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Health Freedom in

Australia:

A Critical
Refutation of the
Preliminary
Findings of the
HCCC’s
Investigation of the
Australian
Vaccination
Network (AVN)
Introduction:
With their pursuit of this complaint, the HCCC has entered uncharted waters.

Via their investigators, they have admitted that such a complaint has never
before been handled by this organisation and that they have had to work very
hard to try and discover where the AVN fits into their regulatory structure,
since an organisation like ours would not normally be subject to the Act upon
which the HCCC was founded.

The reason why the HCCC have been having such difficulty is because the
AVN does not, in fact, come under their jurisdiction and no matter how hard
they have tried, they have not been able to show that either myself or the AVN
are health educators.

I will repeat the logic used in the AVN’s initial response to Mr McLeod’s
complaint in September of 2009 – and ask the HCCC once again to respond
to these points since no adequate response was forthcoming on this issue.

Neither I nor the AVN have the financial resources to engage legal
counsel to undertake the legal analysis required to determine with
precision whether or not the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 ("the Act")
gives the HCCC jurisdiction to deal with this complaint. Suffice to say we
consider the terms of section 7 of the Act, which sets out the
circumstances which can be the subject of a complaint, to restrict
complaints to the matters listed in sub- paragraph 1(b) of that section.

Because the activities of the AVN do not qualify as "affect[ing] the


clinical management or care of an individual client" for the purposes of
s.7(1)(b) no complaint brought against the AVN under the Act can be
lawfully dealt with by the HCCC. Mr McLeod has provided no evidence in
his complaint that any "individual client" has had their clinical
management or care affected by the information that is made available
by the AVN and thus has not met the basic threshold for the bringing of a
complaint under the Act.

The AVN accepts that the definition of "health service" under section 4 to
include "health education services" may be broad enough to cover the
information giving activities of the AVN, thereby making the AVN a
"health service provider" for the purposes of the Act. However, it is the
AVN's submission that the terms of section 7(1)(b) of the Act limits
complaints brought against a Health Service Provider to complaints
relating to "a health service which affects the clinical management or
care of an individual client."

Sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 7 cannot be read as doing


anything more than going on to clarify the primary circumstances which
may be the subject of a complaint to the HCC, not to expand such
circumstances. The effect of section 7 then is to ensure that it is only
complaints about health service providers that "affects the clinical

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management or care of an individual client" that the HCCC has
jurisdiction to examine, rather than all complaints made against Health
Service Providers that have no clinical management or care impacts on
a client of a health practitioner.

This complaint by Mr McLeod is one being made about the general


information distribution activities of the AVN which has no bearing on the
individual treatment and care management regime that a health
practitioner may give to his or her client, and cannot therefore meet the
criteria for jurisdiction set down under section 7.

Alternatively, if the HCCC rejects our reading of section 7 and considers


that it has jurisdiction to deal with this complaint by Mr McLeod then it is
our submission that, having regard to all the circumstances and the
matters raised in the attached response provided by us, it is a complaint
that the HCCC should decline to entertain for the purposes of section
20(1) of the Act. This is because:

1. The activities of the AVN are nothing more than a legitimate


expression of the implied right of political expression and communication
sanctioned and protected under the Australian constitution. We have
established in the enclosed response that all information provided by the
AVN on its website and in other publications is reasonable and
responsible, given the state of scientific research and conclusions on the
matters which we seek to debate and discuss. To silence such
discussion and debate would be to use the Act in a manner that offends
section 7 and 24 of the Australian Constitution and would render the Act
invalid on constitutional grounds;

2. Mr McLeod is abusing the resources and powers of the HCCC (and


through it the NSW Government) by wrongfully seeking to use the
complaints process under the Act as a weapon in his inexplicable and
obsessive campaign of harassment and intimidation against the AVN. Mr
McLeod is engaging in an abuse of process, wasting of government
resources and seeking to use the Act for an improper purpose. Thus the
complaint is one that is vexatious and not brought in good faith for the
purposes of section 27(1)(a) of the Act.

3. The complaints are nothing more than a personally based


disagreement with the stances being taken by the AVN in certain health
policy debates. Although the complainant may not agree with us, this
should not entitle him to procure the "gagging" or silencing of our right to
express such views. Neither I nor the AVN disseminate any medical or
clinical advice directed to patients with any particular ailment or condition
and Mr McLeod has produced no evidence to that effect. Thus these
complaints are of a petty and trivial nature (for the purposes of section
27(1)(b) of the Act) which do not give rise to any significant issue of
public health or safety sufficient to warrant investigation by the HCCC.

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We note that in the second reading speech for the Health Care
Complaints Bill made in the NSW Parliament by the Hon. R. J. Webster
(Minister for Planning, and Minister for Housing), on behalf of the Hon.
Virginia Chadwick on Thursday 18 November 1993 the objective of the
Bill was expressed to be "to facilitate the dissemination of information
about clients' rights throughout the health system" [at page 5642]. It is
submitted that the role that the AVN plays in the political discourse is
precisely that, to give people information that they may not be getting
from other sources in the health care system. To seek to silence the
voice of the AVN is shameful and disappointing.

The HCCC has based its entire ‘investigation’ of our organisation on our
website and, in particular, on a single page of our website – one called 10
Reasons Why Parents Question Vaccines. Were statements on these pages,
spoken at a public meeting, or indeed voiced in a book, it is the considered
opinion of the AVN that there would exist no legal means of censuring them.

In our opinion the same rules apply to the internet as apply to other forms of
communication and it is our opinion that unless there exists a crime or an
incitement to a crime of some kind, no organisation in Australia has the right,
the power or the legal authority to censor the opinions or information of an
organisation or an individual.

Second, a large part of the HCCC’s findings argue specific factual matters
published or spoken by Meryl Dorey as a representative of the AVN. It is our
contention that the HCCC is not the correct, or best qualified body to pass
judgement on these issues since their ‘investigation’ has been more
successful at discovering errors and deficiencies on the part of the
investigators rather than on the part of the AVN.

In addition, the initial complaint was made by one Mr Ken McLeod, a


gentleman closely associated with the Australian Skeptics – an organisation
that has publicly set out to ‘Stop the AVN’.

Surely, any government body in a democratic state should be able to see that
a ‘hate’ group that is opposed to the existence of a legally-based charitable
organisation, will use any means within their power to achieve their goal of
stopping that organisation.

By allowing this investigation to proceed past the assessment stage, the


HCCC has demonstrated either a serious lack of judgement or a desire to be
complicit with this group for some unknown reason at a huge expense to the
taxpayer and the government of Australia.

In allowing this investigation to continue, the HCCC has placed itself in the
middle of a scientific debate that has been raging for over 200 years.
Unfortunately, however, they appear to lack the necessary expertise to enter
into this debate.

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If the preliminary findings of the HCCC proceed as they have stated they will,
the Commission will clearly be saying that it supports censorship and that
further, it believes that groups who oppose freedom of communication and the
legal rights of others to make their own health choices, have a right to impose
restrictions upon, change, or even delete certain information simply because
they do not agree with it.

Should that be the case, the AVN will have no option but to examine legal
avenues for appeal against this unjust finding.

Who am I?

In the most general of terms, I Meryl Dorey will define my identity for the
purposes of this response. I consider myself to be a health activist struggling
against environmental causes of ill health. I would consider these struggles to
be political in nature and any attempt to censor me or the AVN would be seen
as an attempt to censor my political views.

In my opinion, the whole of the 'investigation' findings from the HCCC, are a
crude attempt to stifle contrary political opinions about public health that
emanate, in this circumstance from those who consider that vaccinations can
have no adverse reactions and that groups who raise questions about their
safety and effectiveness must be censored to support government policy.

This opinion is based upon my dealings with the HCCC and the apparent bias
which was most evident in the statement made to me by your investigator,
Leanne Evans on the 26th of May, 2010.

When questioned about how either the AVN or myself could get a fair hearing
from the HCCC when the Commission seemed to ignore so much of the
referenced information I had provided in previous responses, Ms Evans stated
that, "The HCCC is a government department and as such, we can't go
against government policy which is pro-vaccination."

The HCCC claims to have investigated the work of the Australian Vaccination
Network (AVN) by looking at information found on our website. Based on
those details – and only those details – the HCCC is planning on releasing a
Public Statement that the AVN website, found at www.avn.org.au:

• 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.

In my response to these proposed findings, I will show that:

• The AVN is a multi-faceted organisation operating throughout Australia


since 1994. No serious investigation of our organisation can possibly
be conducted based purely on the contents of our website.

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• Neither the AVN nor myself, Meryl Dorey, can be considered to be
under the jurisdiction of the HCCC. I am not a health educator since
conducting seminars outside of an institution of learning does not
qualify me to be an educator; nor does the AVN provide an educational
service since simply sourcing and distributing information found in the
public arena is not the same as teaching.
• The AVN is not anti-vaccine. To be anti-vaccine, one must oppose all
vaccinations in every possibly combination for every potential use. To
be anti-vaccine, one would be advising others not to vaccinate. The
AVN does none of this. We simply provide a balance to the blatantly
pro-vaccination, anti-choice stance of the government and a large
proportion of the medical community. This does not make us anti-
vaccine.
• The AVN has never provided medical advice. For the HCCC to include
this information in their Public Statement disregards the many
statements they have made in previous communications to state that
they have never found any evidence that the AVN has ever provided
medical advice.
• The AVN provides carefully researched, fully-referenced information
from peer-reviewed sources to provide a balance to the often
unreferenced, poorly-researched data to be found at the majority of
government and medical venues and websites.
• The AVN links to and refers parents to doctors, council clinics and
government health departments in order to enable them to make a
fully-informed vaccination decision. We remind parents that
vaccinations are not compulsory in Australia and that the choice to
vaccinate fully, selectively or at all must always be theirs and theirs
alone.

The AVN is grateful to the HCCC for pointing out certain deficiencies in our
website including the unintentional omission of our disclaimer due to the
launching of a new website which had recently been uploaded. We absolutely
refute however, any claims that our information poses a risk to public health
and safety.

In fact, it could very truthfully be stated that it is the mainstream medical


community and government health departments who pose a true threat to the
health and safety of the Australian public due to their refusal to allow any
public debate or information on the real and verifiable downsides to
vaccination.

You can never be too well informed – ignorance is the greatest danger when it
comes to making a medical decision for our families or for ourselves.

The enclosed response to the HCCC’s proposed Public Statement is well


referenced and thoroughly researched. I hope that the HCCC will view it as a
scholarly contribution to what is no-doubt a contentious and controversial
issue.

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Throughout this rebuttal, we ask a number of questions and make several
requests for further details. We would like to ask that you recognise that these
are not just rhetorical statements but requests for information to which we
desire proper, serious and considered answers.

Regardless of the final outcome of this investigation, the vaccination debate


will not be going away any time soon – nor will the AVN, our Management
Committee, our members or myself.

We must learn to find some common ground where this debate can take place
with civility and respect. If not, the ultimate losers will be our children and the
future generations of Australia.

Meryl Dorey,
Media Spokesperson
The Australian Vaccination Network
Editor,
Living Wisdom magazine

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Application of the Act

The Commission examined the AVN website in detail and noted that the
provision of ‘health education’ was evident in the following pages on the
website:

1- A ‘news’ page, that summarises and provides links to a number of


recent media stories and articles about the risks of vaccination.

I am perplexed at this statement. If I am reading what the HCCC has


said correctly, the provision of pages on a website that summarise
news articles and give links to media stories constitutes health
education.

Toni and David McCaffery started a Facebook site in memory of their


daughter, Dana. This page, in its discussion area, gives multiple links
to news articles and media stories about the safety and effectiveness
of vaccinations. Does this mean that the McCafferys are health
educators as well?

Peter Bowditch from the Australian Skeptics, has several websites, one
of which is dedicated exclusively to vaccination -
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/. On this site, not only does Bowditch
link to many media stories and articles about vaccination, but he
specifically gives medical advice to all who come to view his page. His
advice is that everyone MUST vaccinate in no uncertain terms and his
lack of information on either the necessity of vaccination for every
person and his refusal to inform about any potential side effects is in
opposition to the NH&MRC’s rules governing the responsibility to allow
for fully informed choice regarding this issue.

Australia’s broadcaster, the ABC, has an extensive website on health.


This site maintains numerous links to articles and media stories about
vaccination. In fact, an entire page is devoted to the subject of
vaccination which you can find here -
http://www.abc.net.au/health/tag/vaccines-and-immunity/

Are the ABC, Peter Bowditch and Toni and David McCaffery also
health education service providers? If this is the basis for the HCCC’s
decision, I believe there would be few who enter public life in any small
way who would not fall under the jurisdiction of the HCCC as a result.

Further, if the HCCC believes that linking to vaccination stories in the


public media is tantamount to a breach of either statute, common law
or statutory regulations in Australia, we would like to ask if it intends in
the future to pursue the writers of these stories or to censure journalists
who could also be termed as health educators under the Act. Or does it
intend to force every web site based in Australia to quote balancing,
contrary views – including the websites of government health
departments and the medical community?

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2- A ‘weblog’ page, containing a series of discussions about articles
and publications on the risk of vaccination.

Technorati 1 lists 11,113 blogs which are exclusively about health. With
the single exception of a blog post by American TV medico, Dr Sanjay
Gupta, not one of the 50 top posts on vaccination was blogged by a
medical professional. Should all of these people who were passing on
information – both for and against vaccines – be considered health
education providers under the Act according to the HCCC? If they were
in Australia, would they be governed by these same regulations due to
the fact that they have published ‘weblog’ pages that contain a series
of discussions about articles and publications on either the risks or the
safety of vaccination? If so, where does the HCCC propose to draw the
line? Do all Australians who mention vaccination in a public forum
come under your jurisdiction?

Mr and Mrs McCaffery

In what must be a very unusual move, the HCCC has tacked a second
complaint on to this original case. Even more unusually, I am unable to view
the actual complaint and instead, need to try and reply based only upon what
the HCCC has chosen to share with me.

It is interesting that this second complaint was received by the HCCC on the
16th of December 2009 – more than 2 months after my original response to
McLeod’s complaint which was submitted on the 9th of September, 2009.

In fact, in your first investigation report, the Commission mentioned a


complaint from Mr and Mrs McCaffery but when I showed this to my solicitor
in preparing my response, I was advised to ignore this information because it
had nothing to do with the case at hand. Obviously, the advice did not take
into account the HCCC’s ability to amend an existing case well after a
response had been submitted and without notice.

I believe that this action taken by the HCCC constitutes a denial of my right to
natural justice.

Be that as it may, I will respond as well as I am able, seeing as I am not to be


made privy to the substance of this complaint.

1 http://www.technorati.com

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Mr and Mrs McCaffery

On 16 December 2009, the Commission also received a complaint from Mrs Toni and Mr David
McCaffery, whose four week old daughter, Dana, had died from complications of pertussis
infection (whooping cough) in March 2009,

Mr and Mrs McCaffery alleged the AVN and Ms Dorey quote misleading statistics, spread
misinformation through seminars and the internet, and give poor telephone advice, They also
alleged that the AVN and Ms Dorey engaged in harassment and invasion of privacy following the
death of their daughter.

Mr and Mrs McCaffery's complaint raises similar issues to those raised by Mr McLeod in that
they also allege the AVN and Ms Dorey provide a health service that endangers public health,
Mr and Mrs McCaffery allege the AVN and Ms Dorey:

• use misleading statistics to argue against vaccination for pertussis;


• actively target parents through seminars and provide misinformation about
vaccination;
• have a website and Facebook group that give the impression of presenting
information about vaccination but does not include information that is pro-vaccination;
• give anti-vaccination telephone advice to people who contact the AVN for information on
vaccination,

Mr and Mrs McCaffery also alleged that following the death of their daughter, Dana
McCaffery, Ms Dorey:
• engaged in harassment and invasion of their privacy regarding the death of Dana;
and
• published inaccurate and misleading information in magazines, newspapers and
AVN publications on the subject of Dana's death,

Toni and David McCaffery allege that I have quoted misleading statistics and
yet, there are no examples of these misstatements. Am I supposed to
respond to such an unsubstantiated claim?

Mr and Mrs McCaffery state that I have spread misinformation via seminars
and the internet and that I give poor telephone advice. I know for a fact that
neither Mr nor Mrs McCaffery has ever attended one of our seminars nor have
I ever spoken with either of them on the phone unless they called and used an
assumed name. If so, can you please provide me with the date of the
telephone interview and what ‘advice’ I am supposed to have provided them
with that was so poor? I never provide anyone with advice – other than to be
fully informed before making a vaccination decision.

Toni and David McCaffery blame unvaccinated children for the death of their
daughter, Dana, at 4 weeks of age from whooping cough despite the fact that
Dana was simply too young to have received any vaccines and they
themselves as well as their other children were vaccinated against pertussis.
They blame these children despite the fact that Dana presented to doctors
several times before whooping cough was diagnosed and the doctor who
finally did diagnose the disease stated that the most likely place for her to
have come into contact with pertussis was in hospital right after she was born
– certainly not a place where you would expect to come into contact with other
children – vaccinated or not.

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According to the HCCC, the McCafferys have made several accusations. It is
possible that there was further information in the actual complaint from the
McCafferys, but since the HCCC has not provided any examples which would
allow me to respond fully, I will just have to do my best and make
assumptions as to what these complaints are about.

According to the HCCC, the McCafferys have stated that the AVN and I:

• Use misleading statistics to argue against vaccination for


pertussis.

I will have to assume, since you have provided me with no other information
on this accusation, that this refers to an interview I had with ABC Radio’s
morning presenter, Katya Quigley. Apparently, during this interview, Katya
referred to the whooping cough rate in Australia in 2001 when I had
specifically indicated that the time period we were discussing was 1991.
Please see my original correspondence with Katya’s producer, Janine
Fitzpatrick, sent on morning of this program:

From: Meryl Dorey <meryl@avn.org.au>


Date: 4 September 2009 8:49:40 AM AEST
To: fitzpatrick.janine@abc.net.au
Subject: Information on whooping cough incidence / vaccination rates

Dear Janine,

I just wanted you to have this information prior to my interview this


morning because I will be referring to it in my talk. As I told Katya (not
sure if I'm spelling that properly so apologies if it's wrong), I want to
keep this on a scientific level - and avoid emotional issues and
personal accusations.

A summary of the following information is that in 1991, Australia had a


whooping cough vaccination rate of 71.6% and 318 cases reported
nationwide. Last year (2008), for the first time, our whooping cough
vaccination rate was in excess of 95% - the stage at which we have
been told the disease will disappear. Instead, we had 14,522 cases last
year - the highest on record - and this year is already over 19,000
without any decline in vaccination.

So blaming the unvaccinated for these deaths and for the record
outbreak is ignoring the fact that more people are vaccinating then ever
before and we have seen an increase in incidence of 40 times sine
1991.

Thanks so much,
Meryl

The McCaffery’s filed a complaint with the ABC after this program aired. I was

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unable to see the actual complaint and I didn’t even know about this until my
local newspaper, the Northern Star, published an article stating that a local
couple, Toni and David McCaffery, had filed this complaint and the ABC had
found that the information I had provided to the radio station was misleading
and incorrect.

I contacted the ABC Corporate Affairs department and corresponded with


Denise Musto who assured me that the finding was not against myself but
against the presenter, Katya Quigley.

Despite this, the McCaffery’s continue to this day to accuse me of providing


incorrect information to the ABC – a statement which they were informed is
not correct since they were sent a copy of the ABC’s findings in this case.

From: ABC Corporate_Affairs11


<CORPORATE_AFFAIRS11.ABC@abc.net.au>
Date: 5 February 2010 4:26:39 PM AEDT
To: "'meryl@avn.org.au'" <meryl@avn.org.au>
Subject: RE: ABC Investigation of vaccination information

Dear Ms Dorey

I refer to your emails of 28 and 29 January to ABC presenter Katya


Quigley. In line with ABC complaints procedures, your correspondence
has been forwarded to Audience and Consumer Affairs.

As previously advised in a number of my emails to you, the findings of


the Audience and Consumer Affairs review did not relate to your
contribution to the program or to how the AVN presents statistics.
Consistent with ABC complaints procedures, our review related to
whether the statements about the statistics made by an ABC presenter
complied with the ABC’s editorial standards for accuracy in factual
content. Our finding was that the ABC presenter’s statement did not
meet the standard, which requires that “Every reasonable effort must
be made to ensure that factual content is accurate and in context”.

In respect to your question as to the confidentiality of our findings,


please note that general summaries of all upheld complaints are
publicly reported on the ABC’s website, consistent with our
accountability and transparency requirements. As previously advised,
this investigation is reported at:

http://www.abc.net.au/contact/upheld/s2739849.htm.

In addition, following investigation of a complaint about a broadcast or


story, Audience and Consumer Affairs respond to the complainant
substantively. Whilst this response is not made available publicly by the
ABC, as you will no doubt appreciate, we have no control over how a
complainant may choose to make such information available to other
parties.

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Yours comments in respect to this matter have been noted. However,
as previously advised, we are satisfied that the finding of our
investigation was appropriate and in keeping with the requirements of
the ABC’s Code of Practice and Editorial Policies. We would ask that
you cease contacting ABC staff members directly in respect to this
investigation, which has been finalised. There are no options for review
available to you, and we will not engage in any further correspondence
on this matter. If you would like to raise concerns in respect to other
matters, these are best submitted using our online form
at:http://www.abc.net.au/contact/contactabc.htm.

Yours sincerely
Denise Musto
Audience & Consumer Affairs

Below is a review of the information I had provided to the ABC by Dr Gary


Goldman, a peer-reviewer for such journals as the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA), Vaccine, The American Journal of Managed
Care (AJMC), Expert Review of Vaccines (ERV) and Expert Review of
Dermatology (ERD). He serves on the Editorial Board of Research and
Reviews in Bioscience. He has worked under contract for the Los Angeles
Department of Public Health, in an epidemiological study project funded by
the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, GA). :

The authors of this assessment [the ABC’s assessment of the statistics


presented to Katya Quigley) state, "the two statistics are drawn from
different data sets and relate to different groups of children."

First, the data sets both present percent of children fully immunized
against Pertussis. The fact that both tables represent different age
groups is actually appropriate in this case because in 1989-1990 (the
true figure referred to in the discussion) children aged 0 to 6 years
received pertussis vaccination according to a vaccination schedule that
differed from that of 2008; whereby, pertussis vaccination occurred in
children by the time they were 2 years old.

The tables indicate an increase in the percentage of children receiving


pertussis vaccination, from 71% in 1989-1990 to 95.1% in 2008. The
children's ages are by necessity, and are appropriately, different due to
vaccination schedule differences associated with each of these two
different dates. Therefore, it is without basis that the authors state, "the
comparative manner in which they were presented was misleading."

Conversely, had children of the same age been represented in both
tables, say children immunized at 2 years old, by 1989-1990, the
percentage of children fully vaccinated for pertussis would have been
negligible (approaching 0%) since the vaccination schedule had
changed toward providing pertussis vaccine to children up through age
six. Therefore, the comparative manner in which Meryl Dorey

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presented the data actually took into account the differences in the
vaccination schedule and reported the relationship of the change in
percentage as accurately as permitted by the table data.

Sincerely,
Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Medical Veritas

As you can see, I was not guilty of using misleading statistics and the
McCafferys – having been provided with the final outcome by the ABC – may,
in fact, be the ones using misleading information. To this day, they continue to
claim on radio, in writing and on their various internet pages, that I have
provided misleading information to the ABC when they know quite well that
this is not the case – it was the ABC interviewer, Katya Quigley, who made an
error on air and the ABC found against her – not against myself or my
information.

• Actively target parents through seminars and provide


misinformation about vaccination.

Again, to the best of my knowledge, the McCafferys have never attended one
of my seminars. Therefore, this accusation is baseless. Without further
evidence such as a citation being provided regarding misinformation I have
used during a seminar, I deny this accusation absolutely.

• Have a website and Facebook group that give the impression of


presenting information about vaccination but does not include
information that is pro-vaccination.

I will go into this issue in further detail later on in my response – yet again. I
have covered this fully in previous replies to the HCCC, but I would like to say
once more that the AVN has never said that it provided pro-vaccination
information though we do link to government and pharmaceutical sites where
that information is accessible. If not providing both sides of this issue is a
concern, then all government and medical websites should likewise be cited
since they only show one side and don’t even link to locations where people
who are looking for a balance of information on this issue can access further
details.

• Give anti-vaccination telephone advice to people who contact the


AVN for information on vaccination.

I have never spoken with the McCaffery’s on the phone unless they called and
used an assumed name. What advice was I supposed to have given? What
was the date and time of the call and what questions was I responding to?

• Engaged in harassment and invasion of their privacy regarding


the death of Dana.

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Once again, this is an amorphous, baseless accusation without further details.
Since I am being forced to respond to such accusations however, I will
assume that this relates to the fact that when Dana’s death was reported in
the media, I contacted the NSW Dept of Health to ask whether or not Dana’s
whooping cough had been laboratory diagnosed or clinically diagnosed.

Please read the information below which came from a blog post I published
on the 14th of February, 2010 2:

When this little girl’s death was announced, the media were reporting
several things that made me question what this baby had actually died
of.

Her parents were quoted as saying that she had received blood
transfusions and that her heart was enlarged. It is very rare for an
enlarged heart to be caused by B. pertussis, the bacteria that causes
whooping cough. It has been linked with another bacteria in the same
family however, B. holmesii.

Also, blood transfusions are a highly unusual treatment for this


disease.
In addition, I know that m any tim es w hen pertussis has been
diagnosed by doctors without laboratory testing, the diagnosis turns out
to be wrong. The test for whooping cough takes about 10 days for a
result. This baby was in hospital for less than 10 days but had been
diagnosed almost straight away. It didn’t make sense to me.


I contacted the head of the Public Health Unit and asked if this case of
pertussis had been laboratory diagnosed. I was told that it had been by
a quick test.

I asked if there had also been a bacterial culture taken because I was
not familiar with this test and knew that the culture was considered to
be the ‘gold standard’ of pertussis testing. I was told that this was
privileged information.

Quite ironic when I discovered that the gentleman I had spoken with or
one of his off-siders informed the child’s parents that I had called their
office requesting information about their daughter’s death – I don’t
know if they were told what information I had requested or not, but they
were incensed that I had done this.


To my mind, while an entire community of conscientious objectors were


being victimised by the government and the media and being blamed
for the death of a child who was too young to be vaccinated, I had
every right to ask for this information.


What I discovered afterwards was that the quick test is worse than a
joke. It produces many more false positives than true diagnoses and

2 http://avn.org.au/nocompulsoryvaccination/?p=474

15
has been responsible for declarations of epidemics of pertussis
overseas which have turned out to be caused by B. parapertussis (a
related but quite different bacterium and one that is not included in the
pertussis vaccination), adenovirus or even the common cold. 3, 4, 5

There are many other diseases whose symptoms mimic pertussis but
which are viral in nature and aggressive antibiotic treatment may prove
to be counter-productive in these cases so it is a good question for
anyone who has a pertussis diagnosis to determine – how was the
diagnosis made?


In any case, the parents went public saying what a terrible thing I’d
done in contacting the PHU and stated on the channel 7 Sunday Night
program (which I was on as well) that they had received hate emails
from AVN members though they did not say what the emails contained
nor who they were from.

I would be very disappointed if any of our members would have been


callous enough to have written hate mail to newly bereaved parents,
but even though I did not write these emails, I wholeheartedly
apologised to both parents for the pain this would have caused them.

I fail to see how contacting the PHU or publishing this blog constitutes
harassment or an invasion of privacy. Especially given the volume of media
coverage of this case.

• Published inaccurate and misleading information in magazines,


newspapers and AVN publications on the subject of Dana’s death.

Once again, without any citations, how am I supposed to respond to this


accusation? The only errors I know I have made in regards to Dana’s death
was saying that she died at 5 weeks of age when in fact, she was 4 weeks old
(originally, the Northern Star reported that she died at 5 weeks old so I
repeated that information) and mispronouncing her name on the Channel 7
Sunday Night program. Other than these (Neither of which were intentionally
inaccurate or misleading), I am unaware of any other problems with anything I
had said regarding their little girl’s death. If you have further details, please do
let me know.

3 Issues Associated with and Recommendations for Using PCR To Detect Outbreaks of Pertussis,
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, Aug. 2002, p. 2801–2805
4 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html?_r=1
5 Curbing false positives and pseudo-epidemics, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 7, Issue 3,
Pages 186-186 M. Larkin

16
Application of the Act

The Commission examined the AVN website in detail and noted that the provision of 'health
education' was evident in the following pages on the website:

• a 'news' page, that summarises and provides links to a number of recent media
stories and articles about the risks of vaccination;

• a 'weblog' page, containing a series of discussions about articles and publications on


the risks of vaccination;

• a page containing a program of 'webinar' health talks - online seminars regarding


vaccination issues and other health issues.

Ms Dorey's participation in pregnancy discussion groups and in lecturing at university also


suggests that the AVN operates as a 'health education service'.

The AVN includes a copy of its constitution on its website. In this document, it lists the
purposes of the association as:

(a) the advancement and promotion of education and learning amongst the public
about aIl matters concerning human health and human physical and social wellbeing;

(b) the propagation, publication, dissemination and diffusion of knowledge and


information to the public about all matters concerning human health and human
physical and social wellbeing;

(c) the encouragement and promotion of the widest possible dissemination to the
public of all information concerning human health and human physical and social
wellbeing.

According to its own constitution and through its activities the AVN is health education
service. Consequently it is a health service under section 4 of the Act.

The Commission’s handling of the complaints

The Commission states that they decided to investigate this matter [the
complaint against the AVN and myself], “on 23 September 2009, as the
complaint raised significant issues of public health and safety.”

This is interesting for several reasons:

1- The Commission has never provided satisfactory evidence that either


myself or the AVN fall within their jurisdiction. They have not shown
that I am a health education service simply because I conduct 6-10
seminars a year nor have they shown that the AVN can be considered
to be a health education service any more than any other health
information organisation can be considered to be a health education
service.
2- McLeod’s initial complaint against the AVN and myself was full of
vexatious claims and statements which were not backed by peer-
reviewed literature. Instead, of the 39 references provided in the
original complaint, only 3 were from peer reviewed medical journals. It
is difficult to understand how the HCCC could have taken McLeod’s

17
complaint seriously, to be honest, after reading it and discovering how
little fact and how much vitriol was contained within its pages.
3- One has to wonder how the AVN, which provides a balance to the
information issued by the government and a portion of the medical
community, could possibly pose a threat to ‘public health and safety’.
Since we always advise those who contact us to visit their doctor or
council clinic as well as accessing our information, you could make a
very strong case for the fact that the AVN is very supportive of public
health and safety. We are doing the job that the medical community is
legally required to be doing.

In its investigation, the HCCC states that sections of the AVN’s constitution
provide proof that we are a health education service. These sections deal with
the advancement and promotion of education and learning, the propagation,
publication, dissemination and diffusion of knowledge and the encouragement
and promotion of the widest possible dissemination to the public of all
information concerning human health.

I dispute the HCCC’s premise. Distributing information and encouraging


people to become better educated about issues is not the same as educating
others. The AVN is all about empowering people to become educated but we
are not teachers. We are a health information resource, disseminating
information to those in the public arena who seek us out. There is a huge
difference between what we are doing and what a health educator does.

In addition, our constitution and code of ethics were based on the code of
ethics and the constitution of the Australian Breastfeeding Association –
formerly known as the Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia. If the AVN is
considered to be a health educator, what does that mean for the thousands of
ABA counsellors and community service representatives scattered across
Australia? Are they also going to be subject to the same regulations as the
AVN?

In proceeding in this manner, the HCCC is truly opening Pandora’s box and,
instead of recognising that neither the AVN nor I actually qualify under the Act
as health educators, they are pushing the boundaries between protecting the
health of the Australian public and supporting government policy at the behest
of a hate group whose goal is to “Stop the AVN” – a reprehensible goal since
nobody in a democracy should have the right to interfere with the legal
activities of a volunteer-run group acting within the law.

Issue One: The AVN claims that it supports informed choice when it is
only providing information directed at dissuading parents about
vaccinations.

The AVN has never claimed, as is stated in the HCCC’s Investigation Report,
to issue both sides of the information in this debate – and neither does the
medical community or the government. What the AVN has always done is
provide information to balance the ‘party line’ toed by those bodies.

18
Since every issue has two sides, the refusal of the government and the
medical community to accept that parents should have access to information
about the risks and effectiveness of vaccines is a stance the AVN considers to
be anti-health, anti-democratic and illegal.

By facilitating access to this side of the vaccination debate, the AVN provides
a public service which should fall within the purview of the government with its
greater funding and obligation to fully inform as required by the NH&MRC.

If parents, after accessing the AVN’s information, choose not to vaccinate or


to vaccinate selectively, it is not because we have ‘dissuaded’ them –
because we never advise anyone as to what they should do other than urging
them to be fully informed on all aspects of vaccination – but because they
have considered the pros and cons of vaccination and have made an
informed choice for themselves.

It is laughable for the Commission to base the majority of its case against us
on one page of the AVN’s website – the page that discusses 10 reasons why
parents question vaccination.

Our Vaccination Information section has dozens of pages on this issue and
links to literally hundreds more with articles and medical references including
the package inserts for each vaccine and disease definitions taken from the
Australian government and medical encyclopaedias.

Yet the HCCC has ignored all of this other information in favour of critiquing
one single page of information. I hope you will agree that this is a curious
decision on the part of the Commission.

In addition, many of the points that the HCCC has raised in this investigation
report were answered fully in our previous correspondence. In general, you
have not referred to that correspondence nor has it noted any deficiency in my
previous response.

Regardless, I will go over your points on these 10 reasons.

19
The statement that “Vaccines have never been tested” is incorrect. In Australia, all vaccines
currently available must pass safety testing before being approved by the Therapeutic
Goods Administration (TGA) - the body that makes the final decision about the safety of new
treatments, medicine and devices. In Australia, clinical trials are regulated by:

• The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans, Good


Clinical Practice.
• Note for Guidance on Good Clinical Practice (CPMPIICH/135/95).
• The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Reported vaccine reactions are monitored by the TGA ". Other organisations are involved in
the monitoring of vaccine safety, including the manufacturers of the vaccines.

Vaccines are not tested by means of double blind crossover placebo studies, where the
researchers and subjects of the study do not know which treatment is being given to the
subjects.
To perform this kind of study for a vaccine, half the subjects would be given the vaccine and
the other half a placebo - meaning that those who received the placebo would be at risk
from exposure to the disease.

Additionally, if the 'crossover' element of the study were to occur halfway through the study,
the entire group would have been exposed to the vaccine, negating the capacity of the study
to accurately measure the long-term safety of the vaccine.

Reason 1 – Vaccines have never been tested.

The HCCC says that, “The statement that ‘Vaccines have never been tested’
is incorrect. In Australia, all vaccines currently available must pass safety
testing before being approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration
(TGA)…”

The HCCC is being selective in their quoting here. The AVN states in its 10
reasons that the gold standard of medical testing has not been applied to any
vaccine. This is absolutely correct.

As I stated in my previous response to the HCCC on page 4:

What was stated by the AVN is true. The double-blind trial is most
certainly considered to be the gold standard of medical testing and this
test has never been performed on any currently licensed vaccine. The
reason for that is, as government officials have stated publicly, that it
would be unethical to leave one group unprotected for the sake of
testing them.

The HCCC contradicts its own logic when it states that, “…the ‘crossover’
element of the study is left out because half way through the test, the
previously unvaccinated group would be exposed to the vaccine, negating the
capacity of the study to accurately measure the long-term safety of the
vaccine.”

This is an interesting though incorrect premise. If a longitudinal study were to


be conducted over a period of years, we could certainly get an accurate

20
measure of the safety of vaccines provided the study were designed to
capture this information.

In addition, by NOT conducting ANY double-blind studies of vaccination using


a true placebo – either with or without the crossover aspect – the AVN
maintains that vaccines are untested and the HCCC has provided no
information to show that this is not correct.

The HCCC makes reference to the bodies that oversee the conduct of clinical
trials in Australia and states that this regulation ensures that adequate and
ethical testing is performed.

While this may be the intention of such oversight, in actual practice, we see a
completely different situation.

The HCCC is most likely aware of the recent situation in Western Australia
where influenza vaccines were causing seizures in hundreds of children –
according to the Department of Health – 10 times more than the ‘expected’
number.

These children were part of a study run jointly by the WA Dept of Health, the
Telethon Institute and the vaccine manufacturers CSL Pty Ltd and Sanofi
Pasteur.

The parents were never informed that this was a study, that the vaccine in this
age group was experimental and that their children were getting the
vaccination – not to provide protection to these infants – but to see if
vaccinating babies in the community would protect the vulnerable elderly.

All the parents were told was that the vaccination was free, the government
recommended it and it was safe. They were not informed that it was
‘expected’ to cause 1:1,000 to experience seizures or that it had never been
used in this age group before.

All of this is in contravention to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in


Research Involving Humans, Good Clinical Practice:

Before research is undertaken, whether involving individuals or


collectivities, the consent of the participants must be obtained, except in
specific circumstances defined elsewhere in this Statement [see
paragraphs 1.11, 6.9, 14.4, 15.8, 16.13].
The ethical and legal requirements of consent have two aspects: the
provision of information and the capacity to make a voluntary choice. So
as to conform with ethical and legal requirements, obtaining consent
should involve:
(a) provision to participants, at their level of comprehension, of
information about the purpose, methods, demands, risks,
inconveniences, discomforts, and possible outcomes of the research
(including the likelihood and form of publication of research results); and
(b) the exercise of a voluntary choice to participate.

21
Where a participant lacks competence to consent, a person with lawful
authority to decide for that participant must be provided with that
information and exercise that choice.

The HCCC states that, “The AVN does not explain the reasons why double
blind crossover placebo studies are not generally conducted for vaccines:

“…If the AVN were providing a complete picture with regard to vaccine
testing, it should say that vaccines are tested in thousands of people in
clinical trials; that the information from these trials is used in
combination with longitudinal studies of vaccinated and non-vaccinated
groups; and that all vaccines are monitored for safety.”

If this were true, the AVN certainly would say it. Unfortunately, however, the
HCCC’s statements are completely and verifiably false.

1- Vaccines are trialled in thousands of people, but they are not tested –
there is a difference. In order to test a vaccine for either safety or
effectiveness, one needs a true control group – one that has been
given a placebo. I would like to ask the HCCC – with their far superior
resources and limitless access to medical research – to provide me
with any references which show a vaccine being tested in such a way.
Without this information, you are simply asking us to make a false
statement.

2- There has NEVER been a study comparing vaccinated with non-


vaccinated groups. There have been studies showing comparisons of
one vaccine vs another vaccine or one vaccine vs a vaccine adjuvant,
but never has an unvaccinated cohort been included in any vaccine
study. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US has been
promising such a study for many years but is yet to initiate or fund this
vital piece of research. Once again, the HCCC is asking the AVN to
state something which is untrue.

3- You state that all vaccines are monitored for safety but I have shown
you that this is not the case. In my last response to the HCCC on pp 6
through 8, I have covered this very thoroughly. I stated that ADRAC
admits quite openly that only between 1 and 10% of adverse reactions
to drugs or vaccines are ever reported. Therefore, the ‘monitoring for
safety’ that you claim will miss between 90 and 99% of all reactions. In
addition, since the TGA simply gives these reports to the vaccine
manufacturer where they are rarely if ever investigated, the
government’s responsibility to ensure the safety of vaccines is
abrogated further. I don’t believe a government department has the
right to ask me to say that all vaccines are monitored for safety given
the evidence that this statement is, at best, misleading.

Reason 2 – Vaccines contain toxic additives and heavy metals.

22
The Commission was unable to locate the reference given by the AVN, nor the organisation
named on the website as the Queensland Poisons Control Centre. The Commission asked
Ms Dorey to provide further information on this but Ms Dorey has not responded to date.

Formaldehyde is naturally produced in small amounts in the human body and is normally
present at low levels in the air.

Formaldehyde is included in many vaccines as an 'antimicrobial toxin inactivator, stabiliser,’ and


is used during the manufacturing process. If any formaldehyde remains after filtering, its
presence is no greater than that which can be found present in air and breaks down very
quickly.

The AVN has not included this additional contextual information about formaldehyde or the
process for the manufacture of vaccines.

In her submission to the Commission, Ms Dorey gave the example of Infanrix as a vaccine
which contains formaldehyde. Clinical pharmacology for Infanrix is stated as: 'Each 0.5 mL dose
also contains ... </=100 mcg of residual formaldehyde. "

The current standard for Australian vaccines is a maximum of 0.02% w/v of free formaldehyde.
During testing of Australian vaccines by the TGA, including Infanrix, the maximum concentration
of formaldehyde detected was 0.0004% w/v. 22

The Commission states that they were unable to locate the reference
given by the AVN regarding a conversation with the Queensland Poisons
Control Centre. This information comes from a conversation reported on
by Mr Greg Beattie, founder of the VINE (Vaccination and Information
Network) and author of Vaccination: A Parent’s Dilemma.

It was from a conversation Shane Tucker, a member of that organisation,


had with what he reported to be the Queensland Poisons Control Centre
and was mentioned on the video – Vaccination – The Hidden Truth.

It is possible that the Queensland Poisons Information Centre was


previously called the Queensland Poisons Control Centre though I am not
sure of this and have not been able to contact Mr Beattie to confirm
whether this was the case or if it was a different organisation. Regardless,
I have no reason to question either Mr Beattie’s or Mr Tucker’s statement
regarding the information received from this body.

Regarding the quantity of formaldehyde in the Infanrix vaccine, the HCCC


states that, “The current standard for Australian vaccines is a maximum of
0.02% w/v of free formaldehyde.” They further go on to state that testing
of Infanrix by the TGA detected a formaldehyde concentration of 0.0004%
w/v.

This is misleading based on the fact that the normal measure for
formaldehyde is mcg – not percentage weight per volume. Regardless of
the measure however, formaldehyde is toxic to humans. According to The
World Health Organisation International Agency on Research on Cancer 6,
concentrations in excess of 3ppm can be considered as toxic and
carcinogenic in adults.

6 http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol88/volume88.pdf

23
Please note that this paper refers to formaldehyde that is inhaled and it
finds that there is enough evidence to say that formaldehyde in the
atmosphere is carcinogenic, genotoxic and affects fertility. We are
injecting this into vulnerable infants and the AVN believes that for this
particular product, the evidence is clear that the risks do outweigh any
potential benefits.

So, either the TGA’s measure of allowable levels in vaccines is far too
high or they are unaware of the extreme toxicity of formaldehyde. Either
way, once again, I stand by the statement that was made

In regards to thiomersal in the CDT and ADT vaccines, the Commission


continues to insist that these vaccines are no longer in use in Australia.
This is simply not true, unless the Federal Department of Health is
incorrect. I answered this quite thoroughly in my last response and will
just put the same information below

The AVN was unaware that this recommendation was no longer stated
in the same way in the 9th edition of the Handbook but we would like to
point out that the Commission’s claim that both ADT and CDT are
registered in Australia but not available for use is not correct according
to the 9th (and current) edition of the Australian Immunisation
Handbook.

On the following page -


http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Han
dbook-pertussis, you can read the instructions for vaccinating adults
and adolescents without a previous history of pertussis containing
vaccines.

Primary vaccination
If a 3-dose primary course of diphtheria/tetanus toxoids is given
to an adolescent/adult without a previous history of having
received pertussis containing vaccine, the preferred option is
that dTpa replace the first dose of dT, to provide pertussis
immunity as early as possible,26 with subsequent doses as dT.
In the event that dT is not available, dTpa can be used for all
primary doses, but this is not routinely recommended as there
are no data on the safety, immunogenicity or efficacy of dTpa for
primary vaccination. For detailed recommendations regarding a
primary dT course in adults, see Chapter 3.21, Tetanus.

As you can see, the recommendation is to give these people, as young


as 8 years of age, the DT (diphtheria and tetanus) vaccine and the only
DT vaccines licensed for use in Australia are produced by CSL Pty Ltd
and both of these shots contain thiomersal.

The Commission seems to be saying that neither the ADT nor the CDT are
currently being used in Australia but as you can see, from the most recent

24
edition of the Immunisation Handbook, they most certainly are though this is
not routine. Therefore, the AVN stands behind its statement.

Reason 3 – Vaccines are contaminated with human and animal viruses


and bacteria.

It is preferable to produce vaccines in human foetal cell lines because human immune systems
prefer similar proteins and foetal cell lines divide more quickly. The AVN does not give any
explanation as to why vaccines are primarily cultured in this way.

The claim by AVN that SV40 simian virus has been known to contaminate polio viruses and has
also been linked with cancer in humans, has been the subject of studies reviewing the SV40
contamination in polio vaccines between 1957 and 1963. These studies have produced
conflicting evidence regarding the link with cancer.

The AVN provides references to two studies that show such a link - but not to other studies that
fail to show a link, including a review commissioned by the TGA which concluded:

'Studies of the prevalence of SV40 antibody in the community and the presence of
SV40 in human tumours do not absolutely exclude the possibility of rare involvement
of the virus in individual cases of cancer, but fail to provide evidence of statistically
greater risk for people immunised during the period when SV40 was likely to have
been present in polio vaccine.

In providing the above information in Reason 3, there is evidence that the AVN selectively
relies on references in order to support an anti-vaccination stance.

I am having trouble understanding the reasoning of the HCCC in the first


paragraph of this point. You state that, “It is preferable to produce vaccines in
human foetal cell lines because human immune systems prefer similar
proteins and foetal cell lines divide more quickly.”

Are you agreeing with what I have stated or are you contradicting this
information? I made a simple statement which is factual – all vaccines – other
than those that are genetically engineered – are contaminated with human
and animal viruses and bacteria. This is true. What is the HCCC’s stance on
this statement?

In addition, whether it is ‘preferable’ to produce vaccines in human foetal cells


or not depends upon your point of view, I suppose. Whilst it may mean that
the development of antibodies after vaccination (not to be confused with
immunity since antibodies indicate exposure – not immunity) is faster and
more long-lived with human proteins (or the proteins from primates – our near
cousins), it is also the case that vaccines cultured on human tissues are more
likely to combine with our own native DNA and cause genetic alterations and
effects.

25
Please read the following from New Zealand vaccine researcher, Hilary
Butler, on the contamination of the Chicken Pox (Varicella) vaccine 7:

Chickenpox vaccine.

Japan first started developing a chickenpox vaccine in 1974, and after


a 20-year study, concluded that it was safe and effective. By 1997, the
chickenpox vaccine was in phase four studies at the FDA’s request,
which means that the vaccine manufacturer will monitor several
thousand vaccinated children for 15 years to determine the long-term
effects of the vaccine. (When the rubella vaccine first came out, they
assured FDA that they would do the same. However, the study was
abandoned with no follow-up because it was considered a waste of
money).

What is in each vaccine dose, and what culture medium is it grown on?

"…VARIVAX is a preparation of the Oka/Merck strain of live,


attenuated varicella virus. The virus was initially obtained from a child
with natural varicella, then introduced into human embryonic lung cell
cultures adapted to and propagated in embryonic guinea pig cell
cultures, and finally propagated in human diploid cell cultures (WI 38).
Further passage of the virus for varicella vaccine was performed at
Merck Research Laboratories in human diploid cell cultures (MRC-5)
that were free of adventitious agents..."

"…Each 0.5 ml dose contains the following: a minimum of 1350 PFU


(plaque forming units) of Oka/Merck varicella virus when reconstituted;
approximately 25 mg of sucrose; 12.5 mg hydrolysed gelatine; 3.2 mg
sodium chloride; 0.5 mg monosodium L-glutamate; 0.45 mg of sodium
phosphate dibasic; 0.08 mg of potassium phosphate monobasic; 0.08
mg of potassium chloride; residual components of MRC-5 cells
including DNA and protein; and trace quantities of sodium phosphate
monobasic; EDTA; neomycin, and fetal bovine serum. The product
contains no preservative 5..."

Let’s get clear of the obscure language. The culture medium is human
embryonic lung cells (from an aborted foetus), embryonic guinea pig
cell cultures, WI 38 – a different cell line from another aborted foetus,
and another aborted fetus labelled MRC-5.

"…The nearly 2 µg of unmodified mammalian DNA in each dose of


Varivax exceeds that present in any other approved childhood vaccine
6
…"

In other words, other vaccines also contain unmodified DNA, but


chickenpox contains more than the others.

7 http://www.whale.to/m/butler11.html

26
A medical study was done to see if any of 293 people vaccinated with
Varivax developed anti-DNA antibodies from residual fetal tissue/DNA
in the vaccine. The article stated that there were no significant changes
in anti-DNA antibody, or the frequency of elevated anti-DNA titres.

But if these people have had other vaccines, which already have
human DNA in them, and they already have anti-DNA antibodies,
exactly what does "significant" mean?

The possibility was also considered that the human DNA present in
Varivax might integrate into and transform the vaccinees cells. An ad
hoc committee on karyologic controls of human substrates proposed
limits for chromosomal abnormalities in human diploid cell lines used to
manufacture biologic products. These guidelines have become:

"…generally accepted upper limits for chromosomal abnormalities. A


clonal 7;12 chromosomal translocation in the MRC-5 cells used to
produce some lots of Varivax exceeded these limits for structural
abnormalities. To evaluate the theoretical concerns raised by this
observation Merck undertook a comprehensive assessment of MRC-5
(aborted foetal) cells to document that they were not tumorigenic.
MRC-5 cells from the cell banks used to produce vaccine did not
produce tumours when injected into nude mice reached senescence
normally, and did not exhibit a malignant phenotype.

Moreover, cells bearing the 7;12 translocation did not proliferate


preferentially during the lifetime of the cell line in comparison with
MRC-5 cells lacking the translocation. No human disease associated
with abnormalities involving a 7;12 translocation has been reported.
Outside experts concurred with the FDA’s assessment that the risk of
MRC-5 DNA’s inducing a malignant transformation in vaccinees under
the condition of vaccination was exceedingly low 6..."

This information will prove to doctors that the vaccine is safe.

For those who know the history of vaccines, such information is far
from reassuring. Take for instance SV40, which is the most extensively
researched vaccine contaminant ever. By 1989, the experts knew that
there was 40 times the amount of SV 40 than polio virus in polio
vaccines, yet tests at the time of the vaccines use detected minute
quantities only. Only now are we discovering how worthless the
experiments in animals were, and as the list of possible links with SV40
grows, the medical people grow ever more silent.

The fact is that Varivax contains 2 m g of WI 38 and MRC-5 – two


aborted foetuses. The fact is that the chromosomal abnormalities in
this cell line exceed the currently accepted upper limits. The fact is that
Merck undertook what they call a "comprehensive" assessment to
"document that they were not oncogenic."

27
Was not Thalidomide comprehensively tested on just about every living
organism from Drosophila flies through dogs with no bad results? And
what about humans? They looked solely at one chromosomal
translocation. But the history of vaccines shows that they can only look
at what they know is there. The article also stated that:

"…Detectable infectious agents were not present in the material used


to produce Varivax, nor were they introduced during the manufacturing
process..."

The key word here is "detectable". You can only find what you have a
test to identify. Fetal bovine serum, even batches previously passed by
the FDA and WHO, has been repeatedly documented to be
contaminated with several different viruses. And every year, new
viruses come to the surface, and new tests have to be devised to test
for them. The point is that there is absolutely no guarantee that these
vaccines do not contain something that is unable to be detected at this
time, but which more advanced testing might show up in the future.
This is why the manufacturers cover themselves with the word
‘detectable’ – because they can only be held liable at any future date
for those things which were able to be identified at the date of
manufacture.

Fair enough. But is it good enough? For some doctors, of course.

Let’s look at how well this vaccine has been tested.

"Pregnancy: the possible effects of the vaccine on fetal development


are unknown at this time. However, natural varicella is known to
sometimes cause fetal harm… the duration of protection is unknown …
vaccination should be deferred for at least 5 months following blood or
plasma transfusions, immune globulin or varicella zoster immune
globulin … vaccine recipients should avoid use of salicylates for 6
weeks after vaccination as Reye’s syndrome has been reported
following the use of salicylates during natural varicella infection …
Varivax should be deferred in patients with a family history of
congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency until the patient’s own
immune system has been evaluated … post- marketing experience
suggests that transmission of vaccine virus may occur rarely between
healthy vaccinees who develop a varicella- like rash and healthy
susceptible contacts…"(Merck, Sharpe & Dohme, 1999)

Merck, Sharpe and Dohme are really behind the eight-ball here
because, in 1997, it was reported that a 12 month old healthy boy who
had 30 chickenpox skin lesions 24 days after receiving the varicella
vaccine, gave his pregnant mother 100 lesions. She had an elective
abortion. While no virus was found in the foetus, this case documents
transmission of vaccine virus from a healthy infant to his pregnant
mother. The crucial point here is that we know Th1 immunity (or search

28
and destroy) has to be suppressed in a pregnant woman because
otherwise she will lose her baby. We also know that Th1 immunity is
crucial to fight chickenpox. Why then does the latest 1999 Merck,
Sharpe & Dohme information still not recognise this? 20

Varivax has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic or mutagenic


potential or its potential to impair fertility. It is not known whether
varicella vaccine virus is secreted in human milk. No clinical data are
available on safety or efficacy of Varivax in children less than one year
of age, and administration to infants under 12 months of age is not
recommended.

Next, you say that, “The AVN does not give any explanation as to why
vaccines are primarily cultured in this way.”

That is a value judgement that is not necessary in this instance. It is like


saying that it would be improper to advise people that the Sun rises in the
East and sets in the West without providing them with an explanation as to
why this is the case. That explanation is unnecessary. It is enough to know
that the Sun does rise in the East and sets in the West.

Likewise, it is enough to know that vaccines are contaminated with human


and animal viruses and bacteria. Parents do not need to know the ins and
outs of why vaccines are cultured on human and animal tissue unless they
choose to become more informed and if they do, the AVN can direct them to
where more details can be obtained. The important fact is that vaccines are
contaminated products – why the government chooses to release them in
their contaminated state is not the issue here.

Likewise, the Commission agrees with the AVN’s information regarding the
fact that there is medical literature that demonstrates a connection between
SV40 contamination of vaccinations and cancer in humans. Yet they state that
we need to also cite studies that indicate that SV40 doesn’t cause cancer in
humans and to demonstrate this, you show as an example, a review
commissioned by the TGA that concludes that there is no evidence of such a
connection (and may I point out that your attribution of this study by Yvonne
Cossart, 14 December 2005, is not correct. It was actually 14, December
2004).

This TGA review, from my reading of it, set out to prove that there was no link
between SV40 and cancer in humans. How can I say this?

Well, Dr Michele Carbone is THE preeminent researcher in this field. Yet only
one of his papers is cited in the list of articles covered and that was one of his
earliest studies. I believe that this is evidence of an intentional omission of
information which would oppose the desired result – that of clearing SV40 as
a cause of human cancers.

Below is a list of articles in which Dr Carbone was either the lead researcher
or one of the main authors regarding the link between SV40 and cancer /

29
tumours (please note – these are all articles that were published before the
TGA review – were I to include the articles published since this time, the list
would more than double in size.)

Carbone et al. Characterization of hamster tumors induced by simian


virus 40 small t deletion mutants as true histiocytic lymphomas. Cancer
research (1989)

Carbone and Levine. Oncogenes, antioncogenes, and the regulation of


cell growth. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism (1990)

F Pompetti et al. SV40 small t deletion mutants preferentially transform


mononuclear phagocytes and B lymphocytes in vivo. Virology (1992)

Carbone et al. Simian virus 40 (SV40) small t antigen inhibits SV40


DNA replication in vitro. Journal of … (1992)

Cicala et al. SV40 induces mesotheliomas in hamsters. The American


journal of … (1993)

Caputi et al. The retinoblastoma gene family pRb/p105, p107,


pRb2/p130 and simian virus-40 large T-antigen in human
mesotheliomas. Nature medicine (1997)

Carbone et al. Simian virus-40 large-T antigen binds p53 in human


mesotheliomas. Nature medicine (1997)

Rizzo et al. Human mesotheliomas contain the simian virus-40


regulatory region and large tumor antigen DNA sequences. The
Journal of thoracic … (1998)

Testa et al. A multi-institutional study confirms the presence and


expression of simian virus 40 in human malignant mesotheliomas.
Cancer research (1998)

Rizzo et al. Unique strains of SV40 in commercial poliovaccines from


1955 not readily identifiable with current testing for SV40 infection.
Cancer research (1999)

Vainio et al. Simian virus 40 (SV40)-like DNA sequences not


detectable in Finnish mesothelioma patients not exposed to SV40-
contaminated polio vaccines. Molecular … (1999)

Carbone et al. New molecular and epidemiological issues in


mesothelioma: role of SV40. Journal of cellular … (1999)

Gordon et al. Detection of human neurotropic JC virus DNA sequence


and expression of the viral oncogenic protein in pediatric
medulloblastomas. Proceedings of the … (1999)

30
Carbone. Simian virus 40 and human tumors: It is time to study
mechanisms. Journal of cellular biochemistry (2000)

Testa et al. Human mesothelial cells are unusually susceptible to


simian virus 40-mediated transformation and asbestos
cocarcinogenicity. Proceedings of the … (2000)

Xiao et al. Benign papillary mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis.


Journal Information (2000)

McConnell and Carbone. A comparison of pleural mesotheliomas


induced by asbestos or SV40 virus in Syrian golden hamsters.
Inhalation Toxicology (2000)

Foddis et al. SV40 and the pathogenesis of mesothelioma. Seminars in


cancer … (2001)

Powers et al. No evidence of HIV and SIV sequences in two separate


lots of polio vaccines used in the first US polio vaccine campaign.
Virology (2001)

Elmishad et al. Human T cell responses to endogenously presented


HLA-A* 0201 restricted peptides of Simian virus 40 large T antigen.
Journal of Cellular … (2001)

Carbone et al. The pathogenesis of mesothelioma* 1. Seminars in


oncology (2002)

Gazdar et al. SV40 and human tumours: myth, association or


causality?. Nature Reviews Cancer (2002)

Carbone and Pass. Re: Debate on the link between SV40 and human
cancer continues. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer … (2002)

Demir et al. Lung diseases due to environmental exposures to erionite


and asbestos in Turkey. Toxicology letters (2002)

Martinelli et al. Simian virus 40 sequences in human lymphoblastoid B-


cell lines. The Journal of … (2003)

Bocchetta et al. Notch-1 induction, a novel activity of SV40 required for


growth of SV40-transformed human mesothelial cells. Oncogene
(2003)

Carbone et al. New developments about the association of SV40 with


human mesothelioma. Oncogene (2003)

Gazdar and Carbone. Molecular pathogenesis of malignant


mesothelioma and its relationship to simian virus 40. Clinical Lung
Cancer (2003)

31
Carbone et al. High throughput testing of the SV40 Large T antigen
binding to cellular p53 identifies putative drugs for the treatment of
SV40-related cancers. Virology (2003)

Carbone et al. Different susceptibility of human mesothelial cells to


polyomavirus infection and malignant transformation. Cancer research
(2003)

The commission is trying to say that the AVN’s information on SV40 was
selective because we did not cite a very selective review by the TGA, but I put
it to you that our information is more firmly based in science and far more
unbiased than a review article which omits crucial information regarding a
subject it is supposed to be reviewing.

Therefore, I say that the AVN stands behind its information and indeed, would
like to see the HCCC use the same high standard when it critiques
information put out by government departments such as the TGA and the
Departments of Health – both federal and state.

Reason 4 & 5 – Vaccines can cause serious immediate and long-term


side effects.

In Australia, if a medical condition arises or a reaction occurs after vaccination, it must be


reported to the TGA. In the United States, post-vaccination reactions are monitored by the
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). However, it should be noted that a reaction
following vaccination need not necessarily be a side effect of vaccination.

Significantly, the VAERS website states:

'When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-
and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between
vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS.

Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse effect following vaccination, be it coincidental or
truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a
vaccine caused the event.

In relation to the issue of whether SIDS is a side effect of vaccination - there can be no
demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship unless it can be shown that there is a higher
incidence of SIDS in the vaccinated population than the non-vaccinated population. There are
studies showing that the incidence of SIDS reported after vaccination is below the rate of
incidence in the general population.

In relation to the issue of brain haemorrhages following vaccination being attributed to shaken
baby syndrome (SBS) - there are large-scale studies indicating that the features of brain
haemorrhage arising following vaccination never reproduce the findings present in SBS.

There is a study which suggests that there is an increased risk of convulsion after DTP
vaccination but little evidence that this produces brain injury or is a forerunner to epilepsy.

The AVN claims that vaccination is linked with a range of long term side effects However the

32
In a submission to the Commission, Ms Dorey pointed out that the AVN website states that there
have been reports of serious side effects following vaccination - not that these side effects are
caused by vaccination.

However, the use of the term 'side effects' suggests a causal relationship between the vaccine
and the illness. The heading of Reasons 4 and 5 - "Vaccines can cause serious immediate and
long-term side effects" also promotes a causal link.

The Commission states that there is a requirement for all medical conditions
to be reported should they occur after a vaccination. This ignores the
information from our own ADRAC – the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory
Committee – that only between 1 and 10% of reactions are ever reported.

It then goes on to cite the VAERS database in the United States – a database
which, like ours in Australia, admits that it contains only 1-10% of reactions
that occur.

This database, like our own in Australia, denies any connection between
reactions and vaccinations stating that the link is purely temporal and not
causal. Despite that denial, more than $2 billion US has been paid out to
children on this database since its inception – an enormous figure when you
consider that the proofs necessary to gain compensation include restricting
payments to those whose reactions occurred within 3 hours of the vaccination
and a 3-year statue of limitations on initiating a claim.

This sort of denial of a link between vaccination and an obvious reaction is


well-demonstrated by a recent case in QLD when a 2-year-old girl died less
than 12 hours after receiving a seasonal flu vaccine. Despite the fact that her
reaction has been noted by the vaccine manufacturer and completely ignoring
the serious reaction of her twin sister, who was vaccinated at the same time
but, who luckily survived, the QLD government stated that this death was not
connected with the administration of the vaccine – a statement which beggars
belief even amongst those who have had no prior knowledge of the link
between vaccinations and serious reactions / deaths.

There is no requirement for the AVN to argue both points of view – especially
when the information we have cited – information that is independent of
pharmaceutical vested interests – demonstrates quite clearly that vaccines
can and do cause both serious immediate and long-term side effects.

Is it truly the Commission’s contention that this statement is incorrect? If so,


the Commission will have to argue not just with the AVN – but with thousands
of parents in Australia and hundreds of thousands across the world who have
seen their previously healthy children become ill or die following the
administration of vaccines that were intended to keep them healthy.

And whilst, with drugs, links between known reactions and their administration
are readily admitted, these same reactions are consistently denied when they
occur following vaccination.

33
In addition, even amongst the most pro-vaccine of doctors, immunologists and
epidemiologists in the medical community, you will be hard-pressed to find
one who does not believe that the balance of proof indicates that vaccines
can and do cause serious immediate and long-term side effects – the
frequency of these effects is the only bone of contention here.

Therefore, the AVN stands behind its information on these two points. 8, 9, 10

Reason 6 – Vaccines do not necessarily protect against infectious


diseases.

The statement that vaccinations may make children more susceptible to illness suggests that
vaccines are immuno-suppressive.

On the 'Sunday Night' programme on 26 April 2009, Ms Dorey also stated: 'vaccine by its very
nature can suppress the immune system.

In her response to the Commission, Ms Dorey repeated the assertion that vaccinations are
immuno-suppressive and provided a list of studies demonstrating that vaccines are
immunosuppressive.

The Commission has examined Ms Dorey's references and found that while some studies
have been conducted which support this hypothesis, others discredit it.

Two of the references provided by Ms Dorey support that vaccination can be


immunosuppressive, although one article concluded that the suppression period was temporary
and the other concluded that booster vaccination would ensure long-lasting immunity.

The AVN has also made specific assertions on the efficacy of vaccination, in the human
papillomavirus (HPV) section of the section on specific vaccines where it has stated:

“There are more than 100 strains of HPV. The current vaccine, Gardasil, is quadrivalent
or contains only 4 of these strains and states in the manufacturer's information that it
cannot treat or prevent HPV from other strains. Therefore, even if HPV were the single or
most prevalent cause of cervical cancer, use of this vaccine would literally be a shot in
the dark.”

Gardasil protects against two types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases.
Accordingly, the information provided by the AVN about Gardasil has the effect of misleading
the reader.

8 National Childhood Injury Act – Vaccine Injury Table;


ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/vaccineinjurytable.pdf
9 Can vaccines cause disease in susceptible individuals?

http://www.heall.com/healingnews/july/vaccine_dangers.html
10 I would like to direct the Commission’s attention to the package inserts for

vaccinations which are available on the AVN’s website under the link,
Vaccination Information. Included in each of these documents is a list of side
effects which have been reported to have occurred following vaccine
administration.

34
Information about Gardasil also appears on the AVN website under the heading ‘AVN News'.
A link provides a summary of an article published by 'Natural News', titled 'Two more girls
die after getting Gardasil 'cervical cancer' vaccine, and quotes the following from the article:

“The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has reported that two young women died
shortly after receiving Merck's Gardasil, a vaccine against several varieties of human
papilloma virus (HPV). The EMEA did not release the names or ages of the women who
died, and said the cause of death was still unknown. It described their deaths as 'sudden
and unexpected.”

The AVN website then provides a link to the full ‘Natural News' article. Examination of the full
article reveals that the second paragraph is omitted on the AVN website page. This second
paragraph states:

“Gardasil and Glaxo SmithKline's Cervarix protect against the two strains of HPV that are
responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Gardasil also protects against two
HPV strains that cause 90 percent of genital warts.”

The second paragraph contradicts the claim by the AVN that Gardasil is not effective in
preventing most forms of cervical cancer. Its omission from the summary of the article is
therefore significant.

Ms Dorey submitted that it is not necessary to include the complete information from articles
they have linked to their website, because a reader can access the full publication and read it for
themselves. While this may be true, the AVN website does not clarify this and its selective
reproduction of only some paragraphs of the article has the effect of misrepresenting the thrust
of the article.

Here, the Commission seems to be agreeing with the statement but again,
stating that the AVN needs to be putting both sides of this argument before
the general public. They use as their evidence, one study from Denmark
which I have never read nor do I have access to a subscription to the journal
in question, and another article whose lead researcher, Paul Offit, has
received in excess of $30 million after the sale of his share in a patent for the
rotavirus vaccine.

In my research, there are over 70 years of peer-reviewed articles which


demonstrate a period of immune system suppression after the administration
of vaccines. Of course, there will be some articles which dispute this, but
aside from the fact that one of the 2 articles the Commission has presented is
extremely suspect due to a serious conflict of interest by the author, it is not
necessary for the AVN to argue the government’s side of this issue any more
than it would be necessary for them to argue ours.

Science is an area where debate and discussion should be welcome. I find it


very concerning that the HCCC appears to be saying that the AVN is not
entitled to participate in this debate because we do not agree with the
government and the majority of the medical community who, by the way, have
been wrong about medical issues before.

One need only look at relatively recent errors such as Vioxx, Thalidomide,
Thiomersal and more to know that the majority is not always right when it
comes to science. And it is the whistleblower who brings these issues to the
fore and ensures that those who profit from treatments which are unsafe or

35
ineffective are not allowed to continue to make incorrect or dangerous
therapeutic claims which put the public’s health and purse at risk.

The Commission has chosen to include in this section a quote from the EMEA
regarding Gardasil vaccine and a quote from a Natural News article that was
quoted on our site.

The Commission claims that by leaving out the statement regarding the
protection provided by Gardasil and Cervarix, we were misrepresenting the
thrust of the article.

I disagree with the Commission’s statement. We are not misrepresenting the


article – the article is misrepresenting the protection conveyed by Gardasil
and Cervarix vaccines and I refuse to include information on the AVN website
that I do not believe is based in fact.

To say that these vaccines against HPV provide a 70% protection against
cervical cancer is incorrect since there is still no proof that HPV is causally
linked with cervical cancer – no matter what the strain of the virus we are
talking about.

Therefore, my citation was not selective – it simply quoted the sections that I
felt were important – as is my right – and included a link so that our readers -
who I do not patronise or talk down to as the government and medical
websites seem to do – could go and get the rest of the article for themselves.

Once again, the AVN stands behind our statement that vaccines do not
necessarily protect against infectious diseases and they can be immune
suppressive.

Reason 7 – Doctors, as paid salesmen for vaccine products, are no


longer considered to be trustworthy arbiters of their safety and
effectiveness.

Here, the Commission seems to take umbrage at the AVN’s contention that it
is unethical to pay doctors extra for providing a vaccination service that should
be part of their existing medicare rebate. They discuss the $6 payment for
reporting vaccinations to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register
(ACIR) and ignore the payment given under the GPII of $18.50 for
administering a vaccination within 1 month of when the shot is due as well as
the bulk payment for achieving a 90% or greater vaccination status amongst
their patient’s children.

36
The Commonwealth General Practice Immunisation Incentive (GPII) scheme provides financial
incentive to general practices that monitor, promote and provide immunization services to
children under the age of seven. The aim of this scheme is to encourage 90% of practices to
achieve 90% proportions of full immunisation, which is consistent with current Government
immunisation policy.

The Medicare payment of $6 is for a general practice that makes notifications of a vaccination to
the ACIR. It is not clear how this payment for an administrative service may compromise a
medical practitioner's objectivity.

It is current government public health policy to keep immunisation rates against certain diseases
at the levels quoted above and it is not clear how it could be described as 'grossly unethical' for
doctors to comply with government policy. Doctors have a choice whether or not to participate in
this scheme and to suggest that those that do participate may be untrustworthy is not
appropriate. In alleging that doctors are not trustworthy on the subject of vaccination, the AVN
appears to be suggesting that it may not be appropriate to discuss the issue of whether or not to
vaccinate with a medical practitioner.

I am a bit flabbergasted at the Commission’s confusion regarding how these


extra payments could sway doctor’s decisions in regards to advising their
patients about this issue in an unbiased and honest way. Once you start to
link payments with a procedure that should be performed because it is in the
best interests of the child – rather than the best interests of the financial
health of the practitioner – you turn doctors into salesmen – a situation which
should not be tolerated.

This situation is evidenced by the fact that, when the government said they
would stop the bulk payment to doctors for achieving the goal of 90% fully
vaccinated, doctors said they would stop vaccinating. If doctors are not
influenced by this payment, stopping the payment should have had no effect
on them – or at least – not the effect of making them stop vaccinating.

GPs may refuse child vaccinations if bonus cancelled

DOCTORS say they will stop vaccinating children unless the Federal
Government reinstates a bonus encouraging them to do it.

According to GPs, a government move to stop paying doctors $18.50


every time they vaccinate a child means they will be less inclined to do
it - and parents are going to pay.

Neil Hearnden, from the Royal Australian College of General


Practitioners, told The Daily Telegraph that one of the most consistent
barriers to getting children immunised was the cost of seeing a GP.

"But because of the payments, the majority of GPs have been able to
bulk bill," he said.

"GPs would be less inclined to bulk bill now that the incentive's not
there any more." Dr Hearnden predicted that some doctors might say

37
they are too busy to immunise.

The view is echoed by GP Peter Eizenberg, who said the change


would "undermine the success of the National Immunisation Program".

Doctors will choose not to vaccinate, Dr Hearnden predicted,


unless they are committed in a "professional and ethical way" to
vaccination. (emphasis added)

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/gps-may-refuse-
vaccinations/story-e6freuzi-1111117709109

I would like an explanation for the Commission’s exclusion of information


regarding the $18.50 bonus and the bulk payment given to doctors to
encourage vaccination. The Commission appears to be selective in the
information it is relying upon to make its decision.

The AVN stands behind the statement that doctors, because of the influence
of the extra payments to push vaccines, may no longer be the best and most
trustworthy arbiters of the safety, effectiveness and necessity of vaccination.

Reason 8 – Pharmaceutical companies have paid for almost all vaccine


research to date.

The majority of research and testing of new pharmaceuticals is conducted by the manufacturers
as a part of the research and development process of vaccines for largescale markets.
Manufacturers share an interest with the community in drugs and vaccines being safe and
effective. Although manufacturers may carry out much of the testing of new pharmaceuticals,
vaccines are further independently tested and researched thoroughly in Australia before being
made available for human use.

There is no evidence that vaccines have been the subject of corrupt or incorrect research by
manufacturers or independent bodies, although AVN's paralleling of the pharmaceutical industry
to tobacco companies suggests that this is the case.

The Commission agrees with the AVN that the vaccine manufacturers do
indeed pay for the majority of testing and research. They then go on to state
that “…vaccines are further independently tested and researched thoroughly
in Australia before being made available for human use.”

The Commission further states that “There is no evidence that vaccines have
been the subject of corrupt or incorrect research by manufacturers or
independent bodies, although the AVN’s paralleling of the pharmaceutical
industry to tobacco companies suggests that this is the case.”

38
I would like to invite the Commission to examine the list of articles referenced
below. Due to time constraints, I have limited these references to studies and
articles which have been published since the year 2000 and have had to be
selective because the number of articles regarding pharmaceutical and
medical corruption would cover many hundreds and perhaps thousands of
pages.

Wilson P
E uropean drug regulator is criticised over patient representatives'conflicts of


interest
B M J 2010 Jun 21; 340: 
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/340/jun21_2/c3349

Edwards J
W hy a C harity for the B lind O pposes a C heap D rug for S ight Loss (H int: B ig
Pharma Cash Is Involved)
B N et 2010 Jun 11

 http://industry.bnet.com/pharma/10008511/why-a-charity-for-the-blind-lines-up-with-big-
pharma-against-a-cheap-treatment-for-sight-loss/

Wang SS
W hat’ s B ehind the N ew A P A C onflict of Interest C ode 
 T he W allS treet Journal
2010 Jun 11 
 http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/06/11/whats-behind-the-new-apa-conflict-of-
interest-code/

Texas Blue Cross plan sues Pfizer over marketing
T he A ssociated Press 2010 Jun 11

 http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9G97NHG0.htm

Dossey L
C reating D isease: B ig P harm a and D isease M ongering 
 T he H uffington P ost 2010
Jun 18 
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-larry-dossey/big-pharma-health-care-
cr_b_613311.html

Studdert DM, Mello MM, Brennan TA
M edicalM onitoring for P harm aceuticalInjuries - Tort
Law for the Public's Health?
JA M A 2003 F eb 19; 289: (7):889 
http://jama.ama-
assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/289/7/889

Turone F
Italian police investigate G S K Italy for brib ery
B M J 2003; 326: (7386):413

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/326/7386/413/a

McQuillen W
A straZ eneca to P ay $103 M illion to S ettle D rug -Pricing Suit
B loom berg
Businessweek 2010 Jun 19 
 http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-19/astrazeneca-
to-pay-103-million-to-settle-drug-pricing-suit.html

Fava GA
U nm askin g Special Interest Groups: The Key to Addressing Conflicts of Interest in
Medicine
P sychother P sychosom 2010 A pr 29; 79:203 –207

 http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=313688

HSL18177
 Fava GA
C onflict of Interest in P sychopharm acology: C an D r. JekyllS tillC ontrol
Mr. Hyde?
P sychother P sychosom 2004; 73:1 -4

 http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?doi=10.1159/000074433

Dyer O.
D rug com panies pay out m illions after overcharging M edicaid. 
 B M J 2003 A pr 26
326: (7395):900 
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12714466

Baird P.
G etting it right: industry sponsorship and m edicalresearch. 
 C M A J 2003 M ay


168: (10):1267-9 
 http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/168/10/1267

Moynihan R
B lurring the boundaries: A re sponsored new s program m es a new form of paid
fronts for the pharmaceutical industry?
B M J 2003 M ay 15; 326: (7398):1094

 htt // b j / i/ t t/f ll/326/7398/1094

39
Smith R
 N eed good results? F iddle them 
 B M J 2003 M ay 17; 326: (7398):

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7398/0-e

Belcher P
 H ow not to do medical research 
B M J 2003 M ay 29; 326: (7400):1221



 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1221

Müllner M 
D octors and the drug industry 
 B M J 2003 M ay 29; 326: (7400):122
0

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1220-a

Moynihan R
 T he B ig F ix: H ow the P harm aceuticalIndustry R ips O ff A m erican


Consumers 
B M J 2003 M ay 29; 326: (7400):1218

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1218

Smith R.
M edicaljournals and pharm aceuticalcom panies: uneasy bedfellow s. 
 BM


2003 May 31; 326: (7400):1202-5

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1202?view=long&pmid=12775625

Wager E.
H ow to dance w ith porcupines: rules and guidelines on doctors'relations


with drug companies.
B M J 2003 M ay 31; 326: (7400):1196-8

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1196?view=long&pmid=12775623

Drug companies advised to publish unfavourable trial results
B M J 2003 M ay 31;


326: (7400):1163 
 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1163-a

Moynihan R.
D rug com pany sponsorship of education could be replaced at a


fraction of its cost.
B M J 2003 M ay 31; 326: (7400):1163

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1163-a?view=long&pmid=12775595

Moynihan R
D rug com pany secretly briefed m edicalsocieties on H R T 
 B M J 2003


May 31; 326: (7400):1161 
 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1161

Charatan F.
S chering -Plough is accused of overcharging and of obstructing


justice.
B M J 2003 Jun 7; 326: (7401):1233

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7401/1233?view=long&pmid=12791730

Kmietowicz Z.
N ew Z ealand G P s callfor end to direct to consum er


advertising.
B M J 2003 Jun 14; 3 26: (7402):1284

 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1284-c?view=long&pmid=12805140

Egilman DS, Ehrle LH.
H andling conflicts of interest betw een industry a nd
academia.
JA M A 2003 Jun 25; 289: (24):3240 
http://jama.ama-
assn.org/cgi/content/full/289/24/3240

Healy D, Cattell D.
Interface betw een authorship, industry and science in the dom ain
of therapeutics.
B r J P sychiatry 2003 Jul; 183:22 -7:

 http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/183/1/22

Greenberg DS
C onference deplores corporate influence on academ ic science.


Speakers argue that corporate funds should be separated from science to prevent
undue influence.
Lancet 2003 Jul26; 362: (9380):302 -3.

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12894798

40
There is a great deal of evidence that pharmaceutical companies are not only
corrupt, but that they have suppressed research that would show their
products to be either unsafe or ineffective, hired ghost-writers who have never
seen the studies their names have been affixed to, intimidated those who
would threaten their place in the market by exposing problems with their
products and, in all ways, behaved much like the tobacco companies did in
trying to cover up the now accepted link between cigarette smoking and a
range of health issues including cancer and emphysema.

Some drug companies have even paid for entire magazines to be printed
which masquerade as peer-reviewed journals but which are written and
distributed by the drug companies themselves and are nothing more than
advertising.

An understanding of how pharmaceutical companies can be unethical is


required in any government department whose role it is to investigate medical
threats to the Australian public.

Reason 9 – Doctors and health professionals rarely if ever report


vaccine reactions.

As noted above, practitioners notify reactions that follow vaccinations to the TGA in
Australia. Reactions can range in severity and may or may not be attributable to the vaccination
itself. It is important to recognise this when considering the figures for notification of vaccine
reactions. The AVN has not given a reference for the source of the statistic of 10% nor explained
the context of the information about vaccination reactions.

The AVN states it has developed an adverse reactions database from information provided by
the public through the website, with over 800 'serious adverse vaccine reactions' which it states
were not reported to doctors. The AVN provides supporting information about the criteria used to
define an 'adverse reaction'. This information is anecdotal only. As an organisation that is
providing health education the AVN should make this clear in order not to mislead the reader.

The Commission states that the reaction reports which the AVN has
catalogued and reported to ADRAC are only anecdotal and that this
information should be made clear to the public.

The Commission’s interest here seems to be in ensuring that the general


public is not made to believe that vaccines can cause reactions when it is
accepted by mainstream medicine that they can.

The definition of anecdotal is simply ‘unpublished’. Since we have never


claimed that our reaction reports database was peer reviewed, I do not
believe there is any necessity to state that these reports are anecdotal.

Ask the parents whose children are affected – the reactions are real enough.
And though they have not been published in any peer-reviewed journal, they
are certainly repeated often enough to form a very obvious pattern both here
in Australia and elsewhere.

41
Reason 10 – Some childhood illnesses have beneficial aspects and
therefore, prevention may not necessarily be in the best interests of the
child.

The AVN has given no references to support the statement that some childhood illnesses have
beneficial aspects, nor that contracting measles affords protection from certain cancers later in
life. The Commission could not locate any studies which contain such evidence. The
Commission asked Ms Dorey to provide references for these studies but she failed to do so.

Regarding the claim by the AVN that immunity against a disease is stronger when acquired
naturally rather than artificially, research by the Commission shows that studies into immunity
levels agree that naturally acquired immunity through exposure to illnesses may give higher
antibody titres than primary vaccination.

However, it should be noted that most studies showing this were not questioning the
effectiveness of vaccination but rather emphasising the importance of having a program of
booster vaccinations to ensure longlasting immunity,

The assertion that improved immunity may follow exposure to a childhood disease does not take
into account the risks of exposure to and the adverse effects of childhood illnesses,

The Commission claims that they have asked me to provide them with
references regarding the beneficial aspects of these diseases but that I have
not. I did, in fact, respond to the Commission in this regard but perhaps my
email was misdirected.

The Commission also claims that the assertion [that some childhood diseases
have beneficial aspects] does not take into account the risks of exposure to
and the adverse effects of childhood illnesses.

I would say likewise, that the Commission’s assertion does not take into
account the risks of exposure to and the adverse effects of vaccines. And
whilst not every child who is exposed to a childhood illness will contract it
(some will not and some will develop a sub-clinical infection which is
symptomless but which will provide the same immunity as it would have had
they developed the actual condition), all those who are vaccinated are
exposed to the risks of the vaccines.

As for the true risks of diseases as opposed to those risks we are warned
about, a couple of really good examples of the overemphasis of risk after the
introduction of the vaccine can be illustrated by both measles and chicken
pox. Neither of these diseases was considered to be generally deadly in
healthy, well-nourished children. Rather, they were no more than an
inconvenient rite of passage and were not greeted with the fear that they are
now – due more to good marketing by the drug companies than to good
science.

42
The first reference is from a medical guide edited by a former editor of the
British Medical Journal, called the MacMillan Guide to Family Heath. This
book was published 4 years before the introduction of the MMR vaccine
(1982):

"Measles is a highly contagious disease which chiefly affects the skin


and respiratory tract. It is a notifiable disease. The incubation period is
10-14 days. The first symptoms are raised temperature, runny nose,
red watering eyes, dry cough and sometimes diarrhoea. By the third
day the temperature falls and tiny white spots like grains of salt appear
inside the mouth. On the fourth and fifth days temperature rises again
and the characteristic measles rash appears, starting on the forehead
and behind the ears and gradually spreading to the rest of the body but
not usually the limbs. By the sixth day the rash is fading and by the
seventh day all the symptoms have gone.

"In the vast majority of children who catch measles the disease
disappears within 10 days and the only after effect is lifelong
immunity to another attack" [our emphasis]

In contrast, read the following from the British Medical Association Complete
Family Heath Encyclopaedia (1995), several years after the introduction of the
MMR vaccine. The following are quotations from the book. Note the difference
in emphasis and detail:

"A potentially dangerous viral illness that causes a characteristic rash


and a fever.... Measles was once very common throughout the world
occurring in epidemics. It is now less common in developed countries
due to immunisation"

"Prevention of measles is important because it can have rare but


serious complications.... It can also be serious, and sometimes fatal, in
children with impaired immunity (such as those being treated for
leukaemia and those infected with AIDS virus). In developing countries
measles is still common, accounting for more than one million deaths
every year, especially in malnourished children whose defences
against infection are seriously impaired"

"The most common complications are ear and chest infections.


Diarrhoea vomiting and abdominal pain also occur. Febrile convulsions
are common with measles and are not usually serious. A serious
complication, occurring in about one in a thousand cases is
encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).... Seizures 'and coma may
follow sometimes leading to mental retardation or even death. Very
rarely (in about one in a million cases) a progressive brain disorder,
known as SSPE, develops years after the acute illness. Measles during
pregnancy results in death of the foetus in about one fifth of the cases"
"Immunisation against measles is usually offered at about 15 months of
age and produces immunity in about 97% of the cases. Side effects of
the measles vaccine are generally mild"

43
The following is from Dr Peter Baratosy, MB, BS, PhD, in regards to Chicken
Pox 11:

Chicken pox is a very mild illness: older text books describe it as so with
serious complications occurring only very rarely, mainly in immuno-
compromised children or in those that are already sick with something
else. (Current Paediatric Diagnosis and Treatment, Lange Medical
Publications 1976, Nelson Textbook of Paediatrics, W B Saunders
Company 10th Edition 1975, Handbook of Paediatrics, Lange Medical
Publications 1975).

Today, the authorities are trying to convince us that chicken pox is a


serious illness and we should vaccinate against it. It seems that once a
vaccine is developed the disease evolves into a serious illness and the
use of the vaccine is encouraged. I suppose it is a plot so that the drug
company can recover their development costs.

Whilst Chicken Pox is, in most cases, an extremely mild disease which
conveys long-lasting immunity, the Chicken Pox or Varicella vaccine does not
convey long-lasting immunity and has led to a very large increase in the
incidence of Shingles, a painful, disfiguring illness which used to be almost
unheard of in children and young adults but has now become more common
because of this vaccination.

I have now completed my response on behalf of the AVN to the HCCC’s


questions about our 10 reasons why parents question vaccination page on
our website. I would like to have it noted that many of these questions were
answered fully in previous correspondence with the HCCC and that now, I
have simply repeated or expanded slightly upon my previous replies.

11 http://www.whale.to/vaccine/Baratosy_Chicken_Pox.pdf

44
Summary: Issue One

In relation to the general information provided by the AVN on its website in the sections titled
'Vaccine Information' and 'Ten reasons why parents should question vaccination', the AVN is
clearly taking an anti-vaccination stance, This is not consistent with the mission on its home
page to provide all the information that you need when deciding whether or not to vaccinate.

The Commission has found that there is evidence that the AVN misleads readers by using
reliable and peer-reviewed research but quoting selectively from it, often in contradiction to the
conclusions or findings of the studies themselves.

The AVN also provides information for which there are no references quoted and refers to cases
where there are no tests of the reliability of data, The AVN gives this material the same
prominence and authority as fully reviewed scientific literature.

The AVN makes references to sources that cannot be located, Although the Commission made
efforts to obtain the references and sources from the AVN these have not been provided.

The Commission further found evidence that the AVN makes strong assertions such as in
relation to the benefit of exposure to childhood illnesses, without supporting them with any
research.

There is evidence that the AVN also casts medical practitioners in a negative light, asserting that
the profession is unethical and untrustworthy on the issue of immunisation without providing any
cogent reasons or evidence for making such an assertion,

The Commission makes some interesting claims in this section, which I would
like to cover briefly here.

1- The AVN takes an anti-vaccine stance which is not consistent with our
mission to provide all the information that you need. Those words, all
the information you need, were added to our website without my
knowledge or permission by our website designer who misunderstood
the instructions of the company doing our SEO work to raise our
ranking, www.1stplacedesign.com.au.

It looks like from this suggestion (see below email), but this
particular point is where I added the text to the homepage.
Then in my own way I made it tie into the text so it didn't look so
blatant.

So while I was trying to do their suggestion, they didn't actually


specify exactly the words I put in...So looks like I made the error
without realising I was making such a critical mistake in my
sentencing...

45
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: 1st Place Design Invoice #13732: PAYMENT REQUIRED
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 19:16:01 +1000
From: Jamie Smith - 1st Place Design <jamie@1stplacedesign.com.au>
To: Amanda Watson <watson_l.a@bigpond.com>
CC: Meryl Dorey <meryl@avn.org.au>

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your response.

Below are some suggestions for avn.org.au once these changes


have been done please inform us so that we can check over
them and make additional
suggestions:

1. http://www.avn.org.au/library/ Please remove the redirect so


that your website appears as http://www.avn.org.au

2. Please change the page title of the home page to 'Australian


Vaccination Network - General Vaccines & Information'.

3. Please add the keywords 'Australian, Network, Vaccines &


Information' twice more each to the home page.

Best Regards,

Jamie Smith
1st Place Design

As soon as I was aware of them, I asked that they be removed (and


they were there for a matter of weeks – not years) The AVN has never
claimed to give parents all the information they need. And in fact, we
have always referred parents to their doctors or council clinics to obtain
information on the other side of this issue which is more than doctors
and council clinics (and indeed, the medical profession as a whole) has
done, claiming that their one-sided information is all that parents
needed though they have completely ignored all data which questions
either the safety or effectiveness of vaccination. The AVN’s mission is
not to provide everything anyone would ever want to know about
vaccination. It is to present information to balance the data given by the
medical community which ignores a substantial body of evidence
demonstrating that for a subset of the population, the benefits of
vaccination do not outweigh the risks and for a substantial percentage,
vaccines do not provide the protection against infectious diseases
promised.

46
2- The Commission claims that the AVN misleads readers by quoting
selectively from peer-reviewed research. Their evidence for this is that
sometimes, our information does not agree with the summary or
conclusion of the study. It is true that oftentimes, our information will
contradict the conclusions or summaries of the studies. This is
because, as opposed to most doctors and government officials, we
actually read the studies and frequently, the summary and conclusion
does not agree with the raw data itself. It is as if there were a
disconnect between the findings of the study and the research itself.
Many times, that disconnect can be explained by the financial links
between the study’s researchers and the companies whose products
are being studied. So, whilst the AVN does frequently draw different
conclusions to those printed at the end of these articles, it is because
our analysis of the data shows that the printed conclusions do not
correspond with the raw data. This is not selective reporting – it is
accurate reporting.

3- The Commission takes issue with a lack of referencing it sees on our


website and claims that they have contacted me to provide certain
references which were not forthcoming. I disagree with this contention
as I have responded very fully to all requests for information and have
kept in close contact with both Kristie Brown, the initial Team Leader,
and later, Leanne Evans, the investigator assigned to this case. It
appears that there was one email which has gone astray regarding
these issues but I would like it noted that I did respond to all requests
for references and data. In addition, one thing that the AVN prides itself
on is a thorough referencing system wherever references are required.
The Commission has stated that we have made assertions which are
not supported with research. That is because the Commission has
viewed one page on our website and based their entire investigation on
that one page. Our website is full of articles which are fully referenced.
We would not expect or ask a parent to make such an important
decision after reading one page – why should the Commission assume
that this is what they would do? It is our experience that parents who
choose not to vaccinate or to vaccinate selectively, often take months
or years to research and read about this important decision. In general,
they are very well-read and they will not rely on one page of reading –
one article – or one anything as the basis for their final vaccination
choice.

4- The Commission claims that the AVN casts medical practitioners in a


negative light and claims that they are unethical or untrustworthy. The
AVN has many medical practitioners amongst its membership and we
consider them to be incredibly trustworthy and ethical. Like all
professions, however, there are doctors who are neither trustworthy
nor ethical and when the AVN sees this sort of behaviour, it will do
what it can to alert its readers and members to that situation. Does the
Commission feel that doctors and the medical profession somehow
hold a position in society which renders them to be above criticism? Is
there some rule, regulation or law which precludes non-medical

47
professionals such as myself from examining certain practices by this
profession and critiquing them? If so, please cite these regulations. If
not, please let me know what either I or the AVN has done incorrectly
in regards to airing issues which affect Australian’s lives and health.

Issue Two: The AVN states on its website that Japan ceased using the
MMR vaccine because of ‘increased risk’.

Under the section relating to the MMR vaccine, the AVN website states: 'Japan ceased the use
of the combination triple vaccine due to an increased risk of aseptic meningitis in vaccine
recipients.

It is true that Japan ceased the use of the MMR combination vaccine in 1993. The mumps
vaccine used in Japan was the Urabe strain and a causal link between the Urabe strain of
mumps vaccine and aseptic meningitis has been established.

The mumps vaccine currently used in Australia is the Jeryl-Lynn strain.57 No link between the
Jeryl-Lynn mumps vaccine and aseptic meningitis has been shown.

Once again, I covered this very thoroughly in my last response to the HCCC.
It appears that the information was ignored because in this current
Investigation Report, it is claimed that, “No link between the Jeryl-Lynn
mumps vaccine and aseptic meningitis has been shown.” This is simply not
true. Rather than rewrite or rephrase my previous response on this subject, I
will simply re-enter the details here since I still believe that I have already
thoroughly answered your questions in this regard.

The information provided is and was correct. Not only that, but the
Commission appears to be ignorant of the fact that until 1991, Australia
also used the Urabe strain in our mumps vaccine – years after it was
withdrawn from use in Japan. It was withdrawn with no fanfare and
some say, that it was actually snuck off the schedule due to an
increasing outcry from parents whose children had developed aseptic
meningitis after receiving this shot.

So not only was the information not incorrect (as the Commission has
already stated) but it was complete in that we did use the Urabe strain
in Australia and we did see a similar association between this vaccine
and aseptic meningitis.

Also, as you have correctly stated, the Jeryl-Lynn strain which is in our
currently-licensed MMR vaccines, is also associated with an increased
risk of aseptic meningitis.

So we agree on these points and we also must agree that there is


nothing the AVN has stated that is either incomplete or not based in
fact.

48
In addition, since I submitted my previous reply to the HCCC, new information
has come to light (for me – this is not new information – I have only just found
it) regarding the situation with the Urabe vaccine and the knowledge that the
UK and Australian governments had for years before it was released here.
This was knowledge that in Canada, the vaccine had stopped being used
because of a high risk of asceptic meningitis in vaccine recipients. This
knowledge was published before the Ministry of Health in the UK or the
Department of Health in Australia chose to use this particular vaccine as part
of the Childhood Schedule.

For more information on this, please view the attachment to this document,
The Urabe Farago, by Martin J Walker, MA.

Issue Three: The AVN states on its website that research has suggested
there is a connection between vaccination and autism, Crohn’s Disease
and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and published in an AVN
newsletter that the United States ‘vaccine court’ ruled vaccination
caused autism in a child.

Under the section relating to the MMR vaccine, the AVN website states: 'Research also
suggests that there is a connection between MMR vaccination and the development of
autism, Crohn's Disease and Irritable Bowel Disease.’ 68

The AVN has not provided references in support of this claim. Ms Dorey, in her response to
the Commission, referred to Dr Andrew Wakefield's 1998 study on the link between the
MMR vaccine and autism.

• On 2 February 2010, The Lancet retracted Dr Wakefield's1998 publication, noting elements of


his report had been falsified. The Commission notes that The Lancet's retraction of the
Wakefield article occurred very recently.

Ms Dorey contends that: 'Dr Wakefield's study was only the first of many to indicate a very
strong and, in some cases clinically verifiable connection between vaccination and the
development of [autism spectrum disorders].’ She lists ten articles to support this. Of these, four
were authored by Dr Wakefield and a further three do not relate vaccination to autism. The
remaining three articles hypothesise a link between MMR vaccine and autism, but have not
established any causal relationship between vaccination and autism.

Mr McLeod referred in his complaint to the AVN's claim about a US 'vaccination court'. The
AVN sends newsletters to subscribers via email. The March 2009 newsletter requested
donations to run an advertisement highlighting the link between vaccines and autism. The
planned advertisement was based on one released by the American organisation, 'Generation
Rescue’. which included information regarding a “US vaccine court' ruling, involving a boy
receiving compensation from the US Government because of the link between his MMR
vaccination and his autism.”

The Commission found a US Court of Federal Claims case, Banks vs. Secretary of the
Department of Health and Human Services (SDHHS), which ruled that a boy contracted
Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) as a result of his MMR vaccination. It was
further ruled that his ADEM caused lasting, residual damage and retarded his developmental
progress, under the generalised heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay (POD), not autistic
spectrum disorder.

49
The Commision states that I have not provided references to support the
claim that research suggests a connection between MMR vaccination and
certain gut and developmental issues. Please see below for several more
peer-reviewed papers which discuss the link between the MMR vaccine and
IBS, Crohn’s Disease and, in some cases, autistic enterocolitis. 12, 13, 14, 15

The Commission takes issue with my citing the research of Dr Andrew


Wakefield, saying that, “The Lancet retracted Dr Wakefield’s 1998
publication, 16 noting elements of his report had been falsified.” The
Commission is incorrect in this statement.

Whilst it is true that the Lancet recently retracted Wakefield’s 1998 case
series, this retraction was not due to any deficiencies in the report itself, but
due to certain claims made against Dr Wakefield by a freelance journalist,
Brian Deer, who worked for the Sunday Times – a paper with strong links to
vaccine manufacturers Glaxo SmithKline and Merck. The paper was retracted
because the General Medical Council questioned the ethics of Dr Wakefield
based on these accusations (and I could fill a book on why this ‘trial’ was
nothing more than a kangaroo court but instead, I will be happy to send the
Commission a copy of Volumes 1 and 2 of the books, Silenced Witnesses,
which describe the way in which the GMC investigation was corrupted by
pharmaceutical interference and other vested interests) – not because there
was any deficiency in the actual case series, published in 1998. As a result, I
am still confident to refer to this study and to the numerous studies published
afterwards by Wakefield and others.

The Commission dismisses the four articles that I cited which were authored
by Wakefield simply because he was the author or lead author. I would like to
know what peer-review process the HCCC has put these articles under in
order to state equivocally that they can be dismissed if the journals that have
published them have not withdrawn them? I specifically did NOT reference
Wakefield’s original 1998 study but only studies which were published after
that point.

12The New Autism: One Family’s Perspective, K. Yazbak Clinical Child Psychology
and Psychiatry 2002; 7; 505
13 MMR and Autism: Moving from Controversy to Consensus, Susan E Coffin,
www.futuredrugs.com
14 Vaccines, Crohn’s disease and autism, Molecular Psychiatry (2002) 7, S49–S50,

MA Afzal and PD Minor


15 clinical presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in children with
Autistic spectrum Disorder and chronic Gastrointestinal symptoms, A. Krigsman et.
Al; Autism Insights 2010:2 1–11
16 Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive
developmental disorder in children, Wakefield, AJ et. Al; THE LANCET • Vol 351 • February 28, 1998

50
The Commission further claims that three do not relate to vaccination. This
statement leads me to believe that the Commission is incapable of
understanding the information regarding the link between gut issues and
autistic symptoms. While it is true that several of the articles I presented to
confirm Wakefield’s original hypothesis did not specifically mention
vaccination, they all described conditions in children which are identical to the
novel autistic entercolitis first discovered in the gut tissue of autistic children
by Dr Wakefield.

Of the last 3 articles, the Commission states that, “The remaining three
articles hypothesise a link between MMR vaccine and autism but have not
established any causal relationship between vaccination and autism”. This is
true – but what is the Commission’s point here? While these 3 articles have
not established a causal relationship, the paper by O’Leary et al, and Singh et
al have both made compelling cases for the existence of persistent measles –
mumps – rubella (or measles only in the case of the O’Leary article) vaccine
virus infections leading to the sorts of pathologies we see in regressive autism
– the type of autism which is now being linked to vaccination.

The HCCC then goes on to make some vague reference to McLeod’s


complaint about a US vaccine court and our fund-raising efforts to distribute
an ad based on Generation Rescue’s advertisement regarding the link
between vaccination and autism.

I am not sure what the Commission’s point is here, but the AVN was not
successful in raising enough money to take out the magazine ad we had
planned. Instead, we distributed a TV ad with the funds we did raise.

I provided very clear information in my previous response to the HCCC about


the fact that PDD NOS is indeed within the autistic spectrum and that the
Special Masters in the case of Bailey Banks stated that this child’s PDD NOS
was caused by his vaccination. The HCCC has not discussed or even
mentioned my response. I will therefore, repeat it below:

In section 7.1.2, Mr McLeod claims that I have misstated the link


between the MMR vaccination and autism in the case of Bailey Banks
vs the Department of Health and Human Services. He states that the
evidence was not strong enough to claim this link yet, “The Court found
that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration
of the MMR vaccine…a proximate sequence of cause and effect
leading inexorably from vaccination to PDD [Autism].”

Mr McLeod also claims that PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental


Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified) is not in fact within the autistic
spectrum of disorders. This is a perplexing claim since Yale University
Medical School, a leading authority on both the treatment and
diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders clearly states that, “PDD-NOS
is often incorrectly referred to as simply "PDD. The term PDD refers to

51
the class of conditions to which autism belongs.” 17

I would like to take this opportunity to remind the Commission that Mr


McLeod’s claims on this point are unreferenced; mine are referenced.

Issue Four: Stating that measles, mumps and rubella are ‘non-
threatening illnesses in early childhood’.

The MMR section of the AVN website refers to the diseases measles, mumps and rubella as
“non-threatening illnesses in early childhood".

Ms Dorey made an appearance on the Channel 7 television programme 'Sunday Night’ on


26 April 2009, in her capacity as president of the AVN, when she stated:

'In 1970 when the measles vaccine was introduced into Australia there were three deaths in the
country from measles. Right now the government says there are 12 deaths a year from it.

This statement contradicts the statement on the AVN's website that measles is "nonthreatening".

If twelve deaths have been attributed to a disease, then it cannot be classed as a "non-
threatening" disease.

The most recent mortality figures show that there were no deaths from measles in Australia
between 2003 and 2006.

Statistics do show that measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children
globally.

There were 350 deaths attributed to mumps globally in 2004, There were 24 deaths from rubella
globally in 2004.There are also various serious neurological conditions that have been proven
sequelae from all three of these diseases, including convulsions, meningitis and pan
encephalitis. The available evidence indicates that measles, mumps and rubella are all
potentially serious illnesses. There is no evidence that these illnesses can be described, in all
cases, as nonthreatening.

I am not sure where the Commission has gotten this quote from (though they
have not used quote marks so perhaps it is not a direct quote at all?) I don’t
believe that I have ever said that measles, mumps and rubella are non-
threatening illness in early childhood but would appreciate knowing the
attribution of this statement.

What I have said, and this information is referred to more fully on pages 42-44
of this reply, is that for healthy, well-nourished children, measles mumps and
rubella generally do not kill and present few long-term sequelae.

As for the twelve deaths a year which the Commission refers to from my
statement on the Channel 7 ‘Sunday Night’ programme, please note that I

17 http://www.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/autism/pddnos.html

52
stated that the government made those claims. They are not correct claims
because the government’s own statistics show that there have been almost
no deaths from measles in Australia just as there were almost no deaths in
Australia before the introduction of either the Measles monovalent, MR or
MMR vaccines. It is the government that often plays fast and loose with the
truth when that suits their agenda. This is just one example of that fact.

The Commission states that there were 24 deaths from rubella globally in
2004 with a reference of Ibid. Yet the previous reference in the list refers to
the Australian Vaccination Network website. Can the Commission please
provide me with the correct reference for this statement so I can look into it
further?

The Commission next states that there were 350 deaths globally in 2004.
Your citation for this is www.nationmaster.com - a site which gathers together
statistics from different sources including Wikipedia – a notoriously inaccurate
reference.

Accroding to www.nationmaster.com, of the 350 total deaths reported to have


been caused by mumps, 312 of them were from Egypt.

You see, the Mumps vaccine as part of the MMR shot has been routinely
used in Egypt for decades. Not only that, but they use the Leningrad-Zagreb
mumps vaccine – a shot that is more closely implicated in the development of
asceptic meningitis than even the Urabe strain discussed previously.

This vaccine is supposed to be far more effective than the vaccine we use in
Australia and recent journal articles have proposed that, though the
Leningrad-Zagreb strain of the mumps vaccine does cause many more
reactions, its better effectiveness at preventing mumps could outweigh the
risks on a population-wide basis. One wonders, if such a change would be
made, whether the parents themselves would either be informed of the
increased safety concerns or permitted to choose the safer vaccine.

But neither of these questions are part of this discussion. The Commission, to
make a science-based decision, needs to go beyond reading the website and
instead, drill down through those websites to find the facts.

The Commission has referred to 350 deaths globally from mumps in 2004 –
the majority of these deaths as I have pointed out, come from Egypt.

I then decided to confirm this information using data from the World Health
Organisation’s website.

What I discovered was interesting.

53
Below are the official reports of the number of cases of infectious diseases
from Egypt. 18

As you can see, there were no cases of mumps reported in Egypt in 2004.
How it is possible then that 312 people died of this disease? Obviously, there
is something wrong with the Commission’s information.

There is one other matter of interest which I would also like to point out to the
Commission regarding the situation with mumps deaths in Egypt. The
assumption the Commission has made is that people are dying of these
diseases (mumps, measles, rubella) because of a lack of vaccination and that
it is organisations like the AVN that have led to this situation and therefore, we
are a danger to society.

This could not possibly be further from the truth.

As you can see from the table below 5, also sourced from the World Health
Organisation, the vaccination rate in Egypt is in excess of the vaccination rate
in Australia. And Egyptian children get 2 doses of MMR vaccines just as we
do in Australia. So should there be an outbreak of measles, mumps or rubella,
it certainly would not be due to lack of vaccination. Instead, it is due to a lack
of vaccine effectiveness which is a totally different matter.

18

http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/countryprof
ileresult.cfm?C='egy'

54
The Commision concludes by stating that, “The available evidence indicates
that measles, mumps and rubella are all potentially serious illnesses.” I do not
believe that the AVN has ever stated that these diseases did not have the
potential to cause harm. The common cold can kill in the right circumstances
given someone with severe immune suppression. But that doesn’t mean that
people should be filled with fear every time they get the common cold.

What the AVN has stated is that in the majority of healthy, well-nourished
children who do not have underlying health problems which would predispose
them to complications from these illnesses, measles, mumps and rubella are
not life-threatening diseases. This statement is upheld by the citations to
medical encyclopaedias referenced above and the AVN stands behind its
statement.

In addition, the AVN would like to point out that the Commission has relied
upon very suspect references and citations to try and prove its point. The AVN
believes that the HCCC should ensure that it has the necessary qualifications
and expertise to make a valid judgement on the scientific basis used by the
AVN to alert parents to the fact that they should fully investigate this issue
before making a decision.

Issue Five: Pertussis:

Mrs Dorey stated on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunday Night’ programme that


pertussis did not kill 30 years ago and does not kill today;

During Ms Dorey's appearance on the Channel 7 television programme 'Sunday Night' on 26


April 2009, she stated in relation to pertussis: 'You didn't die from it 30 years ago and you're
not going to die from it today'.

In the May 2009 edition of the magazine 'Living Wisdom', of which Ms Dorey is editor, Ms
Dorey stated in an article titled 'Pertussis: The Fear Factor':

What about deaths from this disease? Well, to quote the CDI Bulletin from 25 December 1997,
'In the 20 years from 1976 to 1995, there were 21 deaths from pertussis in Australia.'

The Department of Health and Ageing states that the number of deaths from pertussis between
1976 and 1995 is 25. 75 In the decade before introduction of pertussis vaccination more than
2800 people died of pertussis. This figure was reduced by 75% in the decade following
introduction of the pertussis vaccination.

The evidence indicates that pertussis may still kill a proportion of those who contract it.

“Some of the complications of pertussis include pneumonia, fractured ribs, pneumothorax,


inguinal hernia, aspiration, hearing loss, carotid artery dissection, urinary incontinence and
prolapses; seizures, encephalopathy and inter-cranial bleeding in the elderly; and possible death
in the very young." It is inaccurate for Ms Dorey to state that pertussis does not kill.

55
In the same 'Living Wisdom' article, Ms Dorey also stated:

' ... in the US, vaccination was mandated for school entry in 1978 and since 1979,
there has been a steady increase in the incidence of pertussis. This picture is
duplicated in Australia and every other developed country where we see the majority
of pertussis cases are occurring in fully vaccinated individuals.’

Further, the AVN's website, under Reason 6 - 'Vaccines do not necessarily protect against
infectious diseases: states:

'Australian government statistics have shown that the majority of outbreaks (of
pertussis) in Australia occur in those who have been fully vaccinated or were too
young to be fully vaccinated.’

Currently, the peak incidence of pertussis in Australia occurs in adolescents and adults, with more than
70% of pertussis notifications occurring in people older than fifteen years in 2004- 05. The disease is
generally mild in previously vaccinated adolescents and adults.

Although the exact duration of immunity provided by the pertussis vaccine is unknown, research suggests
that immunity, whether from immunisation or infection, wanes after approximately six to ten years,
resulting in renewed susceptibility to infection82 A booster dose of pertussis vaccination is thus
recommended.

In her article Ms Dorey does not refer to the issue of waning immunity over time and the need for booster
vaccinations.

In her response to the Commission Ms Dorey attempted to support her assertion thatvaccination for
pertussis does not offer protection from infection by presenting two 'Australian Government' tables. One of
these tables relates to 'Immunised children aged 0 to 6 yrs from 1989 to 2001'. The other relates to
'Percentage of children immunised at 2 yrs of age, preliminary results by disease and state or territory for
the birth cohort 1 January to 31 March 2006; assessment date 30 June 2008'.

Ms Dorey compared the data from the two tables, and stated they indicate that Australia has had an
increase of over 23% in the rate of pertussis vaccination, while there has been a concurrent increase in
the incidence of pertussis of almost 40 times.

These are two unrelated sets of statistical data, relating to different cohorts of children. They cannot be
compared in order to conclude that there has been an increase in the rate of pertussis in the context of
pertussis vaccination.

In this instance, I take the Commission’s point that this statement was ill-
advised. In my own defence however, I have to say that this statement was
part of a 3-hour interview by Channel 7 of which approximately 60 seconds
was used. It is well known to anyone familiar with television production that
quotes may be taken out of context and that it is unrealistic to critique a
person’s view based on a brief broadcast interview.

Yes, there are children who die from pertussis. My point however, which I
stated several times but which never made it to the final cut, was that in an
unvaccinated population such as Sweden from the late 1970s to the early
1990s, when the pertussis vaccination was not used, pertussis reverted to its
normal age distribution and the majority of those who contracted the disease
were between 4 and 10 years old – an age where mortality was virtually
unknown (according to the Swedish Ministry of Health – only 3 children died
during that entire time period and all 3 of them had congenital health issues
which predisposed them to the complications of pertussis) and morbidity was
much lower.

56
Mrs Dorey wrote that the majority of incidence of pertussis occurs in
vaccinated individuals.

I don’t know why the Commission has chosen to highlight this statement when
they have not contradicted it in their analysis which follows. Does the
Commission take issue with this or were they just repeating it for some
undisclosed reason?

In Australia, diseases for which we have vaccinations – so called ‘vaccine-


preventable’ illnesses - are reportable by law. The forms which doctors and
hospital staff use to report these conditions, however, don’t include a request
for information on the vaccination status of the person who has contracted the
disease.

Without actively seeking this information, assumptions made as to the


effectiveness of vaccinations are simply that – assumptions.

There have been several instances in Australia where reporting of infectious


diseases were actively sought by State Health departments. One such
instance was South Australia.

For a short period of time, the SA Health Department collected data on


vaccination status in outbreaks of infectious diseases. What they discovered
was that for pertussis, 87% of those for whom vaccination status was officially
available (they did not accept parental recall – had they done so, this figure
would have been far higher) were fully and appropriately vaccinated and for
measles, the figure was 51%.

There are other instances like this in Australia and overseas including the
outbreak of measles in a secondary school in corpus Christie Texas which I
will cite below:

Measles outbreak in a fully immunized secondary-school


population
NEJM, Volume 316: 771-774, March 26, 1987
Abstract
An outbreak of measles occurred among adolescents in Corpus Christi,
Texas, in the spring of 1985, even though vaccination requirements for
school attendance had been thoroughly enforced. Serum samples from
1806 students at two secondary schools were obtained eight days after
the onset of the first case. Only 4.1 percent of these students (74 of
1806) lacked detectable antibody to measles according to enzyme-
linked immunosorbent assay, and more than 99 percent had records of
vaccination with live measles vaccine. Stratified analysis showed that
the number of doses of vaccine received was the most important
predictor of antibody response. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals
of seronegative rates were 0 to 3.3 percent for students who had
received two prior doses of vaccine, as compared with 3.6 to 6.8
percent for students who had received only a single dose. After the
survey, none of the 1732 seropositive students contracted measles.

57
Fourteen of 74 seronegative students, all of whom had been
vaccinated, contracted measles. In addition, three seronegative
students seroconverted without experiencing any symptoms. We
conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools,
even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated
and more than 95 percent are immune.

In this same section, the Commission refers to my comparison of the


vaccination and attack rates for pertussis and says that, “These are two
unrelated sets of statistical data, relating to different cohorts of children.”

Once again, the Commission seems to have sourced its information from less
than credible sources. The groups are definitely comparable as a 6 year old
child in 1991 would have received 4 doses of pertussis vaccine – just as a 2
year old child today gets 4 doses of pertussis vaccine.

As I have demonstrated above both from the correspondence with the ABC
and the review of my information by Dr Gary Goldman, the cohorts used were
comparable and we have seen a greater than 50 times increase in the
incidence of pertussis (since my original statement, the final figures for 2010
have been released and we had more than 29,000 cases reported for that
year) with an increase of more than 24% for vaccination.

Therefore, the AVN stands behind its information and believes it has
demonstrated once again that the HCCC is not relying on good science in its
criticism of our data.

Issue Six: Stating that the incidence of diphtheria decreased well before
the use of mass vaccination.

Under the 'Vaccine Info- Diphtheria' section, the AVN website states:

'Whilst there was a time in Australia when many children and adults died every year from
this illness, better hygiene and nutrition in the early part of this century saw death rates
drop substantially (well before mass use of the diphtheria vaccine). There has not been a
case of diphtheria in Australia for many years. "

The information on the website does not provide any evidence to support the claim that
substantial drops in death rates from diphtheria are attributable to improved hygiene and
nutrition in Australia.

As a part of her initial response to the Commission, Ms Dorey provided Australian Bureau of
Statistics (ABS) Yearbook statistics and stated:

'While there definitely was a very large decline in mortality from infectious diseases
during the twentieth century, there is no evidence from government statistics to show that
vaccination played any part in contributing to that decline. "
The Commission has found that the ABS Yearbook 2001 states:

'Infectious diseases fell before widespread vaccination was implemented. However,


since the 1950s, mass vaccination has been the single most effective public health
measure to reduce the occurrence of infections, to reduce child deaths and to improve
child health. "

58
It is difficult to understand what the HCCC is trying to get at here. The AVN
has provided credible evidence from government sources that the vast
majority of the decline from diphtheria (and other diseases) occurred well
before the introduction of the vaccines intended to prevent them.

Instead of accepting that this is the case, the HCCC seems to be saying that
we can’t credit better hygiene or nutrition for this decline. That may very well
be the case though many prominent physicians and scientists have made that
claim.

But regardless of what actually did cause the decline in the mortality from
these diseases – it is obvious that vaccinations were not the cause and
therefore, the AVN stands behind its previous statement and believes that we
have proved that to be the case.

Issue Seven: Stating that bacterial meningitis has increased since


meningococcal vaccines were introduced.

Under the section 'Vaccine Information - 'Meningococcal' the AVN website states:

“The most sensible argument against this vaccine comes from the government's own
bulletin which refers to the experience of the UK's 1999 campaign. 'A recent study has
shown a 25% increase in serogroup B disease across all age groups in the United
Kingdom since the vaccination campaign. This obseNation supports a hypothesis that
serogroup replacement (i.e. B for C) may be an important factor in the epidemiology of
meningococcal disease after the introduction of new vaccines. It therefore remains to be
seen what the value of meningococcal vaccines will be in the future control of
meningococcal disease.”

The available literature accepts that current meningococcal vaccines are not as effective in
preventing meningococcal disease (which can cause bacterial meningitis) as other vaccines.
Current vaccines provide protection against serogroups A. C, W135 and yB7 There is currently
no vaccine for meningococcal serogroup B. Serogroup B disease accounts for the highest
incidence of invasive meningococcal disease (thought serogroup C disease has been
associated with a higher rate of septicaemia and mortality).

In 1999, the UK implemented a national immunisation program with the meningococcal C


conjugate vaccine which resulted in an overall decrease in disease incidence of 81 % from 1999
to 2001, at the same time the number of deaths decreased from 67 to 5.

The AVN has not stated which government bulletin it is referring to. The Commission asked
Ms Dorey to provide further information regarding this source but, to date, she has not
responded.

The Cornmission located an editorial on meningococcal disease published on the


Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing website which refers to the UK campaign and
the increase in serogroup B disease. This paper acknowledges that serogroup replacement is
an important factor to consider. However, this paper also states: 'Ultimately the most effective
public health strategy for controlling meningococcal disease may be routine vaccination of at-risk
populations.”

59
The AVN has selectively quoted information to suggest that vaccination against meningococcal
disease has been ineffective when there is no evidence of this. The evidence suggests that the
most effective strategy for managing meningococcal disease is to widely vaccinate.

Once again, the HCCC is agreeing with what the AVN has stated but feels
that we need to also tell parents the government’s line even when the
evidence does not show that the government is correct.

The HCCC agrees that there has been an increase in meningitis due to
serogroup replacement as quoted by the UK government.

Despite this, they quote the Australian government as stating that, “Ultimately
the most effective public health strategy for controlling meningococcal disease
may be routine vaccination of at risk populations.”

Because the AVN has not agreed with the Australian government – and we
have not agreed because all of the evidence indicates that vaccination against
meningococcal will not reduce the incidence of meningitis – instead it will
simply cause other strains of meningococcal bacteria to come to the fore, the
HCCC states that we are being selective in our information.

I believe that it is the HCCC that is being selective in ignoring all evidence that
serogroup replacement renders any vaccination policy against these bacterial
causes of meningitis and septicaemia less than useless.

Issue Eight: Selectively quoting from articles relating the vaccine,


Gardasil, to deaths of females.

The June 2009 e-newsletter of AVN states: “The total number of Gardasil-related deaths is
47 since the vaccine was approved in 2006.”

The reference given for this is a report from a US organisation, 'Judicial Watch, which claims to
have analysed US Food and Drug Administration reports regarding this issue.

However, this information has been rebutted by US government and medical sites including
'CQ HealthBeat', which raises suspicions about the data because the analysis included reports
which come from several sources, some of which are unreliable.

As discussed earlier, further information about deaths and Gardasil also appears on the AVN
website, under the heading 'AVN News', providing a link to an article from 'Natural News'.
Apart from the omission discussed under Reason 6, the fourth paragraph of the original
'Natural News' article has not been reproduced by the AVN. This is important as it changes the
context of the original article. The fourth paragraph states that the EMEA concluded:

'In both cases, the cause of death could not be identified. No causal relationship has
been established between the deaths of the young women and the administration of
Gardasil, the agency said.’

Is not including this paragraph, it has the effect of suggesting there have been deaths related to
the administration of the Gardasil vaccine when the full reference states that there is no causal
link between the vaccine and the deaths.

60
The Commission refers to an article in the AVN’s enewsletter where we stated
that, “The total number of Gardasil-related deaths is 47 since the vaccine was
approved in 2006.” They claim that Judicial Watch, the site from which this
quote was sourced, has been rebutted by the US Government and medical
sites including ‘CQ HealthBeat’ though the Commision has not provided a
citation for exactly where on the CQ HealthBeat website this rebuttal was
published nor have they provided links to any of the other medical sites who
have contradicted this information. If the AVN is supposed to provide
references for our statements, shouldn’t the HCCC do the same?

Yet once again, the Commission is using dubious data to criticise what the
AVN has published. Judicial Watch is not the only source we have used for
information about reported reactions to the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines. In
fact, we go straight to the source – the VAERS database.

A search done today, the 21st of June 2010, shows the following information:
19

As you will see, there have been over 18,000 reactions reported to VAERS to
either Gardasil or Cervarix.

When we search for deaths reported after this vaccination, we find that there
have been 63 deaths reported to VAERS. Please see below:

19 http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php

61
So, though the HCCC seems eager to believe that the information provided by
Judicial Watch and repeated by the AVN in its literature is not based in fact,
and though the AVN and I wish with all our heart that these innocent women
and girls had not been killed or injured by the vaccines, the fact is that this
information is correct.

Issue Nine: Conducting a seminar in which a number of anti-vaccination


statements were made.

Both Mr McLeod and Mr and Mrs McCaffery have made allegations that the AVN holds seminars
at which incorrect and misleading information on the subject of vaccination is aired.

While the statements reportedly made at AVN seminars would seem to be in some cases
grossly inaccurate, it is open to an organisation such as the AVN to hold seminars where
participants and guest speakers make statements that are anti-vaccination or that raise
questions about vaccination.

The Commission states that both Mr Mcleod and Mr and Mrs McCaffery have
alleged that incorrect and misleading information on the subject of vaccination
is aired at the AVN’s seminars.

Again, since to our knowledge none of these people has ever attended one of
our seminars and since there is no further information on what ‘anti-
vaccination’ or ‘incorrect or misleading’ information was disseminated, I
believe this hearsay should never have been included in this investigation.

62
Issue Ten: The AVN sells t-shirts imprinted with the slogan: ‘Love them.
Protect them. Never Inject them.

It is open to the AVN to sell items that express anti-vaccination views. It is noted that selling
these items may have the effect of disclosing honestly to members of the public the actual anti-
vaccination stance of the AVN. Members of the public are free to make a choice to buy such
items.

I responded to this in my first correspondence with the HCCC.

Below is my original response – I believe this covers the matter nicely.

T-Shirt Slogan
Mr McLeod asserts that a slogan on one of the T-Shirts which the AVN
has for sale in its shop, namely a slogan which reads, Love Them,
Protect Them, Never Inject them, constitutes one of our logos. Mr
McLeod is incorrect. Our trademarked logo appears below:

A T-Shirt slogan is simply that – a slogan. One that will appeal to some
people whilst not to others. While the AVN itself is not anti-vaccine, we
accept that a percentage of our members are and therefore, we
provide a message that they will feel comfortable displaying. This T-
Shirt does not necessarily reflect the opinion of all AVN members nor
of our committee, nor is it now or has it ever been our logo.

63
Issue Eleven: Misrepresenting the circumstances of the death of Dana
McCaffery.

Both Mr McLeod's and Mr and Mrs McCaffery's complaints alleged that the AVN and Ms
Dorey had misrepresented the facts of Dana's death, harassed her family, and invaded their
privacy.

Since their daughter's death, Mr and Mrs McCaffery have made public statements advocating
vaccination.

Ms Dorey contacted Mr Paul Corben, Director of Public Health, NSW Department of Health
seeking further details on Dana's death, and contending he had misled the public in attributing
her death to pertussis."

Mr and Mrs McCaffery stated in their complaint to the Commission that on 4 September
2009, Ms Dorey presented tables of data on the incidence of pertussis and the incidence of
vaccination in two different cohorts of children (see discussion of these tables in Issue Five
above) during an appearance on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) North Coast
radio programme. Mr and Mrs McCaffery subsequently complained to the ABC outlining their
concerns about the accuracy of the information as well as some references to their daughter.
In its investigation of the complaint, the ABC conceded that the comparative manner in which
these statistics were presented was misleading.

Ms Dorey also posted claims about Dana's death on her blog, the AVN Yahoo Discussion forum,
letters to media outlets, radio interviews and various AVN publications – asserting that Dana did
not die from pertussis.

Mr and Mrs McCaffery, as the parents of Dana, chose to speak with the media about the
circumstances of her death and the evidence they have about the cause of Dana's death and
any contributory factors.

While Ms Dorey joined the debate in the media, she was not in possession of all the information
relating to the facts and circumstances of Dana's illness and death when she spoke with the
media and posted information relating to Dana on her weblog. This was offensive and painful for
Dana's parents and family, although it does not appear Ms Dorey was acting as a health service
provider in this context.

I have handled all of the issues raised by the Commission fully earlier in this
piece. I believe that the information I have provided will refute any assertions
that either I or the AVN misrepresented the circumstances of the death of
Dana McCaffery.

64
Conclusion / Summary

This has been a long and distressing process which was initiated by an
individual whose affiliation with an organisation called ‘Stop the AVN’, and
lack of documentary evidence to back up his claims should have ended any
investigation before it started.

The Commission has repeatedly asked us the same questions, and has
appeared to ignore the responses and references which were provided.

The HCCC has quoted complainants who have made broad, hearsay
allegations about things I may have said at seminars or on the telephone
without providing corroborating evidence, proof or dates and times. The
Commission has expected me to respond to these accusations even when I
was not given enough information to do so.

The Commission has added a second complainant to the original complaint,


months after I put in my first response. They have refused to allow me to see
the complaint in full – instead giving out pieces of information which make
vague accusations, but don’t give enough detail to allow me to respond
properly.

In every way possible, the Commission has shown a strong and obvious bias
towards those who have filed this complaint and a concomitant bent to
disbelieve or denigrate referenced scientific information which validates the
AVN’s statements.

The Commision states that a scientific debate about the benefits and risks of
vaccination is a good and necessary component of this issue. However, they
also claim that anyone who questions the value of vaccination in all instances,
should also be required to call themselves anti-vaccine and argue both sides
at once.

Why should the AVN be required to do more than the government and the
medical community who, with their infinitely greater resources, espouse a
strong, unscientific pro-vaccine stance?

There have also been several examples in this Preliminary Investigation and
in previous correspondence which demonstrate that the HCCC does not
appear to have the expertise to make judgements about the AVN’s
information. Instead, they seem to rely on web-based information which has
been shown to be incorrect.

The function of the HCCC is to protect the health and wellbeing of Australians,
and to investigate instances where practitioners have caused harm.

There is no evidence that anyone has ever been harmed by the AVN. In
addition, there is absolutely no indication that either our organisation or myself
is in any way subject to oversight by the HCCC.

65
If anyone has chosen not to vaccinate due to information provided by the AVN
combined with information they would have sourced elsewhere, that is their
individual moral, ethical and legal right. It is not up to the HCCC to decide
what information investigating parents can and cannot access and the HCCC
has not proven that any of the information provided by our organisation is
either incomplete, deceptive or misleading.

Should the outcome of this investigation find that the AVN is in any way guilty
of providing incomplete, deceptive or misleading information or that our
organisation poses a risk to the health of Australians, we will appeal via all
avenues available to us.

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Related Interests