By Marika Sboros
The Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) is facing a global backlash for its role in the trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes. The backlash has grown faster in the wake of an ambiguous statement that ADSA released after the comprehensive verdict of not guilty for Noakes on a charge of unprofessional conduct for his views on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) foods.
American Ben Fury is one of many critics who has reacted with undisguised anger at ADSA’s statement. Along the way, he has identified “17 lies” that ADSA has told about its case against Noakes.
With so many lies in a single statement, Fury says that ADSA has set “a new record for being corporate stooges”. He doesn’t stop there in a damning attack on ADSA’s executive, under current president Maryke Gallagher. He calls them “quislings”. Quisling is the word for a traitor, especially one who “collaborates with an enemy occupying force for personal gain”. It comes from the name of Norway’s pro-Nazi leader Vidkun Quisling during World War 2.
Fury’s full-frontal attack on ADSA’s leadership is harsh. However, he isn’t the first to criticise ADSA for enthusiastically supporting its former president Claire Julsing Strydom and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in their spectacularly failed bid to silence Noakes and LCHF. (Click here to read: Noakes exposed: the real beef that dietitians have with him.)
Fury also isn’t the first to accuse ADSA and sister dietitians’ organisations globally of destroying their own and their members’ reputations by “sleeping with the enemy”: processed food, soft-drink and drug companies.
Fury runs SUGARbriety, a nonprofit corporation and Facebook group that exposes the addictive qualities of sugar and other carbohydrate foods. He is also an audio/video engineer and a fitness trainer, who specialises in Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) and strengthening techniques for pain relief.
He joins critics who say that ADSA and other orthodox dietitians’ groups dish up dietary advice that is not science-based. Rather, they say that it is dogma. It is also based on South Africa’s official dietary guidelines. Thus, the critics say that these groups and guidelines are the real public-health danger, not Noakes and other LCHF experts internationally.
Foodmed.net gave ADSA the opportunity to reply to Fury’s comments before publication. However, ADSA declined through “crisis manager”, Neeran Naidoo, CEO of Hewers Communications.
Here’s what so infuriated Fury about ADSA’s statement. Fury gives ADSA’s individual comment, then his interpretation of why he believes these are lies:
By Ben Fury
Seventeen lies in a single statement: ADSA makes a new record for being corporate stooges. Let’s sum up the lies in your statement, ADSA – shall we?
“Ms Claire Julsing-Strydom submitted a complaint about Professor Tim Noakes to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in 2014 on behalf of ADSA”
She submitted the complaint on her own personal account.
“Professor Noakes did not advise the mom to continue with breastfeeding, which undermined its importance.”
Noakes clearly stated that “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk.” He said that the key is to ween baby onto LCHF. What part of, “very healthy high-fat breast milk” do you think does not encourage breastfeeding?
“When foods rich in carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes are avoided and other carbohydrate food sources such as dairy, fruits and vegetables are restricted, the diet can become deficient in certain essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, B1, B3, B6, folate, magnesium and fibre.”
False dichotomy. You equate restricting carbohydrates with restricting nutrients. A whole-food, low-carbohydrate plan is rich in nutrients. That is exactly what (Prof) Noakes recommends: a low-carbohydrate, high-nutrient approach.
“Dietary guidelines for feeding babies are developed by organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), based on a strong body of evidence.”
The testimony of (Prof) Noakes, Dr Zoë Harcombe, Nina Teicholz, and Dr Caryn Zinn clearly laid out that there is not a strong body of evidence for such guidelines.
(Editor’s note. The WHO is also not the best example to bolster ADSA’s case for evidence-based nutrition advice and ethical practice. The WHO is a cumbersome machine when it comes to responding to the totality of scientific evidence. It is the United Nation’s public health arm and claims to fight global pandemic chronic of chronics ailments such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that these illnesses are lifestyle diseases primarily caused by unhealthy diets.
The WHO sensibly refuses to partner with the tobacco industry. However, its Washington-based Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has relied in the past on the food and beverage industry for advice on how to fight obesity. A 2012 Downey Obesity Report showed that PAHO received $150,000 from Nestle, a similar amount from Unilever and $50,000 from Coca-Cola.)
Click here to read: NOAKES TRIAL: DID DISGRUNTLED DIETITIANS SET HIM UP?
“The risks of experimenting with a baby’s development are immense and the long-term effect of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets for babies (are) currently unknown.”
We have population data for people such as the Inuit (in Canada) and Maasai (in Kenya). Data clearly show that the effect of low-carbohydrate,high-fat diets for babies is healthy growth and thriving.
“The concern for the health of babies was ADSA’s primary interest when ADSA lodged this complaint.”
ADSA accepts large sums of money from sugary junk food manufacturers that peddle that poison to children. Your primary interest is your power, money, and prestige. Who’s kidding who, here?
“For ADSA this hearing was never about winning or losing, or standing for or against Professor Noakes. It was about protecting the health of babies and future adults,” said Maryke Gallagher, President of ADSA.
ADSA twisted the truth into knots, outright lied, and scrabbled for the least straw to attack (Prof) Noakes. This was a vindictive, Big Food, industry-agenda-driven attempt to pillory a person who disagreed with the processed food status quo – all to protect ADSA’s position, power, prestige and money.
LIE 8, 9 and 10!
“ADSA and its members will continue to provide dietary advice that is evidence-based and in line with guidelines provided by the national Department of Health and international bodies such as the World Health Organisation. A scientific and rigorous process is used to develop international and local dietary guidelines, and the outcome of the inquiry does not mean that these guidelines will now change. ADSA will consider new approaches and practices based on scientific evidence that has been adopted by credible health organisations.”
8. Your dietary advice is not evidence-based.
9. Your evidence procedure is not scientific and rigorous.
10. You have no intention to consider new approaches and this statement proves it.
You’re just covering your ass. Please, stop lying already. Have you no dignity?
“We will never compromise ADSA’s independence as a result of corporate sponsorship.”
Really? You accept a third of your operating income from big junk food and sugary food peddlers and pretend independence? Do you really think we’re stupid enough to believe that? Or should I say, are YOU really stupid enough to believe that?
“Our sponsorship policy is clear on non-influence by sponsors. We do not endorse any brand, product or retail chain. There is no conspiracy between big foods and dietitians to sell unhealthy food to South Africans. A healthy population through well-balanced diets is what we strive for,” said Gallagher.
Click here to read: NOAKES NOT GUILTY – ‘OF SOMETHING OR OTHER’
See above. I’m not wasting any more time on this. You do the bidding of your corporate masters and help them poison the people you are sworn to protect. How you sleep at night is beyond me.
“It is very unfortunate that the professionalism and integrity of a number of nutrition scientists in South Africa has (sic) been unfairly questioned during this inquiry. It is ADSA’s hope that the reputation of nutrition professionals and dietitians as nutrition experts will be restored. Despite the negative sentiment, ADSA believed it had a responsibility to enquire about an issue that had such significant consequences for dietitians and other health professionals.”
Your nutrition scientists published the absurd Naudé Review (in PLoS One in August 2014 by Stellenbosch and Cape Town University researchers). Noakes and Harcombe completely ripped it to shreds. It was an obvious “hit piece” designed to attack Noakes. Your “experts” showed up and attacked Noakes with gusto, twisting the facts with wild abandon. The reputation of those nutrition professionals and dietitians as nutrition experts will never be restored. They are quislings – collaborators with the enemies of health.
Click here to read: NAUDÉ REVIEW: NO MISTAKES OR MISCHIEF? FAT CHANCE!
“There is no conspiracy between big foods and dietitians to sell unhealthy food to South Africans.”
You take big money from (Coca-Cola) and other big unhealthy food (and soft-drink) companies. You repeat their lies over and over and over and… Oh, actually that doesn’t qualify as a conspiracy. You’re just hurting people right out in the open. You take big money from Big Food and Big Sugar, then you do their bidding. I take it back. Not a conspiracy. Out in the open. Being evil. Just black soul evil. OK. I mean, not OK. But not a conspiracy.
“We have no personal gripe with Professor Noakes. Our concern has always been about the health of babies,” said Gallagher.
You tried to destroy the man. One does not do that to one they respect and have no personal gripe with. As for the health of babies. Nonsense. I covered that above. He tweaked you, and you decided to squash him.
— SA Crisis (@sacrisis) April 28, 2017
“South Africans have also been confused by the ebb and flow of this divisive nutrition debate and the inconsistent nutritional advice provided over many years. That is unfortunate.”
No, ADSA. That is by design. Your corporate masters make billions by selling processed sugary garbage foods. Keeping people confused is their bread and butter. And ADSA helps make that possible.
“I’m pleased this is over and we can now focus on other urgent nutrition challenges we have in South Africa,” concluded Gallagher.
Your response to this affair proves you’ve learned nothing. Diabetes and obesity are wrecking the health of South Africa, and you are still warbling on with platitudes that don’t help the outcome. You are worse than useless, ADSA. You are the problem. Get right or get gone. We’ve public health problems to be solved here. And you, ADSA’s Ms (Maryke) Gallagher, are not helping.
Editor’s note: One of the biggest ironies and Kafka-esque elements in the Noakes case comes in a comment at the end of ADSA’s statement on its website, from Christelle Badenhorst. ADSA’s case against Noakes was that he breached South Africa’s official paediatric nutrition guidelines, which its honourary life member North-West University Prof Hester “Estee” Vorster wrote.
Vorster also wrote a secret report which the HPCSA commissioned and used to charge Noakes. And she later became an expert witness against him. However, Vorster’s guidelines for infant feeding, align clearly and closely with LCHF – except for her advice for babies older than 12 months. That’s when she adds t that parents should “make starchy foods the basis of most meals” for their offspring.
ADSA resolutely refuses to say why it supports that advice and what – if any – science there is to back it up.
An Australian blogger, who goes under the pseudonym Macro Four, endorses Fury’s sentiments with reference to Lie 13. Macrofour has type 2 diabetes. He has titled his website, Take Back Your Health to Reverse Chronic Disease. He speaks from bitter personal experience of the effects of conventional medical and dietary advice on his health. Consequently, he says that this advice kept him fat and sick. As a result, Macro Four decided to change his diet and has come off all medication. He has also lost all the weight he needed to lose and has reversed all symptoms of his condition.
He says that the case against Noakes has backfired on his accusers. It has also trashed ADSA’s reputation and the flimsy evidence that it holds as “religious dietary laws”. “It is an obvious deflection technique,” Macro Four says. “ADSA needs to repair its own reputation.”
He also says that no amount of spin-doctoring will change the facts of the matter. Among these are that the evidence Noakes tendered at the hearing has left ADSA bankrupt of any authority.
“Who would see one of (ADSA’s) members now and have confidence?” Macro Four asks.
No argument there, I’d say.