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Tuesday, 16 March 1971

Senator POYSER - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. Is it a fact that tests carried out in New South Wales and Victoria have found that higher concentrations of the pesticide DDT exist in human mothers' milk than dairy marketing authorities accept in cows' milk? Is it a fact that more detailed tests just completed by the Victorian Department of Health are understood to confirm these tests and that the concentration of DDT in mothers' milk could be up to 20 times more than the acceptable amount in cows' milk? If this information is factual will the Minister advise the Senate of what action is contemplated by the Commonwealth Government to place a complete ban on the use of DDT in Australia as has happened in some other countries, including the United States of America?

Senator Dame ANABELLE RANKIN - I have seen Press reports concerning the points raised by the honourable senator. I shall endeavour to get for him from the

Minister for Health an accurate statement of the amount of DDT which has been detected in the milk mentioned by him. Also I shall inquire whether any action is contemplated by the Government in respect of this matter. As soon as I have this information I shall supply it to the honourable senator.

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