ANTI-VAXXER WEBSITE COPS $115,000 FINE FOR FALSE AND MISLEADING REPRESENTATIONS

Tuesday , 17, November 2015 Leave a comment


ANTI-VAXXER HOMEOPATHY COMPANY COPS $115,000 FINE FOR FALSE OR MISLEADING REPRESENTATIONS about the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine and of homeopathic alternatives.
The Judge held that, where significance of loss and damage is potential to divert customers from vaccinating themselves and those in their care posing grave risks of harm to them and the community on the facts, the absence of actual loss or harm to consumers was not a mitigating factor in the penalty assessment because of the very serious consequences the claims (made without any credible basis) could have caused to the Australian community.
THE COURT ORDERS THAT:
1. The First Respondent and the Second Respondent cease publishing and remove from the website www.homeopathyplus.com.au permanently:
(a) the article entitled “Whooping Cough – Homeopathic Prevention and Treatment” published from 1 January 2011 until around 26 April 2012;
(b) the article entitled “Whooping Cough – Homeopathic Prevention and Treatment” published from 11 January 2013 until around March 2013 and;
(c) the article entitled “Government Data Shows Whooping Cough Vaccine a Failure” published from 3 February 2012 until around March 2013.

COURT FURTHER ISSUES A RESTRAINING ORDER
Preventing for a period of five years from making any statements or representations, in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of homeopathic treatments or products (Homeopathic Treatments) or in connection with the promotion of the supply of Homeopathic Treatments, to the effect that the vaccine publicly available in Australia for whooping cough (Vaccine):
(a) is short-lived in protecting against whooping cough;
(b) is unreliable in protecting against whooping cough;
(c) is no longer effective in protecting against whooping cough;
(d) may not be the best solution for protecting against whooping cough;
(e) is of limited effect in protecting against whooping cough;
(f) is unreliable at best in protecting against whooping cough; and/or
(g) is largely ineffective in protecting against whooping cough,
for so long as the Vaccine is effective in protecting a significant majority of people who are exposed to the whooping cough infection from contracting whooping cough.
FURTHER RESTRAINED
For a period of five years from making any statements or representations, in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of Homeopathic Treatments or in connection with the promotion of the supply of Homeopathic Treatments, to the effect that Homeopathic Treatments are a safe and effective alternative to the Vaccine for the prevention of whooping cough, for so long as:
(a) there is no reasonable basis, in the sense of an adequate foundation, in medical science to enable the First Respondent and the Second Respondent to state that Homeopathic Treatments are safe and effective as an alternative to the Vaccine for the prevention of whooping cough; and
(b) the Vaccine is the only treatment approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for inclusion on the National Immunisation Program for the prevention of whooping cough.
CASE : Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Homeopathy Plus! Australia Pty Limited (No 2) [2015] FCA 1090



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