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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3151

Mr Humphreys asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 2 April 1 980:

(   1 ) Will he undertake an investigation of the cosmetics industry to determine the extent to which domestic cosmetic products and imports contain animal ingredients.

(2)   Will he introduce legislation requiring cosmetic companies to include on their products ' labels precise details about the product's composition and specifically whether animal ingredients have been used and whether animals were used in related research.

(3)   Will he penalise those foreign companies producing cosmetic ranges which either include animal ingredients or use animals in their research and testing by applying an increased tariff on those products.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) and (3 ) My Department has already made inquiries in this area and has found that very few animals are used by

Australian cosmetic manufacturers either for test purposes or for cosmetic ingredients. This use of a small number of animals in the toxicity testing of cosmetics is considered to be essential in the interest of public health. My Department is not responsible for the legislative control of the importation of cosmetics beyond its quarantine responsibilities covering ingredients of animal origin and where the cosmetics would be classified as therapeutic substances due to therapeutic claims made. The allocation of tariffs to these products is the responsibility of my colleague the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs.

(2)   I am not in a position to introduce legislation to control the labelling of cosmetics as this is primarily a State responsibility.

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