As you may be aware I recently created a petition in opposition to Christine Cronau hosting her ‘Bring Back the Fat 2017’ event at Murdoch University’s South Street Campus. In short the reasons for the petition are as follows:
- Christine Cronau provides dangerous medical and nutritional advice without any credible qualifications in either area. Christine’s only qualification regarding nutrition is a diploma of Nutritional Medicine from the International College of Complimentary Medicine, which does not appear to be a reputable institution.
- The advice given publicly via her Facebook page is very misleading, usually factually incorrect and potentially deadly as it may delay and/or interfere with appropriate medical treatment.
- Hosting the event on the Murdoch University campus will bring the reputation of the University into disrepute, damaging the credibility of the institution and its graduates (particularly those in the allied health fields). It also implies to those attending the event that Murdoch University supports Ms Cronau’s views.
- Both Edith Cowan University and the University of Adelaide swiftly cancelled Christine Cronau’s booking for this event once its true nature was brought to their attention.
Murdoch University’s comments on the matter
A Murdoch University spokesperson recently made a number of comments to WA Today (8/6/17) justifying the University’s decision to allow Ms Cronau to present her seminar on campus. In response to those comments, in principle I agree that a university is the ideal space for controversial topics to be debated, however Ms Cronau’s presentation will not feature any voices opposing her views nor does she tolerate dissenting views of any kind. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that any attempts to clarify, debate or correct the misinformation she gives to her 70,000 plus followers on Facebook, quickly results in the comment being deleted and the poster banned from the page.
My concern about Ms Cronau goes far beyond her promotion of a low carb high fat diet
It is important to clearly state that the motivation behind the petition is not to condemn a low carb high fat dietary approach, as that is the least of my concerns with Ms Cronau’s advice. The crux of my concern is that an unsupervised ketogenic diet (very low carbohydrate) or a low carbohydrate/ high fat diet is promoted by Christine Cronau as a one size fits all solution to any health concerns her followers may have. The conditions that she prescribes these diets for include, but are not limited to, those such as thyroid disorders, heart disease, diabetes and various cancer.
Christine Cronau’s advice could kill
One of the most reckless recent cases involved Ms Cronau providing medical advice to a member of her Facebook page who was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She claimed in the post that a ketogenic diet in combination with something she describes as pH balancing (a debunked concept) had the potential to cure cancer (see below). Ms Cronau is recklessly promoting a false cancer cure that could kill. This is not a one off incident and I have enclosed a number of examples where Ms Cronau is giving dangerous medical advice rather than encouraging her followers to visit their GP or medical specialist.
Murdoch University has a duty to the community
As a publicly funded institution, Murdoch University has a duty to the wider community to not allow dangerous medical advice to be presented as fact, particularly when it is unopposed. I sincerely urge you to reconsider your decision to allow this event to take place on your campus as it presents a serious risk to public safety. Should you let this event go ahead, it is my belief that you, Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen and the members of the senior executive team, are negligently ignoring your responsibilities and should shoulder part of the blame for any adverse outcomes suffered by attendees following Ms Cronau’s advice.
Please find a copy of the signed petition and comments attached. Should you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact me.
Chris Vavakis BSc, MNutn&Dtcs, APD
Further examples of Christine Cronau’s dangerous medical advice and statements