Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited backs the move by Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients to voluntarily suspend sales and use of Dicyandiamide (DCD) treatment on farm land until further notice.
The fertiliser companies announced the suspension today after very low levels of DCD were identified in some test samples of dairy products.
"We have been assured by New Zealand’s regulatory authority - the Ministry for Primary Industries - that there is no food safety risk. However, DCD residues in agricultural products may present a future trade issue," said Managing Director Co-operative Affairs Todd Muller.
"Although DCD was a promising option for reducing nitrate leaching, it is critical that New Zealand’s trade reputation is preserved. The voluntary suspension is the responsible approach in the absence of any internationally agreed standards for DCD residues in food," said Mr Muller.
Fonterra will participate in a working group set up by the Ministry for Primary Industries to examine what the suspension means in terms of the future use of DCD in farming, including the impact on water quality requirements.