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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3097

Mr KATTER (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Health. The Minister's much publicised expression of opinion on the danger to public health of the consumption of sugar would now appear to be fully supported by another member of the Australian Labor Party - a very well-known member, Mr Barry Jones, MLA, from Melbourne. Mr Jones has suggested that laws restricting people's sugar intake are likely in future. He said that when cigarette advertising was banned, liquor advertising would be next and a cut back in the advertising of sugar products would probably follow. When he made those comments Mr Jones was welcoming the State Government's decision to fluoridate water supplies. He said that this would go only part of the way and that it was very likely that we would have laws restricting sugar intake. My question is: Will the Minister confirm that this is now generally Australian Labor Party thinking, which will soon emerge as policy, and will he enlarge on his own opinions so that the House and the people of Australia may learn his views in greater detail here in the forum of the nation?

Dr EVERINGHAM - It has been Labor Party policy for some time that the advertising of cigarettes in all the media should be discontinued, and the Australian Government has moved to ban it in media under Federal control - that is radio and television. It will be phased out over 3 years. At the last Federal policy conference of the Party a move for a similar ban on the advertising of alcohol was made and was defeated. There was no such move on any other kind of advertising. I have had no communications with Mr Barry Jones. He is entitled to express an opinion in this matter. As far as I am concerned, I believe that the guidelines that have been laid down by the National Therapeutic Goods Committee are sound; that is, in brief, that all advertising that is misleading ought to be discontinued and that consumer protection organisations, in conjunction with governments, ought to move to ensure that that happens.

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