Australian skeptics strike back against antivaxxers!

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Aug. 5 2009 7:07 AM

Australian skeptics strike back against antivaxxers!


In news that makes me want to shout from the rooftops, the Australian Skeptics have announced that a formal complaint has been lodged against Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), a rabid antivax group that has been giving misleading information about vaccinations in their literature and on Aussie TV for months. You can read the whole complaint here (PDF).

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If Ms. Dorey's name sounds familiar, she's the person who said that pertussis (whooping cough) doesn't kill anybody -- but it did kill 4 week old Dana McCaffery, who was too young to get vaccinated against it. You can read more of what I've written on Ms. Dorey, and I also suggest you take a look at some of her, ah, odd ideas involving conspiracy theories and the Illuminati.

Sigh.

The complaint lodged against Dorey and the AVN means she and they will be investigated by the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission for breaches of the Public Health Act of 1993. Since Dorey and the AVN do dispense (bad, wrong, and I daresay potentially lethal) advice about health, they fall under this act.

I'm very happy this action has been taken, and I'll keep you updated as I hear more.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!