Backlash against anti-vax continues. Will they be banned from expo?

Oh, that Meryl! She is still stirring up trouble. She had resigned as president of the anti-vaccination organization but she still is on the agenda.

Health experts call for ban on anti-vaccination campaigner Meryl Dorey at Healthy Lifestyle Expo.

THE state’s top health experts have called for the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network to be barred from disseminating information at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo, arguing their views were dangerous and inaccurate.

The anti-vaccination group will have a stall at the Caloundra expo this month, with the group’s founder Meryl Dorey planning to speak on one of the event stages. A debate on whether vaccination saves lives has been cancelled.

AMA Queensland president-elect Shaun Rudd said the group should not present information at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo, as their views were “far from healthy’’.

The state’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, said she supported moves to limit the ability of the group to communicate inaccurate information about immunisation.

Since the anti-vax organization has paid to have a stall at the expo, they currently have a right to speak at the event. Wayne Pina-Roozemond, the organizer of the expo, is at least providing a pro-vaccination group to have a stall right next to the anti-vaxxers.

However, as an organization, AV(S)N have been completely discredited. Should they be banned?

Antivax AVN banned from media | Doubtful News.

Dear AVN: Get lost | Doubtful News.

Anti-Vaccination Network in Australia picks new name, digs at “skepticism” (UPDATED) | Doubtful News.

  8 comments for “Backlash against anti-vax continues. Will they be banned from expo?

  1. LJay Cooke
    May 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Let them speak. I’m convinced that complete freedom to talk nonsense is just as valuable to society as corporation-directed narrow focus that serves economic purposes rather than human health. Let them blather publicly rather than in secret as a suppressed minority which always breeds more anti- (everything!) groups.

  2. Travis
    May 12, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Yup, definitely let them speak. I definitely approve of the idea of having a pro-vaccine group right beside them.

    What surprises me was that the subject of the debate was supposed to be whether or not vaccines save lives… what a joke. I would have expected the autism thing (or other ailments).

  3. Jim Price
    May 13, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    I’m not sure I like the term “banned.” I think “excluded” would be a more appropriate term and yes, I firmly believe they should be excluded.

    This event is the Healthy Lifestyle Expo. I disagree with those who think they should be allowed to spread their disinformation. If there was any possibility their position was valid, I would say let them present their information. But they have been completely discredited, and they have no credibility. The information they disseminate has no basis in scientific fact.

    Allowing them to participate here would be no different than allowing a palm reader to make a presentation at a medical convention.

  4. Frederick
    May 13, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    I don’t know, You let them speak, and they can cause trouble, ban them, they can claim “censorship’ and all the ‘big pharma control all” Conspiracy BS. for them it is a Win-win situation. But I still, I am for the ban, because it is like with creationist or Climate change deniers, if you let them be there, it give the impression that there’s a Debate, when there is none.

  5. NK
    May 13, 2014 at 4:05 AM

    What let them speaks after a warning about the exact crap that they will be talking about has just been slapped on them by the HCCC? A health warning! There no debate, there’s just the science which is excellent, and there’s the moronic, which is the AVN. Debating them or engaging them gives them credibility that they do not deserve.

  6. Sarah E
    May 13, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    The problem is the AVsN have been allowed to speak publicly for too long. The price has been that they have garnered enough supporters together from their misinformation to the point that we have very low vaccination rates in some communities such as the Northern Rivers. Their ability to speak unchecked publicly has already caused damage. Now it is time for them to be, as Jim states very well, excluded. I understand why people think that they should be allowed to speak on the basis that suppressing them could attract more controversy and more followers from those who are attracted to such controversy….I do get that. I also feel that people being allowed to blather misinformation as fact is not a right when it comes to health. But it is time to cut them off and exclude them from events that provide them oxygen and any pretence of credibility.

  7. Andy
    May 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    I think the important message here is that the organisers of this event are apparently happy to have people promote dangerous ideas under their “health expo” umbrella. The idea that the danger posed is to babies and children is, presumably, irrelevant.

    Show-goers would do well to question whether the claims being made by all other stallholders are safe and factual, or whether they simply get to make any claims because they paid the appropriate fee.

    Again: the organisers of the Caloundra Healthy Lifestyle Expo have defended the right of people to promote dangerous ideas at their event. Keep that in mind if you visit.

  8. Andrew
    May 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    If they are allowed to stay at the booth or speak there should be a giant sign that says something like ‘the organizers of the EXPO take a stance against the views expressed at this booth and caution you to think critically about what they are saying.’ Not just ‘we don’t endorse’ but specifically that they are against what they are saying. I think if we let them speak openly, even with the pro-vaccine booth next door, it lends them an air of legitimacy. Having one booth pro and one booth anti also gives the impression that there is an equal split in the non-existent debate.

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