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HPCSA to announce Noake's fate

Western Cape
Cape Town - Today is D-Day for eminent scientist Professor Tim Noakes, as the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is set to deliver a judgment in what observers have dubbed the “nutrition trial of the 21st century”.

The Association of Dietetics of South Africa accused Noakes of unprofessional conduct, following a tweet in which he told Pippa Leenstra to wean her baby on to a low carb, high fat diet (LCHF), as listed on the green list in Noakes’s book, Real Meal Revolution.

On February 6, 2014, the former president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing Strydom, lodged the complaint against Noakes, claiming that he gave “unconventional advice on social media”.

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The Health Professionals Council is to give its verdict to Tim Noakes today. Picture Brenton Geach

Noakes at no time treated Leenstra professionally in his capacity as a physician.

When the HPCSA committee, chaired by Pretoria advocate Joan Adams, delivers the ruling on Friday, it will end the three-year-old trial which began in 2015.

Noakes said when he took the stand in October that the trial had cost him and the HPCSA millions of rands.

The HPCSA professional conduct committee contended that Noakes had a “professional doctor-patient relationship” with Leenstra, that he had “breached medical profession’s norms and standards on social media”, that he had given “advice that was not evidenced-based” and that the advice given was “dangerous and could have caused harm”.

Noakes’s counsel, led by advocates Michael van der Nest and Dr Ravin Ramdass, rejected the HPCSA’s claims and pointed out that it had failed to prove its case. 

Van der Nest said that the information Noakes had disseminated on Twitter had caused no harm.

Cape Argus

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