ICO orders Dept of Health to release MMR vaccine info

Ministers are "fuelling the controversy" over health risks linked to the MMR vaccine by suppressing information about the decision to embark upon a national immunisation programme more than 20 years ago, the information watchdog has warned.

The Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has ordered the Department of Health to release a raft of 1988 documents under the Freedom of Information Act, saying that he believes it is in the public interest.

The Government had blocked requests for the information from the public on the grounds that disclosure could affect the commercial interests of pharmaceutical companies and could hinder future policy-making.

MMR scare 'fuelled by ministers' (The Independent, 13 January 2009)