Danone initiates legal proceedings against Fonterra

Dairy giant Fonterra has today confirmed that Danone has launched legal proceedings following last year’s whey protein contamination scandal.

The scandal, which ended up being a false-alarm, saw widespread recalls of Danone’s Karicare infant formula product after Fonterra issued a warning that they whey protein in the formula could contain a bacterium known to cause botulism.

Thirty-eight tonnes of the protein were believed to have been contaminated by an unsanitary pipe, however it was later uncovered that the bacteria wasn’t clostridium botulinum as originally thought, but was identified as clostridium sporogenes, which doesn’t lead to any known food safety issue.

A statement issued by Fonterra states that the business has been in ongoing discussions with Danone and is “disappointed that they have resulted in legal action” but will “vigorously defend any proceedings.”