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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4730

Mr Garland asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did he and other Ministers sign a statement indicating that Australian dried milk was not contaminated with radioactive material.

(2)   If so, who signed the statement, on what date, and to whom was it addressed.

(3)   Why was it necessary to send such a statement, and what were all the circumstances.

Dr Cass - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No, but on 18 October, the Minister for Agriculture, the Minister for Health and I jointly issued a Press statement that allegations being made in Taiwan that southern hemisphere milk powders contained possibly high levels of radioiodine were quite unfounded.

(2)   See reply to Part (1).

(3)   The need for such a statement as issued (see Part 1 above) was to counter the allegations which were apparently being made to cause fear in the minds of consumers of Australian dairy products on the island of Taiwan. Unfounded reports of this nature might also have had repercussions in other markets of importance to Australia in that region.

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