Celebrity chef Pete Evans should “stick to his pearl couscous” and let doctors deal with science, according to the head of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
The comments from AMA president Dr Michael Gannon came after Evans questioned the usefulness of experts, and defended many of his controversial past statements, in an interview with the Seven Network’s Sunday Night.
In the interview Evans denied he’d ever told people not to use sunscreen, claiming he’d only recommended using a natural version of the product. He said the only time he didn’t use sunscreen at all was when he was outdoors for a short period of time.
He also denied recommending parents feed their babies bone broth rather than breast milk, saying he had repeatedly stated that breast milk was the best option if possible.
The bone broth recipe came from the book Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way, which was co-authored by Evans, blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin.
The book was withdrawn before publication by publisher Pan Macmillan over concerns parents may use the bone broth recipe for babies instead of breast milk or formula. It was later published independently.
The controversy stemmed from a bone broth recipe from Carr, who wrote on the book’s website: “Initially [the broth] formed the base for my sons home made formula which is based on the Westin (sic) A Price formula originally created by Mary Enig a world renowned bio chemist.”
Evans saved his most forthright comments for “experts” who refute his claims that dairy removes calcium from the bones, and that fluoride is actually bad for you, saying there is a “mountain of evidence” to back his stance.
“Why are doctors experts in fluoride?” he asked. “What are their qualifications to be up to date with the neurotoxin that fluoride is?
“What do you need a qualification for to talk common sense?”
As the show was going to air the AMA tweeted that Evans was “putting his fans’ health at risk” with his comments.
AMA President Dr Michael Gannon continued to attack Evans on Sky News on Monday morning, saying Evans relies on “fairly flaky ideas” and is receiving dodgy advice.
“I think that Pete should stick to pearl couscous, and the scientists can stick to pertussis,” he said. “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… 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.”
On his Facebook page on Monday morning Evans hit back at the AMA, suggesting it is “in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industries”.
“How much nutritional training does the AMA provide for their doctors?” he asked. “Remember ‘you don’t need to be qualified to have common sense!'”