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Noakes hearing: Expert to continue giving evidence

Professor Este Vorster’s expertise and knowledge came under intense scrutiny during cross-examination.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa is investigating a complaint against the Banting diet advocate, Tim Noakes, after he advised a mother via Twitter, to wean her baby onto a low carb/high fat diet. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - An expert witness against Professor Tim Noakes will continue giving evidence at a hearing into his professional conduct.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is investigating a complaint from the former President of the Association of Dietetics over a tweet in which Noakes advised a mother to wean her child on a low carb/high fat diet.

Yesterday, professor Este Vorster's expertise and knowledge came under intense scrutiny during cross-examination.

Delays and unexpected adjournments dragged out a day on which Vorster was questioned by lawyers for Tim Noakes and the Health Professions Council.

Vorster yesterday disputed the relevance of the qualifications of defense witnesses, dietician Caryn Zinn and Canadian professor Stephen Cunnane.

Vorster said although Zinn was qualified in sports nutrition for children, her research was not relevant to this case, which primarily relates to breastfeeding mothers and the low carb/high fat diet.

Her own expertise also came into question when Noakes's legal team disputed whether she's qualified to comment on doctor-patient relationships, social media and the low carb/high fat diet.

Under cross-examination, Vorster admitted she had never done clinical trials on the low carb/high fat diet as opposed to her years of research into low fat/high carb diets.

Cunnane is expected to testify later today following the marathon cross-examination of Vorster.