From: Newcastle Herald
Australia’s anti-vaccine lobby, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), is facing a deadline to change its name or risk being shut down.
The NSW Department of Fair Trading last December ordered the lobby group to submit an application by 21 February, this year for a name change. The new name must be approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading.
The Department made the order after receiving complaints from parents, medical professionals and the wider community across NSW that the AVN was misleading the public and that its name wasn’t an accurate representation of its activities.
A 12-month investigation of the site by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission found the AVN website “provides information that is solely anti-vaccination, contains information that is incorrect and misleading, and quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous”. This resulted in the publication of a public warning advising people not to get their medical advice from the AVN.
Meryl Dorey, former president of the AVN, has stated previously that she was educating “her subscribers and the general public into making decisions about vaccinations”. However this defence did not fully convince the judge after materials (T-shirts sold on the AVN website emblazoned with “Love Them, Protect Them, Never Inject Them”, and a children’s book called Melanie’s Marvellous Measles that teaches children to embrace infectious diseases.) on the groups website were examined.
The AVN provides incorrect and misleading information to parents who want to learn more about vaccination.
We welcome this intervention against an organisation selling dangerous propaganda in the name of education and turning loving parents into child abusers.