some way to blame the United States.

However, I am gladden by the news that there have been so few deaths from this shocking affair. As Chinese Justice is swift and final in these types of affairs we will soon see some grim videos of some unfortunate folks receiving said justice. I will just question if the Chinese will go high enough on the, let me rephrase that, will go high enough politically to assure that all the guilty are punished.

Load Toad
22nd Sep 2008, 22:41
The poisoning of the milk most likely happens high up the supply chain. A false high value for protein content of milk or vegetable matter can be given by adding melamine which in itself is not poisonous. However the use of cheaper scrap melamine is not unknown this brings a contaminant cyanuric acid which combines with the melamine to produce the insoluble crystals which can cause kidney failure.

Melamine poisoning has been known about since early 2007 at least when it was the reason for thousands of pet deaths in the USA.


The tests that the industry uses are to test for nitrogen which indicates protein content.

Melamine additions give a high nitrogen result which would indicate that the product (up the supply chain) was of good quality; you could pass off cheap or diluted milk by adding melamine.

Where the tainted products are in use down the supply chain.......?

If the poisoning of pet food was known about why have the corporations involved nor the govt departments but in a testing procedure for melamine contamination?


Because that would cost money.

Only when enough business is lost because of association with babies deaths will the cost of carrying out the required testing be worthwhile.

This is both government and company irresponsibility and not an issue of nationality.

G-CPTN
22nd Sep 2008, 22:53
From the Times:- The scandal came to light only because of the intervention of Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister, who was informed by the New Zealand joint venture partner of the Chinese company of its failure to persuade it to recall the product. Ms Clark said that the food giant Fonterra had been trying for weeks to make Sanlu Group recall the product but “the local authorities in China would not do it”. Fonterra has a 43 per cent stake in Sanlu, but had to follow Chinese rules in handling the incident.

Load Toad
22nd Sep 2008, 23:49
Indeed but there was nothing to stop Fonterra making an announcement of their own. The reason they didn't was money.
Also the Chinese would not have wanted the dying babies story to have come out just before or during the Olympics. The reason they didn't was 'face'.

prospector
23rd Sep 2008, 00:39
"Indeed but there was nothing to stop Fonterra making an announcement of their own".

And what would that have achieved? a New Zealand company announcing that chinese farmers were poisoning their own people to make more money for them?.

Nothing could be done without Central Government say so to get all these contaminated products off the shelves. As has been adequately proven there was many more companies than the Sanlu group, who Fonterra are associated with, that were involved in this scandal. It was only after top level representations were made to the Chinese Government that anything could be done.

Does the saving of face mean that many thousands of babies have to suffer and some die? I think not, the olympics were just something that was happening at the time.

Load Toad
23rd Sep 2008, 01:20
I don't agree - whilst Fonterra probably complied fully with the legal requirements they knew the products were contaminated and chose not to advise the public. Does it matter what nationality the babies are. And this poisoning is not limited to baby formula nor is it limited to products produced in China. We do not yet know who poisoned the milk - I expect that this is a very common practice not just effecting milk. None of the parties are innocent and as Fonterra knew there was a problem ethically they should have notified. Of course everyone will say that they followed the protocols to the letter.

prospector
23rd Sep 2008, 02:09
"Does it matter what nationality the babies are. And this poisoning is not limited to baby formula nor is it limited to products produced in China".

No, the nationality of the babies is not an issue.



"This business involves Chinese farmers watering down the milk from Chinese cows in China, to inflate volumes to make more money, and then dosing the watered down milk with melamine, to boost protein-test results back up, so they don't get sprung".

Those are the facts.


No body has challenged these facts, in China or elsewhere. In this case it is limited to products produced in China.

BlueWolf
23rd Sep 2008, 02:19
How come the question of ethics only applies to Fonterra? Shouldn't it also apply to the farmers who watered their milk, and then doctored their milk with poison, and to the people who supplied that poison, and to the Government officials who wouldn't stop the practice even when they knew it was going on?

Let's get this straight; this wasn't Fonterra poisoning babies. It was San Lu poisoning babies. San Lu is a Chinese company. San Lu, the Chinese company, was poisoning Chinese babies, in China, with Chinese milk from Chinese cows, and Chinese poison made in Chinese poison factories. All of it was done by Chinese people in China, motivated by a desire for Chinese money, and all of it was hushed up by Chinese Government officials.

But Fonterra owns shares in San Lu. And Fonterra is a New Zealand company. Aha! It must all be the New Zealanders' fault!

Never mind that this is, and was, a widespread and established practice in China, which Fonterra bought into, AND THEN DID BLOW THE WHISTLE ON. How unethical of them. Oh dear, they didn't tell soon enough? And did anybody else? Anybody like, maybe, all or any of the Chinese who were and are involved?

You say

This is both government and company irresponsibility and not an issue of nationality.

I disagree. This is about nationality. New Zealanders don't deliberately poison babies to make money. The Chinese obviously have no such qualms. Therefore, I would posit, it is indeed all about nationality. One nationality blew the whistle on unethical and illegal practice. The other didn't.

Would San Lu have blown the whistle on themselves, had Fonterra not bought a shareholding in them? Did anyone else, from any of the other 40-odd Chinese companies undertaking this practice, 'fess up all by themselves? Why not? Something to do with nationality, perhaps?

:yuk:

Brian Abraham
23rd Sep 2008, 04:37
Businesses the world over have little regard for morals or ethics when coin is involved. Australian small goods producer was recycling rotten product into new produce, resulting in deaths from kidney failure.

viktor inox
23rd Sep 2008, 06:37
Quite alarming to see the absurdly high level of credibility afforded by some posters to the Chinese authorities. These are the same crowd (Communist Party of China) who had no trouble in starving 20 million of their own people during the "Great Leap Forward". Why should they have more regard for human life today?

airship
23rd Sep 2008, 15:02
BlueWolf wrote: Let's get this straight; this wasn't Fonterra poisoning babies. It was San Lu poisoning babies. San Lu is a Chinese company. San Lu, the Chinese company, was poisoning Chinese babies, in China, with Chinese milk from Chinese cows, and Chinese poison made in Chinese poison factories. All of it was done by Chinese people in China, motivated by a desire for Chinese money, and all of it was hushed up by Chinese Government officials.

But Fonterra owns shares in San Lu. And Fonterra is a New Zealand company. Aha! It must all be the New Zealanders' fault!

prospector wrote: "Indeed but there was nothing to stop Fonterra making an announcement of their own".

And what would that have achieved? a New Zealand company announcing that chinese farmers were poisoning their own people to make more money for them?.

(BTW, many thanks to Load Toad for his amplification and clarification... :ok: )

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the FONTERRA group have a 43% holding in the Chinese Shijazhuang SanLu Group. That is a significant stake. By their own admission in this press release dated 15th September (http://www.fonterra.com/wps/wcm/connect/fonterracom/fonterra.com/our+business/news/media+releases/statement+by+fonterra+ceo+andrew+ferrier+to+media+conference ) on FONTERRA's website: The San Lu Board, on which we have three directors, was first advised on August 2 that there was a problem with the contamination of infant formula. This was the first Fonterra knew of this issue. This is followed by another FONTERRA press release dated 16th September (http://www.fonterra.com/wps/wcm/connect/fonterracom/fonterra.com/our+business/news/media+releases/notice+of+voluntary+product+recall+-+anmum+materna) on FONTERRA's website: Fonterra China today announced a voluntary recall of one batch of prenatal milk sold in China under the ANMUM Materna brand name.

This particular batch had been manufactured and distributed under licence by San Lu using what we believe to be contaminated local raw milk.

A company spokesman said this issue applies to the one batch of ANMUM Materna which was distributed in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). None of the batch in question was exported out of China.

Fonterra China said the stock was being recalled because consumer safety was the company’s utmost concern.

If you care to look through all the FONTERRA press releases (http://www.fonterra.com/wps/wcm/connect/fonterracom/fonterra.com/Our+Business/News/Media+Releases/)dating from today back to August 2nd, you will not find any others relating to concerns arising from their SanLu subsidiary.

I've no doubt that FONTERRA are a responsible company who probably rightfully proclaim and adhere to the principal that consumer safety is the company’s utmost concern...99% of the time. Whatever happenned (or rather did not happen, but should have...) between August 2nd and September 15th 2008 will probably remain shrouded in some mystery. Chinese consumers will learn (and hopefully remember) that just because a very respectable foreign (NZ-based) company has a serious stake in a local Chinese firm, that is no guarantee of current or future performance (at least when it comes to consumer safety - I might be wrong on ROIs...).

I disagree. This is about nationality. New Zealanders don't deliberately poison babies to make money. The Chinese obviously have no such qualms. Therefore, I would posit, it is indeed all about nationality. One nationality blew the whistle on unethical and illegal practice. The other didn't. Who blew the whistle and when exactly? Are the details somewhere in now classified files at the NZ Ministry of Agriculture or Commerce or whatever. Is the truth contained in diplomatic files exchanged between Wellington and Beijing between August 2nd and September 15th. Will it all ever be made public...?!

I'll still continue to buy NZ lamb though. Excellent value and tastes good enough for me...?! ;)

G-CPTN
23rd Sep 2008, 15:09
White Rabbit candy sweets (made with milk in China) 'withdrawn' in Britain.

ORAC
23rd Sep 2008, 15:40
Thought I read somewhere that the Chinese along with various other races could not drink milk because of some sort of genetic lactose intolerance,and the only people who can drink fresh milk straight from the Cow are Northern Europeans? never really thought about how they feed their sprogs that being the case.

Lactose intolerance happens when the intestines don't make enough lactase. All babies' bodies make lactase so they can digest their mother's milk. Human milk has the highest lactose percentage of any animal at around 9% (Cows milk is about 4.5%). In most races the body stops making lactase in early childhood, in Chinese at around the age of 1-2 years.

Lactose intolerance is genetic. In northern Europeans it's about 1-3%; in southern Europeans about 70%; in Africans and Asians about 95>%.

IIRC lactose tolerance was a late mutation in northern Europe during the last 4-5K years when it was a strong survival factor.

prospector
23rd Sep 2008, 22:38
"Whatever happenned (or rather did not happen, but should have...) between August 2nd and September 15th 2008 will probably remain shrouded in some mystery. Chinese consumers will learn (and hopefully remember) that just because a very respectable foreign (NZ-based) company has a serious stake in a local Chinese firm, that is no guarantee of current or future performance (at least when it comes to consumer safety - I might be wrong on ROIs...)."

"Chinese state-run TV channel CCTV said Communist officials in the city of Shijiazhuang, where Sanlu is based, delayed referring the matter to higher authorities for more than a month after Sanlu finally told them of the problem on August 2."

Does that cover what was going on, and why the matter was not taken further until the New Zealand Government liased directly with higher echelons of Chinese Government.?

You will have of course noted that since the enquiries began there are now over 20 Chinese owned Companies involved in this scandal, and as has been shown the only one that blew the whistle had a New Zealand interest.

Perhaps the "Chinese consumers will learn (and hopefully remember) that just because a very respectable foreign (NZ-based) ", was the reason the whistle was blown at all, before many more thousands of Chinese babies were affected.

con-pilot
23rd Sep 2008, 23:11
Well, as one who has tried to buy cheese in China I can tell you that is very, very hard to find any type of cheese to purchase.

However, you can find little jugs of sour milk on about every street corner. Yes, I tried it, once. :uhoh:

G-CPTN
23rd Sep 2008, 23:36
Hard cheese.
I bought lie cheese . . .

Load Toad
24th Sep 2008, 04:58
I haven't ever defended the Chinese companies implicated in this poisoning and I aren't making any apologies for the Chinese government. But I refuse to accept Fonterra or any other 'respectable western corporation' for that matter can abdicate any responsibility when they knew of the poisoning. I'm sure they can argue they followed the established protocols and rules but they knew of contamination.

One issue here is that protein poisoning has been going on for some years - thousands of pets died in the USA in 2006 / 2007 when contaminated pet food was sold in the USA - sourced from China. The practice of introducing melamine scrap into vegetable protein to give a falsely high protein test result was known. The same trick is being used with milk - both products are used in other foods....

Now we have thousands of ill children with at least 4 dead.

The products are not restricted to mainland China.

We do not know how many other products that could have been tainted by protein poisoning are in the food chain.

Protein poisoning is clearly widespread - it must be tested for any corporation / company that wishes to grow its market share (in China) or source cheap products from China to maximise its profit must be responsible for the adequate testing of the products - before sale.

On this issue I do know a little having been trading from / to China for the last 13 years and I know very well that western buyers are not all 'respectable'.

Rush2112
24th Sep 2008, 05:20
Interesting to see that govs such as Singapore's, who hitherto fore sucked up big time to China have recalled all products with Chinese moo-juice in them.

Distressing to see that one of the products is a pack of six mini Magnums, the last one of which I ate last night from a pack bought on Tuesday 16th... :\

airship
25th Sep 2008, 13:41
prospector wrote: "Chinese state-run TV channel CCTV said Communist officials in the city of Shijiazhuang, where Sanlu is based, delayed referring the matter to higher authorities for more than a month after Sanlu finally told them of the problem on August 2." Followed by: Does that cover what was going on, and why the matter was not taken further until the New Zealand Government liased directly with higher echelons of Chinese Government.? You may have complete faith in your own govenrment and 'what might have been said or implied' but pity us citizens of the northern hemisphere where our own governments tend 'to surround the truth with a bodyguard of lies...' :rolleyes: So, if you have a link to this report by CCTV, I'd be interested.

Otherwise, we're still talking about a country (NZ) that is highly dependent on its agricultural exports as % of GDP, where national elections are due to be held in the next few months and in consequence, a government and private enterprise perhaps more interested in damage-limitation efforts[ or proscrastination/I] than clear and unambigious announcements backed-up by documentary proof as opposed to hearsay.

Welcome to the rest of the World, NZ, prospector and BlueWolf. :{

(Love your patriotism and infallible belief in your own government and enterprises BTW...?!)

PS. The EU will test (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7635594.stm) all imported Chinese products containing more than 15% milk powder...?! They're also going to randomly test all such products that are already on sale here in the EU. :rolleyes: By the sounds of things, the EU never bothered before...? So, last year, when thousands of pet cats and dogs died as a result of contaminated ingredients of Chinese-origin containing melamine ended up in petfoods sold in the USA, not a single pet cat or dog was afflicted here in Europe. Why? Probably, because if you don't actually test for something, you probably won't find it, make sense...?! :rolleyes:

However, I find it quite difficult (if not nigh well impossible) to believe that the USA could be so afflicted and yet Europe escaped all or any such contamination (especially when the EU doesn't necessarily bother to control or test much apparently)? Ever since the scandals over what goes into animal-feed (BSE etc.) and indeed petfoods here in Europe earlier on this century, I've understood that the petfood manufacturers' lobbies are one of the most powerful here in Europe. If any pet cats or dogs in Europe [I]did similarly die of melamine poisoning as happened in the USA, we don't know about it possibly because of some 'disfunctionment' between the vets that supposedly collect the information and the government departments that are supposed to collate, analyse and act on it. It doesn't help very much that virtually every vet's waiting room these days resembles a 'mini-warehouse' displaying petfood manufacturers' wares. I wonder what proportion of annual income the average vet derives from the sale of these petfoods...? And one wonders what proportion of profits petfood manufacturers were required to 'contribute' towards the financing of any French political parties (if any), as was so recently demonstrated after an inquiry into over-priced lift-maintenance services in the French capital recently.

You want faith? Be a Christian, Muslim or whatever. But don't confuse faith and politics / government etc. OK? For all our futures...?! :(

BlueWolf
25th Sep 2008, 23:24
airship, airship, airship. The fact of the matter is this; the Chinese Government didn't do anything about this Chinese problem until it was approached directly by the New Zealand Government.

You may have complete faith in your own govenrment

Yes, about as far as I could spit them.

Otherwise, we're still talking about a country (NZ) that is highly dependent on its agricultural exports as % of GDP,

Please try to understand that Chinese milk products, produced in China, from Chinese milk extracted from Chinese cows, by Chinese people, working for Chinese companies, and then sold to, and consumed by, Chinese people in China, constitute exactly and precisely 0.00% of New Zealand's agricultural exports, and 0.00% of GDP. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, really it isn't.

You can shoot the messenger as many times as you like, but it still won't be his fault.

Load Toad
26th Sep 2008, 07:24
Blue Wolf, we live in an age where corporations trade products all over the world from the lowest cost base(s). This is not an issue about which government is bestest or which country is the importer or exporter. The key issue is - corporations knew and chose how they acted.

The NZ company which owns 43% of Sanlu knew something was wrong and didn't make what it knew public. They don't own 43% of Sanlu because it is a hobby they enjoy.

But as I said - I'm 100% certain they will claim they followed every legal protocol they had to. And I have no reason to doubt that they didn't. That doesn't mean the protocols are correct, correctly enforced or the actions of all concerned in this poisoning case are satisfactory.

BlueWolf
26th Sep 2008, 07:50
The NZ company which owns 43% of Sanlu knew something was wrong and didn't make what it knew public.

Really? How did what it knew become made public, then?

BlueWolf
26th Sep 2008, 08:16
This from the New Zealand Farmers' Weekly (my bolding):

http://www.nzfarmersweekly.co.nz/public.html

The New Zealand Farmers Weekly | Lead Story
Fonterra to clean up SanLu mess?

FEARS FOR STAFF: Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden may have to pull Fonterra staff out of China as the impact of the contaminated milk powder scandal grows.

22-09-2008 | Andrea Fox



Fonterra could be asked to provide China with externally-sourced milk powder as the widening poisoned milk scandal leaves its children hungry.

The New Zealand Farmers Weekly understands Fonterra, in the scandal spotlight because of its 43% stake in the SanLu company, the first of more than 20 Chinese milk processors to be publicly identified as having sold milk powder contaminated with melamine, will work with Chinese authorities to find a clean replacement milk supply for children.

Four babies have died and at the last count 6244 children were ill with kidney damage in China after drinking infant formula laced with melamine, an industrial chemical high in nitrogen. It has the effect of raising protein counts in water-diluted milk and was introduced to SanLu milk supply before processing.

Since the Chinese central government forced a public recall of SanLu product two weeks ago and ordered a nationwide check of all baby milk powder makers, melamine has been linked to 23 other Chinese companies, including the country's five biggest operators, and in other dairy foods.

At time of writing, 18 people had been arrested, most of them melamine and milk dealers. Another 10 had been detained according to Chinese news reports, including SanLu's Chinese chair and chief executive Tian Wenhua.

Her detention sparked fears at Fonterra's Auckland head office last week for the immediate safety of Fonterra representatives at the SanLu company, including three Fonterra executives who are directors on the Sanlu board. On Friday they were still in China and it is understood their safety is being closely monitored by Fonterra as the crisis deepens.

Fonterra came under intense media scrutiny from around the world last week as it emerged that the SanLu board had known of the melamine contamination in its product since August 2. Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier told media he had been informed on August 3.

Rather than make a public announcement at the time, Fonterra had taken advice that it would be more effective to do things the Chinese way and work with local government officials on a trade recall from August 6. This involved quietly removing product from shop shelves.

However Fonterra says it kept pushing local authorities for a full public recall and when it continued to be blocked, approached the New Zealand Government for help early this month.

New Zealand's ambassador in Beijing Tony Brown then informed the national Chinese government which ordered a public recall.

Ferrier says his own investigations showed SanLu had received calls about sick babies in March, but tests at that time showed no quality issues.

Sanlu did not test its milk supply for melamine. Ferrier says to his knowledge no dairy company in the world does. Melamine in Chinese pet food caused many pet deaths in the US last year.

China is the world's second-biggest market for baby milk powder and Sanlu was the top-selling brand for 15 years, with 18% of sales last year.

All SanLu processing has been halted. The future of the company and the impact of the crisis on Fonterra's books are not subjects for discussion for Ferrier, who says the current focus is on helping Chinese consumers. Nor will Ferrier discuss the possibility that Fonterra may be called on by China for compensation.

Fonterra paid US$107 million two years ago for its holding in SanLu, at the time promoting the deal as a "joint venture". Last week Fonterra was calling itself a "minority shareholder".

The SanLu brand could now be valueless. Farmers Weekly in 2006 reported concerns about exactly how much say and control Fonterra would have in SanLu, despite having three directors on the seven-member board.

The way it was overruled in China on how to handle the contamination discovery suggests those concerns were valid.

Fonterra risks being made the "scapegoat" in the scandal, says Federated Farmers dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie.

New Zealand's much-vaunted free trade agreement with China comes into effect on October 1.

McKenzie says dairy farmers are concerned about the situation, but are generally satisfied with the way Fonterra, a farmer-owned cooperative and the world's biggest dairy exporter, has handled it.

Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Blue Read says Ferrier is regularly briefing the council on the situation.

By Friday, the crisis had spread to Hong Kong, after the discovery that milk, ice cream and yoghurt made by Olympic sponsor company Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial group were contaminated with melamine.

Last week Fonterra also withdrew from sale a batch of its own brand of milk for pregnant women, believed to be contaminated. Anmum Materna is one of Fonterra's most valuable brands in Asia.

While Fonterra has had its fingers badly burned in its first joint venture investment in China, it would make no business sense to withdraw.

Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden told Farmers Weekly that world milk consumption was expected to grow by 150 billion litres between 2005 and 2014. China is expected to consume the lion's share at 52 billion litres.

The Editorial from the print edition is more critical of Fonterra but still quite balanced, however it doesn't seem to be on the website and I can't be arsed re-typing it.

Make of the above what you will. The Farmers' Weekly is small publication, circulation around 85,000, but then the number of farmers in New Zealand is small as a percentage of the population. The 'Weekly' is aimed at and supported by the farming community. Personally I don't think it's a bad analysis given those considerations.

Load Toad
26th Sep 2008, 08:39
Rather than make a public announcement at the time, Fonterra had taken advice that it would be more effective to do things the Chinese way and work with local government officials on a trade recall from August 6. This involved quietly removing product from shop shelves.


' it would be more effective to do things the Chinese way'

And pray knowing that you've got poisoned food when does Dear Leader of the Big Corporation decide it's going to respect cultural sensitivities.

I can see the meeting now 'Let's not go upsetting anyone eh - it's bad enough having these babies dying'.

As you said 'bolding'.

They knew they didn't make it public:

Ferrier says his own investigations showed SanLu had received calls about sick babies in March, but tests at that time showed no quality issues.

Sanlu did not test its milk supply for melamine. Ferrier says to his knowledge no dairy company in the world does. Melamine in Chinese pet food caused many pet deaths in the US last year.

Thousands actually - kidneys tend to get blocked with insoluble crystals - kidney stones are obvious - kidney failure is a real bugger to shake off too.

What do they need an invite to consider testing?

while Fonterra has had its fingers badly burned in its first joint venture investment in China, it would make no business sense to withdraw.


How many dead babies is enough?

BlueWolf
26th Sep 2008, 08:51
Oh for God's sake Load Toad, who poisoned the milk? Fonterra? No, the Chinese.

And who tried to do something about it? The Chinese? No, Fonterra.

The Dear Leader of the Big Corporation to whom you refer would presumably be SanLu's Chinese chair and chief executive Tian Wenhua. would it not?

However, since you seem to be insisting on arguing this issue in Guilty Western Liberal terms, perhaps I should just say yes, you are right. 100% correct. It's all Fonterra's fault. I mean we sort of expect uncivilised Johnny Furriner to deliberately poison babies for money, don't we, but, tut tut, Whitey should have known better, now shouldn't he.
:rolleyes:

prospector
26th Sep 2008, 09:30
Load Toad,

Can you tell us anywhere else in the world that Melamine has been used to adulterate any food products????

Chinese pet food, Chinese milk products, "Sanlu did not test its milk supply for melamine." As has been pointed out so many times, New Zealand representatives were the whistle blowers in this enterprise.

The good thing that hopefully will come out of this is that the guilty parties will be punished to the full extent of the law, and expeditiously.

Load Toad
27th Sep 2008, 03:03
Once again my suggestion that corporations are responsible brings with it the accusation that I some how condone the actions of the Chinese govt or Chinese companies.

I do not.

The Chinese govt and Chinese companies will most certainly sort their problems sooner or later out because if they do not they will not be getting all of the $$$ they need. I hope it is sooner so we don't have the regular occurrences of poisonings that go on, the sweat shop and slave factory conditions that exist at the moment. The pollution.


But I expect more from 'our' corporations. None of us gain from being '..not as bad as they are'.

Melamine poisoning is not new. Nationality of the poisoner does not matter. We live in an age of free trade with few boundaries.....

Corporation ethics have to be at a far higher level than they are.

Of course - if you are happy that this is a Chinese problem, just effecting Chinese balance sheets and Chinese health and safety - by all means bury your head in the sand.

I'm not knocking the NZ people who blew the whistle - but frankly speaking - I wouldn't expect them not to. That would be an even sadder state of affairs.

Who else uses melamine scrap to create falsely high protein figures? I don't know. But I'm taking the position that as pet food has been poisoned and now milk and that it wasn't found out until there were a lot of dead pets, a lot of ill children and 4 dead babies that a) it is widespread b) it isn't adequately tested for c) it can't be that difficult to use scrap melamine so it could be effecting far more food products than we know.

So I would like to know - what tests can be carried out for melamine scrap poisoning and how can the people that sell food can guarantee that it is safe. Or maybe safe supplies of food and water is too much to ask for.

Like maybe if a certain 'plane fell out of the sky every so often but you know - it'd cost too much to make it safe so lets just have crossed fingers and a healthy balance sheet.

prospector
27th Sep 2008, 04:03
" Like maybe if a certain 'plane fell out of the sky every so often but you know - it'd cost too much to make it safe so lets just have crossed fingers and a healthy balance sheet"

Well that would not be a good example, there have been a number of aircraft models that have had unexplained accidents and have been grounded, world wide, until an explanation for the problem was found.

"Melamine poisoning is not new. Nationality of the poisoner does not matter."

On the contrary, it is a new way to make money, and thus far there has only been one country that has been caught out carrying out this practice.

"I'm not knocking the NZ people who blew the whistle"

Why thankyou, thats big of you, do you think the practice would still be being carried out if the whistle had not been blown?? probably would have caught up on these people by now, but a lot more babies would have suffered in the interim.

"and how can the people that sell food can guarantee that it is safe"

Indeed, how can they when it has been adulterated with a poison, for profit, by criminal elements. Many many poisons can be introduced to food, it would make eating a very expensive exercise if all food had to be tested for all poisons.

airship
29th Sep 2008, 15:44
prospector / Bluewolf / or whomever: Frankly, I couldn't give a shite whether New Zealand's Fonterra had a 3%, 13%, 43% or 93% stake in SanLu.

Fonterra could 'have blown the whistle' at a date of their choosing anytime after August 2nd when their board members in their Chinese operation became aware of a serious problem. They decided not to. By choosing to do so, Fonterra 'rolled the dice', basically putting at risk Fonterra's global brand name. The crows are now coming home to roost. Fonterra sucks, you know it, I know it and by now, the rest of the world knows it.

Business is business, except when it starts killing babies. And those who run 'global businesses' (even if they're based in NZ) had better get upto speed PDQ, IMHO. But maybe Fonterra could begin to make amends by rolling a few heads commencing with the CEO...?! :rolleyes: Or perhaps a simple name change would be able to put things right...? Or how about, companies that stick to what they know and can control in the markets in which they operate? Instead of just pursuing profits wherever they can. And in the final analysis, cost them far more than their original wager?! A few people ought to be looking for new jobs right about now. Preferably in countries which don't have simplified extradition arrangements.

God, how I hate the 21st Century.

Juud
29th Sep 2008, 16:40
[presumption of compassion]

Airship, did you not read the article quoted by BlueWolf?
Look here:
Rather than make a public announcement at the time, Fonterra had taken advice that it would be more effective to do things the Chinese way and work with local government officials on a trade recall from August 6. This involved quietly removing product from shop shelves.

Hard as it is to understand for our Western brains, very often what works in our societies, what seems logical to us, does not actually work in African or Asian societies. Their cultures are different, their ways of dealing with things are different, our solutions don't work for their problems.
So to me your outcry is facile, unfair and a tad ignorant.

Prospector, to my mind the nationality of the babies is in fact a tangential issue. A truth in journalism holds that in perceived importance and interest generated 1000 different coloured people dying equals 100 same-coloured people dying equals 10 same nationality people dying equals 1 person from your own village dying equals your neighbours dog being run over by a car.
Chines babies dying is looked at differently by most of us than if they were white babies dying. Unpalatable truth right there.

[THREAD DRIFT]
Businesses the world over have little regard for morals or ethics when coin is involved. Australian small goods producer was recycling rotten product into new produce, resulting in deaths from kidney failure.

Money talks both ways Mr Abraham. The practice of sheep (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/avj/2007/00000085/00000003/art00003;jsessionid=6uiv8gagm4ej4.alexandra) mulesing (http://www.liveexportshame.com/mulesing/mulesing.htm) is considered less and less acceptable by many people. Hence most Scandinavian wool garment producers are now buying wool only from sheep that have a non-mulesing guarantee.
Same goes for other big companies like Hugo Boss and H&M.
link (http://blog.peta.org.uk/2008/hugo-boss-phases-out-cruel-wool)
Enough wool-buyers stop buying 'mulesed' wool, the practice will end. [/THREAD DRIFT]

prospector
29th Sep 2008, 23:29
Chinese milk scandal hits Cadbury

" Last night, Cadbury confirmed preliminary tests had found melamine in some of its Chinese-made chocolates. A spokesman in Hong Kong said it was too early to say how much was in the chocolates. The British chocolate maker earlier said tests had "cast doubt" on the safety of its Chinese-made products but did not elaborate."

Fonterra could 'have blown the whistle'

Perhaps the British chocolate maker could also have blown the whistle, but they did not.

Chinese milk scandal hits Cadbury - National - smh.com.au (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/chinese-milk-scandal-hits-australia/2008/09/29/1222650989535.html)

Airship,
You will no doubt note that the only thing in common once again, with the British chocolate maker is "Chinese made products"

BlueWolf
30th Sep 2008, 02:05
Fonterra could 'have blown the whistle' at a date of their choosing anytime after August 2nd when their board members in their Chinese operation became aware of a serious problem.

Yes, they could, but on advice they didn't, as has been outlined, and within those constraints, no they couldn't have, really; the Chinese, of course, could have blown the whistle themselves at any time prior to that date. Why didn't they, and why is the fact that they didn't, somehow Fonterra's fault?

Fonterra sucks, you know it, I know it and by now, the rest of the world knows it.

Not an opinion with which I concur.

Incidentally, with regards to San Lu, and the 23 other Chinese companies, including the country's five biggest operators,

- including some with shares held by Nestle and Heinz, as I understand it - do they suck as well? Perhaps it would be simpler for you to detail those companies which do not, in your considered opinion, suck.

Or how about, companies that stick to what they know and can control in the markets in which they operate?

Leaving the Chinese to police themselves, naturally. Perhaps in amongst all the angst and finger pointing you have forgotten that Fonterra did actually blow the whistle, albeit in a less timely manner than you would have liked, which was something the Chinese had not done, and did not appear to be about to do, themselves. I'm a little confused - would you be happier if we left them alone to kill their babies in peace, and say nothing about it?

In any case - why should four million farmers from the arse end of the world, be expected to occupy a higher chunk of the moral high ground, than 1.3 billion people in a nuclear-armed space-race superpower?

Business is business, except when it starts killing babies.

Yes, remind us all again just who it was that was doing that.

And those who run 'global businesses'

- that would be the 57% shareholder, with the four-out-of-seven directors, and the three-out-of-four executives including the Chair, wouldn't it? (I'll give you a clue, I'm talking about San Lu here.)

Matari
30th Sep 2008, 03:19
Airship:

God, how I hate the 21st Century.So which century do you prefer?

Any of the centuries during the Middle Ages? How did that black plague thing work out for your ancestors?

How about the renaissance? Pretty sweet for the Italian and Austrian nobility, but the common folk had to put up with bed lice, living room cookfires and the stench of grandma and grandpa, fifteen brothers and sisters and weird uncle Francois living under the same roof.

Oh, and the 20th century? Really, do you miss the Nazi and Soviet genocides?

Maybe you are pining for some future time, when the sun has finally set on the evil capitalist west, and the Chinese are totally dominant.....

airship
30th Sep 2008, 16:01
Juud, with all the respect I have for you, are you not quite simply responding on the basis that you're very 'well-travelled', which somehow gives you a superior insight on the subject at hand, albeit learned mostly 1st hand between airport-hotel transfers in these countries...? Hard as it is to understand for our Western brains, very often what works in our societies, what seems logical to us, does not actually work in African or Asian societies. Their cultures are different, their ways of dealing with things are different, our solutions don't work for their problems.
So to me your outcry is facile, unfair and a tad ignorant. The subject is not simply about milk contamination by some criminal Chinese elements putting melamine into the food chain. It's all about ethics, knowing your suppliers and eventually profits. SanLu and other Chinese producers obviously didn't know their suppliers well enough. But were content to trust them implicitly without any special precautions. Fonterra were content enough apparently to just go along with it all.

Like I already wrote, I almost couldn't care less how Chinese companies treat their compatriots. There are over a billion Chinese and if they're not happy with their government or the way they're considered, change could come rapidly and in the form of a tidal wave, if they feel so inclined. We've already seen executions as a consequence of previous health scandals in China. We've also seen scandals (most infamously) involving Western foot and sports wear manufacturers whose Chinese factories emplyoyed children.

But we're not talking about sneakers or sweat-pants here. I'm extremely disappointed that any Western company would involve itself in the irresponsible manner that Fonterra have. They're an NZ company, not some US or European fashion house, their business is supplying food products, including baby milk powder.

It's true that it's not unheard of that deaths continue to result in Europe because of adulterated cooking oils or whatever, often originating from some dubious source in Italy. Are we expected to just accept that then Juud? If we have criminal elements in Europe, prepared to turn a profit whatever the public health risk, does that mean that somehow the Chinese should not be surprised? The difference here is that we're talking about supposedy world-class, respectable companies, applying 1st world technologies and standards wherever they operate. If after all, they're not expected to, merely to be considered the equivalent of some local or International mafia, then please accept my humble apologies...?! :}

Juud
30th Sep 2008, 19:28
Making an extremely denigrating remark and professing your respect in the same sentence.
Nothing like consistency is there Airship? ;)

We all have different areas of knowledge. And different degrees of knowledge. I have factual experience of working with Chinese people over a number of years. Chinese FAs, Chinese station managers, Chinese passengers. And then there's the time spent in country. Doesn't make me an expert, but it does give me some first had experience. On which I drew when I wrote what I did.
You know a lot about cats. And about ships. Your insights there would be superior to mine. Nothing wrong with that, and I certainly wouldn't attack you for it.
Anyway, since we were actually talking about the Chinese here ..... why don't you just wind your neck in rather than making snide remarks eh?

As to morality in business, I leave you with an excerpt from another thread:

19 years ago this month the world watched as the Berlin Wall fell, and communism crumbled. A new world order of peace and stability was promised, with market forces driving the world economy. That new order has failed, and now, this week, the world is watching the collapse of capitalism.

The last twenty years have not seen market forces driving the world economy. It has been driven by the greed of a small number of individuals at the head of the financial organisations that have underpinned the western economies. The desire to make money at any cost to everyone but themselves, and the establishment of a society where even the most basic of domestic services are run for profit are what have been the driving forces. Public transport, home utilities, telephone networks, and increasingly the health and education systems have been run to make the rich richer, with the poor paying ever increasingly above the odds for such services.

BlueWolf
30th Sep 2008, 20:25
airship, what part of "Fonterra DID blow the whistle" are you having difficulty understanding? This continuous desire to shoot the messenger is actually a recognised psychological fault, you know; your feelings of outrage and helplessness are transformed into a sense of inadequacy and guilt by association, and manifested as a desire to lash out and blame the party you most closely associate with. Get some help, man.

Load Toad
1st Oct 2008, 00:42
What part of 'should have done it earlier and should have put in a better testing protocol' don't you understand?

We expect more of western corporations - I do not expect more of Chinese ones. Western corporations are happy to make money, happy to put Corporate Ethics notices on their web sites and happy to look at maximising shareholder value by looking to cut costs and synergise an' stuff....

The nationality of the people concerned or the country where it happened does not bother me.

That fact is - this type of poisoning was known about - none of them performed adequate checks to stop it happening. When it did happen they had a raft of excuses for not telling everyone earlier. I don't care if it was SanLu or Fonterra - any of them could of, none of them did. I'm sure they have a great excuse why they didn't - they always do have.

As I expected this is now effecting many products and many countries.

Where it is made doesn't matter - it is as easy to put in a proper testing protocol as it is to not do to save or make money. The % share ownership, the number of directors on the board - their choice.

The emperor is far away and the mountains are very high. A Chinese saying that can be reversed to The Corporation is headquartered in the west but the production is as far away as possible. Out of sight - out of mind.

con-pilot
1st Oct 2008, 00:51
This is all I've got to say on this entire thread.

Welcome to our (the US) world when it comes to airship.

Enjoy! :ok:


Carry on then.

BlueWolf
1st Oct 2008, 02:17
See now you're doing the same thing, Load Toad, and making about as much sense while you're at it.

What part of 'should have done it earlier and should have put in a better testing protocol' don't you understand?

Earlier than what? Earlier than when they found out about it? We know what process they followed after that, and why. Perhaps they should have done things differently - but they didn't, because they were following advice on Chinese protocol, as has been explained. I'm sure hindsight will prove to be a wonderful thing, but once again, why didn't San Lu themselves, and the other 23 Chinese companies involved, do it earlier and have a better testing protocol?

It's all very well and good to say things like
We expect more of western corporations - I do not expect more of Chinese ones.

But when you immediately follow it with
The nationality of the people concerned or the country where it happened does not bother me. - you're guilty of hypocrisy at best and plain lack of logical thinking at worst.

The Corporation is headquartered in the west but the production is as far away as possible. Out of sight - out of mind.

No, see, please try to grasp this, the Corporation is San Lu, which was, and is, headquarted in China, along with its production, and its market. If Fonterra had been the majority shareholder in San Lu you might have had a point, but it isn't.

Fonterra bought into San Lu, discovered the melamine poisoning, blew the whistle, and brought a stop to the practice, not just within San Lu, but via Government involvement, throughout all of China, where it was well established and widespread. Not quickly enough for your liking, obviously, but nonetheless they were successful.

Please explain how this makes the whole business Fonterra's fault, and how things would have been better for the babies of China had Fonterra not taken action. Were the Chinese going to admit to, and deal with, this issue all by themselves?

Perhaps it makes you feel better to blame the messenger, but it's not really indicative of rational thought on your part.

makintw
1st Oct 2008, 02:48
Why the hell is everybody jumping on airship??

Fonterra knew on Aug 2nd and sat on it, for cultural reasons or whatever....and decided do it the Chinese way.The Google syndrome, where we'll re-write out our ethical policy in order to operate in China. Leave your Western ethics at the border??

The Chinese way?? Has no-one learnt from SARS, melamine in pet food? The Chinese way = let's sit on it and hope it goes away!

Hasn't anyone doing their MBA course learned from Perrier in 1990 who pulled everything as soon as they knew they had benzene contamination on their hands??

Load Toad
1st Oct 2008, 08:56
Scoop: Fonterra And San Lu Reach Joint Venture Agreement (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0512/S00032.htm)

Chinese killer milk scandal deepens for hapless Fonterra amid new revelations | National Business Review (NBR) New Zealand - Business, News, Arts, Media, Share Market & More (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fonterra-s-chinese-milk-nightmare-goes-35315)

Fonterra claims milk was sabotaged as another baby dies | National Business Review (NBR) New Zealand - Business, News, Arts, Media, Share Market & More (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fonterra-claims-milk-was-sabotaged-another-baby-dies-35243)

Don't just take my ranting and vitriol - read through some of those links.

And you keep defending Fonterra - you are doing a really really good job at avoiding blame - are you sure you don't hold a top position in a big corporation?

Environment (http://www.fonterra.com/wps/wcm/connect/fonterracom/fonterra.com/Our+Business/Sustainability/Environment/)

I've never said the whole issue is Fonterras fault - I've said I expect more from corporations and certainly expect more when sourcing food products.

BlueWolf
1st Oct 2008, 09:40
Your third link doesn't work for me, I can't see any relevance in the fourth, which is Fonterra's own Corporate publicity site, and the first two don't contain anything which hasn't already been posted here, much of it more than once.

And no, haha, I don't hold any top positions in big corporations. I am but a simple engineer-turned-winemaker-turned irrigation designer, and part-time journalist, and no, no-one is paying me to defend anything.

And you keep defending Fonterra - you are doing a really really good job at avoiding blame -

P'raps if you could just explain what Fonterra should be taking any blame for, and why, it might help. Let's not lose sight of the basics here;

1. Fonterra didn't poison any milk or milk products. San Lu and the Chinese did that.

2. Fonterra did expose, and bring about a halt, to this poisoning.

I've never said the whole issue is Fonterras fault - I've said I expect more from corporations and certainly expect more when sourcing food products.

What corporations do you expect more from? Chinese ones? Or just non-Chinese ones - and if so, why?
If we're talking about product sourcing, for a Chinese market, in China, which we are, by a Chinese corporation, which we are, what "more" do you expect, from that Chinese corporation, or any of its shareholders, and once again, why?

Out of curiosity, do you also expect "more" from the (again)

23 other Chinese companies, including the country's five biggest operators,
- including some with shares held by Nestle and Heinz who were doing it as well, or is it just Fonterra, who weren't doing it at all?
I ask because it appears to me that you're suffering from the same 'blaming-someone-will-fix-everything' affliction as our dear friend airship. Now if Nestle or Heinz had been first to blow the whistle, rather than Fonterra, presumably you'd be blaming them for this Chinese practice instead? If not, why not?

Fact, logic, and consistency in your responses, please, rather than hysteria, emotion, and prejudice, would be greatly appreciated.

I expect more from corporations

...and I bet they're hanging off your every word, so let's get this right, shall we?