Incitec product pulled out over terrorism fears

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 06 Apr 2004

SYDNEY: Incitec Pivot, Australia's biggest supplier of a key fertiliser ingredient that can be used to make bombs, has announced it is pulling the product from the market to prevent its eventual use by terrorists. 

The company has asked retailers to return their stocks of the ingredient, ammonium nitrate, saying substitute products were available for use as fertiliser. 

The move by Incitec Pivot, which sold approximately 80% of the 40,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser bought in Australia last year, came days after the government said it would seek to tighten controls over the chemical to prevent it falling into the hands of terrorists. 

Ammonium nitrate has been used by terrorists as a bomb-making ingredient. 

British police seized 500kg of the chemical and detained eight men during raids across London last week that authorities said foiled what could have been a powerful bomb attack. 

Last week Australian Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock urged state governments to quickly introduce new regulations restricting access to ammonium nitrate. – AFX-Asia

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