HPCSA to give verdict on Prof Tim Noakes's right to practice

File: Sports scientist Professor Tim Noakes stands accused of unprofessional conduct for the advice he gave to a breastfeeding mother. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images

PRETORIA - Professor Tim Noakes will find out on Friday whether or not he’ll lose his right to practice.

He stands accused of unprofessional conduct for the advice he gave to a breastfeeding mother.

Noakes, who popularised the Banting Diet, advised the woman to wean her baby onto a low carb high fat diet.

READ: Noakes faces HPCSA over Banting tweet

This is the twitter conversation that landed Professor Tim Noakes in hot water.

Noakes advised a mother to wean her baby onto a low carb high fat diet, better known as Banting.

Following this advice, the Association of Dietetics in South Africa, filed a complaint with the Health Professions Council.

ADSA said the diet was not in line with accepted international and local guidelines for complementary feeding for children.

And now, three years after the incident and a formal hearing, Noakes will know whether or not his license to practice will be revoked.

During the hearing he argued that his advice was anything but unconventional, quoting research from as far back as the 1800s, before the boom in obesity rates.

“My opening slide says the following, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but no-one is entitled to his or her own set of facts, and that’s what’s happened... As you will see in our discovery bundle, we’ve given you all the evidence, this is the evidence. And why is it not being taught, that’s the question? Why don’t we acknowledge the totality of the evidence. Why do we look at a small section of the evidence and then we say diabetes and obesity is a complex disease and we don’t understand it. That is nonsense, it’s a simple disease," said Noakes.

Last year the Health Professionals Council issued a statement that caused massive confusion.

It incorrectly announced that Noakes was found guilty of unprofessional conduct, but retracted the statement three hours after releasing it.

READ: HPCSA apologises and retracts 'Tim Noakes guilty' statement

Noakes’s lawyers responded saying it was deliberate and a plot to destroy his reputation. 

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