In Australia, universities today are working in partnerships with industry and even the heads of Departments and the researchers have equity and patents in the research that is performed at universities. This industry-academic partnership is now well documented and it means that public interest research can be suppressed from the mainstream media.

This is particularly the case when there are powerful lobby groups that push industry interests in government policies such as the Australian Skeptics Inc  (and their offshoot SAVN) and the Friends of Science in Medicine (FoSM). These industry lobby groups  have chosen deceptive names and they have a powerful voice in the mainstream media and with politicians such as Richard Di Natale  – the leader of the Greens who promoted the NJNP/P policies in parliament in 2013.

This has allowed the industry-lobby groups (who pose as ‘consumer groups’) to harass and abuse academics and professionals in public debates of this issue – with impunity.

The Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) has stated they will not invesitgate Dr. John Cunningham, a leader of SAVN, who made fabricated allegations and derogatory / false and unsupported comments about my university research in the mainstream media and on social media. He has no special qualifications or publications in immunology or vaccination policy yet he received an OAM in January 2016 for “Science and Immunisation” after denigrating my academic research on vaccination policy in the mainstream media from 2014-2016.

The University of Wollongong, that is in partnership with industry, does not have policies that require them to correct the false information about university research that is provided to the public by lobby groups in the mainstream media. The University has remained silent as unqualified journalists and AMA doctors alike have denigrated my research in the mainstream media – with false and unsupported claims.

After I published my Newsletter 199 (25 May 2018) describing the false information that the SMH is promoting on the flu vaccine this article by Chris Del Mar and Peter Collignon appeared on the Conversation website. Many other academics and citizens, have been attempting to present these scientific arguments for debate from 2009 – 2017 on the Conversation website and in other public forums, but our scientific arguments are always framed as “anti-vaccination”. Please visit Elizabeth Hart’sOver-Vaccination website, to see the conflicts of interest that are riddled through government vaccination policies.

The Conversation website is in partnership with the industry-funded universities and in 2014 it refused to publish my research on the HPV vaccine (promoted to prevent cervical cancer) that was showing the dangers of this vaccine. At the time my university research had been published in a medical journal and presented at two international conferences (San Francisco and London) – no reason was provided by the Conversation editor for declining my HPV vaccine article.

This vaccine is now being debated globally as dangerous to human health and unnecessary. It has also been removed from the national immunisation program of Japan for the health concerns that it poses and many class actions are occurring in other countries.

The Conversation website and its industry partners are now promoting themselves as “a not -for-profit charity” that brings you the facts from “real experts”. This is how many medical institutions are also promoting themselves and it enables them to hide their links to industry funding and hence the biased information that they are presenting to the public.

It was refreshing to see this latest article by Collignon and Del Mar, on the lack of efficacy of flu vaccine which demonstrates that a debate on this topic is essential to protect public health.

Judy Wilyman PhD