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Wednesday, 5 March 1980
Page: 545

Senator O'BYRNE (TASMANIA) - My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, relates to a commodity known in America as a pacifier and in Australia as a baby's dummy. By way of preface I indicate that a particular brand of baby's dummy has been dumped in Australia after being banned in the United States of America. That brand of dummy was blamed for the deaths of six American babies, who allegedly choked. After those dummies were renamed 'teething rings', about 120,000 of them were shipped to Australia last year. The American organisation concerned, the Reliance Corporation of Rhode Island, shipped the 120,000 dangerous babies' dummies to Australia after the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission had banned their sale. The United States Congress has since enacted a law preventing the export of products banned as unsafe in the United States. I ask the Minister: Do we have any Commonwealth legislation or regulations preventing the import or export, perhaps to neighbouring countries, of products banned here in Australia? Further, was the Australian Government notified of the American ban on that product and sent background details of research undertaken into it, as was reported in an article in the Australian to have been stated by a United States official? Finally, I ask the Minister to make available to the Senate details of safety checks made on all imported and exported children's and infants' products, whether they are clothes, toys, furniture or whatever.

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Attorney-General) -Senator O 'Byrne's question raised a number of matters of fact and also a legal question of whether we have regulations preventing the export or, I presume, the import of articles, the export of which from America has been banned. I am not familiar with the details of the case to which he referred. I will refer the question to the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs and ask him to let me have an early answer.

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