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Tuesday, 15 August 1972
Page: 13

Senator GUILFOYLE - My question to the Minister for Health relates to the mercury content of fish. In view of the recent decision of the State Government of Victoria to ban the sale of school shark more than 28 inches in length, has the Minister any information to provide with regard to the recommendation of the National Health and Medical Research Council that a safe level of mercury content in fish is .5 parts per million?


A story of significance has been published in relation to the sale of school shark in Victoria. I have seen reports concerning the action taken by the Victorian Government on shark which is sold as flake in that State. Food legislation is, of course, primarily a matter for the States. The National Health and Medical Research Council at its 74th session in May of this year recommended a level of 0.5 parts per million for mercury in fish, which is the same as the guideline adopted 'by the United States of America. The Council established a sub-committee to investigate the metallic contamination of seafoods and I understand that the mercury content of shark is one matter being examined at the present time.

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