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The Australian Medical Association has slammed Pete Evans' pro-paleo film as "tripe".

Australia’s peak medical body has slammed celebrity chef Pete Evans’ documentary The Magic Pill as “tripe” that suggests a “grand conspiracy” between Australia’s health and food industries.

The documentary, which is screening at selected cinemas around the country, follows people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, as well as an autistic child, as they take on a high-fat, low-carb diet for five weeks and at the end, appear to have improved symptoms.

Australian Medical Association President Dr Michael Gannon told Mamamia the film was riddled with “anti-science” claims.

Listen: The modern ethical dilemma.

“It’s just the latest, ludicrous, anti-science claim from someone who obviously has great talent as a chef and as a TV personality, yet feels the need to step into health science from time to time,” Dr Gannon said.

He criticised the film for “invoking some kind of grand conspiracy” between the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, the medical profession and “everyone else”.

Dr Gannon took aim at Evans’ “pet favourite” theory: that altering your diet is the best way to treat diseases. He added these suggestions were “hurtful” to those affected by these illnesses, disorders or disabilities.

“While healthy diets are part of prevention – Australians could improve their lives by putting healthier things in their mouths, there’s no doubt about that – but this idea that dietary manipulation can change the course of autism spectrum disorder or change the course of a cancer is not just ludicrous, it’s hurtful to people who are affected by these, and are worried about themselves and their loved ones.”

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Dr Gannon said The Magic Pill and films like it appeal to those who “buy into conspiracy theories” and like to have their own mistrust of authority “confirmed” through such means. He urged Australians to instead turn to trained medical professionals for their health information.

“I would encourage people to get their health information from their local GP, not from someone trying to sell their latest kooky book or their latest kooky film.”

The paleo diet promotor is a close friend of controversy, having previously received backlash for his unbacked claims that sunscreen and fluoride are harmful and that “bone broth” is an appropriate alternative to formula for infants.

Evans has not responded to Mamamia’s request for comments. However, the My Kitchen Rules judge hit back at Dr Gannon’s criticism on Instagram.

Next to a screenshot of Dr Gannon’s tweet suggesting the film should be up for an award for “least likely to contribute to public health”, Evans wrote: “Is this type of behaviour befitting of the president of the AMA?”.

Tags: ama , paleo , pete-evans
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