Tag Archives: vaccination

Moruya Chiro and “Wellness”

On the 20th of October, 2014, I wrote the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to make the following complaint:

Well-adjusted babies

On the 8th of October, Moruya Chiro and Wellness (ABN 98 527 501 549) stated that

We have a great collection of wellness resources for you. Come in to browse our library – some of them have been donated by clients. You are welcome to borrow any of our books on short-term loan.

As you can see in the screenshot image one of these books is Well Adjusted Babies which contains a chapter, in which one finds:

  • Claims that vaccination is ineffective:

Should the artificial immunity diminish and the individual be re-exposed to the antigens as a teenager or adult, the health consequences are unknown. It is suggested that the severity of experiencing these diseases increases with age and can often be fatal.

A well-nourished child will go through rubella, whooping cough, chicken pox and the rest with flying colours. Only the vaccinated develop atypical forms of the diseases (atypical measles, mumps and whooping cough) which are much more dangerous.

  • Claims that homeopathic vaccination is an alternative:

Homeopathic vaccinations are an effective and safe alternative to conventional innoculations and warrant your investigation.

Whooping cough is often slow to develop and may respond well to conservative management, including chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture or acupressure.

I am concerned that patients attending the Moruya Chiro and Wellness are provided with misinformation about vaccination, which can lead to a risk of illness or death.

Moruya Chiro and Wellness's bookshelf
Moruya Chiro and Wellness’s bookshelf

Cure cancer naturally

On the 11th of October, Morura Chiro and Wellness then posted an advert to the Truth About Cancer video series to be made available for free, based on a book. In particular the claim is made that one can: Find out how to prevent and treat cancer 100% naturally” both on the Facebook post and on the linked website, which reads:

28 Doctors, 11 Scientists, 9 Survivors And 1 “FDA Dragon Slaying” Attorney Break Their ‘Code Of Silence’ And Expose The TRUTH About Cancer And Exactly How To Prevent, Treat And Beat it 100% Naturally

Facebook post about cancer miracle “cure”.
Facebook post about cancer miracle “cure”.

Having reviewed this page and the trailer video,

I am concerned that members of the public are being provided with misleading information about cancer treatment by Moruya Chiro and Wellness. In particular the video recommends that people avoid tested and recommended treatments for cancer in favour of a natural miracle “cure”.

Further, I note that Moruya Chiro and Wellness removed the two warnings from a member of the public (as captured in the screenshot before they were removed), which link to both the TGA page on medicines and medical devices over the Internet (which contains a warning on wild claims particularly around miracle cures), and the ACCC Scamwatch warning on miracle cure scams.

I believe this advertisement is in breach of the following aspects of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, which states that advertisements:

  • 4(2)(a) must not arouse unrealistic or unwarranted expectations of product effectiveness.

  • 4(2)(b) must not be likely to lead to self-diagnosis or inappropriate self-treatment of potentially serious diseases.

  • 4(2)(g) must not claim that the advertised product is magical or infallible.

  • 4(2)(h) must not claim that the advertised product is invariably effective.

  • 4(2)(i) must not claim that goods are completely safe, harmless, or free of side-effects.

  • 5 must not refer to serious conditions such as cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, or mental illness (subject to exceptions).

Responses

I received the following response from the TGA on the 28th of October, 2014:

Dear Matthew,

The TGA has been forwarded the attached complaint by the Complaints Resolution Panel.

The TGA has assessed the complaint and determined that no further action can be taken as the material does not appear to promote a therapeutic good and instead appears to relate to ‘health services’ and books. As such this material would be outside of the TGA’s jurisdiction.

You may wish to raise this matter with your State Health Department or the ACCC who may be able to take further action.

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), however, followed up with Moruya Chiro and Wellness, who, as per the below letter, removed the materials in question. Well done to the HCCC for following up on this and keeping me informed as to progress, in addition to allowing me to check that the materials had indeed be removed before closing the case.

Response to my complaint to the HCCC
Response to my complaint to the HCCC

Stop the AVN

Tomorrow (and possibly Friday) there is an appeal hearing before the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal to decide on whether the Australian Vaccination Network’s name is misleading. To illustrate their stance, I note their book on vaccination, recently released for free, contains 27 references to the word “poison” (they are not poisonous), close to 100 mentions of vaccination being ineffective, over 50 on the word danger / dangerous, etc. If that doesn’t illustrate the anti-vaccination stance of the AVN I don’t know what would.

The research shows that up to 53% of Australians have concerns about vaccination. It is important that these parents get their information from a credible source. People need to know that Australian Vaccination Network is a fringe group of hard core vaccine refusers. Their name deliberately seems amibigous in order to present themselves as presenting serious research on both sides. They merely present non-scientific information on the anti-vaccination side. Your doctor is often your best choice when you have questions concerning your health.

I note the comments by New South Wales Fair Trading’s Principal Solicitor in his decision that is being appealed:

All in all, the available information shows, in my opinion, that the AVN is mostly concerned with opposing vaccination and mandatory immunisation. When issues have two sides, it takes just one of them.

One would expect that an organisation with the name ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ would provide comprehensive and credible information on vaccinations in Australia, and a balanced view on what is involved in the processes and benefits and risks involved, as well perhaps on where and how such treatment can be obtained. The AVN does not do this. Its views are anti-vaccination, and it advises against being vaccinated or taking part in immunisation programs. Complaints received by NSW Fair Trading support this view of the AVN. Parents of young children may be particularly interested in learning about issues concerning vaccination and may easily come across the name Australian Vaccination Network in an Internet search, only to find its issue is opposing vaccination. The name does not suggest that it is anti-vaccination.

The issue here is not with the nature, objects or functions of the AVN or what it espouses, but rather with its name. It can adopt another that is not unacceptable. Free speech is not the issue.

I find:

  • The Australian Vaccination Network Inc’s message is anti-vaccination.
  • Its name does not reflect that message or its true nature, objects or functions.
  • Its name is likely to mislead the public

As such, the name is unacceptable for registration as a name under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.