13 Aug 2013

Botulism scare prompts four investigations

6:27 am on 13 August 2013

Four separate investigations will be held to try to get the bottom of Fonterra's botulism contamination scare.

Fonterra is holding two inquiries, as has the Government.

As well as an operational investigation, which will review its business processes and traceability systems, Fonterra will also hold a board-level inquiry to review the recent botulism scare and the way the company handled it.

It has appointed Jack Hodder, QC of Chapman Tripp, to carry out the review, while one of the company's independent directors, Sir Ralph Norris, will chair the committee overseeing the inquiry.

Joining them on the committee are two of the board's other independent directors, Simon Israel and John Waller, farmer-elected board members Blue Read and Nicola Shadbolt, and retired high court judge Dame Judith Potter.

Prime Minister John Key has announced there will be two Government inquiries.

At the regulator level, the Ministry for Primary Industries will look into whether Fonterra met its requirements under the Food Act and Animal Products Act and whether it committed any offences - an investigation expected to take three to six months.

Mr Key said a Government inquiry was also needed to reassure Chinese consumers, and that the terms of reference for it would be determined shortly.