Much has transpired in the conflict between Tim Noakes and South Africa’s nutrition establishment since we first covered it in January 2017. If you’re new to the Noakes case, we recommend reading that article for the early history. The short version is that Noakes tweeted in favor of low-carbohydrate diets, and South Africa’s nutrition establishment reported him to the nation’s medical professional council for unprofessional conduct. This complaint forced Noakes to defend his statement throughout 18 months of legal inquiry. At stake were his medical license, as well as the freedom of South Africa’s physicians to speak publicly about food.
Then, in May 2017, Noakes’ professional conduct committee acquitted him of the charge of unprofessional conduct. But the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) decided to appeal the decision. That appeal will be heard this year, and Noakes is eager to have the platform to expound his views again.
If the South Africa nutritionist cabal hoped to silence Noakes, that gambit backfired. Noakes and journalist Marika Sboros have published a 488-page history of his “nutrition trial.” This book, “The Lore of Nutrition,” is available on Amazon Kindle now. It comes out in paperback in the United States on March 18.
Sboros was an obvious choice for co-author. She has produced the most detailed coverage of the Noakes trial through her FoodMed.net website. I relied upon her work in my December 2016 investigation. That research pointed me to the involvement of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a non-profit organization funded by Coca-Cola and founded by Coca-Cola executive Alex Malaspina. As I then concluded,
“a former ILSI South Africa president convinced the HPCSA to charge Noakes, another former ILSI South Africa president testified as an expert witness against him, and an ILSI-funded researcher consulted for the legal team prosecuting him. And yet, not a single news story has connected ILSI to the Noakes trial.”
Page 2 of Lore’s “Introduction” features these findings,
“It took a US investigative journalist to join many of the dots I had identified. Russ Greene’s research led to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a Coca-Cola front organisation. In an explosive exposé in January 2017, Greene showed how the ILSI has worked to support the nutrition status quo in South Africa, as well as the health professionals and food and drug industries that benefit from it. It has opened a branch in South Africa and has funded nutrition congresses throughout the country. It has also paid for dietitians and academics opposed to Noakes and LCHF to address conferences abroad.”
“Lore” is not just another diet book. To be sure, John Yudkin and Ancel Keys do show up, as do Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes. Whether or not you agree with the low-carb, high-fat approach to nutrition, though, this is worth checking out. Noakes’ personal journey is compelling and has vast implications for the future of health and fitness. A nation’s premier exercise scientist and medical doctor developed Type 2 diabetes following the lifestyle he had recommended for decades. He tried something drastically different instead and was awed by the positive impact on his health and fitness. Yet when he attempted to share what he’d learned with others, his university turned its back on him, his colleagues denounced him, and his professional body launched an investigation.
It is a shame that Noakes had to experience this. We find some consolation, however, in knowing that the other side is starting to suffer the same fate. As Sboros writes on page 285 regarding the expert witness against Noakes, Ali Dhansay:
“Dhansay’s continued presence, even after he had given his evidence as an expert witness for the HPCSA, was noteworthy. His links to the ILSI had by now caught up with him. In February 2017, Russ Greene had revealed that the SAMRC (South Africa Medical Research Council) was investigating (Ali) Dhansay’s ties to the sugar and soft-drink industries.”