Key to visit China over botulism scare

3:42 pm on 10 August 2013

The Prime Minister will travel to China once inquiries into the Fonterra food safety scare have been completed.

China has suspended imports of all products containing Fonterra's whey protein concentrate, after a batch was found to be contaminated with a bacterium that can cause botulism.

John Key says it is clear the matter has harmed both Fonterra and New Zealand's reputation in China.

Mr Key says whether the harm is long-term will depend on how the matter is dealt with from now.

Fonterra's board and the Ministry for Primary Industries are to carry out separate investigations and Mr Key says he expects to be able to give details of the Government's inquiry early next week.

He says he is ready to go to China to rebuild consumer confidence in New Zealand goods but it needs to be when he has the results of the inquiry and answers about how the 38 tonnes of whey protein was contaminated.

"I'd have to go at a time where I could say 'Here is the inquiry, this is what we learnt and this is what we've done after that'."

Mr Key says he will also speak to media when he goes to China.