Tag: ADSA

NOAKES AND THE WOMAN WHO HOLDS THE KEY TO HIS FATE

By Marika Sboros

What’s really behind the prosecution of scientist Prof Tim Noakes? Is it just a single tweet to a breastfeeding mother, which even she said she didn’t take seriously? Was one dietitian really so “horrified” that she reported Noakes – even though she dishes out the same information?

What of claims of a doctor-patient relationship between Noakes and the stranger on Twitter? The same dietitian admitted that there wasn’t one.

Or is it just because Noakes says things like “cardiology is an evidence-free zone”? (It often is, these days.) Or that he has exposed endocrinologists who preach that diabetes is irreversible? And that he exposes the malevolent influence on nutrition advice of food and drug industries and a shadowy international Coca-Cola proxy organisation? For proof, look to crack US investigative journalist Russ Greene.

What of the Medical Research Council (MRC) investigation into  staff member Dr Ali Dhansay? Dhansay was a key witness against Noakes.  Dhansay is a former president of the Coca-Cola proxy in South Africa. Will the MRC investigation reveal foul play? The Health Professions Council of SA  (HPCSA) trial against Noakes resumes on April 4. Here’s a preview and a look at who holds the key to Noakes’ fate.



Naudé Review: no mistakes or mischief against Noakes? Fat chance!

Prof Tim Noakes. Picture: The Noakes Foundation

By Marika Sboros

“We made no mistakes and no mischief in our study debunking Banting and Prof Tim Noakes,” say South African scientists. They don’t use those exact words. However, that’s the gist of their letter, which the SAMJ has just published. It relates to the Naudé Review in PLoS One in August 2014 by Stellenbosch and Cape Town University researchers.

Noakes and British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe published their analysis of it in the SAMJ in December 2016. They found major errors. Therefore, they concluded, the review findings are “not robust”. That’s scientific speak for wrong. Noakes and Harcombe don’t use the words “scientific fraud” – yet. Instead, they diplomatically ask: “Mistake or mischief?” However, if the errors were not honest mistakes, then mischief is a euphemism. So, are these academics giving “alternative facts” to try to silence Noakes? Why should you (or anyone) believe the Naudé authors when they say there was no monkey business against Noakes? Because they say so?



WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF NOAKES REALLY IS FOUND INNOCENT?

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

A South African news agency has published an anonymous article about scientist Tim Noakes. The headline: What will happen to Noakes if he really is found guilty? (Emphasis theirs.)

Health24 refers, of course, to the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) charge of unprofessional conduct against Noakes. It states that the HPCSA will “likely not be forgotten for erroneously reporting” that it had found Noakes guilty. It speculates on six penalties Noakes would face should the HPCSA find him guilty.

I’d say it raises another question: What will happen if Noakes really is found innocent? (Emphasis mine.) I speculate on five penalty areas facing the HPCSA and all those who have helped to prosecute Noakes. Read on and tell me what you think is more likely to be the case: 



NOAKES: PROOF THAT SA SCIENTISTS TRIED TO SMEAR HIM?

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Did researchers at top South African universities make multiple mistakes in a major study deliberately? Was their aim to discredit low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diets? And was their real target scientist Prof Tim Noakes? Or are they just human, fallible and in this case, hopelessly error-prone?

A new study in the SAMJ (South African Medical Journal) re-examines a 2014 study by University of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch University (SU) scientists. It shows that the scientists made many material errors that undermine their conclusions. It raises the question: mistake or mischief? Read on and make up your own mind.



Noakes guilty of ‘remarkable patience in face of profound silliness’

tim-noakesBy Marika Sboros 

Here’s another doctor who doesn’t think that world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes is the devil incarnate of nutrition science. Psychiatry professor Michael Simpson is withering about the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against Noakes.

Simpson describes the HPCSA as “totally unfit for purpose” and “Alice in Wonderland living in Pretoria”. He says that it is acting “bizarrely and improperly” in going after Noakes. “Nobody who has paid intelligent attention to the proceedings and the evidence could find (Noakes) guilty of anything at all,” Simpson says.

If Noakes is guilty of anything, it’s “remarkable patience in the face of profound and consistent silliness”. There’s more.



ZINN: ‘UNETHICAL FOR DIETITIANS NOT TO OFFER LCHF’

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin 'Rocky' Ramdass

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin ‘Rocky’ Ramdass

By Marika Sboros

Three things embarrass New Zealand-based dietitian and academic Dr Caryn Zinn most these days. At university, she never questioned what lecturers said about diet. In her private practice, she prescribed low-fat diets to adults and children for 15 years.  As a university lecturer, she told students low-carb diets were dangerous.

Zinn said this in her evidence led by Advocate Dr Ravin “Rocky” Ramdass, for University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes, at the fourth session of Health Professions Council Of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him on October 26.

In Part 1 of a two-part series on her evidence in chief, she explains why she believes that it’s unethical for dieitians who know about  LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) not to offer it as an option to patients.



NOAKES ‘GUILTY’ VERDICT DEVOID OF ALL TRUTH: ADV JOAN ADAMS

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-49-51-amBy Marika Sboros

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) released a press release today saying it has found Prof Tim Noakes guilty of unprofessional conduct.

That’s not possible, of course, since the case against him has not concluded. The HPCSA’s  Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) that is hearing the charge against Noakes, hasn’t even heard closing argument from lawyers on both sides yet. And it only intends issuing a ruling after that, on April 21, 2017. PCC chair Pretoria advocate Joan Adams has issued a tightly worded, clearly irate statement saying the HPCSA’s press release is “devoid of all truth”. Noakes’ lawyer Adam Pike went on radio to say much the same thing. Pike has announced that Noakes is considering legal action against the HPCSA.

Here’s what Adams had to say:



NOAKES TRIAL: DIETITIANS TRYING TO COVER THEIR BACKS?

Prof Tim Noakes with advocate Michael Van der Nest in the background.

Prof Tim Noakes with advocate Michael Van der Nest in the background.

By Marika Sboros

Are the dietitians behind the trial of Prof Tim Noakes attempting to distance themselves from the complaint to avoid the consequences that may flow if the ruling goes his way? Lawyers acting for Noakes have introduced documents, which seem to suggest that’s the case.

The last day of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) latest hearing session against Noakes in Cape Town on October 26, 2016, ended on a dramatic note. Before closing his case, Johannesburg advocate Michael Van der Nest SC introduced a letter as evidence regarding the position of dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom and the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) in the charge against him.

HPCSA’s lawyers threw up their hands and objected vociferously but to no avail. They failed in their attempts to block the letter from being entered into evidence. Here’s what went down:



NOAKES TRIAL: ‘ANGEL’ HARCOMBE AIMS AT ITS HEART

Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

By Marika Sboros

If South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes were enough to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the danger zone, British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe’s could fell them with a heart attack.

Noakes once memorably called statins “the single most ineffective drug ever invented”.  In her evidence at the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing in Cape Town, Harcombe called them “one of the biggest crimes against humanity that the pharmaceutical industry has unleashed”.

She also said health professionals have a duty to tell the public that advice the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) gives is biased in favour of industry. Here’s why:



NOAKES: CASE AGAINST HIM FALLING APART? PART 2

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Something about South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes and his views on the role of carbohydrate and fat gets up the Health Professions Council of SA’s nose faster than a cocaine hit. The fourth session of the HPCSA hearing against Noakes began in Cape Town on October 17.

Noakes told the hearing that humans have “absolutely no essential requirement for carbohydrate”. There is no human disease that a deficiency of carbohydrate causes.  Carbohydrate in the body serves only two functions. It is either used as a resource of energy or it is stored as fat. “There is no other option,” he said. That applies to weaning for infants as well.

HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand didn’t like that one bit. In cross-examination, he said a low-carb diet for infants is dangerous – and by implication, so is Noakes.  Here is the final of a two-part review of the hearing so far. 



NOAKES: CASE AGAINST HIM FALLING APART? PART 1

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

At the close of the first week of the fourth session of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against scientist Prof Tim Noakes, there were signs of  terminal decline in the case against him. Whether you see signs as auspicious or ominous –  or see any at all – depends, of course, on whether you are a friend or implacable foe of Noakes.

Friend or foe – Noakes has both – it wasn’t hard to spot signs in HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand’s cross-examination of him. Bhoopchand started midday on Tuesday, October 18. By late Friday afternoon, he had achieved not a single major concession from Noakes. When he wasn’t accusing Noakes of having brought the case on himself, Bhoopchand tried and failed to poke serious holes in the science of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) to treat and prevent serious disease.

Here’s Part 1 of a review of the week: 



NOAKES: ‘DOG DID NOT BARK’ – PROOF OF HIS INNOCENCE?

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-49-51-amBy Marika Sboros

There was more drama, intrigue and “silent dogs” on day one of the trial of South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes in Cape Town on October 17. Noakes resumed his evidence-in-chief and began to untangle what he believes the case against him is really about.

He also started to reveal just who he believes may be behind the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against him. For “DNA” proof, Noakes pointed to “the dog did not bark”. He fingered some usual suspects and more:  



NOAKES REALLY IS A ‘PUBLIC DANGER’ – CARDIOLOGISTS

By Marika Sboros

University of Cape Town cardiologists say Prof Tim Noakes is a true “cholesterol denialist”. They accused him of being one in a letter to the media in 2012. They say the accusation holds true and he’s a danger to the public.

Cholesterol and hearts are a major focus of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against Noakes, a medical doctor and UCT emeritus professor on a charge of unprofessional conduct. So are minds and all other bodily organs, of course. Also under the spotlight:



NOAKES TRIAL: WILL HPCSA TRY TO CLIP TIM’S ANGELS’ WINGS?

Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes and his legal dream team must think all their birthdays have come at once. “Tim’s Angels”, the nutrition science equivalent of “Charlie’s Angels” in the hit TV series, are flying in to be expert witnesses for him in the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him.

Proudly South African-Kiwi academic Dr Caryn Zinn joins British obesity researcher and public health nutritionist Dr Zoë Harcombe, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.  When the HPCSA’s Kafkaesque trial of Noakes resumes in Cape Town on October 17, I expect the HPCSA to try to clip Tim’s Angels’ wings.



NOAKES TRIAL: COULD CARDIOLOGISTS BE AT ITS HEART?

By Marika Sboros

tim-noakesI’ve been thinking: could cardiologists be at the heart of the case against world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? The pun is intentional. Noakes really does seem to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the stratosphere with his views on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).

Noakes’ trial on a charge of unprofessional conduct resumes in Cape Town from October 17 to 26. That was for two tweets saying good first foods for infant weaning are LCHF. In other words, he was advising meat, eggs, dairy and veg.

The Health Professions Council of SA, assorted academics and doctors (especially cardiologists), and Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) dietitians think that advice is rotten. Here’s what UCT cardiologists say about Noakes and his reply:



NOAKES TRIAL: EXPERTS FLYING IN TO SUPPORT THE SCIENCE

Picture: ROB TATE

By Marika Sboros

When the Kafkaesque trial of world-renowned South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes resumes in Cape Town in October 2016, two heavyweight international expert witnesses will testify for him: Cambridge University graduate Dr Zoë Harcombe, a British public health nutritionist, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.

The country’s regulatory body, the Health Professions Council of SA, has charged Noakes with unprofessional conduct for his views on diet. Here’s what you can look forward to in this strange scientific saga that has garnered worldwide attention: 



Gary Fettke turns into ‘Australia’s Tim Noakes’!

Dr Gary Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke

By Marika Sboros

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has banned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke from giving nutrition advice. It has done so after a two-year “investigation” into Fettke’s qualifications.

Overnight they’ve turned him into “Australia’s Tim Noakes”.  Elements of this case mirror the  Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) case against Prof Tim Noakes. Noakes is a world-renowned scientist and medical doctor. Both  cases open up a medical Pandora’s box. Both go to the heart of what it means to be a real “doctor of medicine”. Thus,  these cases are also about who is best qualified to give nutrition advice.



All seed oils safe to eat? Fat chance!

By Marika Sboros

Seeds are sometimes called vegetable oils, though not strictly correctly

Seed oils are sometimes called vegetable oils, though not strictly correctly

Globally, scientists say growing and compelling evidence reveals significant health risks associated with use of seed oils such as canola and sunflower – unless you live in South Africa. Scientists in that country say their research proves these oils are perfectly safe, will protect you from heart disease, and are free from “Frankenfood” genetic modifications to boot.

That ringing endorsement comes in a recent study published in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition (SAJCN). It’s enough to warm the cockles of the heart of the seed oil industry that makes billions from these products, even though concerns about serious health risks continue: 



NOAKES ‘TRIAL OF THE 21ST CENTURY’: THE EVIDENCE Part 2

Noakes

By Marika Sboros

First  you become fat, then you develop insulin resistance, right? Probably not. South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes has been researching ketosis since the 1980s. In Part 2 of a series of videos of his evidence in chief at the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him in February, Noakes gives a Ketosis 101 lecture. He presents compelling research to show why he is innocent of the charge of unprofessional conduct.

But isn’t ketosis dangerous? You might well ask since many doctors and dietitian still believe it is. Here is another view:



NOAKES TRIAL: IT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT TWITTER!

Tim NoakesTHE Association of Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) wants you to believe it only wants to muzzle world-renowned Prof Tim Noakes because he dared to express views about nutrition on Twitter. With help from the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), ADSA is doing the very opposite of silencing him. The HPCSA trial against Noakes resumes in Cape Town in October. It has given him an international platform for dissemination of the growing body of scientific evidence in favour of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF). After the November 2015 session of the HPCSA hearing, ADSA issued a statement saying the hearing is only about Twitter. Here’, Noakes’ lawyer, Adam Pike, of Pike Law, explains why this case really is not about Twitter: