Thursday
May012014

HCCC issues public warning against anti-vaccination group.

The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission has issued the following warning against the countrys leading health menace.

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission has completed an investigation into the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Inc. (‘AVN’), formerly known as Australian Vaccination Network Inc and under section 94A(1) of the Health Care Complaints Act has decided to make the following public statement and warning. The Commission investigated whether information published and disseminated by AVN may be misleading or inaccurate.

AVN was established in 1994 in New South Wales by a group of people concerned about the lack of scientifically-based information cautioning against vaccination. AVN states on its website that the government and the medical community, in general, “exaggerate the safety and benefit profiles of vaccinations whilst downplaying their risks.” AVN states it was formed with the purpose of:

  • providing medically-referenced information on vaccine safety and effectiveness
  • lobbying to ensure that vaccinations are never made compulsory for Australian children
  • supporting those who have chosen not to vaccinate or to vaccinate selectively.

AVN disseminates information to the public via a variety of mediums. These include its website, www.avn.org.au, the magazine entitled ‘Living Wisdom’ (which ceased publication in January 2013), its Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube. Meryl Dorey, the former President, has also held a number of radio interviews.

The Commission investigation focussed on information provided on AVN’s website and some information disseminated on AVN’s Facebook page.

Public warning
The Commission has established that AVN does not provide reliable information in relation to certain vaccines and vaccination more generally. The Commission considers that AVN’s dissemination of misleading, misrepresented and incorrect information about vaccination engenders fear and alarm and is likely to detrimentally affect the clinical management or care of its readers.

Given the issues identified with the information disseminated by AVN, the Commission urges general caution is exercised when using AVN’s website or Facebook page to research vaccination and to consult other reliable sources, including speaking to a medical practitioner, to make an informed decision.

The Commission has recommended that AVN amend its published information with regard to the above issues and the Commission will monitor the implementation of these recommendations.

Further information

Read the full public warning.
If you have any questions, please contact the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email tomedia@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

-NSW HCCC, 30th April 2014

The AVN has responded with hostility accusing the Health Care Complaints Commission of corruption and incompetence by saying.

In a move that displays the worst of medical politics, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has once again issued a public warning against the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Inc. (AVN). This office and the way in which they have carried out their ‘investigation’ are an absolute disgrace. They have made themselves into a laughing stock. Far worse, they have clearly demonstrated that nobody can have faith in any statements made by this government body when they continue to rely upon verifiably incorrect and biased information.

Several years ago, the HCCC conducted a year-long ‘investigation’ into our citizen-run healthcare consumer watchdog group. They did this at the behest of the Australian Skeptics and their splinter group, Stop the AVN – organisations with close ties to pharmaceutical and mainstream medical interests. -Meryl Dorey, 1st May 2014

Contrary to Ms Doreys claims, Stop the AVN receives no funding from any government body or pharmaceutical company. It is a volunteer run group of concerned citizens dedicated to shutting down her organisation and protecting the public from the misinformation spread by the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network.

During the course of the investigation the AVN attempted to identify the HCCCs experts. We don't know why, but given the AVNs history of harassing and abusing anyone who blows the whistle on them we can probably guess their most likely motive.

The latest moves by Australian regulators should send a clear message to Ms Dorey and the AVN that you cannot simply lie, cheat and bully your way out of the law.

Sunday
Apr132014

Meryl Dorey asks for photos of dead children.

Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network has asked her followers to send photos of dead children to Chris Dore the editor of the Courier Mail.

The Editor of the Courier Mail newspaper is Chris Dore. His email address is chris.dore@news.com.au. I would like to ask if everyone who wrote to one of the health ministers last week due to the threats to our rights to claim the FTB also send your letters to Chris Dore. 

....

So please resend your letters to the address above. And if you have a healthy, unvaccinated child, include pictures of them. The same if you have a child who was injured or killed by vaccines. -Meryl Dorey, 13th April 2014

This is in response to the Courier Mail running a campaign called "Keep Our Kids Safe - Immunise" not only are anti-vaxxers opposed to life saving medicine, but anyone who doesn't agree with them can expect to be bombarded with photos of dead children.

Saturday
Apr122014

AVN continues to sell non-existent magazine.

The Australian Vaccination Network announced the discontinuation of their magazine Living Wisdom over 15 months ago on the 12th January 2013, but as of 12th April 2014 continue to promote it as a benefit for becoming a member of their organisation.

AVN website as of 12th April 2014

In Australia selling something (in this case membership) under false pretences constitutes fraud.

Tuesday
Mar252014

Anti-vaxxers fail to circumvent the law.

The plight of the Australian Vaccination Network, now known as Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network has taken an amusing turn for the worse. The Director of Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement Division, at the department of Fair Trading has ordered the AVN to quit using the acronym 'AVN' and instead adopt the acronym 'AVSN' to reflect the groups new name.

The reason the anti-vaxxers have inserted a hyphen into their new name is so they can claim that "Vaccination-skeptics" is a single word and can therefore keep the initials AVN. 

They thought they were smart. Until this happened:

If you have been following our saga during the past year you will know the prequel to this post. For those who missed it, we were directed last year to change our name – after 16 years – because our opponents complained that it was misleading. After exhausting our avenues of appeal, it turned out the Minister for Fair Trading had the power to enforce this. In fact, he introduced a new regulation just so that he could see this through!

So we changed our name. We are now “Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc”. The new name was accepted by our members, as well as by NSW Fair Trading.

Now we have a new threat. Director of Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement Division, Mr David Byrne, phoned last Friday to say he requires us to change all instances of the abbreviation “AVN” to “AVSN”. And he has threatened to commence action without further notice to shut us down and remove our domain from the internet. -Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, 25 March 2014

The AVN/AVSN currently appears on the first page of Google for "Vaccination" their domain name is vital tool for gaining a new audience and they know it. Which is why they tried the hyphen bullshit.

Not only are they trying to avoid changing their website name but they are also refusing to rename their Facebook page, which is still listed as "Australian Vaccination Network" despite yesterdays deadline for the name change. The trick they are trying with the Facebook page is to create a fake account and pretend the page now belongs to someone else.

Once more AVN supporters thought this would be a smart move.

I hope this obvious bullshit gets tested in court, it will be amusing to see them explain how their page now magically belongs to an unidentified person who conveniently resides overseas.

So what next for the AVN/ASVN?

There has been plenty of speculation about the possibility of the organisation going on the run to escape New South Wales authorities. Recently they have registered the business name "Australian Vaccination Network - QLD" fuelling speculation that they may cross the border into Queensland. We will have to wait and see.

Friday
Mar142014

Australian Vaccination Network surrenders it's charity license.

The Australian Vaccination Network has surrendered it's charity fundraising license.

Is this the end?