UPDATE: NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has condemned the anti-fluoride stance of My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans.
Skinner told the Daily Telegraph she stopped watching the reality cooking show when she learned of Evans’ views on fluoridated drinking water. Last year, the chef and paleo diet advocate was photographed wearing a Fluoride Free t-shirt, having met with the controversial lobby group to “discuss ideas”.
“Here we are spending a lot of effort and energy in educating people about the value of fluoridation … and it is countered by a celebrity who knows nothing from a specialist point of view,” Skinner said.
“I’m highly disappointed that they would use a platform of cooking. That is totally inappropriate … and quite disturbing, which is why I won’t watch those programs any more.”
Evans responded to Skinner's comments in the Telegraph, saying he was open to discussing "the value of fluoridation" with the Health Minister, but asked that "she, or any other party, does not misrepresent my views, opinions or beliefs."
He also rebutted Skinner's additional suggestion that he held an anti-vaccination stance: “I have never spoken about vaccination, its risks or possible connections with any medical conditions."
The Glow previously reported...
It's been a controversial 12 months for Pete Evans.
Back in October, the celebrity chef and paleo diet advocate posted a 2100-word diatribe on his Facebook page, criticising the Dieticians Association of Australia and the Heart Foundation, and suggesting Australia's autism and mental illness rates are somehow linked to the healthy eating guidelines promoted by these two bodies.
Now, the My Kitchen Rules host has apparently backed a Perth-based anti-fluoride lobby group.
Fluoride Free WA claims fluoridated drinking water - which is provided to most Australians through their kitchen taps and is supported by local health bodies including the AMA and Australian Dental Association - is 'harmful' and causes disease.
Evans confirms to The Daily Telegraph that he has met with Fluoride Free WA to "discuss ideas", telling the newspaper, "This is definitely something I am passionate about because I am a father and I care about future generations and where we’re headed."
In October, a photo of Evans wearing a Fluoride Free WA T-shirt appeared on the group's Facebook page, while on his own page he stated his family doesn't drink tap water.
“If you look at the number of countries who have reversed their fluoridation programs, it really raises alarm bells,” he tells the Daily Telegraph. “Fluoride in the water hasn’t always been there and we’re no better off now than when it wasn’t.”