By Elizabeth Hart
Is Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch’s News Corp media group dictating Australia’s vaccination policy?
The Murdoch media group’s relentless No Jab, No Play campaign was adopted by the Australian government, becoming the coercive No Jab, No Pay law in January 2016.
But the Murdoch media group now known as News Corp did not properly disclose its conflict of interest in this matter, i.e. its association with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in vaccine research and development projects funded by vaccine manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur.
How useful for GlaxoSmithKline and co to have the Murdoch media group campaign for a coercive law which seeks to make the community compliant to an ever-increasing amount of lucrative vaccine products via Australia’s taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule.
The former chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, Terry Nolan, is now associated with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and working on industry-funded projects. Terry Nolan is also a member of the World Health Organisation’s SAGE group, and thereby influential on international vaccination policy. There’s a lot more to this web of influence that needs to be explored…
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is supported by News Corp and Foxtel. Lachlan Murdoch’s wife Sarah Murdoch is a Director and Ambassador for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Rupert Murdoch’s mother Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was one of the original founders of this institute.
I’ve challenged both Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch on this matter, see email thread below:
24 July 2018
Open email to:
Mr Malcolm Turnbull,
Prime Minister of Australia
Mr Turnbull, it appears the media group associated with the Murdoch family, now known as News Corp, may have influenced the Federal Government’s coercive No Jab, No Pay law via its protracted No Jab, No Play media campaign in its tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail, and The Advertiser etc.
This is especially significant considering the Murdoch media group has a conflict of interest in this matter, i.e. its association with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in vaccine research and development projects funded by vaccine manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur.
Particularly bearing in mind this conflict of interest, it is an extremely serious matter that the Murdoch media group may have influenced the implementation of a coercive law which seeks to make the community compliant to an ever-increasing amount of lucrative vaccine products via the taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program Schedule.
I also suggest the failure to properly disclose this conflict of interest contravene’s News Corp’s own Editorial Code of Conduct and Standards of Business Conduct, as outlined in my email to Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, see below.
Others also had undue influence on the implementation of the No Jab, No Pay law, e.g. the Friends of Science in Medicine lobby group which supported the No Jab, No Pay bill at the Senate Hearing held in November 2015. It is notable that members of the Friends of Science in Medicine lobby group include academics who are associated with the vaccine industry via research funding.
Mr Turnbull, the biased and polarising media campaign run by the Murdoch media group, News Corp, and others has resulted in a hostile climate where citizens questioning vaccination policy are reflexively labelled ‘anti-vaxxer’ and marginalised or even censored. Associate Professor in International Criminology Paddy Rawlinson discusses the undermining of free speech on this matter in her essay Immunity and Impunity: Corruption in the State-Pharma Nexus, published in the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, currently accessible via this link: https://www.crimejusticejournal.com/article/view/447 (Copy also attached.)
Curtailing citizens’ right to question taxpayer-funded vaccination policy is a serious matter in our liberal democracy. Recently citizens organised a conference in Sydney to discuss the censorship of the vaccination debate in Australia. The venue for this conference had to be kept secret until a few hours before the start due to the threat of it being shut down. I presented at this conference on the topic of conflicts of interest in vaccination policy, as detailed in my email to Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, see below.
Mr Turnbull, politicians, including you, are refusing point-blank to respond to citizens’ concerns about taxpayer-funded vaccination policy, in particular about the over-use of vaccine products.
It appears the Murdoch run Newscorp and other vested interests are running Australia’s taxpayer-funded vaccination policy now, courtesy of obliging politicians who are failing to properly represent Australian citizens on this matter.
I am now challenging the Murdoch’s directly about their media group’s influence on Australian vaccination policy. In this regard, please see below my open email to Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, also copied to Mr Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, and also Ms Sarah Murdoch, Director of and Ambassador for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. The original email can be accessed via this link: https://bit.ly/2mEiyaS
This email to Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch includes exposure of the conflicts of interests of academics influential on vaccination policy in Australia. This email also includes discussion on the GlaxoSmithKline Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine product for the very rare invasive meningococcal B disease, which is being heavily promoted by politicians and others, despite being rejected by the PBAC three times for the taxpayer-funded schedule due to ‘multiple uncertainties’ about this product.
19 July 2018
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch
I believe your media group’s No Jab, No Play campaign has influenced taxpayer-funded vaccination policy in Australia, with then Prime Minister Tony Abbott obligingly adopting your campaign as policy, i.e. No Jab, No Pay, with cross-party support from Labor’s Bill Shorten and the Greens’ Richard Di Natale. Your National Political Editor, Samantha Maiden, gloated about the success of The Sunday Telegraph’s No Jab, No Play campaign (11 April 2015).
The No Jab, No Pay law was enacted in January 2016, under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the intent of this law being to make parents compliant to the ever-increasing taxpayer-funded children’s vaccination schedule. Some state governments are now also adopting No Jab, No Play policies. It appears Australian politicians may have been influenced by the Murdoch media group, while ignoring citizens well-founded concerns about the burgeoning National Immunisation Program Schedule.
I strongly believe the Murdoch family has a conflict of interest in this matter, i.e. the Murdoch family’s association with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in industry-funded vaccine research and development. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute website notes that Rupert Murdoch’s mother Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was involved in the founding of this institute. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Corporate Partners webpage states that News Corp and Foxtel support this institute.
I suggest the Murdoch family’s association with an institute involved in industry-funded vaccine research and development should be clearly disclosed as a conflict of interest on all articles regarding vaccination published by the Murdoch media group.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, would you not agree that failing to disclose this conflict of interest contravenes News Corp’s own Editorial Code of Conduct and News Corp’s Standards of Business Conduct in regards to conflict of interest?
For years your media group has run the extraordinarily biased No Jab, No Play vaccination campaign, and has been a major party in creating a polarised ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ vaccination climate, with hyperbolic articles such as ‘Anti-vaxers, you are baby killers’ (Claire Harvey, The Sunday Telegraph, 21 March 2015).
In this hostile climate, any citizen questioning vaccination policy is reflexively labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer’ and marginalised or even censored. Politicians are refusing to respond to citizens’ concerns about taxpayer-funded vaccine products, the cost of which is kept secret from taxpayers, i.e. categorised as ‘commercial-in-confidence’, protecting vaccine manufacturers from scrutiny.
Your newspapers have failed to provide serious, objective and nuanced critical analysis of taxpayer-funded vaccination policy, i.e. examination of the burgeoning National Immunisation Program Schedule, which currently sits at around 50 doses of vaccines for children, via single and combination shots, and revaccinations. This does not include the annual flu vaccinations we are all being pressured to have, young and old. We have no idea of the long-term consequences of this increasing vaccine load.
I suggest children are being grossly over-vaccinated with this plethora of vaccine products, which are added to the schedule without any consultation with the community. The community is being coerced with inducements and made compliant to the ever-increasing schedule, with the right to ‘informed consent’ before each vaccine intervention being effectively denied, in contravention of The Australian Immunisation Handbook’s definition of valid consent, i.e that “It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation”. I suggest doctors, nurses and midwives are conflicted in their ethical duty with this coercive medical intervention.
Since the No Jab, No Pay law was enacted in January 2016, yet another injection of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccines (GlaxoSmithKline Infanrix or Sanofi-Aventis Tripacel) has been added to the schedule, along with the recent addition of the meningococcal ACWY vaccines (Pfizer Nimenrix). Intensive industry lobbying for GlaxoSmithKline’s Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine continues, along with increasing pressure for annual flu vaccines for children, e.g. the NSW Government offering ‘free’ flu vaccines for children under five years. The bloated and conflicted vaccination schedule is out of control, we have no idea of the long-term cumulative consequences of all these vaccine interventions.
The taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program Schedule must be subject to an urgent review, particularly in light of the conflicts of interest that permeate this bloated schedule, and emerging problems with vaccines, e.g. repeated revaccination throughout life with the failing aluminium-adjuvanted acelluar pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, over-use of live vaccines, failing immunity of mumps vaccines, flu vaccines etc.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, would you not agree your failure to “tell all sides of the story” in regards to the bloated and conflicted vaccination schedule contravenes News Corp’s own Editorial Code of Conduct?
I presented on the subject of conflicts of interest in vaccination policy at the citizens’ conference The Censorship of the Vaccination Debate in Australia Today, held in Sydney on 30 June 2018.
In my presentation I refer to your media group’s influence on vaccination policy, noting that you have not clearly disclosed your conflict of interest in this matter, i.e. the Murdoch family’s association with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in industry-funded vaccine research and development, supported by News Corp and Foxtel.
As well as examining the influence of rich and powerful families such as the Murdochs and Bill and Melinda Gates, and the conflicts of interest of the Cochrane ‘evidence based medicine’ group, my presentation also exposes the conflicts of interest of two academics who are very influential on vaccination policy, Terry Nolan and Robert Booy, who are involved with vaccine industry-funded research.
Former Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) Chair Terry Nolan is now a Group Leader in vaccination and immunisation research (VIRGo) with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, with involvement in projects funded by GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur and Novavax, as recorded in Terry Nolan’s presentation titled ‘The National Immunisation Program in the modern era – providing, nudging, and cajoling’, presented at the PHAA National Immunisation Conference 2016.
Terry Nolan is also a member of the World Health Organisation’s SAGE group, and thereby influential on international vaccination policy.
Ironically, in June 2012, The Australian’s journalist Natasha Bita raised the issue of conflicts of interest of Terry Nolan in an article titled ‘Pharma conflicts must be disclosed’, but concern about conflicts of interest seems to have evaporated since then.
Robert Booy is Head of Clinical Research at the government and industry-funded National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance, and also a Director and Scientific Advisory Member of the Immunisation Coalition, an industry organisation which is sponsored and supported by GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, CSL company Seqirus, Sanofi Pasteur, Roche and others, including Google. Margie Danchin, who works with Terry Nolan in the VIRGo group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is also a Director of the industry-sponsored Immunisation Coalition. Organisations such as the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian College of Nursing, and the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation and others are also associated with the industry-sponsored Immunisation Coalition.
Robert Booy is also a member of the coercive vaccination lobby group Friends of Science in Medicine, which was influential at the Senate Hearing (November 2015) re the No Jab, No Pay bill, with No Jab, No Pay being made law in January 2016.
Both Terry Nolan and Robert Booy have been cited in promotion for the GlaxoSmithKline Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine product on the Medical Observer website.
My presentation also includes discussion on the GlaxoSmithKline Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine product, which was showcased in the PHAA vaccine product promotion conference held in Adelaide in June this year, which was supported by both the Federal and South Australian governments. How very interesting to see the cosy relationships between governments and vaccine manufacturers and others with vested interests.
During this government and industry supported vaccine product promotion conference, The Australian reported GlaxoSmithKline’s head of global vaccines, Luc Debruyne, met South Australian officials “in an attempt to win support for a government-funded program for the pharmaceutical giant’s meningococcal B vaccine” (5 June 2018).
The SA Government has now announced ‘free’ funding of the GlaxoSmithKline Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine product, undermining the PBAC’s decision to reject three times this vaccine product for the taxpayer-funded schedule due to “multiple uncertainties” of this still experimental product. On what evidence did the TGA approve and register this ‘uncertain’ product?
Meningococcal bacteria is largely quite harmless, and only rarely a serious matter. And this is interesting, why are serious meningococcal cases so rare? This is what independent immunologists should be investigating to develop our knowledge of the human system.
Despite the rarity of invasive meningococcal B cases, it seems the SA Government is accommodating GlaxoSmithKline’s determined campaign to force this lucrative product for a very rare disease on the taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program Schedule, no doubt as a springboard to fast-tracking this very questionable vaccine product around the world and generating a multi-billion dollar market for GlaxoSmithKline.
Politicians are falling over themselves to promote this lucrative vaccine product for a very rare disease, with Labor’s Bill Shorten recently tweeting about his letter to Malcolm Turnbull demanding the meningococcal B vaccine be added to the taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program Schedule (17 July 2018).
And of course the SA Labor Opposition has supported this campaign too, with the assistance of the Murdoch media, e.g. the Adelaide Advertiser which has provided fear-mongering promotion for this ‘uncertain’ GlaxoSmithKline vaccine product for a very rare disease, see for example ‘Calls for free vaccine for the meningococcal B strain grow’, The Advertiser, 28 June 2018.
In South Australia, a Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine trial funded by GlaxoSmithKline is under way, involving up to 60,000 students. Articles published in your Advertiser newspaper say “It is hoped the findings will provide a strong push to get the vaccine on the taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program” (13 December 2016 and 27 March 2017).
It appears this GlaxoSmithKline funded-trial is biased from the outset, with the support of the Adelaide Advertiser. Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) member Helen Marshall is the lead investigator on this vaccine trial. Given her role on ATAGI, Helen Marshall has a serious conflict of interest with her leadership of this GlaxoSmithKline-funded trial.
A TV advertisement urging students to participate in this trial says “Help protect yourself, while also protecting your family and friends”. I suggest these students are being misled about the effectiveness of this still ‘uncertain’ vaccine product.
Along with Robert Booy, ATAGI member Helen Marshall is also a member of the coercive vaccination lobby group Friends of Science in Medicine which was influential at the Senate Hearing re the No Jab, No Pay bill.
It’s also notable that News Corp is “collaborating with GSK Australia’s Children’s Panadol in an organic partnership focused on first time mums”, as promoted on the News Corp Australia website. It appears GSK benefits doubly from both vaccination and promotion of Panadol “to provide…fast, effective, temporary relief from pain and fever associated with…Immunisation…”
The Murdochs seem to have a long association with GlaxoSmithKline. For example, James Murdoch was appointed as a non-executive director at GlaxoSmithKline in 2009, serving as a member of GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate responsibility committee, helping to review “external issues that might have the potential for serious impact upon the group’s business and reputation”. James Murdoch resigned as a director of GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 in the aftermath of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, when Murdoch media group (News International) journalists were accused of hacking people’s phones for information, including murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s voicemail.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, would you not agree News Corp’s partnership with GSK Australia, and also GlaxoSmithKline’s funding at the News Corp supported Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, constitutes a conflict of interest in your reporting on matters relevant to taxpayer-funded vaccination policy? Would you not agree that failing to disclose this conflict of interest contravenes News Corp’s own Editorial Code of Conduct and News Corp’s Standards of Business Conduct in regards to conflict of interest?
Here’s my video presentation re conflicts of interest in vaccination policy, presented at The Censorship of the Vaccination Debate in Australia Today conference, 30 June 2018:
It’s on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/nojabnopaynoway/videos/1761991957172323/
Or YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atKeooIrHE8
The transcript and powerpoint slides are accessible via this link: https://elizabethhart.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/conflicts-of-interest-in-vaccination-policy-e-hart.pdf
Due to the hostility inhibiting open discussion on vaccination policy in Australia, the venue of this citizens’ organised conference discussing vaccination policy and censorship had to be kept secret until a couple of hours before the start time, because people determined to shut it down might have contacted the venue to demand it be cancelled. That’s the state of our liberal democracy today in Australia re citizens questioning vaccination policy, and with doctors, nurses and midwives being afraid to question the national vaccination schedule with the risk of facing de-registration.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, please note that informed Australian citizens are demanding transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded vaccination policy, and exposure of conflicts of interest of parties involved in this area.
In an ideal world citizens expect to rely on the independence and objectivity of the fourth estate to hold politicians and others to account in our liberal democracies. However, in the real world we discover media companies are businesses compromised by their reliance on advertising and other conflicts of interest. A recent self-serving article in The Weekend Australian magazine decries “the internet’s vast network of alternative news and information outlets”, paternalistically insinuating that thinking citizens are incapable of evaluating the worth of material published on the internet (23-24 June 2018.) I suggest ‘fake news’ is just as likely to occur in the mainstream media, and citizens must fight for their right to freely access a range of views across the internet.
Citizens must be allowed to question whether it is feasible to vaccinate against every ailment, including rare diseases such as invasive meningococcal B.
Citizens must be allowed to question what the future holds for highly vaccinated populations. Will future generations be made dependent on vaccine products, with natural immunity being destroyed?
What does the future hold with vaccine manufacturers and governments controlling immunity? What about the vaccine failures that are now emerging, for example pertussis/whooping cough, and problems with other vaccines?
There are parallels to consider with the emerging problems from the over-use of antibiotics, and over-prescribing of other medical products such as opioids and anti-depressants.
We need independent ‘big picture’ thinkers to consider the frightening possibilities with the over-use of vaccine products. Instead, vaccination policy is dominated by Big Pharma and academics on the teat of industry research funding.
Vaccination policy is a shambles, awash with conflicts of interest. The vaccine industry is driving vaccination policy in its quest to develop lucrative vaccine markets, with the assistance of media groups such as News Corp.
There must be an independent and objective review of the burgeoning and conflicted taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule.
Citizens must demand transparency and accountability for vaccination policy from the governments that are supposed to serve us.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Lachlan Murdoch, in line with News Corp’s Editorial Code of Conduct and News Corp’s Standards of Business Conduct, I suggest it’s way past time your media group disclosed its conflicts of interest, and provided fair and objective critical analysis of taxpayer-funded vaccination policy to redress the years of biased and conflicted reporting you have promoted on this subject. The mind boggles to consider the amount of children who have been grossly over-vaccinated during this time.
Mr Robert Thomson, Chief Executive, News Corp
Ms Sarah Murdoch, Director of and Ambassador for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
- News Corp Australia Editorial Code of Conduct Professional Conduct Policy August 2016 and News Corp Standards of Business Conduct May 2016.
- National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2018: Addendum: The pneumococcal vaccines at 6 months and 4 years are for ‘medically at-risk children’. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children also have another pneumococcal dose at 6 months, plus Hepatitis A at 12 months and 18 months, plus flu vaccination is funded for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children from 6 months to less than 5 years, i.e. around 56 doses of vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children. For more detailed information see the latest published schedule.
x1 Hep B
x6 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hep B, polio, hib
x6 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hep B, polio, hib
x6 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hep B, polio, hib
x4 Meningococcal ACWY
x3 Measles, mumps, rubella
x4 Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella
x3 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
x4 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio
x2 HPV Gardasil 9
x3 Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
TOTAL 50 doses
- See for example Medical Observerarticles: Call to fund Meningococcal B vaccine, 27 July 2015, and Meningococcal B vax rejection a bad move: expert, 24 August 2015.
- GSK Children’s Panadol. Downloaded from the GSK website 18 July 2018.
- James Murdoch takes GlaxoSmithKline role. The Guardian, 3 February 2009.
- James Murdoch quits GlaxoSmithKline board. The Guardian, 28 January 2012.
- Phone-hacking trial explained. BBC News, 25 June 2014.