Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network loses charity status

Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network has been stripped of its registered charity status after concerns it could negatively affect children’s health.

Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network has been stripped of its registered charity status after concerns it could negatively affect children's health, the ABC reports.

The controversial organisation, formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network, was forced to change its name by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

The Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network (AVN) actively campaign against the use of vaccines.

New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres has now taken it a step further and is discouraging the public from donating funds to the group.

"We have requested that it surrender its authority to fundraise, which it has done, under the Charitable Fundraising Act," he said.

"An investigation has highlighted a number of potential concerns."

He said his Department will keep monitoring the organisation’s moves.

"We will continue to monitor the information that they put on their website," he said.

"We will continue to ensure that they present themselves as an anti-vaccination advocacy. That's entirely up to them to do that. We want to make sure that they don't ever promote misleading information."

Minister for Hospitality George Souris said in a statement

"OLGR's (Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing) investigation sourced expert medical evidence challenging the accuracy of information provided on the association's website in relation to the risks and benefits of vaccination.

"The investigation highlighted a range of potential concerns, including risks arising from the association’s anti-vaccination advocacy and the potential for misinformation to influence important health decisions resulting in potentially adverse public health consequences."
In a Facebook post, an AVN member Meryl Dorey wrote:
"We didn't even know that we had a charity authority for several years and when we did, we discovered that there were no benefits to having this status. 
"The surrender of our license was our doing - it was something we have been working towards for many years and we are so happy to have finally accomplished it!"
Source SBS

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