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Tuesday, 23 October 1984
Page: 2275

(Question No. 1153)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 2 October 1984:

(1) Is the Australian Dairy Corporation (ADC) allowing a Hong Kong subsidiary, Asia Dairy Industries Ltd, and also the Thai Dairy Industry Co. Ltd, whom the ADC supervises, to promote in those countries sweetened condensed milk as suitable for infants from birth to 6 months of age.

(2) Is the Minister for Primary Industry aware that such feeding practices are a definite health hazard.

(3) Will the Government take action to ensure that the Australian Dairy Corporation intervenes in the current promotion of Champion brand sweetened condensed milk in Hong Kong and the Cock brand in Thailand.

Senator Walsh —The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No. I am advised by the Australian Dairy Corporation (ADC) that its subsidiary Asia Dairy Industries (H.K.) Ltd (ADI) does not promote the use of sweetened condensed milk as being suitable for infants from birth to six months of age. In May 1983 I wrote to the ADC asking that ADI comply with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes which specifically nominates sweetened condensed milk as being unsuitable for infants.

I am advised by ADI that Cock brand product was manufactured by Thai Dairy Industry Co. Ltd six years ago for sale in Burma. The original labels conformed to Burmese Government requirements and contained infant feeding tables. However this brand is no longer produced.

Champion brand products are currently manufactured by Thai Dairy Industry Co. Ltd under ADI supervision for sale in Hong Kong. I am advised that the product is not promoted as suitable for infant feeding and the label does not contain information or pictorial suggestion to that end.

(2) Yes. In May 1981 Australia accepted the WHO Code and is implementing its provisions.

(3) No action is required in the light of (1) and (2) above.