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Dicyandiamide Compound Taken Off Market

25 March 2013

NEW ZEALAND - On January 25, 2013 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced that Dicyandiamide(DCD), a compound used to reduce nitrate leaching, would be taken off the market as a first response to very small traces of DCD that were found in some dairy products.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was quick to downplay concerns about the safety of New Zealand milk that is tainted by Dicyandiamide (DCD). Fonterra initially made the find in products it had
manufactured but at least two other processors have since had product that tested positive.

DCD is used to inhibit nitrate leaching into waterways and to reduce nitrous oxide gas emissions
from pasture land. Prime Minister Key told media on January 28 that reports by Chinese and U.S.
media questioning the safety of New Zealand milk amounted to “misinformation”.

The low levels of DCD that were found, were apparently 100 times lower than acceptable European food safety limits.

There is clearly much concern within the GNZ and throughout the business community about the reputation of New Zealand dairy products, as the sector remains the driving force behind the country’s economy. But what may prove to be equally problematic for the Government was the two month delay in releasing the data by the Ministry for Primary Industries.


DCD is a biodegradable compound that has been further developed in New Zealand, for use on
pasture land, from similar compounds used in Europe on cropping land. DCD aids in restricting
nitrates that leach into groundwater, as well as N2O that is lost to the atmosphere.

Only about 1 in every 24 dairy farmers in NZ have been using the chemical since the results are variable and not well proven. The compound has been available for use since 2004.

Subsequent Dairy Product Pricing - Oceania


The continued strengthening of dairy product prices was underscored at the last Global Dairy Trade
Auction (3/5/2013) where the overall pricing index shot up 10.4 per cent. Whole milk powder recorded a huge jump in average pricing of 18 per cent.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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