HCCC rule on AVN

The complaint filed with the HCCC against the AVN by Ken McLeod and Toni & David MacCaffery has been upheld. While this is a big win for rationality the next question is will the AVN follow through with the ruling? Does the HCCC have teeth?

The report makes the following recomendation;

The Australian Vaccination Network should include an appropriate statement in a prominent position on its website which states:

  1. the Australian Vaccination Network's purpose is to provide information against vaccination in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere;
  2. the information provided should not be read as medical advice; and
  3. the decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider."

The AVN, in their newsletter, have already told their membership they don't believe they fall under the purview of the HCCC;

...the organisation does not believe that it falls under the jurisdiction of the HCCC as they are neither healthcare providers nor health educators.

This is, to a certain extent, true. To be a health educator you should be disseminating facts. This is not what the AVN does.

The ruling gives the AVN 14 days to comply but I'm not holding my breath. I imagine after the Homeopathy Plus Vs the TGA debacle they may have some false bravado.

And after the 14 days are up and the AVN has not complied?

Under section 44 of the Act, the Commission will follow up the implementation of the recommendation and in the event that the Australian Vaccination Network fails to comply with the recommendation the Commission will make a public statement.

What this means in the real world, I don't know. How are these public statements released? How wide spread do they reach? Are they going to be effective or are the HCCC as toothless as the TGA?

(I know I'm making broad generalisations but...) The media seem to have finally got it right though. ABC News has a good article on the report. The video segment is even better. Meryl Dorey, while interviewed, was not pandered too as she has been in the past. The hard questions were asked and she appeared to be on the defensive for most of it.

Can the media finally be getting the idea that "balance" isn't something that you can apply to science reporting? We can but hope.

Further Reading

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I've got a twitter account,

I've got a twitter account, but I just check on it from time to time rather than do tweets myself. Should try and use it more.

I've been on "ground zero" hitting forums where I know anti-vaxxers congregate. Didn't take long to call me a big pharma shill and even more surprisingly, a journalist. I must write damned well then LOL.

"She's not worth it.....I second this^^^. Classic example of the drug company plant, like most journalists she has their highly paid spin doctors slant on facts at her fingertips and she has the training to make it look believeable."

What is your account

What is your account name?

Checking out Ground Zero now.

Okay... Stupid name. Too many hits.

Do you have a URL?

You won't find that comment

You won't find that comment via google (if it's survived censoring as there's a fair bit of attacking going on). I ended up removing some posts myself. It was on SmileCity and that's a forum that's closed and you can't go in and view without being a member, but I've been sharing the article/link elsewhere as well. I used the term because anti-vaxxers seem to push their views there often as it's one of the larger ones around so great for their purpose, sorry for any confusion. That's reminded me to check on Trade Me message boards and see what has been posted there, the same person haunts the parenting forum there and pushes their views but I hate Trade Me, you feel stupider just reading the posts there.

That's reminded me to check

That's reminded me to check on Trade Me message boards and see what has been posted there, the same person haunts the parenting forum there and pushes their views but I hate Trade Me, you feel stupider just reading the posts there.

I made that mistake once asking about if TradeMe had an API I could use to fetch my current item list. I swear, the INT score lowered with every sanity check and they were triggered by about 2/3rds of the replies.

"While this is a big win for

"While this is a big win for rationality the next question is will the AVN follow through with the ruling? Does the HCCC have teeth?"

The big, fat pessimist in me says no. I think the HCCC response of ordering a disclaimer isn't enough, and it doesn't seem like there is much they can do if someone ignores them other than the proverbial wet bus ticket. The one thing I appreciate though is that they have gone through the information and proved it false, that's something you can use as evidence of their activities should you need to.

In other news, check out the Dana Elizabeth McCaffery facebook page, Meryl Dorey sent her husband to the home of Dana's grandmother asking to discuss her death, rang NCAHS, sent out a e-newletter which one of AVN's members sent to David McCaffery's sister....all before her funeral.

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=64908671721&topic=8800#!/group.php?gid=64908671721

I'm outraged and hurt for this family, as they've said they never wanted to be thrust into the media but they've had too as otherwise other babies will be hurt by the activities of these anti-vaccination groups.

Thanks for putting up the other links, I haven't caught up with the commentary on this outside of one blog.

"Thanks for putting up the

"Thanks for putting up the other links, I haven't caught up with the commentary on this outside of one blog."

Not a worry. :)

People really should start using Twitter more often. It seems to be the primary real time news/chat system for most skeptical communities. At least Oz, America and the UK. I'm surprised it's not used by more people here. I heard about the ABC article while it was still airing in WA. It was late though and I didn't think anyone here would beat me to the punch so left the post until the morning.

Even if you don't want a twitter account you can still watch the current chatter on almost anything by finding it's #tag. The Stop the AVN tag is #StopAVN.

Twitterfall is a very nice interface to the Twitter search engine.