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31 Mar 2017

AMA President Dr Michael Gannon has hit back at celebrity chef Pete Evans over his claims that fluoride doesn’t prevent cavities, sunscreen is toxic and a medical degree is unnecessary.

The reality TV star, better known as Paleo Pete because of his controversial dietary promotion (his book was pulped by the publisher because it suggested bone broth was a sufficient nutrient for babies), pushed his views and commercial activities during a recent interview on the Seven Network where he works.

He also used the interview to question the need for and effectiveness of child immunisation.

And he saw no problem with him freely preaching his views even though he had no medical training; quoting unnamed sources to back up his wild theories.

“What do you need a qualification for to talk common sense?” he said, when asked during the interview why he gave medical advice but had no qualifications.

“Why do you have to study something that is outdated, that is industry-backed, that is biased, that is not getting the results?

“That would be insane to study something that you’re going to waste your time with. That’s just crazy, it’s just crazy.”

But it was Paleo Pete’s own unqualified ideas that Dr Gannon suggested might be a little crazy.

“I think that Pete should stick to pearl couscous, and the scientists can stick to pertussis,” Dr Gannon said on Sky News.

“Some of his comments are so irresponsible. He is an opinion leader, and when it comes to things like the importance of adding fluoride to the water in those parts of Australia where there’s not the natural levels of fluoride to protect teeth, when it comes to some of his comments about nutrition and about important dietary sources of calcium, and now he’s dipped a toe in the water when it comes to vaccination, he needs to be more responsible.

“He’s got some fairly flaky ideas. We know some of the people he communicates with, in terms of his so-called sources. I think he should stick to his very obvious talents in the kitchen and leave the science to the scientists.”

Earlier, the AMA had tweeted:  “Pete Evans putting his fans’ health at risk with extreme advice on diet, fluoride, calcium. Celebrity chef shouldn’t dabble in medicine.”

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation described Evans as “the kitchen version of Pauline Hanson” following his TV interview.

Chris Johnson


Published: 31 Mar 2017