Anti-vaccine site warned by Advertising Standards Agency
Website warned over MMR claims
Babyjabs.co.uk said the three-in-one jab may be causing “up to 10%”
8 August 2012 Last updated at 02:48
A website offering parents advice on vaccines has been ordered to remove information about the MMR jab after claiming it could be linked to autism.
Babyjabs.co.uk said the three-in-one jab may be causing “up to 10%” of autism in children in the UK.
But the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the claim was misleading and must not appear again, after getting a complaint.
The website was also told not to repeat other claims it made about MMR.
These included the suggestion that “most experts now agree the large rise (in autism) has been caused partly by increased diagnosis, but also by a real increase in the number of children with autism”.
Another claim said the vaccine-strain measles virus had been found in the gut and brain of some autistic children, which supports many parents’ belief that the MMR vaccine caused autism in their children.
Defending the claims, Babyjabs referred to a study from 2002 which concluded it could not be ruled out that there were some children who had an increased risk of autism if they were vaccinated.
The website, which promotes single vaccines, also cited The Truth About Vaccines, a book written by Babyjab medical director Dr Richard Halvorsen, which made similar claims.
In the judgement, the ASA noted that the website made clear that the original allegations of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism by Andrew Wakefield was “strongly rejected” by government and the medical establishment.
But it said consumers were likely to infer from the website’s claims that the vaccine might have played a role in the “increase” of the number of children with autism.