- Celebrity chef Pete Evans strongly endorses fluoride-free water
- But Health Minister Jillian Skinner said he is putting people’s health at risk
- She also added she has refused to watch Evans’ show My Kitchen Rules
- Medical professionals say fluoride protects from tooth decay
- Australian Dental Association supports water fluoridation
Health Minister Jillian Skinner has slammed celebrity chef Pete Evans for promoting fluoride-free water, saying he is putting people’s health at risk with his extreme views on diet and lifestyle.
It comes after concerned medical professionals described Evans’ standpoint as misinformed and a potentially dangerous lifestyle choice after he revealed his family also steers clear of consuming Australian tap water.
Ms Skinner said she was ‘highly disappointed’ to see the My Kitchen Rules judge use his power as a high profile media personality to influence in areas he had no expertise, in which she has refused to watch his reality cooking show.
‘Here we are spending a lot of effort and energy in educating people about the value of fluoridation, about the fact that there are no risks associated with vaccination, or very low risks, and that there is no connection between vaccination and autism, and it is countered by a celebrity who knows nothing from a specialist point of view,’ she told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘I’m highly disappointed that they would use a platform of cooking. That is totally inappropriate and quite disturbing, which is why I won’t watch those programs anymore.’
Evans’ has responded to the Health Minister’s concerns, saying he would like to discuss the benefits of water fluoridation.
‘I welcome the opportunity to discuss the value of fluoridation with Ms Skinner, but ask that she, or any other party, does not misrepresent my views, opinions or beliefs.’
The revelation follows after Evans threw his weight behind an anti-fluoride campaign where he proudly wore a ‘Fluoride Free WA’ t-shirt on Facebook to promote the Perth-based lobby group’s cause.
‘Alkalised water (maybe I just should’ve just said filtered water?) – we have a portable mineral pot ($500) water filter which rids tap water from potential carcinogens (chorine, chemicals, bacteria etc),’ he said in a post on his Facebook page.
‘I realise there’s plenty of controversy around alkalised water, but I would rather choose this option over drinking tap water or bottled water, as it works out cheaper in the long run, and is environmentally friendly.’
Australian Medical Association Victorian president Tony Bartone hit back at the outspoken chef telling Daily Mail Australia that Evans needed to stick to what he does best.
‘All evidence at this stage both reliable studies and research from universities, the World Health Organisation, and by the Australian Dental Association points to the fact that basically fluoridation is an important public health initiative – it does prevent tooth decay,’ Dr Bartone said.
‘Celebrity chefs should stick to their knitting and stay out of the debate – his comments belong back in the Stone Age.’
‘People like this are using their fame and influence in areas that they have no expertise – obviously a top class chef but when it comes to scientific research and understanding – they are lacking.’
Evans has previously been slammed for his endorsement of the controversial Paleo diet, which his family abides by, that includes meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit but excludes dairy or cereal products and processed food.
‘I’m occasionally ridiculed or accused of ignorance because I choose to eat and feed my family what I believe to be a nutrient dense diet,’ he said on his Facebook page.
‘I can’t help but find it so bizarre as to why some people find my food choices so offensive?’
He says his decisions are an important part of being a parent – adding that ‘ignorance is not bliss’.
‘I’m a father and I take that privilege very seriously, so for me striving for optimum health and trying new things whenever possible, so that I can be a responsible role model for my daughters and still be able to surf right up until the end, is the ultimate goal,’ he posted.
However, Dr Bartone sees Evans’ stance as abusing his high profile media personality.
‘It is influencing vulnerable others – people who are time-poor – and will unfortunately just look at celebrity endorsement and think it must be good and follow the argument without delving into the facts, he said.
‘It affects the health message we are trying to impart on our patients and the community at large – especially in times when know that health and well-being is crucial and key to a number of illnesses and health factors that have a huge cross burden on society.’