Anti-vaccine group must change ‘misleading’ name

THE Bangalow-based Australian Vaccination Network is being forced to change its name because it is misleading.

The organisation which opposes vaccination must change its name by February or its incorporated status may be cancelled.

Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts said a formal order had been issued to the organisation.

"NSW Fair Trading has received complaints that the Australian Vaccination Network's name is confusing and has misled the public as to its operational intention," Mr Roberts said.

The AVN is required to lodge an application for registration of a new name by February 21.

He said the AVN's name cannot be tolerated given its stance on vaccination and the potential for parents to be confused or misled.

"The Australian Vaccination Network does not present a balanced case for vaccination, does not present medical evidence to back up its claims and therefore poses a serious risk of misleading the community."

He said the decision to order the change of name was based on concerns raised by parents, medical professionals and the wider community.

AVN public officer Meryl Dorey lashed out against the order on the AVN website yesterday accusing the Australian Medical Association of being behind the move because it was threatened by the group's work.

The Northern Star tried to contact the AVN but it did not return our calls.

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