FSAI ceo to lead Fonterra inquiry

World News: The ceo of the Food and Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is to head up the New Zealand Government’s investigation into the whey protein concentrate contamination incident earlier this year.

In a joint statement issued recently, New Zealand’s Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye detailed the terms of reference of the inquiry and welcomed the Irish appointment.

“We are fortunate to have Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, agree to act as expert peer reviewer for the inquiry’s reports. Professor Reilly has worked for more than 30 years in the area of food safety. Before taking up his chief executive role he worked in the food safety programme of the World Health Organisation in Geneva. He is also the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Food Information Council,” they said.

Among the other appointments as inquiry members are: Tony Nowell, director of Food Standards Australia New Zealand; Dr Anne Astin, a ceo who led the start-up of a government statutory authority for dairy food safety in Victoria, Australia; and Miriam Dean CNZM QC was announced as  chair.


“The inquiry will send a strong message that New Zealand takes these issues seriously and that we are determined to protect the strong reputation for food safety we have built up over generations. This will be a robust, independent inquiry into the cause of this incident, the response and any lessons for our food safety systems,” said Minister Kaye.

Minister Guy continued: “Food systems rely on consumer confidence in the integrity of our industry, regulatory systems and products. The Government has placed a strong emphasis throughout this incident on transparency and openness to domestic and international consumers. We are confident our systems will be even stronger and more responsive as a result of this inquiry.”

The inquiry will report back in two parts, with Parts B and C examining regulatory and best practice requirements against the background of this incident in relation to the dairy industry, including the role of regulators. This first stage of the inquiry has an interim report date of prior to Christmas.

Full information is available here.