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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2017

Mr KATTER (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) - Will the Minister for Primary Industry assure the House that all possible measures will be taken to prevent the entry of synthetic meat into this country and if, as has been claimed, such a product is available here, urgent and decisive steps will be taken to prevent any further supplies from coming into Australia? Should any similar synthetic product be produced in Australia, will the Minister take action to prevent the use of the misleading word 'meat' in the description of this product?

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - Meat is imported into Australia subject to quarantine restraints and subject to the tariff that is applicable on either a preferential or a nonpreferential most favoured nation rate. The normal requirements applicable to any imports apply to meat. No distinction is drawn specifically between a synthetic product and a naturally produced product. The honourable member's question is directed particularly to an area of considerable potential concern for meat producers throughout Australia. In recognition of this concern the Australian Agricultural Council at its last meeting decided to draw to the attention of the Governments involved the necessity to ensure that, in labelling, the word 'meat' should refer specifically to the naturally produced product. For this reason there has been correspondence between me, as Chairman of the Australian Agricultural Council, and each of the member Ministers asking them to contact their governments to determine that meat', as required by State legislation, will refer to a product produced from animals and not in any other way.

In addition, I have written to my colleague the Minister for Customs and Excise asking as to the bearing of the Commonwealth legislation

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