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No traction yet in Chinese media from 1080 threat

News of the threat to contaminate New Zealand infant formula with 1080 poison has barely registered so far in Chinese media, says expatriate Beijing business adviser David Mahon, and is unlikely to gain traction, he believes.

"There's one food industry website that has noted it but it's not in social media or mainstream media," said Mahon, who has advised numerous New Zealand firms, including dairy exporter Fonterra, on entering the Chinese market.

"Tomorrow some translations of what's been in the New Zealand press will be posted here, but it's unlikely to run," he told BusinessDesk from Beijing. "The Chinese government, that has quite a control over even social media, would probably shut it down and stop its progress. It will be seen for what it is, which is a crank of some form."

"The Chinese government does have confidence in New Zealand's supply chain in dairy. Its problems have been more about the bungling of communications around botulinum (the 2013 false scare over botulism contamination) and to some extent DCD (in 2012, involving a nitrate uptake inhibitor used on grasslands). There's been no major scandal relating to Fonterra having contaminated product so I don't think there is an issue."