AgResearch statement regarding Clostridium botulinum research undertaken for Fonterra

This statement has been prepared to address public misunderstanding surrounding work undertaken by AgResearch in relation to Clostridium isolates provided by Fonterra.

​Contrary to some statements in the media, AgResearch did not confirm the presence of Clostridium botulinum in the isolates provided by Fonterra, but reported that the research had potentially detected Clostridium botulinum and recommended that further testing be conducted.

AgResearch is a research organisation that has significant expertise in relation to the Clostridium family, including members of the Clostridiaceae family involved in food spoilage, and Clostridium botulinum.

It also has the facilities and infrastructure required for handling anaerobic bacteria, including the Clostridium family.  It is currently one of only two organisations in New Zealand with the experience and facilities to undertake the mouse bioassay in relation to the toxicity and symptomology of Clostridial toxins.

AgResearch has reviewed its work, and remains confident in the work its experts carried out and reported to Fonterra.