“Wake Up To The Lies” tells lies about climate change

So, I’m innocently waiting for some towels to wash and glance at Twitter to read this retweet by Miranda Devine.

devine's tweet

I follow our thuggish, far right wing religious conservative, progressive policy hating, character assassinating, climate change cheering, evidence denialist Miranda because she’s, well… shat in the face of some rather esteemed colleagues. And is not beneath using grieving parents to fill her anti-drug barrow with emotional outrage in lieu of evidence. A unique and unpopular topic I realise, but not immune to the benefits of evidence based critical thinking.

Anyway, @wakeup2thelies certainly bellowed his message on Twitter – three times in an hour.

Over to Wake Up To The Lies I go, to be slapped in the face with logical fallacies. Under the heading Death Threat-Gate or The AFP Must Investigate Anna-Maria Arabia claims is a report about Anna-Maria’s interview on ABC News discussing recent death threats. She is CEO of FASTS – the Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies. And like most Aussies and the vast majority of scientists, accepts the evidence on climate change. Which sadly makes her a target for the petty minded rednecks who have no idea that if this evidence was to the contrary, scientists would shout it from the rooftops.

Wake Up To The Lies is a conspiracy theorists site written by an immature 30 year old master of obfuscation and delusion calling himself Adam. Having risen to the dizzying scientific heights with credentials as a part-time shop assistant he’s taken to ranting about politics on the internet. Helping turn the information super-highway into a roller coaster ride through the Twilight zone, Adam recounts the tale basically as an argument from ignorance, personal incredulity and begging the question. Proving he really is a part-time shop assistant he writes two sentences. The second being:

The AFP MUST now Investigate this claim. Anna-Maria Arabia, also claims she deleted the email this is no problem because the AFP can easily recover deleted files and find the ISP from the sender. It is a crime in Australia to send a death threat see ( here ). The AFP must investigate it to find the person responsible or to verify her claim.

Yes, I know. He means “IP address” not “ISP from the sender”. The kids a part time shop assistant so cut him some slack. I sure as hell didn’t. Now when I see caps lock in action, I take the same gravely serious approach as one does with anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists. I laughed. I could only imagine the urgent AFP memo demanding a halt to all ongoing investigations because Agent Shop Assistant had used caps lock. I checked his credentials as a skeptard listed under the tab “Who Am I?”.

adams CVI left a rather unhelpful comment suggesting that if conspiracy sites like his didn’t carry on, then the loons out there wouldn’t be prompted to send boring death threats. It wasn’t published. Transparency failure one. So I headed over to the “here” in Agent Adams’ post, which was Australian Climate Madness and the post “Death Threats To ANU Scientists”. It too was using Adams’ false continuum that these threats can’t be real because they are a crime. And if they are crimes, why then false analogy informs us we’d all know the very truth. My head hurt. Still, I left this comment which was immediately published.

Paul says:

It it not an “investigation worthy” crime.

A minimum of three sequential emails from the same person is required to justify a waste of resources. Intentions to kill are not traditionally preceded by announcements and digital bread crumbs.

Even then threats may correspond with other crimes such as using a carriage service to harass, intimidate or offend. I’ve had personal experience with this scenario.

No action was pursued – despite grave assurances – and I was never contacted again by authorities.

I’m afraid you’re sincerely mistaken or intentionally biased.

I trust you will rescind the offending post.

So back to the part-time shop assistant’s site to see if he would be so gracious. Submitting actually hides the comment. Hence the screenshot.

comment_wake up to the lies

I’m awaiting to see if my comment makes the grade. I doubt it since in the tradition of conspiracy theorists, liars, evidence deniers and part-time shop assistants cum science gurus cum ADF consultants, I appear to have been forgotten. No comment equates to transparency fail two and undoubted censorship to convey false impression. That’s simply lying. Or as Adam would say in true Dorey style – “Free Speech” [what is it with lying skeptarded social miscreants and “free speech”?]. A visit back yields a “no true Scotsman” logical fallacy (yeah, count ’em). You know the type. Atheism is a religion. Skeptics aren’t skeptics because they don’t believe woo woo that requires one be skeptical of reality. Real science is what gives us homeopathy and vaccine denial because science is a process of constant questioning (in this case questioning facts they don’t like), or here the cringe worthy ad hominem attacks of “scientician and “climatician”.

comment on site

We’ve already passed seven logical fallacies so I shall desist from the temptation. But this nonsense of expecting scientists do their “civic duty” so “dangerous criminals” are kept “off the streets” is utter bollocks. It’s even bordering on delusion to suggest unconfirmed threats weaken the evidence for climate change. For those of us in controversial areas and public health these trifles are known as “security issues”.

May I ask you all to pull out your violins and strike a mournful tune as I confirm that amidst frequent threats and insults I did enjoy four delightfully colourful threats of rape, torture, murder running to pages from a returned soldier who disliked my linking to Keep God out of our democracy by Carmen Lawrence, which challenged using Christian values in foreign policy. I posted a single hyperlink to the story. No comment – nothing.

The poor chap below assumed my email domain was my workplace and included promises of “meeting” me there for torture. Then must have checked the office hours of this same place to chronologically refine his plans to…

“… stomp your terrorist loving, anti australian, little faggot hole. Ill put some serious pain up you …. whatever you think you are. IF you ever were in the forces someone would have shot you. Kovco style. LOL… I will fuck you up. Even better where R u and I will come and make you my bitch so. keep going if you want to….

…. You need a reality check son! It is your lack of patriotism that truly saddens me…..

…In fact you are really dumber than dog shit cos I know a lot about you already and more than enough! you silly little boy. I dont assume. I know…

…Remember Jesus loves you, but Australia hates your attitude. Dont need a God? yep uh ha, ok whatever.”
This went on for volumes. Ahhh, how I miss the good ole’ days. The poor child knew nothing about me of course and I had far more serious issues to manage than a keyboard warrior. I tried to reason with his stressed mind actually concerned for those he had access to. I’d tracked his emails to a Brisbane hospital, spoke to the IT head who put me in touch with Paul Grainger of QLD health who ensured me the QLD Crime and Misconduct Commission would be a-rollin’ out.
Never heard another word… nor cared to. I was used to any manner of lunacy and violence in a certain role. The point here is when you’re hitting the mark and opponents have nothing to rebuke you with, then threats and death threats emerge. But I can certainly identify with those who would be intimidated.
I can assure the likes of Adam and his climate science denialist pals they too will never hear whatever it is they think they deserve to and more to the point it’s none of their darn business.

“Getting The Point” – the antivaxxer response to 60 Minutes’ story on their danger to Australia

The Sixty Minutes story on the benefits of vaccines was a conspiracy. Because NineMSN is “a joint venture between Microsoft (yes, Bill Gates – and we know what he thinks about vaccines – they are ‘magic’ according to his latest interview) and PBL whose chairman, James Packer, sits on the board of major vaccine and drug maker, Glaxo Smithkline. Do you REALLY think that a station with their hands in that much dirty money would even THINK about doing a fair story on this issue?” says Meryl Dorey, President of The Australian (anti) Vaccination Network.

Nothing sets off a conspiracy minded anti-vaccination lobbyist like facts.

Below this text is a Sixty Minutes Australia segment, Getting The Point, that aired June 12th 2011. The only irrationality comes from micro-palaeontologist, Viera Scheibner. She is marketed as one of the world’s foremost experts on vaccines, is “sought after as a speaker and expert witness” and worshipped by fellow Bent Spoon winner Meryl Dorey. Scheibner’s claim of being an expert witness and other outright lies are dealt with here splendidly.

“…I am not satisfied that her formal qualifications and professional experience properly equip her to provide a valid professional opinion on the complex subject of immunology…” and
“…one must question her capacity to properly evaluate and interpret the results of others’ scientific experience. I am not prepared therefore to accept her evidence in preference to that of…
 – Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
“I draw attention [to] misleading information provided by Dr Viera Scheibner … who continuously writes against immunisation. In the 9 March edition of the Medical Observer, she submitted a very unusual letter [which] makes claims that are not supported by the documentation she referred to. It is very important for people to realise that the information provided by Dr Scheibner is not accurate.” – NSW Legislative Council

Whilst exploiting white coat syndrome through use of her PhD title of “Doctor” to mislead those seeking advice, Viera defends her lack of qualifications. Sixty Minutes found that she has “a doctorate in the natural sciences”, and “some nursing qualifications”. And whilst all autism cases are caused by vaccines, the absurdity of this claim is dismissed because Viera knows more than any doctor. There is nothing good to be said about vaccines, and immunity is gained best by contracting the disease.

In March 2004 there was some activity in the BMJ defending the scam of one no-longer-a-doctor, Andrew Wakefield. We now know his work was fraudulent. Quite ironic because defence of Wakefield and attacks on Brian Deer, were often themed on the bias of the dastardly pro-vaccine industry publication, the BMJ. Which incidentally allowed Scheibner [Principle Research Scientist (Retired)] to publish a letter that gives one ample insight;

Orthodox medicine is toxic and harmful. It seems accepted that all medications have side (undesirable) effects. However, this is only relevant to orthodox medications. Correctly administered, homoeopathic remedies and natural remedies have no side effects. One has to elaborate here that there could be uncomfortable feelings after homoeopathics but they are desirable effects. Elevated temperature, rashes and vomiting are signs of detoxification and of a desired change of a chronic condition into an acute illness leading to healing.

Which to the lay person means homeopathy does not work. The disease of, say, measles will run it’s course and fevers (convulsions for 1 in 200), rashes, high temperature are symptoms of the infection you will endure until it passes. If you are unfortunate enough to be one of the one in 5,000 who die, sustain encephalitis or one in 8,000 who contract Subacute Sclerosing Panencepahltiis you will not recover. She continues…

Orthodox medicine with its pharmaceutical industry has become a huge money spinner and as such has become vulnerable to political interference. Vaccination is the best example. To make a lot of money, vaccinators want to vaccinate every child. The more children are vaccinated, the more obvious are the serious side (undesirable) effects including brain damage and death. Politically motivated medicine denies or plays down undesirable effects. The word “obvious” has been banished even though it is considered prudent medical practice that when a medication or a procedure is administered and symptoms appear afterwards, then that medication and/or procedure must be considered as the cause of the observed symptoms…..

This rubbish goes on, ultimately ending with a bald faced lie: “No Competing Interests”. But Scheibner’s hoop jumping can be easily matched by her Bent Spoon Award winning pal, Meryl Dorey. The Australian Vaccination Network Facebook page – aka The Twilight Zone – lit up with outrage at the intrusion of evidence. The first “response” was from Meryl Dorey herself and bulging with lies. Meryl was advised not to appear. She didn’t choose not to. Presently in the Supreme Court fighting the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission it was a no brainer.

Meryl Dorey comment on facebook

But worse is her claim that a.) she offered them the names of reputable doctors and b.) that reporters actually contacted her to make excuses for not interviewing them. Then follows the ranting about Bill Gates and James Packer, who “… don’t care about your children or my children. They don’t care if they live or die. So long as they can make money doing what they are doing and protect their financial interests in the meantime…”.

Conspiracy rant - Meryl DoreyOther comments included, “What a crap biased report, no surprise. Immunization rates must need a boost.” “Pathetic piece of reporting. One can only hope that people see it for what it was.” “Why weren’t the parents of Ashley Epapara and Saba Button interviewed? For the exact reason that MD mentions above. Not good for business.” “Isn’t this a live vaccine … can’t the reporter pass on the virus to the baby if she just had her booster shot???” “When will reporters actually read Dr Andrew Wakefield‘s study and report on it accurately? Are they incompetent reporters who don’t check their facts, or are they outright liars? And if they are incompetent reporters, how to they get to be on a prime time program like 60 minutes? Ugh. So glad you didn’t lower yourself Meryl Dorey. Disgusting and irresponsible reporting by 60 minutes.”

And on it goes with feverish “liking” of each twilight zone observation.

“Diet-aid firm’s law suit halts review of it’s ‘outlandish’ ads”

© Louise Hall at Fairfax writes:

An academic who complained to health authorities about a company that marketed a herbal spray as ”the most effective slimming solution available in the world today” has failed to have an $800,000 defamation case thrown out.
Ken Harvey, an adjunct senior lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne and a regular campaigner against non-scientific products and services, has accused SensaSlim of stymying an investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration into its weight-loss product by launching legal action in the NSW Supreme Court.
The TGA’s complaints resolution panel had received a number of complaints about the product, including those from Dr Harvey and Professor Lesley Campbell, from the St Vincent’s Hospital diabetes centre, alleging that SensaSlim has made outlandish claims without scientifically acceptable evidence.
However, the panel is restrained from investigating the product while legal proceedings are under way.
”By having a legal case, they have totally stopped the complaint panel for at least a year but they can continue promoting and selling it and they are laughing all the way to the bank,” Dr Harvey said.
Terry Harrison, SensaSlim’s legal adviser, denied it was designed to ”gag” Dr Harvey, and said it was a response to his complaint on http://www.auspharmacist .net.au. ”He’s trying to suggest this is some sort of gag order. Nothing can be further from the truth,” Mr Harrison said.
But in a newsletter to SensaSlim franchisees obtained by the Herald, a company spokesman, Adam Adams, said its lawyers had ”found a way to defend the company”.
”This defamation action, which could be in the courts for a year or two or even longer, basically gives an iron-clad protection that nobody can raise a complaint against SensaSlim to the [complaints resolution panel] and hurt us,” Mr Adams said.

Continue reading

Beware The Lure Of New Treatments

Originally published, June 14th © MJA Insight by John Dixon.

Associate Professor John Dixon is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow in obesity research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, and head of the obesity research unit, Department of General Practice, Monash University, Melbourne.

The excitement of being able to participate or even lead in the development of new treatments in difficult areas such as obesity, cancer prevention and treatment, arthritis and back pain is enticing.
Unfortunately for medical practitioners, there are business entrepreneurs ready to trade on their genuine enthusiasm and – dare I say – naivety. A recent example involves weight loss. It’s not easy to lose weight and even harder to keep it off. Motivation, willpower, energy in and energy out – it sounds so simple but it isn’t.
We now know weight and fat stores are carefully regulated by powerful physiological mechanisms that actually defend against permanent weight loss – all understandable when we consider that our body computes weight loss as a signal of starvation, famine and death.
With the failure of the pharmaceutical companies to develop acceptably safe medications in this difficult area, we are left with an enormous vacuum and a huge untapped market of people who want to lose weight. The field is fertile for the “scam” professionals and complementary medicines are an easy target.
As medical practitioners we can become unwittingly entrapped in these scams. We too want to believe someone has finally developed an effective remedy.
A recent example involved a mouth spray, launched onto the Australian market with great fanfare. There were statements of massive randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with exceptional results – results that those of us in the know would think were “too good to be true”.
How could this large, multicentre RCT involving thousands of people globally have not come to our attention? A prominent European weight loss physician was engaged as a consultant by the manufacturers/promoters with the promise of the trial data being supplied.
In the meantime, this physician’s name was widely used to support the claims, giving the appearance of expert validation, which aided promotion. However, the data to support the claims was never supplied, leaving the physician high and dry with his reputation damaged.
By the time the penny finally dropped he was in an uncomfortable position as the promoters had changed from being soft and appreciative to being aggressive, confrontational and threatening. This particular matter is heading for a legal resolution.
An Australian medical practitioner, concerned about the extraordinary claims being made about this product, openly questioned the results and advised the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration of his concerns. He was also met with aggressive, confrontational behaviour and legal action by the same promoters.
This intimidatory modus operandi is often used by the unscrupulous to suppress the squeaky wheel and delay the appropriate assessment by regulators. Meanwhile, the income rolls in and by the time the dust settles the original product has had its day and the next scam is already up and running.
This practice is not restricted to weight loss. Wherever there are regulatory grey zones, for example complementary and traditional medicines, and cosmetics, unwary consumers and medical practitioners are at risk of being exposed to unscrupulous operators.
Beware the company that delays provision of quality data, or becomes defensive or aggressive, or attempts to turn the table of blame back on practitioners who push for answers and evidence.
It takes a very strong practitioner to weather this storm but protecting the wellbeing of Australian health consumers from expensive and potentially dangerous scams makes it worthwhile.

A health product activist in court and a regulatory body in question

As Ken Harvey’s defamation hearing has begun it’s quite proper to ask questions about the impotent regulations that led to this point.
Source of article, “Prominent Activist In Court Dispute” – © Pharmainfocus July 13th, 2011 (ABC links added)
By Niamh Mullen
A defamation action against prominent activist Ken Harvey relating to a TGA complaint he made about a complementary product is scheduled for a hearing the Supreme Court of NSW today [Monday 13th].
Dr Harvey, a lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne, hopes to have the case taken by SensaSlim Australia thrown out. In March he submitted a complaint about the promotion of the weight-loss spray SensaSlim to the Complaints Resolution Panel, the TGA, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
In April, the defamation action was launched. The defamatory imputations concern details of the complaint he lodged with the TGA and a report of the complaint that was published on the pharmacy news website
Auspharmacist.net.au. A Therapeutic Goods Regulation, called 42ZCAJ, means the TGA has had to stop all investigation of the complaint until the court proceedings have been finalised.
Dr Harvey has said this regulation provides an incentive to a sponsor that is being complained about to initiate a legal action. “They can drag out a court complaint; it can be very expensive for a complainant and often the complainants roll over because they can’t afford to continue the litigation. It’s a very fraught area and it’s not surprising that there aren’t many complaints,” he said on the ABC Radio National show, The Health Report. [MP3 here]. Dr Harvey said it illustrated the failings of the current regulatory system for complementary products. He pointed out that four months after a first complaint was submitted, promotion of the product continued. He said the regulators appeared to be “paper tigers”. He also said the case showed that making complaints to the appropriate authorities was not without risk.
Ken Harvey’s observations with problems about current legislation were;
Some sponsors have actually sued people who have put in complaints with what we call slap writs, strategic litigation against public participation. This can be a litigation which asks for example a stay of a report into these problems or into complaints on the grounds that this information is alleged to be defamatory. In practice what happens is that that stops the complaint resolution panel from hearing complaints because there is an obscure therapeutic goods regulation which says that if after a complaint has been made to a panel a proceeding begins in a court about the subject matter of a complaint the panel cannot deal with the complaint until the proceeding is finally disposed of.
Now that provides a lovely incentive to a sponsor that is being complained about to initiate a legal action which then stops the complaint, lets them continue to market and away they go. And of course they can drag out a court complaint; it can be very expensive for a complainant and often the complainant’s role over because they can’t afford to continue the litigation. It’s a very fraught area and it’s not surprising that there aren’t many complaints.
More so, a survey by the National Prescribing Service showed that 50% of Aussies assume complimentary medicines are independently tested. That means by a third party serving only to provide impartial results. Results that would rightly influence TGA decisions on what makes it to market in a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry. 70% of Aussies use a complimentary medicine at some point. That’s a large number but it’s a static figure. What concerns me is that some people use certain Complimentary and Alternative Medicines – CAM’s – regularly. Some of these, ensconced in the false believe that “natural” medicines are incapable of causing serious harm – if any – consume excessive amounts.
Interestingly, as can be seen below, the TGA does require, and reinforce, that manufacturers clearly label what is in the packaging. To list components of CAM’s. This satisfies TGA requirements that only ingredients on a TGA approved list are present, and accounted for. Some manufacturers go to great lengths to add some pizzazz by ambitiously qualifying what each ingredient supposedly does. You may have read these: “Each tablet/capsule/spoonful/dose contains 30 mg of xxx for added vitality, 43mg of diddlie dee to promote rapid wound healing, 12 mg of trala trala to assist in quality sleep… strong tissues, healthy bones, optimal nutrient uptake, sustained energy, immune integrity”, and so on. They do not have to advise that no independent clinical tests exist.
That means manufacturers of CAM can legally fail to inform the 50% of consumers under the impression of safe and effective testing that they are mistaken. As I’ve mentioned before, in such situations consumers are placing trust in the equivalent of a slogan.
In this light one may reasonably ask what is required to bring a product to market. In other words, how does a company successfully register their product on the Australian register of therapeutic goods to the satisfaction of the TGA prior to selling under the above conditions? Ken Harvey told ABC’s Joel Werner;
They’ve got to show that they are producing them in terms of good manufacturing practice standards. Secondly they’ve got to choose their ingredients from what is a relatively limited list held by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of ingredients they regard as relatively safe. Some sponsors regard this as a bit of a game, so if the ingredients for example in their product don’t happen to be on the list of the TGA you can happily tick whatever you find on a drop down list that you think is similar and the product will get up. And indeed recent audits from the TGA have found that up to 90% of violations when they actually sit down and get a human being to look at what’s been put into the automated system, the advantages from the manufacturers’ or sponsors’ point of view it is very easy to get these products to market.
The sponsor is meant to tick a box to say they hold evidence that the products work. When one checks up and looks at the scientific evidence it’s often very lacking for the claims that are made. The TGA do a limited amount of post-marketing surveillance in which they randomly look at products that have been listed. Those are the ones that they’ve been finding up to 90% violations. The only other constraint is people who put in complaints about complementary medicines and that system has got problems also.
Back to Niamh Mullen;
Also speaking on The Health Report, [a week laterMP3 here] the TGA’s National Manager, Rohan Hammett, said he was not aware that any individual had ever been subject to court action as a result of simply complaining through the usual complaints resolution processes. He also said it was normal practice for administrative proceedings to be put on hold when a higher court was considering a matter.
“Many of the complaints that actually arise about therapeutic products arise between commercial competitors. So one company may complain about another company’s advertising to seek to gain commercial advantage from that and hence there are processes in place that lay out clearly the steps for making an effective complaint. But also, where there are matters for courts to decide, they allow those courts to make those decisions and I think that’s actually an appropriate way for our legal system to operate,” Dr Hammett said.
That particular episode of The Health Report opens with a comment on TGA figures showing 9 out of 10 CAM products breach regulations in some way, with 22% unable to provide the evidence of efficacy they claimed existed. TGA national manager, Rohan Hammett sounded quite the apologist in saying;
Well Joel the data that we released on Friday is the sort of data that we’re hoping to make more available in the future to people about the compliance activities that the TGA undertakes. And these data do raise significant concerns about the current rates of compliance amongst the complementary medicine sector. I have to say though Joel, just to perhaps provide some context to that, many of the breaches in the compliance are of a relatively minor nature, people may for instance be using the wrong size font on a package of their complementary medicines in breach of a guideline that says the font has to be a certain size.
Or they may in fact have a document missing from their application. That is technically a breach but actually doesn’t affect the quality of the product in any way.
Somehow I don’t think consumers are worried that boasts of Xmg of diddlie dee providing strong bones or an aid to concentration may be written (aptly I might add) in large Comic Sans and not properly sized Ariel font. No, I’m pretty sure the 22% evidence vacuum trumps not having to fumble for ones glasses to read bollocks.
To put that in perspective, a large warehouse type chemist I visited had a CAM aisle easily 25 metres long. With shelves on both sides that’s 5 metres of products that do not have evidence backing the claims adorning their labels. In major suburban pharmacies one in five of those splendidly displayed products cannot be trusted.
There are demonstrably many benefits to Ken Harvey taking the actions he has over this unusual failure to regulate in the interests of community safety. To get a feel for the apathy and impotence of the TGA compare these two comments from different Health Report episodes. On May 16th Ken Harvey stated;
….. Why hasn’t anything happened? Well clearly I think there are two reasons. Firstly the complementary medicine industry is very reluctant to have anything happen because they are making good money doing what they’re doing. And the second problem I think is the Therapeutic Goods Administration. It’s a risk-based organisation, it can only put its limited resources where it thinks the big problems are and it would regard ripping off consumers as less of a problem than for example some prescription medicines which have really nasty side effects which can kill you.
However, not concentrating at all on the problem of complementary medicines has let the problem blow out. I might say there’s one other problem that people have perceived and that is that the TGA is 100% funded now by industry fees and again some people have unkindly suggested that if you’ve got an organisation 100% funded by industry that it may be more reluctant to take measures that would impact on industry profitability and indeed on the TGA’s own finances.
The following week this was brought to the attention of Rohan Hammett. He responded with spin;
Well Joel with respect to Dr Harvey those claims are absolute nonsense. The TGA is an organisation established by the Australian government to fulfil a public health role. I get up every day as do the other 600 employees here to improve public health in this country by making sure that people have access to safe and effective therapeutic products in a timely manner.
The fact that the industry has to pay fees to recover the cost of that regulation is a common practice across Commonwealth regulatory agencies. That removes the burden of the costs of that regulation from the tax payer. Why should the tax payer have to fund the regulatory costs for a commercial sector that is then going to generate profits from that regulation?
So just to emphasise that the TGA’s key stakeholders are clearly the Australian people and that is who we work for and our role is very much to provide public health benefits for them.
So to be clear, the TGA is most certainly 100% funded by the industry that’s failing to adhere to regulations. What Hammett thinks is nonsense is that this situation influences the capacity of the TGA to act with impartial conviction. He perhaps should have stopped there. The rest of his commentary appears to be special pleading.
In fact, the burden of proof is of course on the TGA to show that it’s present funding source is not a conflict of interest. That in my mind has not been done.