Synlait Milk gets FDA 'GRAS' notice for lactoferrin ahead of Munchkin's grass-fed formula launch

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Synlait Milk said it has gained a GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) notice from the US Food and Drug Administration to export lactoferrin to the US for use in infant and toddler milk formula.

The notice was a requirement for Synlait's NZ-produced lactoferrin to be used in a new 'grass-fed' infant formula that its US partner Munchkin Inc is planning to launch this year. While lactoferrin is already in use in the US, Synlait needed to satisfy the FDA that its product was safe.

The Rakaia-based company is coy about its sales of the high-value, low volume lactoferrin, which is an iron-binding glycoprotein consisting of a single polypeptide chain isolated from raw milk as defined by the FDA. The naturally occurring ingredient of milk reportedly has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Synlait produced 10 tonnes of lactoferrin in 2016 but hasn't disclosed the value of sales or given much detail of end uses by its customers, which include a2 Milk.

Synlait communications manager Dan Walraven said the company had worked for two years with Munchkin of the new 'grass-fed' formula that was expected to be launched this year in a market where much of the milk comes from intensive, factory-style dairy farms. Synlait believed its own production could be ramped up "with little additional investment" and it was a case of developing customer demand, he said.

Synlait is the second company to gain to gain a GRAS notice to export lactoferrin to the US. Japan's Morinaga Milk gained a notice in 2014, according to FDA records.

Synlait has previously said that significant manufactured volumes for the US market, the second-largest infant formula market after China, aren't expected until the 2018 financial year.

Synlait's shares rose 0.6 percent to $3.52 and have edged up 0.9 percent in the past 12 months, lagging behind the S&P/NZX 50 Index's 8.6 percent gain.


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An awesome result for Synlait

Why is it that the small dairy companies like Synlait Tatua and Westland Milk lead the dairy industry innovation stakes - not the dinosaur Fonterra?

Fonterra had the chance years ago when Patrick Geals led their innovation team under Ferrier but they decided to go with bulk rather than diversify - and they still continue to play the wholesale game. Fonterra farmers should be holding the turkeys running Fonterra to account.

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Fonterra farmers are themselves the turkeys running Fonterra.
Surely you are not suggesting that the "elite dairying families" have captured the board of Fonterra, and that the rank and file dairy farmers are now being fed s*it, and kept in the dark, are you?

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