By ABC reporter Justine Parker.
A Sydney naturopath will face trial over a raw food diet she allegedly devised for a breastfeeding mother, whose baby nearly starved to death.
Marilyn Bodnar, 60, has appeared in Campbelltown Local Court charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and aiding or abetting failure to provide necessities of life to a child.
She is yet to enter a formal plea, however has indicated she will plead not guilty.
The prosecution alleges that in February 2015 a 33-year-old maternity ward nurse, who cannot be identified, went to the naturopath seeking advice for her baby son’s eczema.
It is alleged Bodnar told the woman, who was still breastfeeding, the eczema was caused by toxins, which needed to be eliminated.
The court was told the naturopath devised a raw food diet for the woman, before advising her to subsist solely off water and watermelon for three days.
When relatives expressed concern over the woman’s weight loss, Bodnar allegedly told her she was “fat and needed to lose weight”.
The court heard the naturopath also said the baby boy’s weight loss was his body’s way of eliminating toxins.
The baby boy became sick and when the mother told Bodnar her child was projectile vomiting, the naturopath allegedly said it was good because he was “deeply eliminating” the toxins.