Australian Competition and Consumer Commission attack on alternative views of illness and treatment of.

Alert

This is the latest from http://www.homoeopathyinfo.com/?p=2206

UPCOMING COURT CASE – WILL YOU HELP?
(This is a redacted version of the original post. If we had not removed certain points by midnight tonight, we may have been in sub judice and tomorrow, in goal. Please continue to help by sharing this post as much as possible).

You are probably aware that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced proceedings against Homeopathy Plus, my husband and me last week in the Federal Court of Australia.

(If this is news to you, you may like to read: A Letter from Fran Sheffield – Today I will be in Court).

At last we are free to tell what happened, and we hope you will read to the story’s end as the events involved have the potential to affect you as much as us. We also have four important areas in which you may be able to help.

AT THE BEGINNING
When the ACCC decided to commence fast-tracked proceedings against us we had little more than a week’s notice to prepare for the Directions Hearing. The ACCC was concerned that three pages on our website (one of which had been removed almost a year ago) were misleading or deceptive. These pages contained information about whooping cough, the whooping cough vaccine, and [REDACTED].

When we were advised that proceedings would be commenced, we decided to defend the action as we believed (and still believe) the information we provided was correct.

THE DIRECTIONS HEARING
At the Directions Hearing in the Federal Court last Friday (March 1, 2013), the ACCC sought immediate orders and a fast-tracked date for when the case would be heard in full.

So what was the outcome of this hearing? Thanks to excellent representation by our barrister, the Justice removed the fast-tracking; the case is now scheduled for late August, at which time we intend to defend our position vigorously. In the meantime we have agreed to remove the pages in question from our website until the case is heard.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
There is still a long way to go. The case is significant and a lot is at stake – not just for us but for anyone who accesses and wants to continue to access information on vaccines and healthcare from an alternative viewpoint.

When our case reaches court in August, the following questions will be asked:

1. [REDACTED]
2. [REDACTED]

You may be wondering if the repercussions of this case will extend beyond Homeopathy Plus, my husband and me. You may also wonder if a precedent will be set that not only affects the practice of homeopathy in Australia but also the practice and supply of information by many other complementary and alternative therapies. And, like others, you may be asking, “Is it fair for someone to be prosecuted by a government agency just for questioning certain aspects of government health policy and offering an alternative view?”

We have received advice that the right to publicly question government information about vaccines and provide alternative information on homeopathy will be a central issue in this case (i.e. the extent of those rights and when they can be censored) so obviously, important issues are at stake.

We cannot say more at this time about the details of the case, but we hope this has gone some way to explaining its significance. We need your support and are asking you to help in a number of important areas.

THE FIGHTING FUND
If you have ever practiced or been helped by homeopathy, now is the time to show your support. A conservative estimate for legal and court costs in this case is at least $50,000 – an incredible amount of money in one lump, but not so much if divided between many. Just 500 homeopaths donating $50 each would create a fund of $25,000 right there!

If other alternative therapists – chiropractors, naturopaths, herbalists, acupuncturists (the list goes on and on) – joined with us, we would all be in a much stronger position.

And for those who want to protect their right to alternative information and natural healthcare, your donation, no matter how big or small, will help provide strong and effective legal representation.

You can donate in any of the following ways:

1. Fax your credit card details and the amount you want to give to 02 4044 0153 (international faxes: +612 4044 0153)

2. Make a PayPal payment at: fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au – Remember to add FIGHTING FUND in the comments section and we will send you a receipt.

3. Direct deposit funds into the following designated account – be sure to email us at office@homeopathyplus.com.au with the amount and FIGHTING FUND in the subject line so we can send you a receipt:

Westpac Account: Fighting Fund
BSB: 032 627
Account: 198475

4. Pay by card over the phone at 02 4304 0822 (International callers: +612 4304 0822)

5. Mail your cheque to Homeopathy Plus at:
7b/1 Pioneer Avenue
Tuggerah NSW 2259

Remember to provide your name and address so we can send you a receipt.

To those who have already contacted us with offers of help and donations, thank you so much! Your support is greatly appreciated and means a lot to us.

OUR LEGAL TEAM
Our legal team is still being assembled for this important case. If you are a solicitor, barrister or Queen’s Counsel and would like to be involved, please contact us on 02 4304 0822 or send an email to fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au

CALLING ALL EXPERTS
If have expertise in the area of whooping cough, vaccines, or the [REDACTED] and would like to help with the case, please contact us on 02 4304 0822 or send an email to fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au

GETTING THE STORY OUT
Help spread the word about this case in any way you can. Tell your family, friends and patients about it and the implications it may have for their access to alternative health information and treatment. Post it on your blog and Facebook pages. Tweet it and pin it up on Pinterest. Share it on other social media sites. Send the information to any email lists you may be involved with. It is important to get the word out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

IN CONCLUSION
If you love homeopathy and want continued access to information on vaccines and healthcare from an alternative viewpoint you MUST choose to act. Please help us and please help homeopathy. By doing that, you will also help yourself.

Thanking you so much,

Fran Sheffield.

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