WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra says tests of some infant formula ingredients have turned up a type of bacteria that could cause botulism. The country's largest dairy company says it's told eight of its customers of the problem, and they are urgently investigating whether any of the affected product is in their supply chain. Fonterra says those companies will initiate consumer product recalls if the bacteria is found.
The news comes as a blow to New Zealand's dairy industry, which powers the country's economy. Consumers in China and elsewhere are willing to pay a big premium for New Zealand infant formula because the country has a clean and healthy reputation. The Centers for Disease Control describes botulism as a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin.