Banting guru Professor Tim Noakes has won his case at the Health Profession’s Council of SA‚ four years after he tweeted that a mother should wean her baby on to a low-carb-high-fat diet.
He told TimesLIVE: "The predominant feeling at the moment is one of intense relief. Relief that it is finally over and that the appeal judgment was again 100% in our favour as was the original judgment. This chapter is finally closed. I just hope that all the effort put in by myself and my team will help move the dietary guidelines forward to the benefit of the health of all South Africans."
In February 2014‚ the mother‚ Pippa Leenstra‚ tweeted: "@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies??"
The complaint against Noakes was laid with Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) by dietician Claire Strydom‚ who was then chairperson of the Association of Dieticians of SA.
Noakes won his case in April last year but the HPCSA appealed the ruling and a new appeal committee‚ including a doctor and a lawyer‚ was established.
The issues at both hearings examined whether Noakes was giving "unconventional advice" over social media and whether he was treating Leenstra's baby as a patient without conducting an examination. Doctors cannot treat patients over social media.
The appeal found there was no doctor-patient relationship between Noakes and Leenstra‚ who had used Twitter to ask for general advice.
In its appeal the HPCSA argued that the protection of public from tweets was paramount.