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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1650

Mr HURFORD (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - 1 ask the Minister for Science whether he saw a report in the media to the effect that clinical trials indicate, that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial [Research Organisation has made an important breakthrough in producing poly-unsaturated meat and dairy foods which could play a vital part in fighting heart disease. If so, did he also note that the claim was made that conservatism on the part of Australian agricultural marketing boards has cost both Australian consumers and farmers the full benefits of the breakthrough and that, consequently, CSIRO has assigned licensing rights to an Anglo-American controlled company? What can the Minister tell us about this report?

Mr MORRISON (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Science) - One of the difficulties that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation had in the project was that no Australian company was prepared to undertake the development. There is nothing that we can do about the past, but we are now reviewing the procedures for licensing and patenting for CSIRO. We hope that the development aspects of CSIRO discoveries and inventions will be undertaken in co-operation with the Australian Industry Development Corporation. It has been a very regrettable, part of previous government policy that sufficient impetus has not been given to the development of CSIRO inventions. I agree with the honourable member that it is a loss to Australian industries that the particular process to which he referred was not taken up by Australians.

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