The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has lambasted “irresponsible” celebrity chef Pete Evans for reinforcing his controversial views on calcium, fluoride and sunscreen on primetime national television.
Evans was interviewed on the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program to “set the record straight” about some of his outlandish health claims.
The My Kitchen Rules host and paleo diet devotee repeated many of his beliefs during the program, angering viewers with his thoughts on breastfeeding, drinking water and “bone broth”.
For this, AMA President Michael Gannon told Sky News on Monday that Evans should “stick to the pearl couscous and the scientists can stick to pertussis”.
“He is an opinion leader,” Dr Gannon said.
“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.”
In the Sunday Night interview Evans said it was not necessary to be a medical or scientific expert to speak authoritatively on health and nutrition.
“What do you need a qualification for to talk common sense?” Evans asked.
“Why do you have to study something that is outdated, that is industry-backed, that is biased, that is not getting the results?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 gonna waste your time with? That’s just crazy, it’s just crazy.”
Evans also hit back on Facebook on Monday saying he simply promoted a healthy balanced diet, but also alleged the AMA bowing to vested interests.
“We also talk about respecting the sun and not getting burnt and choosing a non toxic sunscreen and making are to get adequate vitamin D exposure as so many people are lacking this,” Evans wrote.
“We encourage people to ditch the dairy as a marketed health food from the dairy association for 3 months and see how their bodies feel without it.
“Is the AMA in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industries and are they in the business of helping people get healthy?”
Evans once had a book publishing deal suspended when it emerged its “bone broth” recipe for children to drink instead of breast milk was deemed dangerous by the medical fraternity.
On that, Evans said: “We promote breast milk first and foremost,” but that his bone broth recipe was still good for babies who could not take human milk.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the peak body for indigenous health, branded Evans “the kitchen’s Pauline Hanson”.
“He’s got some fairly flaky ideas,” the AMA’s Dr Gannon said. “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.”