Low-carb specialist Professor Tim Noakes found not guilty of misconduct

Professor Tim Noakes has been found not guilty of misconduct by an independent panel, it was announced on Friday.

Noakes has been involved in a three-year on-off trial after he offered advice on Twitter about what food to wean breast-fed babies on to.

Four of five committee members ruled that it was not proven Noakes had acted in capacity as a doctor, and that consequently it was not a reasonable inference that he was undermining breast milk.

Joan Adams, the chairman of the independent panel, announced the verdict in Cape Town, South Africa, on Friday upon reading a 60-page judgement.

No penalty will be imposed against Noakes, and the matter is regarded as finalised.

In what had been dubbed the “Nutrition Trial of the 21st Century”, Noakes was forced to answer a charge of unprofessional conduct made by the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Noakes, a world-renowned South African scientist and low-carb advocate, had advised Pippa Leenstra in 2014 to wean her baby onto a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

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

In Noakes’ book The Real Meal Revolution he promotes the benefits of a low-carb diet, and argued that he was trying to discourage Leenstra from feeding highly-processed breakfast cereals to her child.

But former president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom, registered a complaint about Noakes’ behaviour, leading to a protracted three-year trial which is now finally over.

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Jack Woodfield

Jack is Editorial Manager of Diabetes.co.uk. He works hard, plays fair and sleeps whenever possible. He has type 1 diabetes, doesn't mind being called a "diabetic", and once won a talent show for dancing to Dario G’s 1997 hit “Sunchyme”.

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