Police reassure public over 1080 threat

By Te Kāea

Police have reassured the public this morning that all precautions necessary have been taken to ensure the safety of any and all infant formula products in New Zealand.

This follows the Government and Police going public regarding anonymous blackmail letters sent to Fonterra and Federated Farmers threatening to contaminate baby milk powder with 1080 poison if the Government did not stop using the poison 1080.

The letters received on November 2014 were accompanied by small packages of milk powder which subsequently tested positive for a concentrated form of 1080.

In a media conference this morning, Police say they have received a broad range of information regarding the letters and asked the public to continue contributing whatever information they could that may help lead to those responsible for the threat.

Following the announcement yesterday, parents around the country were on edge fearing for the health of their children, however the Prime Minister and the Minister for Primary Industries reassured the public that infant formula was safe and if they had concerns or suspected any product had been tampered with, not to use it.

Police were asked this morning if there was such a minimal risk of real danger why they chose to go public. Police responded saying they preferred to be open and transparent with the public and in making the decision a number of organisations considered the pros and cons of releasing the information. .

Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy says, “A lot of Government and Ministry departments that have been working closely with police, with MPI and the Department of the Prime Minister. What we have done over this period of time is a lot of work. We have pulled in the 20 manufacturers in New Zealand and some international and set up a testing regime for 1080 we have done over 40 thousand tests in the last few weeks what that has confirmed as we suspected, there are no traces of 1080 in any of our infant formula or any other of our formula products.“

While the Prime Minister has responded saying it is most likely a hoax he has advised that they are taking the threat seriously and the Government has done so, since the letters were received.