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Ministry of Health Gets Dirty; IMAC Lies

Press Release:

Ministry of Health Gets Dirty; IMAC Lies
Ron Law & Barbara Sumner Burstyn

It's an old PR trick - if you can't fault the evidence you discredit the whistle-blower.

Yesterday the MOH dropped to a new low when they called Independent risk & policy analyst Ron Law 'self-styled' and trundled out once again the 'anti-immunisation' label as a personal attack.

For the record neither Ron Law nor Barbara Sumner Burstyn are anti-immunisation, neither belongs to anti-immunisation groups and Mr Law works full time as a risk and policy analyst. He has clients in New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, and has been an advisor to the Ministry of Health in this capacity.

The ministry further attempted to muddy the issues surrounding the MeNZB(tm) vaccine by refuting that one of the principal MeNZB trial investigators was a Chiron employee. This despite the fact that his name was attached to Chiron documents as a clinical investigator (in his role as a member of the Medicines drugs licensing committee), and his GP practice colleague was also a Chiron investigator.

The nature of Dr Reid's employment contract with Chiron is obviously private; he may well be an independent contractor to Chiron, as opposed to an employee, in which case the Ministry is splitting hairs rather than seeking answers to this major conflict of interest. It is also relevant that Dr Reid was also involved in the Medicines Assessment Advisory Committee that approved the MeNZB(tm) drug.

Approving your own research is a major conflict of interest. This conflict was not declared in the MAAC minutes released under the OIA.

To add to the deepening crisis for the MeNZB(tm) campaign IMAC, the Immunisation Advisory Centre, funded by the Ministry of Health and the pharmaceutical industry, has weighed in on the argument.

IMAC has provided a new graph that clearly shows the meningococcal epidemic is abating. IMAC claims this and other evidence shows the MeNZB(tm) vaccine is working in South Auckland and calls the 68 percent drop in meningococcal disease in New Zealand's Pacific Island under one year olds in 2004, "FANTASTIC!!" (IMAC's emphasis.)

Of course the fact that the so-called epidemic is folding naturally is fantastic news, but it has nothing to do with the roll-out of the MeNZB(tm) vaccine. The evidence clearly shows that the collapse in meningococcal disease cases in South Auckland began well before the MeNZB(tm) vaccine could have had any effect, even if it works.

The facts are simple:

There were six confirmed cases of all types of meningococcal disease in Pacific Island children in the whole of New Zealand in 2004. The first children received their third dose in mid October... by which time 90% of all cases for the year had been notified. Sixty percent of cases in under one year olds occurred in the under six month old group who were not vaccinated.

In a further discrepancy, the Ministry of Health has said frequently that the last big influenza year was 1987. But historical Ministry data shows that there was no influenza epidemic that year. Is it a co-incidence that this is the first year in over 25 years that three 1-20 year old children have died of 'flu-like' illnesses being categorised as influenza?

Using the Auckland University research ethical guidelines IMAC's claims amount to scientific misconduct, providing further evidence of an orchestrated litany of lies that needs to be investigated by a Royal Commission of Inquiry.


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