1080 threat

Police act on suspected baby formula tin tampering

milk-powderOperation Concord – calls from the public

In response to several media inquiries this afternoon Police can confirm the Operation Concord team has received a number of calls from members of the public concerned with possible infant formula product tampering, such as possible pinpricks in packaging lids. Read more »

Josie Pagani: 1080 threat totally mismanaged by men

Last November very powerful men discovered that parents feeding their babies infant formula were being threatened by an insane blackmailer who said he intended to poison babies to make a twisted political point.

Senior police, agriculture, business and political figures knew a lot about the risk. But they didn’t know enough to make the most important decision of all: whether the child should continue to be fed the infant formula.

Only parents can make that judgment.

The decision to refuse to tell parents what they knew or that they were opting to take a lunatic at his word that the poisoning wouldn’t begin until the end of March, was despicable and stomach-churning – a denial of the essential human right to make a decision about the welfare of your own child based on all available information.

It’s like a doctor deciding not to tell a patient they could be at risk.

You don’t get to defend the lack of consent by saying, “I think I made the right judgment.”

The right thing to do is always – always – trust people, and make as much information available as possible. Even to the extent of being upfront about what you don’t know. When that doesn’t happen, people learn that governments can’t be trusted.

The Centre for Disease Control in the United States has a manual on how best to communicate in health scares such as Ebola: “Describe the steps you are using to get the facts and help the audience deal with the uncertainty while all the facts are uncovered.”

In other words, tell people what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing to find out what you don’t know.

Read more »

1080 threat falls flat

Countdown said it could not comment specifically on sales for commercially sensitive reasons.

“But to be honest we haven’t seen a significant change in customer behaviour in our stores,” said spokeswoman Kate Porter.

“On the whole our customers seem very positive about the steps we’ve taken – they are feeling assured that Countdown is taking the threat seriously and keeping the product as safe as we can.”

Countdown stores have had signage in place since Tuesday evening when the Government revealed that a threat had been made to taint infant milk formula with 1080 poison.

Foodstuffs, which owns the New World, Pak ‘n Save and Four Square brands, said it also appeared that consumer demand for infant formula was unchanged.

Extra security checks had been put into place through the supply chain and in its stores, some of it covert and some of it obvious.

At New World and Pak ‘n Save, CCTV monitoring of the shelves continued and signs advised customers of the threat. There was also an “infant formula milk monitor” who was keeping an eye on products.

Well, in that case, we really can’t say that the Government, Police and companies involved in this were wrong. ? It seems that, once again, the media were the most excitable of the lot. ? Read more »

Powdered 1080 sent to Fonterra not from New Zealand, claims manufacturer

This is an interesting twist

New Zealand’s biggest manufacturer of 1080 products believes concentrated 1080 sent to Fonterra and Federated Farmers as part of a blackmail threat came from overseas.

Police yesterday revealed they had spent more than three months investigating a blackmail threat to poison New Zealand milk products but said they now needed help from the public.

Fonterra and Federated Farmers were sent a letter each in November containing a blackmail threat and powder, which tested positive for concentrated forms of 1080. No more correspondence had been received from the letter writer since. Read more »


The 1080/Infant milk scandal – a high level summary

There isn’t much point going over the issue with a fine toothed comb – you’ll have had trouble avoiding it all since yesterday afternoon. ?But I do think it may pay just to touch on the important bits.

Police say the threat was received by Fonterra and Federated Farmers in November.

They want public help to catch the blackmailer and if you have any information then call 0800 72 36 65 or email [email protected]). Anonymous calls can be made to Crimestoppers on 0800 55 51 11.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says even tighter security measures have been introduced around the production and sale of milk products in the past three months.

During this time, a new testing regime was introduced and more than 40,000 milk products have been tested. None had tested positive for 1080. Read more »