ACCC takes action over potentially misleading vaccine claims

21 February 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted Federal Court proceedings over allegedly misleading claims on a homeopathy website regarding the effectiveness of the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine.

The ACCC has taken proceeding against Homeopathy Plus! Australia Pty Ltd and against the owners of the Homeopathy Plus! website.

The claims on the Homeopathy Plus! website include statements that the whooping cough vaccine is “unreliable” and “largely ineffective” in preventing whooping cough and that homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective alternative for the prevention and treatment of whooping cough.

The ACCC alleges that these claims are misleading and deceptive, in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The ACCC is seeking an injunction to have the claims removed, as well as penalties against the company and individuals.

Whooping cough is a highly infectious respiratory disease which is most serious in young children. The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing recommends children receive the whooping cough vaccine as part of routine childhood immunisation.

Release number: 
NR 032/13
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Ms Meg Macfarlan - (02) 6243 1317