Vaccine Debate Vexes Vermont Ski Resort Town

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A planned symposium featuring notorious vaccine skeptics has set off a testy but polite debate in the Vermont ski resort town of Stowe.

But while the argument has lit up neighborhood, blogs, listservs and Facebook pages, local residents say they’ve planned the ultimate civilized counter-protest — a bake sale at a local brewery.

 “I am going to be donating gluten-free goods,” said Ericka Reil, one of the critics of the conference.

Stowe is an unlikely new front in the ongoing battle between a small but very vocal and organized group of vaccine critics and public health experts, physician groups and parents who say that message endangers children. Many of the speakers scheduled for the Stowe meeting have been blamed for an outbreak of measles in Minnesota that’s now sickened 54 people and put more than a dozen children into the hospital.

The event, sponsored by a Stowe chiropractor, is being held at the town’s public high school. That’s angered local residents almost as much as the content of the daylong meeting, which stars the makers of the film “Vaxxed.”

Related: Measles Outbreak Fueled by Fear Sends Kids to Hospital

 “I am just furious that these anti-vaxxers are coming to Vermont because there is just so much misinformation going on around there about the causes of autism,” said Reil, herself the mom of an 18-year-old boy with autism.

“There are these liars out there saying that it’s vaccines that are causing autism,” she said. “Because of not vaccinating their children we are having these outbreaks of diseases such as these outbreaks of measles in Minnesota.”

A few parents have started an online petition asking the sponsor, chiropractor Bradley Rauch, to cancel the event.

Rauch did not return phone calls from NBC News.

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