Fact Check: Australian Legislation That Classifies The COVID-19 Vaccine As A 'Poison' Does NOT Mean The Shot Is Toxic Or Harmful

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Australian Legislation That Classifies The COVID-19 Vaccine As A 'Poison' Does NOT Mean The Shot Is Toxic Or Harmful Semantics

Does Australian legislation that classifies the COVID-19 vaccine as a "poison" mean that the shot is toxic or harmful? No, that's not true: It's a matter of semantics. Medicines and vaccines are normally classified as poisons under the "Poisons Standard" in Australia, but only in the sense that they can cause harm if taken incorrectly or in the wrong amounts. By the claim's logic, substances such as aspirin and the measles vaccine could also be considered "poison." The term has a very different legal meaning than the way most people use the word.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted to BitChute on July 8, 2021, by "Wil Paranormal." Titled, "LEAKED DOCUMENT - 'AUTHORIZATION TO ADMINISTER A POISON (COVID-19) VACCINE' - THEY KNOW IT'S MURDER," the video's caption reads:

CONFIRMED THROUGH LEAKED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT.
The name of the game is MURDER and YOU are the intended victim.
Are you going to lie down and take this lethal injection or are you going to stand up and fight back with a Revolution to the heart of the enemy - your own government.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

LEAKED DOCUMENT - 'AUTHORIZATION TO ADMINISTER A POISON (COVID-19) VACCINE' - THEY KNOW IT'S MURDER

CONFIRMED THROUGH LEAKED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT. The name of the game is MURDER and YOU are the intended victim. Are you going to lie down and take this lethal injection or are you going to stand up and fight back with a Revolution to the heart of th...

Shortly after the video's two-minute mark, a narrator claims:

I've got breaking bombshell news for you here. This is confirmation that not only is it a military rollout project, as we know, but they know that it's poison. They know they are administrating poison.

As supposed support for the claim, the video cuts to this document from the government of Western Australia. It's not, as the post claims, a leaked document. It's an official document, available on the government's website, as Lead Stories is demonstrating by providing the link. Dated March 2021, it authorizes relevant Australian Defence Force employees to supply and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. It was signed by Dr. Andy Robertson, chief health officer of Western Australia.

The document refers to the COVID-19 vaccine as a "poison," but it does so in the legal sense of that word, not in the way that the post uses it: to imply that the shot is dangerous or toxic. The authorization was made under the Public Health Act 2016, which can be read here. That legislation, in turn, refers to the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014, which can be read here, which defines "poison" as "a substance that is a Schedule 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 poison."

In Australia, medicines, vaccines and other chemicals are classified under the "Poisons Standard". Substances covered by the standard fall into 10 categories or "schedules." In an introduction to the Poisons Standard, the Australian government document (bold-face added by Lead Stories for easy reading) says:

Any substance (ingredient) can be a 'poison' and cause harm if used incorrectly or taken at the wrong dose. This guidance helps sponsors and manufacturers of therapeutic goods to understand and use the Poisons Standard to determine if any restrictions apply to their product.

The Poisons Standard has been developed to ensure the safe handling of substances in Australia. It provides a uniform approach to control the availability and accessibility of substances that can be used as ingredients in medicines as well as cosmetics, agricultural products or household cleaners.

The Poisons Standard itself has a very long list of substances and their classifications. Included in the list are everything from ibuprofen (schedules 2-4) and aspirin (schedules 2, 4-6) to the measles vaccine (schedule four) and cocaine (schedule 8). The COVID-19 vaccine is considered a schedule 4 substance. Here's a government breakdown of what the different schedules signify.

In other words, by the post's logic, all vaccines and medicines in Australia could rightly be considered a "poison." The term is being used in a legal sense, not in the way that most people might understand it.

Lead Stories reached out to Robertson, chief health officer of Western Australia, to ask about the claim. In an email, dated July 12, 2021, he wrote:

The narrator obviously hasn't read or ignored the legal background to this Authorisation. This authorisation was made under Sections 197 and 198 of the Western Australian Public Health Act 2016. Section 197 states 'Chief Health Officer may authorise persons to administer, manufacture, supply or prescribe poisons' and any authorisation needs to reflect that wording and couldn't be amended to use the word 'medicine'. So this is a legal requirement, with no sinister intent as mooted.

Just after the three-minute mark in the video, the narrator claims:

They know the graphene oxide vaccinations are poison.

At five minutes, 10 seconds, the video cuts to a clip of The Stew Peters Show, where Peters is saying that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is composed of more than 99% graphene oxide.

That's not true. Host Peters and Jane Ruby, a frequent guest to his online show, extrapolated from their distortion of a report by a Spanish scientist to mean that there must be a plot by vaccine companies to commit mass murder. There is no proof the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine contains graphene oxide.

The Australian Associated Press and Reuters similarly looked into the "poison" claim, as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine, and found it to be misleading. You can read those fact checks here and here.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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