New Zealand’s two biggest fertilizer companies, Ravensdown Ltd. and Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd., have suspended sales of dicyandiamide or DCD after low levels were found in dairy products. DCD is sprayed on pastureland to prevent nitrogen leaching into streams and rivers. There are no standards for DCD levels in food products but it is toxic in high levels. Fonterra, the nation’s largest dairy company says they have been assured by New Zealand’s regulatory authority, the Ministry for Primary Industries that there is no food safety risk. However the co-op says DCD residues in agricultural products could present a trade issue. Fonterra is the largest dairy exporter in the world.
Fonterra will participate in a working group set up by the Ministry for Primary Industries to examine the use of DCD and the impact the suspension will have on water quality requirements.