Landfarm milk is all white by MPI

Last updated 05:00 16/08/2014

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Milk from stock grazed on 17 Taranaki dairy farms that have or may have been used as landfarms has been given a food safety tick.

A Ministry for Primary Industries report this week listed results of testing of milk taken from the Taranaki landfarms and declared it safe.

Landfarming involves spreading drilling waste from the oil and gas industry on farmland and sowing new pasture on top.

The laboratory tested for a wide range of compounds or minerals and found four.

A Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman said these four compounds or minerals were at low levels and not deemed to be a health risk.

"There was no evidence to suggest that they were due to exposure to petrochemical wastes."

Fonterra came to a similar conclusion after testing milk last year, but still made the decision to not collect milk from any new landfarms. Last year the Ministry announced it would test the milk under its annual National Chemical Contaminants Programme.

"Dairy farms used as landfarms will continue to be included in the Ministry's national residue monitoring programmes and we will also continue to monitor farming activities," the spokesman said.

Green Party New Plymouth candidate Sarah Roberts said she still wants testing to continue.

"New oil and gas waste is regularly being disposed of to land in Taranaki, and at the very least there needs to be ongoing monitoring of milk or meat coming from any areas where this dumping has occurred.

"However, to protect New Zealand's reputation for producing clean, green and safe food, the better option would be to stop producing food on land where toxic oil and gas waste was once spread. Milking cows and disposing of large quantities of oil and gas waste is not a good mix on the same dairy farm."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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