IT’S the beaming celebrity smile that hides a dirty dental secret — celebrity chef Pete Evans is a fluoride denier.
The My Kitchen Rules star has confirmed meeting the controversial group Fluoride Free, which claims water fluoridation leads to disease, to discuss “ideas”.
The renegade group believes, among other things, that fluoride tap water is unethical, is not regulated and that it accumulates in the body.
Evans, who claims he doesn’t “touch” Aussie tap water, said: “This is definitely something that I am passionate about because I am a father and I care about future generations and where we’re headed.”
But Perth-based group has been dismissed by the Australian Medical Association as a “vocal hodge podge of conspiracy theorists”.
AMA West Australian President Dr Michael Gannon has slammed Evans, saying: “Does he have nice teeth? If so he has fluoride to thank.
“It’s always disappointing when people use their celebrity in a way that is not useful to society.
“In cases like this, when people are simply wrong, we ask that they butt out of the debate.
“Water fluoridation is something that has the full backing of the Australian Dental Association and the AMA, it’s cheap, it’s proven to be beneficial, and data repeatedly proves that it is effective in reducing cavities in children.”
But Evans has defended his position, pointing to the number of countries around the world that have discontinued water fluoridation.
“If you look at the number of countries who have reversed their fluoridation programs, it really raises alarm bells,” he said.
“Fluoride in the water hasn’t always been there and we’re no better off now than when it wasn’t.”
According to the World Health Organisation, Australia is among 11 countries in the world where more than 50 per cent of the population drink fluoridated water, joining Brunei, Chile, Guana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the US.
Countries that have previously had fluoridation but have since stopped include the UK, Greece and Israel.
But Dr Gannon dismissed Evan’s argument about the decision by some countries to reverse their water fluoride programs, pointing to the poor level of dental health in Britain, which has been compared to that of Ancient Rome.
“Great Britain is a perfect example of a country that could benefit greatly from fluoridation,” he said.
“Pete Evans is a good chef but he doesn’t have the scientific background to comment on this.”
Evans has also been accused of putting his fans’ health at risk with his extreme views on diet and lifestyle.
He passionately advocates the controversial Paleo diet and has attacked the Dietitians Association of Australia and the Heart Foundation.
This week he began championing the use of kinesiology (the study of body movement) on his Facebook page, which has in excess of 455,000 fans, claiming he has not had to see a doctor in 20 years.
“It enrages me when celebrities like Peter Evans disregard and devalue medicine and can have potentially serious consequences for members of the public who follow these words,” AMA Victorian president Dr Tony Bartone said.
“While everyone is entitled to their own views, rightly or wrongly celebrities’ comments and actions hold extra weight in society.”