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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 31, 2024

No, Pfizer didn’t sue Australian former naturopath Barbara O’Neill over bird flu secrets

If Your Time is short

  • Pfizer has not sued Barbara O’Neill, a naturopath banned from practicing in Australia. 

As news broke that a third United States farmworker had been infected with bird flu, misinformation spread on social media about supposed protection from the virus, called H5N1, and a pharmaceutical company seeking to squash it. 

"While everyone is focused on the fact that Hailey Bieber is pregnant… they are trying to distract us from the fact that Pfiz3r sued Barbara O’Neill for $54 million because she exposed the secrets that will keep everyone safe from the birdflu outbreak," a May 28 Facebook post said. 

An Instagram post from the same day claimed the recent legal troubles of hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs were similarly devised to "distract us" from the Pfizer lawsuit. 

These posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Pfizer told PolitiFact in a statement that the claim is false — the company isn’t suing O’Neill, who promotes alternative medicine and was banned by New South Wales authorities from providing health services in 2019. 

Featured Fact-check

We found no news stories about Pfizer suing O’Neill, and no legal cases against O’Neill in the PACER database of federal court cases involving the company. Searching for credible sources to corroborate the post’s claim, we found only more social media posts, including one that took the allegation even further. A May 10 TikTok post claimed O’Neill had been "sentenced for life for revealing the secrets to keep everyone safe from the birdflu outbreak."

We also found nothing about a Pfizer lawsuit on social media accounts associated with O’Neill. 

With not a shred of evidence behind the claim that Pfizer is suing O’Neill, much less for $54 million, we rate it Pants on Fire!

RELATED: No proof Barbara O’Neill’s cousin ‘was sentenced to life in prison’


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No, Pfizer didn’t sue Australian former naturopath Barbara O’Neill over bird flu secrets

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