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China halts import of New Zealand milk powder because of botulism bacteria

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China has halted imports of some New Zealand milk powders after a company disclosed that three batches of an ingredient used in sports drinks and baby formula tested positive for a strain of bacteria that causes botulism.

The New Zealand-based Fonterra Group said Saturday that three batches of its whey protein tested positive for the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Those batches weren't for use in Fonterra-branded products, but they said companies that used the whey protein in their products might issue recalls.

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said it had warned companies that bought the whey protein about the problem. "As a result, these customers are urgently investigating whether any of the affected product, which contains a strain of Clostridium, is in their supply chains," the company said.

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