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Doctors of B.C. speak out against naturopaths making false claims about vaccinations

Click to play video: 'Cracking down on vaccination misinformation from naturopaths' Cracking down on vaccination misinformation from naturopaths
WATCH: An organization representing doctors in B.C. is expressing concern that some members of the naturopathic community continue to make false claims about vaccinations. Catherine Urquhart reports – Feb 27, 2019

As Metro Vancouver deals with a measles outbreak, the Doctors of B.C., an organization representing doctors in the province, is expressing concern that some members of the naturopathic community continue to make false claims about vaccinations.

One of those claims is that most vaccines contain mercury, which is false.

When asked about the risk associated with such claims, Dr. Kathleen Ross, president-elect of the Doctors of B.C., said: “I think it is very dangerous.”

READ MORE: What we can learn from the current measles outbreak in B.C.

“Unfortunately, the more parents that don’t vaccinate their children, the greater risk to all of us. Children who are unvaccinated can, unfortunately, spread the disease to children who are too young to get the vaccine, are immuno-compromised in some fashion or are older people with immune deficiency,” Ross added.

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The College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. declined several interview requests.

In an email to Global News, the organization said that since 2018, just one member has been sanctioned for vaccination-related advertising.

WATCH: Globalnews.ca coverage of the measles outbreak

However, it noted that 67 naturopathic doctors — approximately 10 per cent of B.C.’s 668 registered members — are under investigation for various advertising-related issues.

“When people spread information that is inaccurate beyond their scope of practice while having the credibility of being part of a health professional college, that’s unacceptable,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

Naturopaths who make false claims face a minimum fine of $500.

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