Poison threat directed at dairy giant

An anonymous blackmailer threatened to poison infant formula in New Zealand to protest the country’s use of poisonous baits for pest control, and sent dairy giant Fonterra packets of milk powder laced with pesticide, police said.

Prime minister John Key said the threat was likely a hoax, and assured parents that formula was safe for babies to drink.

Fonterra, the world’s largest exporter of dairy products and farming association Federated Farmers both received anonymous letters in November, police said.

The letters were accompanied by small packages of milk powder that tested positive for a concentrated form of the agricultural pesticide 1080, which is used by the country’s conservation department to control pests such as rats and possums.

The letters threatened to contaminate infant and other formula with 1080 unless New Zealand stopped using it by the end of March.

Animal welfare advocates oppose the use of 1080, arguing it causes animals to suffer slow, painful deaths.

Since November, dozens of police have been trying without success to figure out who sent the letters, Clement said. The blackmailer had threatened to go public by the end of the month, prompting officials to make the announcement yesterday.


As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner