Tim Noakes found not guilty

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April 21, 2017
Tim Noakes found not guilty

NOT GUILTY: Tim Noakes

Professor Tim Noakes has been found not guilty of unprofessional conduct.

For the past three years Noakes faced a charge of unprofessional conduct from the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) after he, via Twitter, advised a mother to wean her newborn baby on to a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

Noakes had advised Pippa Leenstra on Twitter, in February 2014, to wean her newborn baby on to a low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet.

This came after she had tweeted him and nutritional therapist Sally-Ann Creed about whether it was safe for mothers to be on the Banting diet while breast-feeding.

Noakes had replied on Twitter: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high fat breast milk. Key is to ween baby on to LCHF.”

Claire Julsing-Strydom, a past president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA), lodged the complaint.

She previously testified Noakes had given incorrect medical advice in his tweet, which had not been based on evidence and could be life-threatening.

Noakes has not practised as a general practitioner for years but faced losing his medical licence if found guilty.

The HPCSA ruled that Noakes was not acing as a medical professional but as an LCHF author

Last year he argued that had he been thinking of himself as a doctor he would have responded differently to the tweet that had landed him in hot water.

Throughout the trial Noakes has maintained that he is a scientist rather than a doctor.

Soon after the news after the verdict broke, Twitter congratulated Noakes on his victory.


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