Earlier this year, another sciblogger Darcy Cowan was successful in getting the tax exempt status of the Immunisation Awareness Society revoked based on the fact that they don’t fulfil the requirements of charity (see here).
One of the things that bothered me about the IAS at the time is that although they claim on their website to “To debate vaccination issues through symposiums, health forums, displays, talks, presentations and the media” and “to provide information for parents so that they can make an informed decision about vaccination” they really do not.
First, they only provide information designed to prevent parents from vaccinating. They may deny this occasionally but the articles and pictures make it clear they are anti-vaccine (of course if one of their authors would like to point out circumstances where they advocate for vaccinations I will correct this statement). Consequently, the information on their website is strongly biased, selective, and presented in a way that I would argue certainly does not allow parents to make an informed choice.
One only has to look at their website to see that on all of the posts the comments section is closed. This suggests to me they do not want to debate vaccination but prefer to sit in their little echo chamber of cherry picked information where they are more than happy to, for example, criticise Darcy and sciblogs without providing any public way for Darcy and others to respond to their rather petty response to his blogging.
The removal of the tax exempt charitable status of the IAS is a good start. A second improvement would be for them to be up front about their anti-vaccine position, perhaps changing to the name of their organisation as has their Australian cousin the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is being required to do.