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Friday, 30 April 1971

Senator WEBSTER - I ask the Minister for Health whether his attention was drawn recently to an article in the Manchester 'Guardian' which stated that 2 professors from the University of California at Los Angeles made a report to the National Heart Foundation of America which, it is suggested, may earn them the dairy industry's next citizenship award. If so, was the Minister's attention drawn to the portion of the article which said that those gentlemen had been working for S years on 846 elderly men; that those who stayed on a diet low in saturated fats and high in poly-unsaturated fats were found to have a lower incidence of heart disease than those who stayed on a diet of saturated fats; but that those whose diet was high in poly-unsaturated fats showed a death rate from cancer twice as great as in the case of those stick-in-the-muds who had gone on consuming the old meat and potatoes, apple pie and ice cream, highly saturated all- American diet? Is he also aware that Messrs Pearce and Dayton were alarmed by their finding that many of the old men who popped off with cancer had been oh a poly-unsaturated diet for only a few months? Is he aware that the National Heart and Lung Institute had carried out studies on this matter - admittedly in a much shorter time - the results of which indicate that female rats on a polyunsaturated diet tended to have a very high incidence of cancer of the breast? Will the Minister take these findings into account when he gives consideration to the question asked by Senator Murphy?

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