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China, Russia halt some imports in botulism scare

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- China and Russia have halted imports of some New Zealand dairy products in response to a botulism scare, according to New Zealand government officials.

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra announced Saturday that up to 1,000 tons of infant formula, sports drinks and other products sold in seven countries could be tainted after tests turned up bacteria in whey protein that could cause botulism.

Ministry for Primary Industries Acting Director-General Scott Gallacher said Monday that China has halted imports of all Fonterra milk powder and whey products, whether sent from New Zealand or Australia.

He said Russia has placed a wider ban on all New Zealand dairy products, even though Russia wasn't among the countries to receive tainted products.