HPCSA seeks to overturn Noakes not guilty verdict

Time of article published Feb 22, 2018

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Professor Tim Noakes remains confident the appeal by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, seeking to overturn a not guilty verdict for advising a mother to wean her baby onto a Low-Carbohydrate, High Fat (LCHF) diet will come to nought.

Noakes was speaking on the second day of the appeal at the HPCSA headquarters in Pretoria this morning.

In April, Noakes was found not guilty of misconduct after the regulatory body received a complaint about him giving advice relating on his low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet to a mother on Twitter. 

In 2014, a mother tweeted: @ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies??"

Noakes then went on to advise the mother to wean her child onto LCHF foods, which he described as "real" food.

In response he tweeted: "Baby doesn't eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to wean baby onto LCHF."

Advocate Michael van der Nest SC, Noakes defense, in making representations to the commission, said Noakes was entitled to his own opinion and it was for the mother to either accept or discard the information offered.

He stressed that no doctor patient relationship had been established and as such no guidelines had been violated by his advice.

Moreover that the guidelines as well as the norms and standards for health professionals he allegedly violated were non-existent in relation to social media platforms.

The decision to appeal the verdict, stems from assertions that the HPCSA was of the view that Noakes did not have the expertise or experience to give neo-natal or infant related advice.

The matter is set to continue until Thursday.

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