Dick Smith has funded an advertisement placed in a national newspaper, The Australian, written by Australian Skeptics to alert parents to the dangers of the Australian anti-vaccination lobby.
Known as the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), this group spreads misinformation and falsehoods about the safety and effectiveneness of vaccines.
“Dick Smith Foods has funded this advertisement in the public interest, to ensure parents access unbiased, accurate advice from reputable medical sources. The Australian Vaccination Network is no such source,” said Mr Smith.
Whilst publicly stating that they are “pro-choice” the AVN publishes information stating that vaccines contain toxic levels of metals such as mercury and aluminium and that they cause autism, cancer, SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, asthma and eczema. There is no scientific evidence to support their claims.
Parts of Australia have recently experienced epidemics of whooping cough resulting in the deaths of three babies, and this has partly been due to a reduction in the levels of vaccination. On the north coast of New South Wales where the AVN is based, the levels for vaccination are only 88% compared with the state average of 91%.
Read the full media release here.
See the advertisement here.
Media coverage of this campaign.
NBN Television Dick Smith warns parents about anti-vaccination claims.
Dana McCaffery’s website media release
ABC Mid-North Coast NSW Dick Smith criticises anti-vaccination information
SMH online Vaccine fear campaign to be investigated
Live News.com.au & Radio 2GB Dick Smith pushes immunisation
Bad Astronomy Australian Skeptics strike back against anti-vaxers
Scientific blogging Crikey! Anti-vaccination down under
Sceptics Book of Pooh Pooh Dick Smith funds an Australian Skeptics’ advertisement warning parents about the AVN
Thinking is real Australia Skeptics & Dick Smith vs AVN
Young Australian Skeptics Stop the Australian Vaccination Network
Atheist Age Australian Vaccination Network info
Scam Blasting Dick Smith pushes immunisation
Ethopian Review The AVN is reaping what they sowed
Australian Images They misinform, they promote fear. They have to be stopped.