German court orders vaccination cynic to pay for virus proof

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:07 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A German court has ruled that a prominent anti-vaccination advocate must pay a doctor 100,000 euros ($105,720) in prize money he had promised to anyone who could prove measles is a virus.

Biologist Stefan Lanka made the offer on his website in 2011, but rejected the six scientific studies Dr. David Bardens provided as proof.

Lanka argued during the Ravensburg district court hearing that measles "is a psychosomatic illness," the local Suedkurier newspaper reported.

But court spokesman Matthias Geiser told The Associated Press on Friday the judges disagreed after hearing more than three hours of arguments and expert testimony.

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"The court had no doubt about the existence of the measles virus," it said in a statement.

Lanka told the Suedkurier he would appeal, but Geiser said he had not yet.