Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick isn’t a conspiracy theorist. Especially not when it comes to the trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes. It would be funny were it not so deadly serious, Kendrick says. But it isn’t funny at all. He says it’s clear that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is pursuing a vendetta against Noakes. And that’s for daring to promote a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (LCHF).
The HPCSA is appealing its own committee’s comprehensive not guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017 on a charge of unprofessional conduct. The appeal begins in Pretoria today and runs until Friday.
The HPCSA has objected to a request by Noakes’s lawyers to introduce new evidence. It shows that dietitians from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) set Noakes up from the start. And that it was an inside job – from within the HPCSA. The Appeal Committee – that the HPCSA sets up – will have to rule on that first.
In his latest blog, Kendrick compares Noakes’s case to Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke and science investigative journalist Dr Maryanna Demasi. Both regularly challenge dogma on nutrition.
Kendrick says doctors and others globally must keep an eye on Noakes’s case. If not, he fears that the HPCSA will “shred” him on made-up charges, held in virtual secrecy. After that, the “industry-sponsored PR machine will get to work” and the HPCSA will spread more lies about Noakes. That will affect us all.
Kendrick quotes Winston Churchill: a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has a chance to get its boots on. Here’s what he says. – MARIKA SBOROS
Some of you may remember I wrote a blog about Professor Tim Noakes being dragged in front of the HPCSA last year to face charges of “Doing something quite bad, but we are not quite sure what – and we will keep changing the charges until we find something that sticks”.
The case centred around a tweet that Tim Noakes wrote. That was several years ago on a discussion forum (Twitter). The HPCSA accused him of providing a medical consultation – online – to a breastfeeding mother. (The HPCSA has no guidelines on what constitutes an online consultation.) Earlier in the hearing, which started way back in 2015, witnesses for the HPCSA said there would have had to be a consultation before he could give any advice or make a diagnosis.
The mother’s tweet read: “@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies?? [sic]”
The mum obviously knew what LCHF was (real, nutritious food) and tweeted Noakes and his co-author of The Real Meal Revolution. Noakes replied: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF.
The primary accusation was that Professor Tim Noakes was guilty of serious professional misconduct. Really, to be struck off on the basis of one tweet, that tweet, and that’s it.
The accusation was based on two questions:
Question One: does this constitute a medical consultation?
Question Two: if this is advice, is it dangerous or damaging?
The HPCSA’s own committee threw out both accusations in the comprehensive not-guilty ruling last April. Even though the HPCSA was acting as judge, jury, and executioner, as part of its own enquiry, set up by itself.
So, they must have had a bloody weak case if the HPCSA itself couldn’t even convince itself that it was right!
You would think that would have been the end of it. But no. The HPCSA obviously feels that it is completely incompetent.
So it has appealed its own decision. You can click here to read in more detail the utter ridiculousness of what is going on here:
If this were not so Kafkaesque and strange, it would be funny. But it is not funny because it is crystal clear that certain members of the HPCSA are pursuing a vendetta against Professor Tim Noakes. And many, some would allege, have significant financial conflicts of interest,
Just as happened to the Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke.
In Australia, Gary Fettke, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) silenced him for daring to advise patients to eat fewer carbs and more fat – a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. (Editor’s note: Dr Fettke refers to it as a low-carb, high-healthy-fat diet)
He had been struggling to operate on obese patients and wondered if anything could be done to help them lose weight. He found that LCHF worked. His tale is both hilarious and deeply upsetting and his wife is now blogging on his behalf.
Following various hearings, AHPRA warned DrFettke not to give any more advice on diet. And, even if his views on LCHF ever become accepted medical practice, he will not be allowed to talk about them to any patient – ever.
Which is perhaps the most stupid judgement in the history of any medical authority. And that takes some doing. A doctor unable to tell his patients about best medical practice.
Patient: ‘Tell me Dr Fettke, what do you think I should eat to help me lose weight and control my diabetes?
Dr Fettke: ‘I am sorry I am not allowed to talk to you about such matters, for I am a mere orthopaedic surgeon who cannot understand such complex things. For that, you must talk to a dietician.’’
Yes, really. Yes…really.
I watched Dr MaryAnne Demasi ripped to shreds in Australia, losing her job at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for daring to produce and present two programmes. One supporting a high fat, low carb diet – the other criticising statins. (Editor’s note: Dr Demasi is an investigative science journalist and a former medical scientist. She completed a PhD in rheumatology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.)
There, are of course many others who have been attacked. Even me, although the attacks have been more “character assassination” than any attempt to strike me off the medical register – so far.
You do not need to be a conspiracy theorist to be very deeply worried about the tactics used to silence Noakes. And anyone who dares to promote a high fat low carbohydrate diet.
You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist because it is quite clear that there is a conspiracy to silence anyone who dares stick their head over the parapet on this issue.
So, yes, I want to teach the world to sing… Sorry, got that wrong.
I want to teach the world to sign a petition supporting Professor Tim Noakes and his battle in South Africa:
I also want to do what I can to keep this issue up there, in front of as many people as possible. Otherwise, Professor Tim Noakes will be shredded, on made up charges, held in virtual secrecy.
After which, the industry-sponsored PR machine will get to work.
‘Tim Noakes guilty of professional misconduct for promoting high-fat, low-carb diet in children.’ ‘Panel members warn of serious harm to children from Tim Noakes advice.’
A lie, as Winston Churchill once opined, is halfway around the world, before the truth has a chance to get its boots on. Let us shine a bit of light on the lie, before the starting gun fires.