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Tuesday, 29 August 1972
Page: 467

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. I ask, firstly, whether the Minister's attention has been drawn to reports that a particular brand of talcum powder manufactured in France is suspected of having caused the deaths of 20 babies in that country? Secondly, is this powder, or any powder of similar ingredients, imported into Australia? If so, will the Minister take immediate action to ban its import and to publicise its dangers? Thirdly., is it likely that the powder could have been purchased by Australian tourists visiting France or wherever else the powder has been sold?

Senator GREENWOOD - 1 have seen a Press report which suggested that there may be a connection between the deaths of certain infants in France and the use of a certain talcum powder. I understand that that report or other reports have also been seen by officers of the Department of Health and that they are currently being investigated. The difficulty is that at present precise details of the cause of death in the case of the 20 infants and the ingredients of the suspect talcum powder are not known. Nevertheless, the Department of Health has initiated urgent inquiries and appropriate action will be considered when the essential details are available.

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