1976 January: Vervale milk contaminated: Pesticide: Endrin.

30th January 1976 – Chief Division of Dairying

Contamination of Milk with Endrin.

On 28.1.76 advice was received by *** at Warragul that several cows on the ***, *** Vervale, had been affected by spray used on a potato crop on the same farm.

The substances sprayed onto the crop the previous day had been supplied by ***… The products were Shell products Dilhane 45 and a proprietary pesticide mixture containing 30% endrin.

Despite attempts to prevent the collection of milk from this herd, the milk tanker did take the milk. This tanker of milk was subsequently run to waste at the *** Drouin, on the instructions of the General Manager after he received advice of the contamination from this Department.

An order was placed on the farm under Section 75 of the Milk & Dairy Supervision Act prohibiting the removal of milk from the farm, initially for 72 hours, later for an indefinite period.

Samples of the milk and pasture have been taken from the property of *** and of milk from neighbouring farms that also had pasture contaminated by the spray.

Milk arriving in Melbourne from Milk depots collecting milk in the Koo-Wee-Rup and Thorpdale areas is also being sampled for pesticide analysis.

Samples will be taken from the *** farm at 3 day intervals… These samples will be from bulked milk from cows not affected by the spray. Every effort will be made to remove the prohibition of sale order as soon as possible, but it is considered that the pesticide level on the bulked milk of non-affected cows will need to be near 0.3ppm.