Craig Kelly

Craig Kelly and TGA: “seriously misleading” information

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has alleged Craig Kelly has breached copyright and promoted “seriously misleading” information about Covid-19 vaccinations. Its lawyers have written to Mr Kelly “demanding” he stop misusing TGA information.

What’s it all about?

Spam text messages

Most of you will know that Craig Kelly, now leader of the United Australia Party (UAP), has been sending out text messages to thousands of Australians. You’ve probably received one yourself.

On 7 September, this text went out, encouraging us to visit a page on the UAP website.

Clicking the link takes you to a page that looks for all the world like a government page. It has the Australian coat of arms and an Australian government title. It shows a table from an Australian Government website. Only when you scroll down to the bottom do you see it is on the UAP website.

Screenshot of top of UAP page showing portion of TGA Report on adverse events associated with Covid-19 vaccinations.

Misleading information

The information on this page is taken from a Government database, the Database of Adverse Event Notifications. Information from this database can be downloaded from the TGA website. Mt Kelly has downloaded selected information (totalling 73 pages) and presented 5 pages of this information.

The information is a table of adverse effects from people taking certain medications, including the number of people who died over this time (19 months).

Portion of the Table from the Database of Adverse Event Notifications for 3 Covid-19 vaccines.

This UAP page is misleading because:

1. It hides important information

The TGA report opens with this “important information”, in large print:

“The TGA uses adverse event reports to identify when a safety issue may be present. An adverse event report does not mean that the medicine is the cause of the adverse event.”

The UAP page omits this large print important information, but leaves it in a smaller print footnote.

2. It gives a misleading impression

By omitting this important information, the statement that 448 people have died in the adverse events recorded is prominent. Many people will see that and never get down to the footnote that advises that the vaccine isn’t necessarily the cause of the adverse event, nor, by implication, the cause of the death.

It isn’t clear whether Mr Kelly is ignorant of this, or has deliberately chosen to disregard it.

Professor John Skerrit, head of the TGA explains that 3000 people die every week. It is therefore unsurprising and coincidental that some older people die not long after receiving the vaccine. (Most people die not long after eating a meal, but that doesn’t mean the meal is the cause of death!)

Instead, Dr Skerrit explains, further investigations are required to establish cause of death and any possible connection between the vaccine (or any other medical treatment) and the death.

“When we look down at cause and effect, we believe that there’s a total of nine reports of deaths that can be associated to vaccines, and this is against the background of 20 million doses of vaccines given in Australia,”

The UAP edited version of the TGA report doesn’t provide this crucial information and thus gives a totally misleading impression.

TGA response

The TGA has written to UAP alleging failure to comply with copyright requirements, as well as publishing misleading information.

The TGA database report includes this statement on the front page (my emphasis):

“This work is copyright. You may reproduce the whole or part of this work in unaltered form for your own personal use or, if you are part of an organisation, for internal use within your organisation, but only if you or your organisation do not use the reproduction for any commercial purpose and retain this copyright notice and all disclaimer notices as part of that reproduction.”

The UAP hasn’t complied with this requirement. He hasn’t included the copyright notice and his use is neither personal or internal. He seems prima facie to have indeed violated TGA’s copyright as part of its misleading information. (I believe my very limited reproduction of the information is within copyright requirements.)

Mr Kelly and UAP have issues a statement saying they welcome “legal threats from TGA”, but it is hard to see how they can avoid the conclusion that they have broken the copyright conditions placed on the information.

Conclusion: same old, same old

As we’ve documented many times before, Mr Kelly continues to misrepresent information, by selectively quoting, failing to understand or mention (it is hard to know which) crucial information.

In this case, 9 deaths have been attributed to a Covid-9 vaccination, not 448 as he implies.

And his misrepresentation may have serious immediate consequences. If people are influenced to delay or refuse vaccination for Covid-19, their risk of death or serious health issues is greatly increased. (That will be the subject of an upcoming Fact Check.)

We cannot trust Mr Kelly.

#VoteThemOut

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