Today it was revealed that the AVN will be investigated by the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission for breaches of the Public Health Act of 1993.

Meryl Dorey issued a statement as part of their newsletter;

“The complaint alleges that both the AVN and myself, Meryl Dorey are “health service providers” because we are “providing health education services to the public” for the purposes of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (NSW).

Meryl claims that; “Neither the AVN nor myself Meryl Dorey are health practitioners as the term is generally understood colloquially nor have we ever claimed to be”.

Well that maybe so Meryl, but this is not about whether you “colloquially” perceive yourself to be a health service provider. There are in fact laws in NSW which define practitioners, and it seems to the me that both the AVN and Meryl Dorey could well fall under this jurisdiction.

Below is the relevant section of the Code of Conduct defining a health service provider, released in August 2008 by the Health Care Complaints Commission.

definition health practitioner

I think it is quite reasonable to interpret the lectures, seminars and webinairs conducted by the  AVN as “health education services”, even if the information they disseminate is deluded and verging on dangerous.

The complaint has been thoroughly and diligently prepared. I urge you to check out the entire document in pdf form here. Below is an excerpt from the AVN newsletter released today.

AVN complaint HCCC.new


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  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    It seems my earlier reply of two days ago disappeared into moderation somewhere…
    .
    There is an increasing concern about association between the exposure to mercury (via vaccination) and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism and learning disabilities [3–8]. This has led to thimerosal being withdrawn from pediatric vaccines in the United States starting in 1999 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,1999)
    .
    This does support my earlier position – the “concern” is what led to the withdrawal. Nothing there about it being withdrawn due to cumulative effects.
    .
    You are falsely drawing an inference from two separate statements – one about the dosage and the other about the withdrawal.
    .
    Now, I ask yet again – for the FIFTH time… Beyond the timing of the onset of symptoms, and given that millions and millions of vaccinated kids show no ill effects, what evidence is there that vaccines DO cause autism?

  • Grendel

    Bernice – I think you lack the background to understand the paper you cited – I’m calling your bluff on this one. I know this because you start by citing from the introduction which has a vague statement about ‘concern about association between exposure to mercury” etc. Now that doesn’t mean that the CDC is concerned only that they acknowledge that there is a concern (in the general community). That is – they were not concerned about a risk factor, they were concerned about perception.

    The paper itself did not at any point examine any link between mercury and neurodevelopmental disorders. It looked solely at the interraction between mercury and one part of the immune response to determine if too much mercury acted as an immunosupressant.

    I won’t comment otherwise on the paper, only to say that in my opinion it provides no support whatsoever to your arguement and the authors of the paper can state whatever they like but some of the very papers they cite in their references are contracdictory with their views.

    You also seem keen to base your argement on one source alone – this is also not the way science is done. Even worse when you pick a paper like this one that is not even in the same field as the point you are argueing.

    Just to be clear – you were citing from:

    “Thimerosal induces TH2 responses via influencing cytokine secretion by human dendritic cells”
    Anshu Agrawal1, Poonam Kaushal, Sudhanshu Agrawal, Sastry Gollapudi and Sudhir Gupta
    Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, University of California, Irvine, California, USA

    This includes a contact – so perhaps you can follow up and ask the author whether their research supports your position.

    1 Correspondence: Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, Med. Sci I C-240, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. E-mail: aagrawal@uci.edu

  • Andy

    “There is an increasing concern about association between the exposure to mercury (via vaccination) and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism and learning disabilities [3–8]. This has led to thimerosal being withdrawn from pediatric vaccines in the United States starting in 1999″
    .
    That does support my conclusion that it was a marketing decision. Increasing concern about a risk is not the same as an identified increase in risk.
    .
    So, whilst it may say the quantity of mercury exceeded the guidelines, it does not say, as you suggest, that this is the reason thiomersal/thimerosal was removed.
    .
    Now, can I ask you for what the FIFTH time – Beyond the timing of the onset of symptoms, and given that millions and millions of vaccinated kids show no ill effects, what evidence is there that vaccines DO cause autism?

  • bernice l.

    Grendel & Andy
    To quote:
    “Today, children receive more total number of vaccinations given
    together during the first two years of life, leading to exposure to quantities of mercury that exceeds the safety guidelines through thimerosal in vaccines. There is an increasing concern about association between the exposure to mercury (via vaccination) and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism and learning disabilities [3–8]. This has led to thimerosal being withdrawn from pediatric vaccines in the United States starting in 1999 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,1999). Nevertheless, thimerosal is still used in influenza, diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, and tetanus toxoid vaccines. The majority of the studies are directed toward understanding the neurotoxic effect of thimerosal, and few studies deal with its effect on the immune system.”(Agrawal et al)
    The authors state that childrens’s exposure to mercury from thiomersal exceeded the safety guidelines. Thiomersal was removed from infant vaccines due to cumulative toxicity from multiple vaccines which in terms of mercury exposure exceeded safety guidelines. This does not support your claim that thiomersal was only removed from the infant schedule due to it’s social and political toxicity.
    Elliot, Children are being given the flu vaccine even though it is not on the schedule, believe it or not. Bizarre, I know. It would also appear that the saviour of mankind, the swine flu vaccine will be distributed in multi-dose vials; no prizes for guessing what the preservative will be. So for the children of those hysterical parents who rush out to be injected and have their children injected with the, more experimental than usual, swine flu vaccine, will be injected with a nice bolus of thiomersal as a bonus. It doesn’t matter about a bit of mercury, it’s an emergency!

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  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    “Why was the thiomersal removed if not for toxicity issues?”

    Why did VHS win the video tape war over the arguably superior beta format?

    Politics, marketing, conspiracy and a range of other pressures come to bear on what makes it into the marketplace. If mercury in vaccinations was causing lots of parents to forgo vaccination, the leaving it in serves little purpose.

    It’s really not much different to putting a big red tick and the word “lite” on a food product that is neither low in fat nor good for you. It’s all about perception and getting the product accepted.

  • Elliot B

    Bernice why are you still arguing about thimerosal in paediatric vaccines, its no-longer used in vaccines other than hepB (which isn’t given to kids), and the flu vaccine. Even then its only in trace amounts.
    We’re not defending its use, because to put it simply, its not used any more.
    I also hope you realise the irony of your last sentence

  • Grendel

    Bernice, I’m not going to bother arguing your motivations – only you really know them after all, however your final sentence is just bad science – as I suggested in my last comment I recommend you actually contact the authors and ask their opinion. They are in a much better position to outline to you whether their research supports your point of view.

  • bernice l.

    Grendel, I have included the text from when I copied the title of the article directly from Pubmed where I had found the abstract. I then pasted this title in to Google, enclosed it in quotation marks and did a world search. Try it for yourself.
    “Immunosuppressive and autoimmune effects of thimerosal in mice”
    The full article available (for free that is) appeared 8th in the list, and linked directly to the pdf, so I’ve never even looked at the website. I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, but clearly you do. What about the other one I posted then, is this poached from an anti-vax website? I really don’t know and don’t care. The use of thiomersal (due to it’s unknown effects on recipients) in paediatric vaccines is indefensible scientifically, medically, ethically and morally. Anyone who attempts to defend it’s use is not skeptical, but is clearly fanatical!

  • Grendel

    Bernice – did you ask why that group posted the paper? and the google list I assume you saw would have should you that other than the publishing companies that sell access to this paper the only others that had it available were all Thiomersal-causes-autism crowds – and this didn’t ring any warning bells for you?

    In the words of Inigo Montoya – I do not think that word means what you think it means – in this case the ‘word’ being the entire text of the paper. I recommend you contact the authors (listed on the paper) and ask them to explain if the research they report can be used to support the argument you wish to make. This is the usual protocol when you are not certain about the relevance of their work to yours.

  • bernice l.

    Maybe you should reread my post then. To quote “Both of the recent papers below identify the unknown effects of thiomersal, so one can only question why such an unstudied substance is still being used at all in vaccines, let alone in infants in large amounts up until recently.”
    I posted them to support the fact that many of the effects of thiomersal were unknown, as of the date of the papers, and that to include a substance with unknown/unstudied effects is criminal negligence of the highest order.
    I found the abstract on Pubmed initially and went looking for the full article, and the first one I came across was from this organisation, which I had never heard of before. You sound like a conspiracy theorist.

  • Grendel

    Interesting choice of reference since it is one that has been trumpeted on anti-vax and mervury-causes-autism sites since it was published, and worse doesn’t suggest what they were all hoping it does. I’m curious – have you read more than the abstract?

    I read the entire paper – and have to confess that the statistics and analysis made the thing hard going – and I read these papers regularly (often seeking advice from my colleagues who are better versed in the laboratory end of research than I).

    I’m not sure what you are trying to suggest by posting the link – the paper is what it is, but I am not sure what point you are trying to make by citing it?

  • bernice l.

    A link to the full article of the abstract posted above.

    http://www.momsagainstmercury.org/immuno.pdf

  • Grendel

    and for me – cut-and-paste always ends in tears – ignore my last two lines!