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Complaint against anti-vaccination group

Posted in News by Skepdude on August 10, 2009


A militant anti-vaccination group is the subject of an official complaint to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, alleging that it is endangering children’s health by acting as a de facto health care provider and offering misleading advice.

The Australian Vaccination Network, which is given a high profile by the media in urging parents not to have their children immunised, should be prohibited from making unsubstantiated health claims says the Australian Skeptics group.

In a complaint to the commission, a supporter of the Australian Skeptics, Ken McLeod, says the AVN is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct with the intent of persuading parents not to vaccinate their children, and this is in breach of the Health Care Complaints Act.

AVN president Meryl Dorey has rejected the claims, saying that she operates an information service, and that the Health Care Complaints Commission has no jurisdiction over the NSW-based network.


The AVN is reaping what they sowed

Posted in Bad Astronomy, Skepdude by Skepdude on August 7, 2009


I’m not shedding too many tears over the tsunami of bad press the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is receiving right now.

I’ve written about them before, oh yes. They are the ones headed by Meryl Dorey, the woman who says vaccinations are dangerous, who says no one dies of pertussis, who says that it’s better not to vaccinate, who insinuates (at the 11:50 mark of that video) that doctors only vaccinate children because it’s profitable for them. She says that, even though on that live TV program she sat a few feet away from Toni and David McCaffery, parents who had just lost their four week old daughter to pertussis because she was too young to be vaccinated yet and the herd immunity in Sydney was too low to suppress the pertussis bacterium. This year alone, three babies in Australia, including young Dana McCaffery, have died from pertussis.

Not enough parents are vaccinating their children. And groups like the AVN spread misinformation about vaccines, spread it like a foul odor on the wind.

As I wrote a few days ago, the AVN will be investigated for their propaganda about vaccines. And now Dick Smith, an Australian businessman and founding skeptic there, has sponsored a devastating ad created by the Australian Skeptics. The ad ran in The Australian, a national newspaper, on Thursday:


I love me some Australian Skeptics

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 6, 2009

The Australian Skeptics are doing an amazing job of taking their version of Jenny McCarthy and Age of Autism to task in the public sphere. They just came out with a nice add in the Australian Newspaper and Podblack Cat has posted a great press realease of the Australian Skeptics which quickly destroys most of the arguments used against vaccines with links for further research for those interested. Go read it and re-post, and Twitter it ad infinitum!

The Australian Newspaper – Page Nine Today

Posted in Podblack Cat by Skepdude on August 6, 2009


I think I can let these pictures pretty much tell the main story. Here is the text of the advert (pdf).

Yes, that’s Richard Saunders. He has a habit of photographing everything with his phone. And after he’s photographed it? I get an email and Dr Rachie gets an email. And we usually try to fire back some sharp comment about the food he’s got a snap of, or the scenery or how he’s clearly got himself into another pickle of some sort.

One of these days he’ll get lost in some weird circumstances and only she and I will have the ability to trace back his steps over the past few hours and alert the authorities.

Oh, look! That’s me! I has paper too! Must be a national publication, because he’s in Sydney and I’m in Perth.

Heee!!! And to think that today started with someone trying to make me feel like I contribute nothing to the world. With friends like these and times like this – I think that maybe being a skeptically-minded person isn’t a completely divisive thing to be. A refreshing change and always welcomed.


Australian Skeptics Swine Flu poster

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 30, 2009

Our good Australian Skeptic, Richard Saunders of the Skeptic Zone Podcast, left a comment on one of my latest posts directing me to this poster that you can find at the Young Australian Skeptics website, so I am reproducing it here for your convenience and if you click the image it should take you to the actual PDF file on their website.

I still find it hard to believe that Richard Saunders left me a comment. Yay!

rsz_swine_flu_posterI seem to have trouble loading the PDF from the link so here is the PDF file if you cannot access it by clicking the image. Australian Skeptics Swine Flu Poster